To test for environmental persistence in order to determine the potential of carbonic anhydrase inhibitors as larvicides, the decomposition and degradation of samples containing methazolamide (MTZ) and acetazolamide (ACZ) in aqueous solution were monitored under different conditions. Additionally, nontarget species impact was assessed in an acute toxicity test using sheepshead minnow (Cyprinodon variegatus). The fish were exposed for 120 h to 10(-3) and 10(-4) M each compound in replicate seawater tanks. In the high-MTZ treatment, all fish died within 48 h, while mortality in the low-MTZ treatment was 27% at 120 h. In the high-ACZ treatment mortality reached 83% at 120 h. We observed no mortality for the lowest dose of ACZ. Tissue samples were collected from the fish to investigate absorption of the compounds. In the gills, MTZ concentrations were around 40 microg g(-1) and ACZ reached concentrations up to 80 microg g(-1). Liver concentrations were low for MTZ probably due to metabolism.