Pet flea treatments poisoning rivers across England, scientists find

ohanzee

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OK, as stated many pages ago in another thread on same subject!
Here is the link to info.


And here is the relevant paragraph from same report. 3rd one down.


"In the UK there are currently no approvals for fipronil, however fipronil treated seed is imported into the UK. Most of this imported seed is treated with the product Mundial, which is approved in other EU member states for use on leeks, shallots, onions and a range of brassicas. There will be no restrictions on use of fipronil on glasshouse crops or on field vegetables that are harvested before flowering, which the NFU understands will mean the main uses of fipronil (as the product Mundial) in the UK will be exempt from restriction."

I.E. NFU sanction its use country wide.

Bert

I checked all this up and its spot on(sorry couldn't resist that)

Fipronil is manufactured by BASF and is approved for an eye watering range of products, pretty highly regulated up to the point of sale but you can by Fipronil based products in your local garden center.

Mundial - Bayer Crop Ltd, is the same stuff and approved for use in agriculture by the EU.

Sorry if I'm just repeating.
 

kingf000

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So where ever they come from, neonics are getting into our water systems at levels exceeding their ability to kill invertebrates. Very worrying. For once I actually agree with Greenpeace and think the environmental damage done outways the benefits, especially as studies have shown that they get into the food we eat and long term exposure toxicology studies on these agents have not been done. It feels like lead poisoning and DDT all over again.

Regarding phosphates killing invertebrates, particularly BWO, I've checked the primary literature as well as I can given my now limited access to journals and the fact that this is tangential to my areas of expertise. However, from what I've found, it is clear that fine sediment is definitely detrimental to invertebrates, particularly BWO. However, the effect of 'phosphates' is unclear. The paper that is often cited for the detrimental effects of phosphates is Minutoli et al.; but they were looking at organophosphate insecticides in water, and this seems to have been incorrectly translated by some to cover all forms phosphate. My understanding from my reading is that the majority of phosphate in our rivers is inorganic phosphate from fertilizers, a completely different beast. The study carried out on the Itchen by Fones et al. concludes that further studies need to be carried out, son not proven. Everall et al showed that fine sediment plus inorganic phosphate killed 80% of BWO eggs, but from the abstracts I've seen, they didn't seem to prove that the addition of phosphate to the sediment was any worse than just the sediment itself, but as I can't get access to the paper without paying a lot of money, I am relying on other peoples abstracting of data.
In calcium rich waters, the phosphate can exist in a number of different calcium salt forms, all are only sparingly soluble in water, but so is calcium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate also present. Hagard et al in 2004 and other studies have concentrated on sedimentary phosphates from sewage outlets, implying that the major source of sedimentary phosphates is from there. Most of the papers seem to be concerned with the impact on algae and related plant growth, and on the equlibrium between free and sediment bound phosphate. Unfortunately, at this time I cannot access a key DEFRA document, but as that is nearly 20 years old it may be out of date.
 

matt808

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That is the problem. The amount of those insecticides it takes to enter a river and kill insects is 'pretty much nothing'.

A concentration of 0.03 micrograms/L kills insects. The River Tame was producing readings for neonicotinoids of more than 0.4 micrograms/L. Where is it coming from when it is banned from agricultural use???

Col
OK, so how much shampoo and soap gets washed down the drain and in to rivers on a daily basis, raw sewerage and chemicals?

Compare that with the amount of dog flea treatment which must find it's way in to rivers, which most people use once a month, especially when most people use spot on ointment, rather than flea shampoo.
Just because some of the rest of what gets washed down the drains isn't specifically meant to kill things doesn't mean it isn't as harmful.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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An intersesting view would be where does the excess testing samples get disposed? After all, animals are just test subjects, right?

My guess would be mostly in a high temperature incinerator... but that is a guess.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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OK, so how much shampoo and soap gets washed down the drain and in to rivers on a daily basis, raw sewerage and chemicals?

Compare that with the amount of dog flea treatment which must find it's way in to rivers, which most people use once a month, especially when most people use spot on ointment, rather than flea shampoo.
Just because some of the rest of what gets washed down the drains isn't specifically meant to kill things doesn't mean it isn't as harmful.

Sure, no one is saying it is good to add detergents and phosphates et al to river courses. We have ways to monitor the health of rivers. The fact remains is the toxicity of all these other things to insects is nowhere near that of the neonicotinoids, which effectively amounts to any presence at all being detrimental.

Col
 

Cap'n Fishy

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So where ever they come from, neonics are getting into our water systems at levels exceeding their ability to kill invertebrates. Very worrying. For once I actually agree with Greenpeace and think the environmental damage done outways the benefits, especially as studies have shown that they get into the food we eat and long term exposure toxicology studies on these agents have not been done. It feels like lead poisoning and DDT all over again.

Regarding phosphates killing invertebrates, particularly BWO, I've checked the primary literature as well as I can given my now limited access to journals and the fact that this is tangential to my areas of expertise. However, from what I've found, it is clear that fine sediment is definitely detrimental to invertebrates, particularly BWO. However, the effect of 'phosphates' is unclear. The paper that is often cited for the detrimental effects of phosphates is Minutoli et al.; but they were looking at organophosphate insecticides in water, and this seems to have been incorrectly translated by some to cover all forms phosphate. My understanding from my reading is that the majority of phosphate in our rivers is inorganic phosphate from fertilizers, a completely different beast. The study carried out on the Itchen by Fones et al. concludes that further studies need to be carried out, son not proven. Everall et al showed that fine sediment plus inorganic phosphate killed 80% of BWO eggs, but from the abstracts I've seen, they didn't seem to prove that the addition of phosphate to the sediment was any worse than just the sediment itself, but as I can't get access to the paper without paying a lot of money, I am relying on other peoples abstracting of data.
In calcium rich waters, the phosphate can exist in a number of different calcium salt forms, all are only sparingly soluble in water, but so is calcium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate also present. Hagard et al in 2004 and other studies have concentrated on sedimentary phosphates from sewage outlets, implying that the major source of sedimentary phosphates is from there. Most of the papers seem to be concerned with the impact on algae and related plant growth, and on the equlibrium between free and sediment bound phosphate. Unfortunately, at this time I cannot access a key DEFRA document, but as that is nearly 20 years old it may be out of date.

Back in the 1980s and into the early 1990s, Loch Leven was suffering from algal blooms and reduced water clarity. The finger was pointed at high levels of nutrients, specifically phosphates and nitrates, coming from the treated sewage that entered the loch. (The sewage from Kinross and surrounding villages ends up in Loch Leven after treatment.) The idea at the time (don't know if things have changed since then) was to make phosphorus the rate-limiting mineral. That is, forget about nitrates as they are too difficult to control, but if you control phosphorus, then you can leave nitrogen at a surplus and phosphorus will be the rate-limiting factor in algal growth. Remove the phosphates, and you reduce the algal growth.

So, they fitted phosphate-strippers at the sewage works in Kinross to remove the phosphorus from the water entering the loch. They also forced the textile mill that discharged all its effluent into the South Quaich (one of the main rivers entering Loch Leven) to reduce its phosphorus levels. And all this had the desired effect - though the amount of P locked up in sediments can still cause issues.

The long-term benefits of controlling the phosphorus is reflected in the improvement in water clarity. The improved clarity allowed weeds to grow at depths not seen for many decades...



Meanwhile, the insects in Loch Leven were being killed-off by moth-proofer being used by the textile mill! AFAIK, the use of mothproofer at the mill was stopped in 1988.

All of this should mean the loch is doing great. However, it seems that the spawning burns have not received the same attention as the loch (a lot of the pressure for the latter probably came from the bird lobby?) So, the brownies still struggle, numbers-wise (well, any time I fish it these days, they do! ☹️ ). However, it seems to be a great place for pike now.

But I'm no expert on all this - if anyone has better info, please chip in...

Col
 
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kingf000

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The once a month spot treatments like Frontline do not contain neonics. Those that do are: advantage, capstar, vectra 3d, comfortis, trifexis, seresto collar. Particularly avoid any product that contains imidacloprid, the most commonly used neonic for dogs/cats. The spot on dose is typically 25mg/kg and the neonic. remains on the skin and fur of the animal for up to one month. So washing, or allowing your animal to splash in a river will release the neonic. into the environment. Stroking your dog, then washing you hands will also release it into the environment. For comparison, 25 mg is enough to kill over 500,000 bees on contact or 4 million bees if ingested. Diluted in 2 million litres of water, 25mg will still be a toxic concentration for mayfly larvae.
 

ohanzee

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I think the essential lesson to be learned is that any chemicals we use have a disproportionate detrimental effect on nature, and what lives in it.

Coincidentally someone that lives near me has just discovered that they have wiped out their £100k communal organic septic system, by cleaning their toilet with bleach, a week after moving in.
 

matt808

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Sure, no one is saying it is good to add detergents and phosphates et al to river courses. We have ways to monitor the health of rivers. The fact remains is the toxicity of all these other things to insects is nowhere near that of the neonicotinoids, which effectively amounts to any presence at all being detrimental.

Col
Surely rivers would already be damaged beyond repair by industrial and farming use of flea treatments while they were still OK to use them, if the amount caused by dog owners is doing so much harm. That must be the case if they are so much more harmful than everything else still getting dumped in to rivers on an industrial scale.
If we're going to ban flea treatment can we ban tick spray and head lice shampoo first?
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Surely rivers would already be damaged beyond repair by industrial and farming use of flea treatments while they were still OK to use them, if the amount caused by dog owners is doing so much harm. That must be the case if they are so much more harmful than everything else still getting dumped in to rivers on an industrial scale.
If we're going to ban flea treatment can we ban tick spray and head lice shampoo first?

I think you might benefit from a read of the alternative thread on this whole subject. (Provided you are not a Dog Person. If you are a Dog Person, it won't make any difference.)

And bear in mind that in the past many of Britain's rivers suffered from industrial and domestic pollution to the extent of them supporting very little life. However, over recent decades improvements have been made to rivers such as the Tyne, the Thames and the Clyde. The Clyde now has a run of salmon. Well, it's only so much use improving the rivers so they can support fish again... if there are no insects for them to eat on account of insecticides in the water...

Col
 
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kingf000

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Surely rivers would already be damaged beyond repair by industrial and farming use of flea treatments while they were still OK to use them, if the amount caused by dog owners is doing so much harm. That must be the case if they are so much more harmful than everything else still getting dumped in to rivers on an industrial scale.
If we're going to ban flea treatment can we ban tick spray and head lice shampoo first?
Head lice shampoos contain pyrethrins that are rapidly broken down in the environment, so do not do any recognised ecological damage. Some tick sprays contain a neonic. and should be avoided, as altrenatives contain pyrethrins as above.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Some tick sprays contain a neonic. and should be avoided, as alternatives contain pyrethrins as above.

Aye, it's obvious that we should all be taking steps to avoid putting harmful insecticides into water courses. It surely befalls all of us to do what we can... inform ourselves, read labels, avoid insecticides that can enter watercourses in active states, pass the word on to others...

That dog people just say, "Well flea treatments for our pets are not the only cause of killing river invertebrates, so that makes them OK", is a nonsense.

Col
 

kingf000

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Aye, it's obvious that we should all be taking steps to avoid putting harmful insecticides into water courses. It surely befalls all of us to do what we can... inform ourselves, read labels, avoid insecticides that can enter watercourses in active states, pass the word on to others...

That dog people just say, "Well flea treatments for our pets are not the only cause of killing river invertebrates, so that makes them OK", is a nonsense.

Col
If there were no safe alternative, I would agree with them, but as there are.....

Really it is up to the governments to ban these ecologically disastrous agents. Unfortunately, by the time they do it, as with many other ecological issues, it will be too late and it will take many years for the rivers to recover.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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If there were no safe alternative, I would agree with them, but as there are.....

Really it is up to the governments to ban these ecologically disastrous agents. Unfortunately, by the time they do it, as with many other ecological issues, it will be too late and it will take many years for the rivers to recover.

Which is why we owe it to ourselves and the environment to do everything we can. Not sweep it under the carpet or put up strawman arguments, like some folk are trying to do...

Col
 

coire

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Unfortunately, neonicotinoids still have UK approval for horticulture https://www.agrigem.co.uk/gazelle-sg-500g and the lines between agriculture and horticulture can be a bit blurred. I’d guess there’s still a fair amount being applied.

Other UK legal pesticides (like cypermethrin [not permethrin]) can be just as deadly, or more deadly, than neonicotinoids. All are bad news if they spread to the wider environment, neonicotinoid or not. Neonicotinoids are often favoured over other pesticides, not because they are more deadly to invertebrates, but because they are less harmful to mammals.

A lot of the Fipronil pet treatments are available as liquid in spray bottles – I wonder how much ends up being poured down sinks because they cant be bothered to dispose of it properly.
 

Cap'n Fishy

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Unfortunately, neonicotinoids still have UK approval for horticulture https://www.agrigem.co.uk/gazelle-sg-500g and the lines between agriculture and horticulture can be a bit blurred. I’d guess there’s still a fair amount being applied.

Other UK legal pesticides (like cypermethrin [not permethrin]) can be just as deadly, or more deadly, than neonicotinoids. All are bad news if they spread to the wider environment, neonicotinoid or not. Neonicotinoids are often favoured over other pesticides, not because they are more deadly to invertebrates, but because they are less harmful to mammals.

A lot of the Fipronil pet treatments are available as liquid in spray bottles – I wonder how much ends up being poured down sinks because they cant be bothered to dispose of it properly.

Again - we discussed exactly these points in the other thread on the subject. It is up to us to avoid these things and avoid putting them into watercourses, whether they be plant sprays or pet treatments or midge sprays or whatever...

Col
 

matt808

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Aye, it's obvious that we should all be taking steps to avoid putting harmful insecticides into water courses. It surely befalls all of us to do what we can... inform ourselves, read labels, avoid insecticides that can enter watercourses in active states, pass the word on to others...

That dog people just say, "Well flea treatments for our pets are not the only cause of killing river invertebrates, so that makes them OK", is a nonsense.

Col
I'm not disageeing that flea shampoo isn't a good thing to pour in to a river.

Let's do what we can then, stop using flea shampoo and let's use spot on, or tablets instead of shampoo. Thing is almost everyone does that these days anyway, it's easier and more effective.

So that's the nasty flea treatment done, what's the next easiest target?
Why do you dislike dogs so much anyway?
 

Cap'n Fishy

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I'm not disageeing that flea shampoo isn't a good thing to pour in to a river.

Let's do what we can then, stop using flea shampoo and let's use spot on, or tablets instead of shampoo. Thing is almost everyone does that these days anyway, it's easier and more effective.

So that's the nasty flea treatment done, what's the next easiest target?
Why do you dislike dogs so much anyway?

I think the tablets might get excreted as even more toxic metabolites, and pissed against lampposts and then washed by rain into the storm drains and on into rivers? Not sure. Read the published papers on the subject and that other thread I already mentioned.

I have absolutely nothing against dogs. I like dogs. It's 'Dog People' that are an utter PITA. If you don't know whether you are a 'Dog Person', I can send you the test. It's a 3 MB PDF. I can email it. PM me if interested. 😜

Col
 

coire

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Again - we discussed exactly these points in the other thread on the subject. It is up to us to avoid these things and avoid putting them into watercourses, whether they be plant sprays or pet treatments or midge sprays or whatever...

Col
Apologies - I didn't know these points had been mentioned elsewhere.
 

kingf000

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I'm not disageeing that flea shampoo isn't a good thing to pour in to a river.

Let's do what we can then, stop using flea shampoo and let's use spot on, or tablets instead of shampoo. Thing is almost everyone does that these days anyway, it's easier and more effective.

So that's the nasty flea treatment done, what's the next easiest target?
Why do you dislike dogs so much anyway?
This is not an 'anti dog' thread, just as a desire to replace petrol and diesel cars with electric is not anti-car. In the first case it is to help to stop the use agents that destroy the insect population in the rivers, surely as a fly fisher you would be in favour of that? The second is to reduce carbon emissions and to prevent respiratory disease caused by pollution.
 
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