Dichlobenil and 2,6-dichlorobenzamide (BAM) in the environment: what are the risks to humans and biota?

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  • Erland Björklund
  • ,
  • Bjarne Styrishave
  • ,
  • Gitte Gotholdt Anskjær
  • ,
  • Martin Hansen
  • Bent Halling-Sørensen
  • Afdeling for Terrestrisk Økologi
Dichlobenil is a herbicide widely used for weed control, mainly in non-agricultural areas and in the aquatic environment. When released into the environment, dichlobenil can undergo many processes such as vaporization to air, binding to soil and sediment, as well as degradation to a number of new compounds. The main metabolite is 2,6-dichlorobenzamide (BAM) which is water soluble and causes ground water contamination. It is frequently found in levels exceeding maximum allowed concentrations of pesticides and metabolites in ground water (0.1 μg/L) set by the European Commission. The environmental distribution of both dichlobenil and BAM was outlined and the risk quotients were calculated for biota and for humans. For organisms living in aquatic habitats, risk quotients were low for both dichlobenil and BAM, approximately 0.02 for dichlobenil and 2.4·10(-4) to 1.3·10(-3) for BAM. For humans, a margin of safety above 15,000 was estimated for dichlobenil. The most unusual and extreme concentration of BAM ever found in ground water is 560 μg/L. Even at this concentration, the margin of safety for humans was 313 for a 70 kilo man and 56 for a 25 kilo child. The results clearly demonstrate that the risks to biota and humans are very low.
TidsskriftScience of the Total Environment
Sider (fra-til)3732-3739
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 1 sep. 2011

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