Two fungicides, commonly used in agriculture, pyraclostrobin and tebuconazole, and one herbicide, simazine, were the most frequently detected compounds, and this is the first time these compounds have ever been reported in wild frog tissue. Another commonly detected pesticide was DDE (Dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene) a breakdown product of DDT which was banned in the United States in 1972. The continued presence of a DDT byproduct reveals how long this banned chemical can impact biodiversity.
A comparison of the frog tissue with water and sediment collected from the same sites shows that the frogs were the more reliable indicator of chemical exposure. This is partly due to the physical-chemical properties of the l compounds and biological influences such as such as organism specific metabolism and life history. Documenting the occurrence of these compounds is an important first step in figuring out the health consequence associated with the exposures.
"Very few studies have considered the environmental occurrence of pesticides, particularly fungicides which can be transported beyond farmland," concluded Smalling. "Our evidence raises new challenges for resource managers; demonstrating the need to keep track of continual changes in pesticides use and to determine potential routes of exposure in the wild."
|Contact: Ben Norman|