Environmental toxicology and chemistry

Event based analysis of chlorothalonil concentrations following application to managed turf.

PMID 23233324


Chlorothalonil concentrations exceeding acute toxicity levels for certain organisms have been measured in surface water discharge events from managed turf watersheds. The duration of exceedence and the timing of these events related to precipitation/runoff and time since application, however, have not been explored. Chlorothalonil concentrations were measured from discharge waters draining a managed turf watershed in Duluth, Minnesota, USA, between 2003 and 2009. The median chlorothalonil concentration was 0.58 µg/L. Approximately 2% of all measured concentrations exceeded the 7.6 µg/L median lethal concentration (LC50) acute toxicity level for rainbow trout. One-twentieth the LC50 concentration, equivalent to the level of concern (0.38 µg/L) for endangered species, was exceeded 31% of the time during the present study. The concentrations that exceeded the LC50 threshold were associated with eight rainfall/runoff events. Low dose exposures are a more important biological concern than acute occurrences. Exceedence concentrations associated with acute effects were significantly (p < 0.05) correlated to time since application and were measured only in the fall following extensive application. A conflict exists between the transportability of chlorothalonil as suggested by its chemical properties and the data collected in the present study. With respect to course-wide golf course application, avoiding application until after the major autumn rainfall period but before the first snow coverage is recommended to reduce occurrence of chlorothalonil concentrations that exceed toxic levels associated with acute and chronic levels of concern.