Analysis and toxicity of methomyl and ametryn after biodegradation
The controlled biodegradation of ametryn and methomyl has been performed, in accordance with the OECD Zahn-Wellens/EMPA procedure, by use of an enriched mixture of activated sludge collected from three domestic waste-water-treatment plants (WWTP). During the process concentrations of ametryn and methomyl in the water samples were isolated by solid-phase extraction (SPE); recovery rates were 98.9 and 93.2 for methomyl and ametryn, respectively. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was used to determine final pesticide concentrations and for metabolite identification. The efficiency of aerobic biodegradation of ametryn and methomyl was evaluated by measuring both the decrease in the concentration of the pesticides and global properties such as the chemical oxygen demand (COD). The acute toxicity of ametryn and methomyl was evaluated by use of the ToxAlert100 biological test, which is based on inhibition of the bioluminescence of Vibrio fischeri. There was significant correlation between results from primary and ultimate biodegradation and those from determination of toxicity. Pesticide concentrations were always reduced to below the limit of detection in less than 17 days. High COD removal (90-96%) was achieved in 28 and 18 days for methomyl and ametryn, respectively.