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Toxicity of various anionic polyacrylamide formulations when used as erosion control agents in agriculture

Weston, D.P. and Lentz, R.D. and Cahn, M.D. and Ogle, R.S. and Rothert, A.K. and Lydy, M.J. (2009) Toxicity of various anionic polyacrylamide formulations when used as erosion control agents in agriculture. Journal of Environmental Quality. 38:238-247.

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Addition of anionic polyacrylamide (PAM) to agricultural
irrigation water can dramatically reduce erosion of soils.
However, the toxicity of PAM to aquatic life, while often
claimed to be low, has not been thoroughly evaluated. Five PAM
formulations, including two oil-based products, one waterbased
product, one granular product and one tablet product,
were evaluated for acute and/or chronic toxicity to fi ve species
commonly used for freshwater toxicity testing [Hyalella azteca
(Saussure), Chironomus dilutus (Shobanov et al.), Ceriodaphnia
dubia (Richard), Pimephales promelas (Rafinesque), and
Selenastrum capricornutum (Printz)]. When applied as an oilbased
product, acute toxicity was seen to four of the five species
at concentrations less than the 10 mg/L that is often used for
erosion control. Toxicity was diminished, but still remained,
after passage of the irrigation water across an agricultural field,
indicating a potential impact to nearby surface waters. Results
from the non-oil-based products indicated minimal toxicity
associated with PAM even at concentrations 10 times those used
in agriculture when applied in the granular form, as a tablet, or
in a water-based liquid. These data suggest that other agents in
the oil-based products, such as surfactants or emulsifiers, rather
than the PAM itself, contribute to the toxicity. Care is required
in selecting an appropriate PAM formulation when the potential
exists for entry of tailwater to nearby surface waters.

Item Type: Article
NWISRL Publication Number: 1284
Subjects: Polyacrylamide (PAM) > Water-soluble PAM (WSPAM) > Erosion control
Depositing User: Users 6 not found.
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2009 22:31
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2016 15:18
Item ID: 1307