Pesticides Used on Beef Cattle Feed Yards Are Aerially Transported into the Environment Via Particulate Matter

Eric M. Peterson, Frank B. Green, Philip N. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Considering the recent discovery of veterinary pharmaceutical aerial transport from industrial cattle feeding operations via particulate matter, the objective of this study is to determine the extent to which insecticides are also transported into the environment by total suspended particulates emanating from beef cattle feed yards. Of 16 different pesticides quantified in particulate matter samples collected from beef cattle feed yards, permethrin was detected most frequently at >67% of particulate matter samples and at a mean concentration of 1211.7 ± 781.0 (SE) ng/m3. Imidacloprid was detected at a mean concentration of 62.8 ± 38.2 (SE) ng/m3 or equivalent to published concentrations in dust from treated seed planting activities. When insecticide concentrations observed in this study are projected to all United States of America feed yards, the resulting particulate matter (669,000 kg) could contain enough insecticides (active ingredient mass basis) to kill over a billion honeybees daily. Furthermore, a novel transport pathway for macrocyclic lactone entry into the environment was identified. These data raise concern that nontarget organisms may be exposed to potentially toxic levels of pesticides from beef cattle feed yards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13008-13015
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume54
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2020

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