Toxicity of Cúspide 480SL® spray mixture formulation of glyphosate to aquatic organisms Academic Article uri icon

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  • In 2011, an alternative formulation of glyphosate (Cúspide 480SL®) was chosen to replace Roundup-SL®, Fuete-SL®, and Gly-41® for the control of Erythroxylum coca, the source of cocaine, in Colombia. Cúspide 480SL contains the active ingredient glyphosate isopropylamine (IPA) salt, which is the same active ingredient used in previous formulations. However, Cúspide 480SL contains an alkyl polyglycoside surfactant rather than the polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA) surfactant used in other formulations and known to be more toxic to nonprimary producing aquatic organisms than glyphosate itself. An adjuvant, Cosmo-Flux F411, and water also are added to the spray mixture before application. Aquatic ecosystems adjacent to the target coca fields might be exposed to the spray mix, placing aquatic organisms at risk. Because no toxicity data were available for spray mixture on aquatic organisms, acute toxicity tests were conducted on aquatic plants, invertebrates, and fish, by using the Cúspide 480SL spray mix as described on the label. Based on the median effective concentration (EC50) values for similar organisms, the spray mixture was less toxic to aquatic organisms than formulations previously used for the control of coca (i.e., Roundup-SL, Fuete-SL, and Gly-41). A physical effect induced by Cosmo-Flux F411 was observed in Daphnia magna, Ceriodaphnia dubia, and Hyalella azteca, causing the invertebrates to be trapped in an oily film that was present at the surface of the water. However, a hazard assessment for the Cúspide 480SL spray mix, using estimated worst-case exposure scenario concentrations and EC50 values from the toxicity tests, indicated de minimis hazard for the tested aquatic animals, with hazard quotients all <<1.


  • Currie, Zachary
  • Prosser, Ryan
  • Rodriguez-Gil, Jose Luis
  • Mahon, Kim
  • Poirier, Dave
  • Solomon, Keith R

publication date

  • May 2015