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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Leaching Potentials of Four Pesticides Used for Bananas in the Canary Islands


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 27 No. 3, p. 562-572
    Received: Apr 8, 1997

    * Corresponding author(s): keith@pangea.stanford.edu
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  1. Ricardo Diaz-Diaz,
  2. Jose Enrique Garcia-Hernandez and
  3. Keith Loague *
  1. Dep. of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305.
    Dep. of Pedology and Geology, Univ. of La Laguna, 38204 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain.



Nonpoint source (NPS) groundwater contamination, that is related to the regional-scale use of agrochemicals, is a major environmental problem. This paper reports preliminary assessments of groundwater vulnerability due to pesticide leaching for areas of banana (Musa balbisiana) silviculture for the Canary Island of Tenerife using simple indices. Estimates of contamination potential were made for the four most commonly used pesticides using the retardation factor (RF) and the attenuation factor (AF). Soil, crop, and recharge maps for Tenerife were overlaid using a geographic information system (GIS) approach. Soil depth, the type of irrigation, soil-pH dependent chemical halflives, and the method of landcover characterization were each assessed relative to their individual and cumulative impacts on assessing regional-scale NPS groundwater vulnerability. The order of leaching potential, in terms of greatest mobility, for the four chemicals was found to be: (i) carbofuran (2,3-dihydro-2,2-dimethyl-7-benzofluranyl-n-methylcarbamate), (ii) ethoprophos (O-ethyl-S,S-di-n-propylphosphorodithioate), (iii) fenamiphos (ethyl 3-methyl-4-(methylthio)-phenyl1-methylethylphosphoramidate), and (iv) oxamyl (methyl 2-(dimethylamino)-N-[[(methylamino)carbony]oxy]-2-oxoethanimidothioate). The worst-case scenario for groundwater contamination in Tenerife, related to banana silviculture, was found to be carbofuran with furrow irrigation. The best pesticide and irrigation combination to minimize potential groundwater contamination, related to the cultivation of bananas in Tenerife, was oxamyl and drip irrigation. The regional-scale NPS groundwater vulnerability assessments presented here for Tenerife are the first to be made for the island and will be useful for future chemical regulation decisions and for targeting critical areas that may require remediation.

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