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J Environ Sci Health B. 2011;46(8):662-70. doi: 10.1080/03601234.2012.592051.

Pesticide distribution in an agricultural environment in Argentina.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, National University of Comahue, Neuquen, Argentina.


An assessment of the off-site migration of pesticides from agricultural activity into the environment in the Neuquen River Valley was performed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the distribution of pesticides in several compartments of a small agricultural sub-catchment. Soil, surface water, shallow groundwater and drift deposition were analyzed for pesticide residues. Results showed the presence of some pesticide residues in soil, surface water and shallow groundwater compartments. The highest detection frequencies in water (surface and subsurface) were found for azinphos-methyl and chlorpyrifos (>70%). In terms of concentration, the highest levels were observed in shallow groundwater for azinphos methyl (22.5 μg/L) and carbaryl (45.7 μg/L). In the soil, even before the application period had started, accumulation of residues was present. These residues increased during the period studied. Spray drift during pesticide application was found to be a significant pathway for the migration of pesticide residues in surface water, while leaching and preferential flows were the main transport routes contributing to subsurface contamination.

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