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Pesticide Encapsulation at the Nanoscale Drives Changes to the Hydrophobic Partitioning and Toxicity of an Active Ingredient.

TitlePesticide Encapsulation at the Nanoscale Drives Changes to the Hydrophobic Partitioning and Toxicity of an Active Ingredient.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsSlattery M, Harper B, Harper S
JournalNanomaterials (Basel)
Date Published2019 Jan 09

Given the costs associated with designing novel active ingredients, new formulations focus on the use of other ingredients to modify existing formulations. Nanosized encapsulated pesticides offer a variety of enhanced features including controlled release and improved efficacy. Despite the presence of nanosized capsules in current-use pesticide formulations, the analytical and toxicological implications of encapsulation are uncertain. To explore this issue quantitatively, we fractionated the capsules of a commercially available encapsulated insecticide formulation (γ-cyhalothrin active ingredient) into two size ranges: a large fraction (LF), with an average hydrodynamic diameter (HDD) of 758 nm, and a small fraction (SF), with an average HDD of 449 nm. We developed a novel extraction method demonstrating a time-dependent inhibition of γ-cyhalothrin from capsules for up to 48 h. An acute immobilization test with a freshwater macroinvertebrate () revealed that the SF was significantly more toxic than both the LF and the free γ-cyhalothrin treatment (EC50 = 0.18 µg/L, 0.57 µg/L, and 0.65 µg/L, respectively). These findings highlight that encapsulation of γ-cyhalothrin mitigates hydrophobic partitioning in a time-dependent manner and influences toxicity in a size-dependent manner. Recognizing the analytical and toxicological nuances of various nanosized capsules can contribute to innovation in pesticide formulations and may lead to more comprehensive pesticide regulation.

Alternate JournalNanomaterials (Basel)
PubMed ID30634410
PubMed Central IDPMC6358805
Grant List2013-67021-21181 / / U.S. Department of Agriculture /
ARF8301A / / Agricultural Research Foundation /
83591301 / / Cooperative Training Partnership in Environmental Health Sciences Research /
Project Reference: 
Effects of Pesticide Nanotechnology on Vulnerable Organisms

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