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Sci Total Environ. 2019 Aug 10;677:98-107. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.04.346. Epub 2019 Apr 24.

National assessment of spatiotemporal loss in agricultural pesticides and related potential exposure risks to water quality in China.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, PR China.
2
State Key Laboratory of Water Environment Simulation, School of Environment, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, PR China. Electronic address: chenlei1982bnu@bnu.edu.cn.
3
Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Key Laboratory of Non-point Source Pollution Control, Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100081, PR China.

Abstract

Pesticide loss during agricultural development has a serious effect on related water quality, and the critical concern is quantifying the potential exposure risks that pesticide loss pose to water quality at the national scale. In this study, an integrated assessment framework is proposed to scale emission factors from 232 monitoring plots to the national scale, while also considering the physicochemical properties of pesticides in dissolved or adsorbed forms. Based on the results of this study, the total pesticide emissions increased by 29.39% from 146.55 tons in 2004 to 189.62 tons in 2013 and the average loss intensities of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides were 35.25 g/km2, 44.24 g/km2 and 48.57 g/km2, respectively. Central and Southeastern China are identified as hotspots for pesticide loss, while the proportions of high or extremely high-risk areas mainly comprise >50% of farmland. In addition, single-field crops and single-crop rice are the major cropping patterns for pesticide loss in Northern and Southern China. Our results identify key areas for the management of pesticides at the national scale and have direct implications for environmental policies on reducing the potential exposure risk of agricultural pesticides to water quality.

KEYWORDS:

Cropping pattern; Exposure risk; Nonpoint source pollution; Pesticide loss; Spatiotemporal distribution; Water quality

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