Toxic and accumulative potential of the antifouling biocide and TBT successor irgarol on freshwater macrophytes: a pond mesocosm study.Environ Sci Technol. 2009 Sep 01; 43(17):6838-43.ES
After the ban of tributyltin (TBT) for vessels not longer than 25 m in 1986, Irgarol has become a commonly used antifouling biocide. Irgarol is highly toxic to autotrophic organisms and has the potential to accumulate in organic material. In the literature, environmental concentrations of Irgarol up to 2.4 microg L(-1) were reported forfreshwater. Within a comprehensive freshwater mesocosm study, experiments were conducted to gain more information on the effects of Irgarol on macrophytes. Six indoor pond mesocosms were contaminated once with concentrations between 0.04 and 5 microgl(-1) Irgarol and monitored for 150 days; two mesocosms served as controls. The mesocosm study revealed that all macrophytes were directly affected by this single application. Myriophyllum verticillatum was the most sensitive macrophyte with an EC50 (Day 150) of 0.21 microg L(-1) Irgarol. The duckweed Spirodela polyrhiza was the least sensitive species tested in the mesocosms and number of fronds even increased with increasing Irgarol concentrations. Time-weighted average calculations yielded high BCF values of up to 10,580 L kg(-1) dry weight for M. verticillatum indicating a high potential for accumulation. The results give cause for concern that natural macrophyte communities are impaired at actual environmental concentrations.