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Assessing the ecological risk of pesticides should not ignore the impact of their transformation byproducts – The case of chlorantraniliprole

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Evangelos Petropoulos



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2021 Elsevier B.V.Risk assessments for pesticides typically focus on the compound itself ignoring the impact of its transformation byproducts. Challenges in isolating such byproducts (i.e. after application of pesticide in soil) often lead to underestimation of the real risk from such substances. The toxicological properties of these byproducts may differ from those of the parent pesticides; hence, special attention is required for these new emerging contaminants. In this study, two transformation byproducts of chlorantraniliprole were isolated from soil and identified, using nuclear magnetic resonance and high resolution mass spectrometry, as products of dechlorination (Z1) and bromination (Z2). Kinetic experiments revealed both byproducts degrade faster than chlorantraniliprole in soil (half-lives 38 & 43 d vs. 58 d). The ecological risk evaluation of chlorantraniliprole and its byproducts on soil bacterial community showed that they were all potentially harmful but they imposed different impacts on both alpha and beta diversities and co-occurrence networks of the bacterial community. Z2 had the biggest potential impact on soil bacteria and accounted as a high potential risk. By comparing their impacts on soil bacterial community, we confirm that ecological risk assessment necessitates the understanding of the environmental impacts of a substance as well as of its transformation byproducts.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wu M, Li G, Li P, Jiang N, Wei S, Petropoulos E, Li Z

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Hazardous Materials

Year: 2021

Volume: 418

Online publication date: 31/05/2021

Acceptance date: 28/05/2021

Date deposited: 09/08/2021

ISSN (print): 0304-3894

ISSN (electronic): 1873-3336

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.


DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.126270


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