Pesticides in Brazilian freshwaters: a critical review
The widespread use of pesticides in agriculture can lead to water contamination and cause adverse effects on non-target organisms. Brazil has been the world's top pesticide market consumer since 2008, with 381 approved pesticides for crop use. This study provides a comprehensive literature review on the occurrence of pesticide residues in Brazilian freshwaters. We searched for information in official agency records and peer-reviewed scientific literature. Risk quotients were calculated to assess the potential risk posed to aquatic life by the individual pesticides based on their levels of water contamination. Studies about the occurrence of pesticides in freshwaters in Brazil are scarce and concentrated in few sampling sites in 5 of the 27 states. Herbicides (21) accounted for the majority of the substances investigated, followed by fungicides (11), insecticides (10) and plant growth regulators (1). Insecticides are the class of major concern. Brazil would benefit from the implementation of a nationwide pesticide freshwater monitoring program to support preventive, remediation and enforcement actions.