First evidence of anticoagulant rodenticides in fish and suspended particulate matter: spatial and temporal distribution in German freshwater aquatic systems

2018, Fachzeitschriften

Kotthoff, Matthias; Rüdel, Heinz; Jürling, Heinrich; Severin, Kevin; Hennecke, Stephan; Friesen, Anton; Koschorreck, Jan
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. (2018); online 1. März 2018


Anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs) have been used for decades for rodent control worldwide. Research on the exposure of the environment and accumulation of these active substances in biota has been focused on terrestrial food webs, but few data are available on the impact of ARs on aquatic systems and water organisms. To fill this gap, we analyzed liver samples of bream (Abramis brama) and co-located suspended particulate matter (SPM) from the German Environmental Specimen Bank (ESB). An appropriate method was developed for the determination of eight different ARs, including first- and second-generation ARs, in fish liver and SPM. Applying this method to bream liver samples from 17 and 18 sampling locations of the years 2011 and 2015, respectively, five ARs were found at levels above limits of quantifications (LOQs, 0.2 to 2 μg kg−1). For 2015, brodifacoum was detected in 88% of the samples with a maximum concentration of 12.5 μg kg−1. Moreover, difenacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone, and flocoumafen were detected in some samples above LOQ. In contrast, no first generation AR was detected in the ESB samples. In SPM, only bromadiolone could be detected in 56% of the samples at levels up to 9.24 μg kg−1. A temporal trend analysis of bream liver from two sampling locations over a period of up to 23 years revealed a significant trend for brodifacoum at one of the sampling locations.