Approved Abstracts

The environmental impact of pesticides used on flower crops



Author(s): Pereira PCG; Parente CET; Carvalho GO; Torres JPM; Meire RO; Dorneles PR; Malm O;
Presenter: Patrícia Christina Genázio Pereira

Flowers crops are commonly subjected to intense attack by pests, especially by insects and fungi. In this context, pesticides are applied to prevent losses in production. Even though several countries are evaluating flower import regulations, none of them establish any criteria for pesticide application on cut flower crops nor determine a maximum residue limit (MRL) for such toxicants. Therefore, the objectives of this review were to discuss possible adverse effects on environmental health of pesticides used in floriculture, evaluating regulations on the use of these pesticides in the main importing and flower-producing countries. Literature search was carried out using databases (Web of Science and Scopus) aiming at the global flower market, pesticide use in ornamental flowers, its consequences to human health and environmental contamination. A total of 92 documents were included in the current review. The control over the import of flowers by the European Union (EU) only includes pesticide MRLs for flowers intended for infusions and these species have a generic limit of 0.05 mg kg-1 for each pesticide. As with EU regulations, MRLs are established in the United States (U.S.) for some crops intended for feeding, either by infusion or by using seeds. Similar standards are in force in Colombia, Ecuador, Hong Kong and Japan. Among 201 pesticides identified in the present review, 94 were banned by the EU. Analyses of surface water samples, in areas located close to flower-producing farms from Ethiopia, indicated the presence of pesticides banned by the EU. Pesticides were identified in 67% of water samples (n = 28) from rivers that received effluents from flower industries. The residents associated the reduction in the quality of the river water (e.g. changes in color, sulfurous odors and decrease in endemic insects) with the release of untreated effluents. Comparing several studies, among the pesticides identified in water samples collected in different countries, acetamiprid (7.6 µg L-1) and imidacloprid (0.025 - 1.04 µg L-1) had concentrations above the limit (0.008 µg L-1) established by the EU. However, it is important to highlight that given the large amount of pesticides, there are still few compounds that have established limits. According to the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS), 109 pesticides are very toxic to aquatic life, while 100 compounds are very toxic and have long-lasting effects to aquatic biota. During analysis of pesticides in surface water samples from Ethiopia, it was established in chronic tests the No Observed Effect Concentration (NOEC) for aquatic invertebrates (carbendazine 1.5 µg L-1 and methomyl 1.6 µg L-1) and fish (carbendazine 3.2 µg L-1). Besides, negative effects on the reproduction of cladocerans (Chydorus sphaericus); and reproduction, resistance and stage of development of aquatic macrofauna was observed after exposure to contaminated water samples to flower production areas. During this review it was possible to identify studies on environmental contamination and the impact of flower production on non-target organisms are scarce. It was observed that studies about environmental contamination focused predominantly on water matrices and the studies on impacts of pesticides on non-target biota just measure adverse effects on reproduction and development in aquatic organisms. Regarding the environmental area, it is necessary to diversify studies in multiple directions, biomes, environments and organisms, therefore, it is important to invest in studies approaching other matrices (soil and atmosphere) and different taxonomic groups.

Keywords: Contamination; floriculture; Non-target organisms

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