Pesticide monitoring in the basin of Llobregat River (Catalonia, Spain) and comparison with historical data

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Through an extensive sampling in the Llobregat River basin, the presence of 50 currently used pesticides in water, sediment, and biota was assessed. Pesticides were detected primarily in water (up to 56% of the analytes), whereas their presence in sediments was more intermittent, and in biota was scarce. Those at high concentrations in water were the benzimidazoles (carbendazim in 22% of the samples up to 697ngL-1), the organophosphorus (malathion in 54% of the samples up to 320ngL-1), and the ureas (diuron in 54% of the samples up to 159ngL-1). However, this pattern differed in sediments and biota, which were contaminated primarily with organophosphorus (higher Kow) (chlorpyrifos 93% of sediments up to 131ng g-1). According to the results of this study, pesticide residues in the Llobregat River basin do not seem to represent a high risk to biota, even though some algae and fish can be affected. Nevertheless, the monitoring program can be very useful to control the contamination of the river basin, as the availability of historical data on the basin confirmed background contamination in the last 20years ​
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