A Tier-I leaching risk assessment of three anticoagulant compounds in the forested areas of Hawai'i

Matteo D'Alessio, Tiejun Wang, Catherine E. Swift, Mohana Sundaram Shanmungam, Chittaranjan Ray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The anticoagulant rodenticides brodifacoum, chlorophacinone, and diphacinone have been proposed for broadcast application in some forested areas in Hawai'i to protect rare and endangered native bird species from introduced mice and rats. Groundwater resources in Hawai'i are prone to contamination due to the intrinsic aquifer vulnerability to leaching from the land surface. Because of the hydrogeologic complexity, Hawai'i uses a Tier-I leaching assessment tool, CLERS, to make registration decisions for new or existing chemicals. The CLERS tool uses soil and pesticide properties as well as water recharge through the soil profile in a GIS framework to estimate mass attenuation of the chemicals at a given depth and compares against this attenuation factor against those of a known leacher and a non-leacher. Disturbed soil samples were collected across the state of Hawai'i, including the islands of Hawai'i, Kaho'olawe, Kaua'i, Lana'i, Maui, Moloka'i, and O'ahu, with two sampling locations per island, except for Kaua'i which had three. As only limited information on chemical properties of these anticoagulants in soils is available, laboratory experiments were performed to determine the sorption capacity (Kd) and the degradation rate (T1/2) of brodifacoum, chlorophacinone, and diphacinone to construct a proper chemical database. Depending on the soil type, T1/2 values ranged between 37 and 248 days for diphacinone, between 39 and 1000 days for chlorophacinone, and between 72 and 462 days for brodifacoum. These data were used in the CLERS tool to estimate leaching risks for these chemicals primarily in forested areas of the state where the chemicals are likely to be applied. The results from the CLERS tool indicate low risks of leaching of these three compounds into aquifers in five out of six major Hawaiian Islands. Diphacinone showed medium risk of leaching in a few remote areas in Maui.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)889-902
Number of pages14
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Jul 15 2018


  • Anticoagulant rodenticides
  • Degradation
  • Hawai'i
  • Leaching potential
  • Sorption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'A Tier-I leaching risk assessment of three anticoagulant compounds in the forested areas of Hawai'i'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this