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Residues of organophosphate pesticides used in vegetable cultivation in ambient air, surface water and soil in Bueng Niam Subdistrict, Khon Kaen, Thailand.

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  • 1Graduate School, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.
  • 2Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.
  • 3Department of Epidemiology, Faculty of Public Health, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.


Agricultural pesticide utilization is one of the important problems in rural and urban crop-cultivated areas, with the majority of pollutants dispersing via ambient air, water and other natural pathways. This study was therefore conducted in a specially selected village which is known to be a leading vegetable growing area in Khon Kaen Province. The aim of the study was to assess pesticide residues, and measure the seasonal fluctuations in organophosphate concentrations during 2010 in the environment of a risk area. Samples from selected sites were collected in two phases: Phase I was in summer (during March to May) and Phase II was in winter (during October to December). A total of 150 samples were analyzed using gas chromatography with flame photometric detection. The results showed that dicrotophos, chlorpyrifos, profenofos and ethion were found at the highest concentrations in soil and at the lowest concentrations in ambient air (p<0.001). The highest mean concentration of a pesticide in ambient air samples was 0.2580 +/- 0.2686 mg/m(3) for chlorpyrifos in summer and 0.1003 +/- 0.0449 mg/m(3) for chlorpyrifos in winter. In surface water samples, the highest mean concentration of a pesticide was 1.3757 +/- 0.5014 mg/l for dicrotophos in summer and 0.3629 +/- 0.4338 mg/l for ethion in winter. The highest mean concentration of a pesticide in soil samples was 42.2893 +/- 39.0711 mg/kg ethion in summer and 90.0000 +/- 24.1644 mg/kg of ethion in winter.

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