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Polluted paradise: occurrence of pesticide residues within the urban coastal zones of Santa Cruz and Isabela (Galapagos, Ecuador)
Riascos-Flores, L.; Bruneel, S.; Van der Heyden, C.; Deknock, A.; Van Echelpoel, W.; Forio, M.A.E.; De Saeyer, N.; Vanden Berghe, W.; Spanoghe, P.; Bermúdez, R.; Dominguez-Granda, L.; Goethals, P. (2021). Polluted paradise: occurrence of pesticide residues within the urban coastal zones of Santa Cruz and Isabela (Galapagos, Ecuador). Sci. Total Environ. 763: 142956. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142956
In: Science of the Total Environment. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 0048-9697; e-ISSN 1879-1026, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Pesticides; Risk assessment; Seawater; Urban areas; Island; Galapagos

Authors  Top 
  • Riascos-Flores, L., more
  • Bruneel, S., more
  • Van der Heyden, C.
  • Deknock, A., more
  • Van Echelpoel, W., more
  • Forio, M.A.E., more
  • De Saeyer, N., more
  • Vanden Berghe, W., more
  • Spanoghe, P., more
  • Bermúdez, R.
  • Dominguez-Granda, L.
  • Goethals, P., more

    Although pesticides are frequently used for agriculture in the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), there are, to date, no investigations of pesticide occurrences in its coastal waters. We examined the presence of pesticide residues in the coastal waters of urban areas in two islands of the Galapagos archipelago using a repeated sampling design. Quantification was performed by solid-phase extraction, followed by chemical analysis using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and gas chromatography-electron capture detector (GC-ECD). The diversity and concentration of pesticide residues in Santa Cruz island were higher compared to Isabela island. In total, sixteen pesticides were detected, including three persistent organic pollutants. Carbendazim (23.93 μg·L−1), cadusafos (4.74 μg·L−1), DDT (2.99 μg·L−1), diuron (1.61 μg·L−1) and aldrin (1.55 μg·L−1) were detected with the highest concentrations between samples. Repetitions in locations show that concentrations of pesticide residues varied considerably in space and time. Comparison with local products indicated agricultural activities on the islands as a possible source. Furthermore, evaluation through ecological risk quotients showed that the observed concentration levels of seven pesticides pose a relatively high risk for three biotic groups (i.e. algae, invertebrates and fishes). Taken together, this study provides insights into the need to regulate, monitor and assess the presence of pesticides in the islands. At a global scale, this study is moreover valuable for the many islands that are facing the same challenges.

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