Hazard assessment using an in-silico toxicity assessment of the transformation products of boscalid, pyraclostrobin, fenbuconazole and glyphosate generated by exposure to an advanced oxidative process
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Agricultural pesticide use is ongoing and consumer concern regarding the safety of pesticide residues on produce has generated interest in techniques that can safely reduce residues post-harvest. Recently an advanced oxidative process has shown promise in substantial residue reduction on the surface of produce. Given the potential for oxidative transformation of pesticides to generate transformation products with greater toxicity than the parent residue, take for example the oxon products of the organophosphorus insecticides, it is important to consider what transformation products are generated by pesticide exposure to an oxidative process and their potential toxicity. In this study, previously published transformation products of boscalid, pyraclostrobin, fenbuconazole and glyphosate were identified after exposure to 3% hydrogen peroxide, UV-C irradiation or their combination in an advanced oxidative process on glass, their oral toxicity, carcinogenicity and developmental toxicity were identified in-silico and an initial tier hazard assessment was conducted. Of the 87 total structures that were searched for, 53 were detected by UPLC-QTOF-MS and identified by mass spectra: 15, 13, 22 and 3 structures for boscalid, pyraclostrobin, fenbuconazole and glyphosate respectively, including the parent residues. Oral toxicity of the transformation products of pyraclostrobin and glyphosate was similar to or lower than the parent residue. Several transformation products of boscalid and fenbuconazole were estimated to be significantly more orally toxic than their parent residues. While the majority of the transformation products of boscalid, pyraclostrobin and fenbuconazole were predicted to be carcinogenic there were 11 that were consistently identified to have carcinogenic potential by several assessments. 29 of the 53 molecules were predicted to be probable developmental toxicants. An initial tier hazard assessment was conducted for Cramer rules classification and mutagenicity using the threshold of toxicological concern approach and predicted rat oral LD50. Two exposure scenarios were considered, one highly protective considering each transformation product to be at the highest maximum residue limit (MRL) for the pesticide and whole produce consumption at the highest consumption rate from the USEPA Exposures Handbook, the other considering only apple consumption with the relevant MRL. As indicated by the hazard assessment, several transformation products of boscalid, pyraclostrobin and fenbuconazole should be strongly considered for further testing, either by quantifying their production or in-vivo and in-vitro toxicity tests due to their predicted toxicity and associated hazard.
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