Volatilization of pesticides from golf courses in the United States: mass fluxes and inhalation health risks

J Environ Qual. 2013 Nov;42(6):1615-22. doi: 10.2134/jeq2013.01.0017.


Golfers may be subject to chronic health risks from inhalation of vapors from pesticides applied to turf surfaces. The objective of this study was to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the volatilization potential of pesticides used on golf courses in the United States and to assess the resulting inhalation health risks. Long-term exposures were simulated using a fate and transport model for inhaled concentrations. The model was tested using data from field experiments for eight pesticides. Mean concentrations were overestimated by a factor of two, and the model explained 82% of observed variations. The model was subsequently used to estimate volatilization mass fluxes and air concentrations for 37 chemicals using weather information from nine climatic zones in the United States. Simulation results indicated substantial regional variations in volatilization fluxes, concentrations, and health risks, largely due to weather and pesticide application variations. Hazard quotients associated with chronic noncarcinogenic health risks were found to be less than 10 for all chemicals and locations. Similarly, carcinogenic health risks for the 10 pesticides considered likely or possible carcinogens were determined to be less than 10. Based on currently available levels of chronic toxicity endpoints for human health (chronic reference doses and cancer potency factors), we could find no evidence of health risk to golfers from inhalation of these 37 pesticides.