Journal of Great Lakes Research

Acute toxicity of the lampricides TFM and niclosamide: Effects on a vascular plant and a chironomid species

Publication date: Available online 7 January 2020

Source: Journal of Great Lakes Research

Author(s): Tom Leak, John Aufderheide, Alan Bergfield, Terrance D. Hubert


The lampricides 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) and niclosamide have been used for about 60 years to control sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) in the Great Lakes Basin and Lake Champlain. To register these chemicals as pesticides in North America, their environmental effects must be reviewed on a periodic basis. As a part of this effort, toxicity of TFM and niclosamide to duckweed (Lemna gibba), and of niclosamide to aquatic midge (Chironomus dilutus), was assessed. Results of these studies indicate that for both lampricides, the no observed and lowest observed effect concentrations (NOEC and LOEC) exceed expected environmental concentrations, with effects only in the highest concentrations tested and the longest exposure times. Duckweed exposed to TFM indicated 7-day LOECs ≥4.88 mg/L for mean specific growth rate and yield, with the half maximal effective concentration (EC50) > 9.74 mg/L. For duckweed exposed to niclosamide, 7-day LOECs for mean specific growth rate and yield ranged from 0.271 to 0.569 mg/L, with the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) 0.725 mg/L or greater depending on the parameter measured. For midge larvae exposed to niclosamide-dosed sediment, the LOEC values based on survival and growth were 26.2 mg/kg and >82.1 mg/kg, respectively, and the EC50 based on survival was 49.6 mg/kg. Based on these data, deleterious effects on aquatic plants and benthic invertebrates are unlikely to result from use of TFM and niclosamide for lamprey control, given that the effect concentrations are in excess of the expected environmental concentrations.

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