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Sci Total Environ. 2000 Apr 5;248(2-3):201-12.

Pesticides in the atmosphere of the Mississippi River Valley, part I--rain.

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  • 1US Geological Survey, Water Resources Division, Sacramento, CA 95819-6129, USA. majewski@usgs.gov


Weekly composite rainfall samples were collected in three paired urban and agricultural regions of the Midwestern United States and along the Mississippi River during April-September 1995. The paired sampling sites were located in Mississippi, Iowa, and Minnesota. A background site, removed from dense urban and agriculture areas, was located near Lake Superior in Michigan. Herbicides were the predominant type of pesticide detected at every site. Each sample was analyzed for 47 compounds and 23 of 26 herbicides, 13 of 18 insecticides, and three of three related transformation products were detected in one or more sample from each paired site. The detection frequency of herbicides and insecticides were nearly equivalent at the paired Iowa and Minnesota sites. In Mississippi, herbicides were detected more frequently at the agricultural site and insecticides were detected more frequently at the urban site. The highest total wet depositional amounts (microg pesticide/m2 per season) occurred at the agricultural sites in Mississippi (1980 microg/m2) and Iowa (490 microg/m2) and at the urban site in Iowa (696 microg/m2). Herbicides accounted for the majority of the wet depositional loading at the Iowa and Minnesota sites, but methyl parathion (1740 microg/m2) was the dominant compound contributing to the total loading at the agricultural site in Mississippi. Atrazine, CIAT (a transformation product of atrazine and propazine) and dacthal were detected most frequently (76, 53, and 53%, respectively) at the background site indicating their propensity for long-range atmospheric transport.

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