Friday, March 25, 2016
What happens if your canary in the coal mine can no longer be trusted to sound the alarm? Environmental chemist Michael Lydy answers this question in the latest edition of UpClose.
Lydy and his team at Southern Illinois University Carbondale are in the early stages of a three-year study examining the prevalence of pyrethroid insecticide resistance in a crustacean used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to gauge the health of waterways. Widespread resistance in Hyalella azteca—something Lydy and others have already found in California and the Midwest—would raise doubts about the accuracy of a spectrum of state and federal biomonitoring programs.
Funded by a grant from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Illinois Water Resources Center, the study will also investigate whether a testing method known as Tenax can help scientists and natural resources managers more accurately predict the threat pyrethroids pose to aquatic life.
UpClose is produced by Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and the Illinois Water Resources Center. Editions are available in print and online. For print copies, contact Anjanette Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org.