Department Environmental Chemistry

Exposure and Fate of Insecticides and Fungicides in Swiss Surface Waters

The exposure and fate of insecticides and fungicides from agricultural fields into surface waters has not been studied in much detail, neither internationally nor in Switzerland, compared to the work done on herbicides. However, mainly insecticides can already affect aquatic organisms at very low concentrations in surface waters.

The aim of this project was therefore to better understand the exposure and fate of insecticides and fungicides in Swiss surface waters. During a situation analysis application patterns, sales statistics, degradation rates, physico-chemical properties, and ecotoxicological data were studied for all fungicides and insecticides that are registered in Switzerland. In a field study done in cooperation with cantonal authorities (March to July 2012), water samples as well as passive samples were collected at 5 different locations. The sampling locations were selected based on size and different land uses and ranged over the whole Swiss midlands. The samples were analyzed by liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS/MS) as well as by gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS). The results show that especially insecticides exceed often the chronic quality standards in surface waters and thus are quite important for the assessment of the water quality. Selected insecticides and fungicides should be included into future monitoring programs.


Moschet, C.; Wittmer, I.; Stamm, C.; Singer, H.; Hollender, J. (2015) Insektizide und Fungizide in Fliessgewässern. Wichtig zur Beurteilung der Gewässerqualität, Aqua & Gas, 95(4), 54-65, Institutional Repository
Moschet, C.; Vermeirssen, E. L. M.; Singer, H.; Stamm, C.; Hollender, J. (2015) Evaluation of in-situ calibration of Chemcatcher passive samplers for 322 micropollutants in agricultural and urban affected rivers, Water Research, 71, 306-317, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2014.12.043, Institutional Repository
Moschet, C.; Vermeirssen, E. L. M.; Seiz, R.; Pfefferli, H.; Hollender, J. (2014) Picogram per liter detections of pyrethroids and organophosphates in surface waters using passive sampling, Water Research, 66, 411-422, doi:10.1016/j.watres.2014.08.032, Institutional Repository
Moschet, C.; Wittmer, I.; Simovic, J.; Junghans, M.; Piazzoli, A.; Singer, H.; Stamm, C.; Leu, C.; Hollender, J. (2014) How a complete pesticide screening changes the assessment of surface water quality, Environmental Science and Technology, 48(10), 5423-5432, doi:10.1021/es500371t, Institutional Repository
Wittmer, I.; Moschet, C.; Simovic, J.; Singer, H.; Stamm, C.; Hollender, J.; Junghans, M.; Leu, C. (2014) Über 100 Pestizide in Fliessgewässern. Programm NAWA Spez zeigt die hohe Pestizidbelastung der Schweizer Fliessgewässer auf, Aqua & Gas, 94(3), 32-43, Institutional Repository
Moschet, C.; Piazzoli, A.; Singer, H.; Hollender, J. (2013) Alleviating the reference standard dilemma using a systematic exact mass suspect screening approach with liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry, Analytical Chemistry, 85(21), 10312-10320, doi:10.1021/ac4021598, Institutional Repository