We recently reported the initial discovery of neonicotinoid pesticides in drinking water and their potential for transformation through chlorination and alkaline hydrolysis during water treatment. The objectives of this research were: (1) to determine if neonicotinoid metabolites are relevant to drinking water exposure and (2) to identify the products formed from chlorination of neonicotinoids and their metabolites. Desnitro-imidacloprid and imidacloprid-urea, two known metabolites of imidacloprid, are documented for the first time in drinking water. Desnitro-imidacloprid was present above the lower level of detection (0.03 ng/L) in 67% of samples (six of nine) from drinking water systems but detectable in all samples (up to 0.6 ng/L). Although concentrations of desnitro-imidacloprid were lower than concentrations of the parent neonicotinoids, desnitro-imidacloprid exhibits significantly greater mammalian toxicity than imidacloprid. Using LC-HR-ToF-MS/MS analysis of results from laboratory experiments, we propose structures for novel transformation products resulting from the chlorination of clothianidin, imidacloprid, desnitro-imidacloprid, imidacloprid-urea, and hydrolysis products of thiamethoxam. Formation of chlorinated neonicotinoid byproducts occurs at time scales relevant to water treatment and/or distribution for the imidacloprid metabolites (t1/2 values from 2.4 min to 1.0 h) and thiamethoxam hydrolysis products (4.8 h). Neonicotinoid metabolites in finished drinking water and potential formation of novel disinfection byproducts during treatment and/or distribution are relevant to evaluating the exposure and potential impacts of neonicotinoids on human health.
- Digital Object Identifier: 10.1021/acs.estlett.8b00706
- Source: USGS Publications Warehouse (indexId: 70201737)