Attenuation of toxicity and occurrence of degradation products of the fungicide tebuconazole after combined vacuum UV and UVC treatment of drinking water

Oihane Del Puerto Bengoetxea, Nuno P.F. Gonçalves, Claudio Medana, Alessandra Bianco Prevot, Peter Roslev

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Antifungal azoles are the most frequently used fungicides worldwide and occur as active ingredients in many antifungal pharmaceuticals, biocides, and pesticides. Azole fungicides are frequent environmental contaminants and can affect the quality of surface waters, groundwater, and drinking water. This study examined the potential of combined vacuum UV (185 nm) and UVC (254 nm) irradiation (VUV/UVC) of the azole fungicide tebuconazole and the transformation product 1,2,4-trizole on degradation and changes in ecotoxicity. In vivo ecotoxicity was examined before and after UV treatment using bioassays with test organisms from different trophic levels to integrate changes in biological effect of the parent compound and the degradation products. The test battery included the luminescent bacterium Aliivibrio fischeri, the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis, the fungus Fusarium graminearum, the green microalga Raphidocelis subcapitata, and the crustacean Daphnia magna. The combined VUV/UVC treatment of tebuconazole in drinking water efficiently degraded the parent compound at the µg/L-mg/L level and resulted in transformation products with lower toxicity than the parent compound. A direct positive correlation was observed between the applied UV dose (fluence, J/cm2), the disappearance of tebuconazole, and the decrease in ecotoxicity. The combined VUV/UVC process does not require addition of supplementary oxidants or catalysts and our study suggests that VUV/UVC-mediated photolysis of azole fungicides in water can decrease the overall toxicity and represent a potentially environmentally friendly treatment method.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
ISSN0944-1344
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

Keywords

  • 1,2,4-Triazole
  • Advanced oxidation
  • Drinking water
  • Ecotoxicity
  • Photolysis
  • Tebuconazole
  • Vacuum UV and UVC

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