Relative toxicity of the components of the original formulation of Roundup to five North American anurans.
Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2012 Apr ;78:128-33. Epub 2011 Dec 3. PMID: 22137360
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Clemson University, 261 Lehotsky Hall, Clemson, South Carolina 29634, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
The responses of five North American frog species that were exposed in an aqueous system to the original formulation of Roundup were compared. Carefully designed and un-confounded laboratory toxicity tests are crucial for accurate assessment of potential risks from the original formulation of Roundup to North American amphibians in aquatic environments. The formulated mixture of this herbicide as well as its components, isopropylamine (IPA) salt of glyphosate and the surfactant MON 0818 (containing polyethoxylated tallowamine (POEA)) were separately tested in 96 h acute toxicity tests with Gosner stage 25 larval anurans. Rana pipiens, R. clamitans, R. catesbeiana, Bufo fowleri, and Hyla chrysoscelis were reared from egg masses and exposed to a series of 11 concentrations of the original formulation of Roundup herbicide, nine concentrations of MON 0818 and three concentrations of IPA salt of glyphosate in static (non-renewal) aqueous laboratory tests. LC50 values are expressed as glyphosate acid equivalents (ae) or as mg/L for MON 0818 concentrations for comparison between the formulation and components. R. pipiens was the most sensitive of five species with 96 h-LC50 values for formulation tests, for the five species, ranging from 1.80 to 4.22 mg ae/L, and MON 0818 exposures with 96 h-LC50 values ranging from 0.68 to 1.32 mg/L. No significant mortality was observed during exposures of 96 h for any of the five species exposed to glyphosate IPA salt at concentrations up to 100 times the predicted environmental concentration (PEC). These results agree with previous studies which have noted that the surfactant MON 0818 containing POEA contributes the majority of the toxicity to the herbicide formulations for fish, aquatic invertebrates, and amphibians. These study results suggest that anurans are among the most sensitive species, and emphasize the importance of testing the herbicide formulation in addition to its separate components to accurately characterize the toxicity and potential risk of the formulation.