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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Atmospheric Pollutants and Trace Gases

Atmospheric Movements of Lindane (γ-Hexachlorocyclohexane) from Canola Fields Planted with Treated Seed


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 3, p. 768-775
    Received: Feb 3, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): Don.Waite@ec.gc.ca
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  1. D.T. Waite *a,
  2. N.P. Gurprasadb,
  3. J.F. Sproullb,
  4. D.V. Quiringa and
  5. M.W. Kotylakc
  1. a Environment Canada, 300-2365 Albert St., Regina, SK, S4P 4K1, Canada
    b Environment Canada, EP Labs, 5320-122 St., Edmonton, AB, T6H 3S5, Canada
    c Univ. of Regina, Faculty of Engineering, 3737 Wascana Parkway, Regina, SK, S4S 0A2, Canada


Lindane (γ-hexachlorocyclohexane [γ-HCH]) is used as an insecticide in many countries. Concentrations of γ-HCH have been found in air, water, soil, snow, and tissue samples throughout the world and concerns have been raised for its potential effects on human and ecosystem health. In Canada, γ-HCH is primarily used as a treatment on canola (Brassica napus L) seed with an estimated 455.3 Mg applied in 1997 and 510.4 Mg in 1998. The purpose of this study was to measure γ-HCH volatilization from fields planted with treated canola seed. Atmospheric dry and wet deposition and soil samples were collected for two growing seasons (1997 and 1998) from a canola field planted with treated seed. Atmospheric concentrations as high as 16.1 and 7.4 ng m−3 were measured at 1 m above the canola field compared with maximum concentrations of 2.9 and 2.7 ng m−3 measured above a grass field located 2 km away (1997 and 1998, respectively). On the basis of measurements made in this study it was estimated that between 12 and 30% of the γ-HCH applied as canola seed treatment may volatilize and be released to the atmosphere. This would create an atmospheric loading of 66.4 to 188.8 Mg for the 6-wk period following planting, estimated from the quantity of seed sown on the Canadian prairies in 1998. Dry deposition rates and rain concentrations as high as 2203 ng m−2 d−1 and 170 ng L−1 were measured adjacent to the canola field.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:768–775.