Risks and effects of plant protection products on fish

Risks and effects of plant protection products on fish

Studies in recent years have shown that small to medium-sized Swiss streams in intensively farmed areas are contaminated with numerous plant protection products (PPPs). PPP concentrations are in a range where negative effects on aquatic organisms cannot be excluded. However, it is still unclear how great the influence of PPPs is on animals and plants in natural waters - also in comparison with other stressors. There are still major gaps in the knowledge of effects on fish, which are particularly endangered in Switzerland. In order to protect fish in Swiss waters from possible pollution, it is important to fill these gaps and to understand whether PPPs can have a negative impact on fish. Therefore, as a first step, the risk of the measured PPP concentrations for fish is assessed and the PPPs are prioritised on this basis. Ecologically relevant effects of PPPs on fish that are not part of the classical risk assessment are then considered. Another focus of the literature study is on the susceptibility of fish species native to Switzerland, the sensitivity of different life stages and the interactions between PPPs and other stressors.


Schneeweiss, A., Junghans, M., Segner, H., Stadtlander, T., Werner, I. (2019) Ökotoxikologische Risiken von PSM für Fische. Aqua & Gas 11, 74-80

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Schneeweiss, A., Segner, H, Stadtlander, T., Werner, I. (2019) Ökotoxikologische Wirkungen Schweiz-relevanter Pflanzenschutzmittel für Fische. Aqua & Gas 11, 82-91

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04. November 2019

How do plant production products affect Swiss fish?

Pesticides detected in Swiss streams pose a risk to the fish living there. Harmful effects on the fish, particularly through sublethal and indirect effects, are possible in the measured concentrations.

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