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A new grant to the Illinois Water Resources Center to fund researchers at Southern Illinois University could improve the accuracy and speed of monitoring programs used to gauge the health of waterways and set environmental regulations.
The three-year research project, led by SIU’s Michael Lydy, will use sediment samples collected by the U.S. Geological Survey during a larger contaminant study in the Northeast to test a new approach for measuring the toxicity of pyrethroid insecticides in urban streams.
“We are very pleased to continue our support of research with real significance for officials and communities in Illinois and throughout the country,” said Brian Miller, director of the Illinois Water Resources Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
One of four projects selected this year by USGS in cooperation with the National Centers of Water Resources, the study will also examine the prevalence of pyrethroid resistance in a crustacean used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others to determine the overall toxicity of water and sediment. Resistance in Hyalella azteca—something already seen in California—would raise doubts about the accuracy of a spectrum of state and federal biomonitoring programs.
“The development of pyrethroid resistance in these populations could lead regulatory agencies to assume that water quality in contaminated streams is better than it actually is,” said
Just as important, he said, is the chain reaction chemical resistance could trigger. The longer Hyalella
To assess pyrethroid toxicity,
Together with toxicity studies conducted with Hyalella
Related work conducted in California by
The wide-reaching implications of the study make it a unique opportunity for the graduate and undergraduate students who will play a central role in the project.
Source: University of Illinois
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