This study optimized the method for ozone (O3) degradation of prometryn in the clam Ruditapes philippinarum and evaluated toxicity changes during ozone degradation. The gas chromatography method for the detection of prometryn was appropriately improved. The linear range was 5 to 500 ng/mL, with a correlation coefficient of 0.9964. The addition concentration of prometryn was 0.025 to 0.100 mg/kg, the recovery was 77.97 to 85.00%, the relative standard deviation (n = 6) was 2.36 to 7.86%, and the limit of detection was 0.3 μg/kg. Using the central composite design in two experiments, ozone as gas and ozone dissolved in water, the effect of degradation rate was studied on three variables: ozone concentration, temperature, and exposure time. Ozone as gas and ozone dissolved in water have the same degradation effect on prometryn. The O3 concentration was 4.2 mg/L, the temperature was 40°C, the exposure time was 10 min, and the maximum degradation rate was 89.94 and 89.69% for the two experiments, respectively. In addition, the toxicity of ozone degradation products was evaluated using buffalo rat liver cells. After ozone treatment for 30 min, the toxicity of the ozone degradation products was reduced to 52.15% compared with that of prometryn itself. The toxicity of the ozone degradation products increased slightly when the ozonation time was prolonged; the toxicity at 180 min was greater than that of the parent compound prometryn. Overall, the application of ozone degradation of pesticide residues is a promising new technology. This study determined better degradation conditions for prometryn in R. philippinarum and also provided a theoretical basis for the widespread use of ozone technology in the future.

  • The pretreatment method of China's national standard for prometryn was optimized.

  • The ozone degrading process was optimized by central composite design.

  • Toxicity changes during the degradation of prometryn were evaluated.

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