In the province of Santa Fe, tarpon living in the lower reaches of the Salado River recorded the highest concentration in the world nine biocides (insecticides, herbicides and fungicides) widely used in transgenic crops, mainly soybeans, corn and cotton, according to a study by researchers Conicet and Coast National University (UNL),
was published with the title “Cocktail of pesticide residues in Prochilodus lineatus fish from the Salado River (South America): First record of high concentration of polar herbicides”. magazine Science of the Total Environment,
Scientists there demonstrate that tarpon populations are clustered in a river basin genetically modified cropsinclude “multiple pesticide residues in their tissues,
Researchers evaluated the presence of ” insecticide in sediment and tissue samples of tarpon during the summer period in various sites in the lower course of the Salado River Basin”.
The work was carried out by scientists Rafael Lajmanovich, Maria Repetti, Ana Cuziole Boccioni, Melina Michlig, Luisina Demonte, Andrés Atademo and Paola Peltzer, belonging to the Ecotoxicology Laboratory of UNL’s Faculty of Biochemistry and Biological Sciences. and the Chemical Residue and Contaminant Research and Analysis Program of the Faculty of Chemical Engineering of the same university.
“The results of our study determine the concentration Extremely high concentration of polar herbicidesMainly in glyphosate and its degradation products, and glufosinate ammonium (herbicide) fish muscle tissuehigher than those reported in freshwater fish in other studies worldwide,” the researchers said.
In conversation with Telam, Lajmanovitch related the working hypothesis that “since these fish feed on bottom sediments (sludge), they may act as bioaccumulators. There were precedents in Uruguay and on pesticide residues in tarpon.” There were also quite a few old works”.
Regarding the indices, he explained that “they are extremely high And there is no record of this magnitude in the scientific literature, which is why the work says they are the highest values recorded in the world. It was supported by the scientific committee of one of the world’s most prestigious journals on environmental pollution.”
In addition, they noted that “this section of the Salado River, which traverses a large, extremely productive area, was poorly studied” and that “fish were analyzed simultaneously for more than 100 km “
The scientists found a total of nine pesticides in the muscle and gut, mainly herbicides (organophosphates, chloroacetamides and triazines), insecticides (pyrethroids and organophosphates) and a fungicide.
“You have to take into account synergy, because we’re dealing with a mixture of nine biocides,” Lajmanovich said. The combination often has a toxic effect. which are greater than the sum of the individual toxicities.
“Although this was only studied in Santa Fe, the issue is like a funnel. What is characteristic here is called diffuse contamination,” he said, “from the original agro-industrial crops that are in all the basins.”
contamination was detected “in the last section of the river and suggests that it is probably tops are dirtyHowever, we cannot confirm this until we have the samples”.
“We show that glyphosate has a high affinity for muscle tissue,” he said. matters most for consumptionbecause the viscera is thrown away”.
Glyphosate with its metabolite (AMPA) 100% present in fishesWhile glufosinate ammonium (herbicide) is a close second with 50%, Lajmanovich said.
Meanwhile, pyrethroid insecticides (cypermethrin and lambda-cyhalothrin) were found in 43.75% of fish viscera samples across all sites studied.
To analyze the residues, the scientists purchased samples from local fishermen located at the same five sampling sites where the sediment was collected.
In this regard, he said that these fish were for sale for human consumption And specified that they analyzed 136 compounds in the sediments and tissues.
According to study data, the large-scale use of agricultural chemicals in Argentina determined the consumption of 196,008 tons of pesticides in 2017, of which 93.7% was glyphosate.
The CONICET researcher specified that Argentina is “the third country in the world who use glyphosate the most“, a number that reaches the “five provinces”
“He focuses too much Santa Fe, Cordoba, Entre Rios, Buenos Aires and Salta, We use the same proportion as in Brazil,” explained the expert.
Tarpon muscles and viscera (gill-livers) were obtained from four sites in the lower Salado River and one site in the Santa Fe River in that province between December 2021 and February 2022.
The tarpon is a neotropical native fish with a wide distribution that extends to river basins. Paraná-Paraguay and Southern Paraguay in South America.
Although this species is one of the main sources of food for riparian inhabitants and an important level in the aquatic trophic web, his health is out of controlStudy alert.
“Contamination by agrochemicals is now a global problem, however, with 95% of transgenic crops produced in China, the United States, Canada, Brazil and Argentina,” the investigation states.
In its conclusion, the study warns that “this degree of contamination causes a significant increase in harmful effects on the health of fish due to the simultaneous presence of pesticides in sub-lethal doses and, in addition, is a serious threat to all fish.” could pose a risk.” Aquatic organisms and human health.
“The degradation of environmental quality observed in the Salado River Basin threatens aquatic organisms, the environment, socio-cultural services and human populations,” he warned.
With inputs from Telam