A variety of current-use pesticides were determined in weekly composite air and rain samples collected during the 1995 and 2007 growing seasons in the Mississippi Delta (MS, USA) agricultural region. Similar sampling and analytical methods allowed for direct comparison of results. Decreased overall pesticide use in 2007 relative to 1995 generally resulted in decreased detection frequencies in air and rain; observed concentration ranges were similar between years, however, even though the 1995 sampling site was 500 m from active fields whereas the 2007 sampling site was within 3 m of a field. Mean concentrations of detections were sometimes greater in 2007 than in 1995, but the median values were often lower. Seven compounds in 1995 and 5 in 2007 were detected in ≥50% of both air and rain samples. Atrazine, metolachlor, and propanil were detected in ≥50% of the air and rain samples in both years. Glyphosate and its degradation product, aminomethyl-phosphonic acid (AMPA), were detected in ≥75% of air and rain samples in 2007 but were not measured in 1995. The 1995 seasonal wet depositional flux was dominated by methyl parathion (88%) and was >4.5 times the 2007 flux. Total herbicide flux in 2007 was slightly greater than in 1995 and was dominated by glyphosate. Malathion, methyl parathion, and degradation products made up most of the 2007 nonherbicide flux.
Keywords: Air; Deposition flux; Pesticides; Rain.
© 2014 SETAC.