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A field study was conducted to further our understanding about the fate and transport of the organophosphate insecticide, chlorpyrifos, and its degradation product, chlorpyrifos oxon. Leaf, soil and air sampling was conducted for 21 days after chlorpyrifos application to a field of purple tansy (Phacelia tanacetifolia). Air samples were collected using a high-volume air sampler (HVAS) and seven battery-operated medium-volume active air samplers placed around the field and on a 500-m transect extending away from the field. Chlorpyrifos was detected every day of the sampling period in all matrices, with concentrations decreasing rapidly after application. Chlorpyrifos oxon was only detected in air samples collected with the HVAS during the first three days after application. Wind direction played a significant role in controlling the measured air concentrations in near-field samples. The SCREEN3 model and chlorpyrifos’ Characteristic Travel Distance (CTD) were used to predict modelled chlorpyrifos concentrations in air along the transect. The concentration trend predicted by the SCREEN3 model was similar to that of measured concentrations whereas CTD-modelled concentrations decreased at a significantly slower rate, indicating that downwind chlorpyrifos concentrations in air were primarily controlled by air dispersion. The SCREEN3-predicted chlorpyrifos concentrations were >5 times higher than measured concentrations, indicating that simple approaches for calculating accurate pesticide volatilization fluxes from agricultural fields are still needed. Finally, we found that measured concentrations in air on Days 0–2 at locations up to 500 m from the field were at levels considered concerning for human health.
Supta Das, Kimberly J. Hageman, Madeleine Taylor, Sue Michelsen-Heath, and Ian Stewart, Fate of the organophosphate insecticide, chlorpyrifos, in leaves, soil, and air following application, Chemosphere 243 (2020), 125194.
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