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Behaviour of ionisable pesticides in soils

Abstract : Ionisable pesticides can be partially ionised within the range of natural soil pH and this strongly influences their reactivity in soils. This group includes important, worldwide contaminants of groundwater and surface waters. It is essential that their specific behaviour is recognised within risk assessment procedures. Experiments were carried out with ten pesticides (six acids and four bases) and nine arable soils (range in pH, texture and organic matter content) to advance the understanding and prediction of the behaviour of ionisable pesticides in soils. The main conclusions can be summarised as follows:
• Adsorption of ionisable pesticides tends to be stronger in soils with lower pH and containing more organic carbon. A regression equation including Log D (lipophilicity corrected for pH), the soil organic carbon content and a pesticide descriptor was selected to predict the adsorption of acids. The behaviour of bases was more complex and approaches specific to each compound seem to be required.
• There were some marked differences between the soils in their ability to degrade the different ionisable pesticides. The lack of consistent behaviour renders a global approach to prediction of degradation unrealistic. Distinct types of behaviour could however be distinguished according to the main route of degradation.
• Significant correlations between sorption and degradation were only observed for three pesticides out of ten, with faster degradation in soils with stronger sorption.
• A centrifugation technique was used to measure adsorption at realistic soil moisture contents and provides a robust characterisation of the fraction of pesticide available for leaching. Time-dependent adsorption was also assessed.
The increase in adsorption between one and seven days was not directly related to the level of adsorption although it was more important in soils containing more organic carbon.
Although specific interactions between pesticides and soils are still not fully understood, these results provide the basis for a more robust analysis of the behaviour of ionisable pesticides in the environment.
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Contributor : Mélanie Kah <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 6, 2007 - 11:27:22 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, November 11, 2017 - 7:04:02 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00185485, version 1


Mélanie Kah, Colin D. Brown. Behaviour of ionisable pesticides in soils. Earth Sciences. The University of York, 2007. English. ⟨tel-00185485⟩



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