Peer Review Study Finds Insecticides Are Low Risk

Kelly Marshall

environmental-toxicology-and-chemistryA new risk assessment published in a peer-reviewed journal has found use of registered neonicotinoid imidacloprid in the United States is of low risk for sensitive aquatic invertebrates, or the wildlife that depend on them for their diet. This product is one of the most commonly used insecticides because it offers effective and safe control of pests.

Because aquatic invertebrates serve an important function in nature, many studies have been performed to characterize the potential impact across a variety of species. The publication details the body of research, the careful selection and use of the best available data, and the probabilistic risk assessment. The probabilistic approach better predicts the effects to sensitive species, the relevant exposures and the potential risks to aquatic invertebrate communities in terms of the actual label use directions and the natural environment for these crops and treated landscapes.

In the assessment, refined exposure models that better represent pest treatments and the environments where applications could be made were used. The researchers found that their aquatic exposure predictions were consistent with a decade of water sampling data available from public sources, including the U.S. Geological Survey.

“We conducted 30-year simulations based on realistic, but conservative, assumptions and found that aquatic communities are unlikely to be at risk from acute or chronic exposures to registered uses of imidacloprid,” noted Dr. Dwayne Moore, Senior VP and Scientist at Intrinsik Environmental Sciences (US) Corp. “In fact, risks were de minimis, the lowest possible category, for all crop and non-crop uses.”