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Environmental risks and challenges associated with neonicotinoid insecticides

March 1, 2018

Neonicotinoid use has increased rapidly in recent years, with a global shift towards insecticide applications as seed coatings rather than aerial spraying. While the use of seed coatings can lessen the amount of overspray and drift, the near universal and prophylactic use of neonicotinoid seed coatings on major agricultural crops has led to widespread detections in the environment (pollen, soil, water, honey). Pollinators and aquatic insects appear to be especially susceptible to the effects of neonicotinoids with current research suggesting that chronic sub-lethal effects are more prevalent than acute toxicity. Meanwhile, evidence of clear and consistent yield benefits from the use of neonicotinoids remains elusive for most crops. Future decisions on neonicotinoid use will benefit from weighing crop yield benefits versus environmental impacts to non-target organisms and considering whether there are more environmentally benign alternatives.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2018
Title Environmental risks and challenges associated with neonicotinoid insecticides
DOI 10.1021/acs.est.7b06388
Authors Michelle L. Hladik, Anson Main, Dave Goulson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Science & Technology
Series Number
Index ID 70195768
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization California Water Science Center