Fiproles in urban surface runoff: Understanding sources and causes of contamination.


Department of Environmental Sciences, University of California Riverside, CA, 92521, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


Urban-use pesticides present a unique risk to non-target organisms in surface aquatic systems because impervious pavement facilitates runoff that may lead to serious contamination and ensuing aquatic toxicity. Fipronil is an insecticide used at high rates in urban environments, especially in regions such as California. This compound and its biologically active degradation products have been detected in urban runoff drainage and downstream surface water bodies at concentrations exceeding toxicity thresholds for sensitive aquatic invertebrates, necessitating a better understanding of the runoff sources and causes of this contamination at sites of application. In this study, we evaluated sorption of fipronil, fipronil desulfinyl, fipronil sulfide, and fipronil sulfone in urban dust, soil, and concrete, matrices commonly associated with the perimeter of a residential home. Samples were also collected from five single family homes treated with fipronil in Riverside, California, for five months to determine the occurrence of fipronil and its degradates in runoff water, urban dust, soil, and on concrete surfaces. Statistical analysis was performed to determine which urban matrices contributed more significantly to the contaminant levels in runoff water. Freundlich sorption coefficients for fipronil and its degradation products in dust were 3- to 9-fold greater than their values in soil. Fipronil and its degradates were detected in 100% of runoff samples and their presence was observed in dust, soil, and concrete wipe samples for 153 d after the treatment. Linear regression analysis showed that concrete surfaces were a primary source of all four compounds to runoff, and loose dust on concrete pavement also served as an important contributor. This study represents the first comprehensive investigation of the sources and causes for surface runoff contamination by fipronil and its degradation products. Findings highlight the importance to reduce fipronil residues on concrete surfaces through improved application methods and other mitigation practices.


Fipronil,Risk mitigation,Runoff,Urban use pesticides,Water quality,