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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 22 No. 1, p. 80-90
     
    Received: Feb 14, 1992
    Published: Jan, 1993


    * Corresponding author(s):
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doi:10.2134/jeq1993.00472425002200010011x

Atmospheric Transport of Organophosphate Pesticides from California's Central Valley to the Sierra Nevada Mountains

  1. John M. Zabik * and
  2. James N. Seiber
  1. Department of Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Davis CA 95616.

Abstract

Abstract

Atmospheric transport of organophosphate pesticides from California's Central Valley to the Sierra Nevada mountains was assessed by collecting air- and wet-deposition samples during December, January, February, and March, 1990 to 1991. Large-scale spraying of these pesticides occurs during December and January to control insect infestations in valley orchards. Sampling sites were placed at 114- (base of the foothills), 533-, and 1920-m elevations. Samples acquired at these sites contained chlorpyrifos [phosphorothioic acid; 0,0-diethyl 0-(3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinyl) ester], parathion [phosphorothioic acid, 0-0-diethylo-(4-nitrophenyl) ester], diazinon {phosphorothioic acid, 0,0-diethyl 0-[6-methyl-2-(1-methylethyl)-4-pyrimidinyl] ester} diazinonoxon {phosphoric acid, 0,0-diethyl 0-[6-methyl-2-(1-methylethyl)-4-pyrimidinyl] ester}, and paraoxon [phosphoric acid, 0,0-diethyl 0-(4-nitrophenyl) ester] in both air and wet deposition samples. Air concentrations of chloropyrifos, diazinon and parathion ranged from 13 to 13 000 pg/m3 at the base of the foothills. At 533-m air concentrations were below the limit of quantification (1.4 pg/m3) to 83 pg/m3 and at 1920 m concentrations were below the limit of quantification. Concentrations in wet deposition varied with distance and elevation from the Central Valley. Rainwater concentrations at the base of the foot hills ranged from 16 to 7600 pg/mL. At 533-m rain and snow water concentrations ranged from below the limit of quantification (1.3 pg/mL) to 140 pg/mL and at 1920 m concentrations ranged from below the limit of quantification to 48 pg/mL. These findings indicate that atmospheric transport of pesticides applied in the valley to the Sierra Nevada mountains is occurring, but the levels decrease as distance and elevation increase from the valley floor.

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