Predicting Soil Fumigant Air Concentrations under Regional and Diverse Agronomic Conditions
SOFEA (SOil Fumigant Exposure Assessment system; Dow AgroSciences, Indianapolis, IN) is a new stochastic numerical modeling tool for evaluating and managing human inhalation exposure potential associated with the use of soil fumigants. SOFEA calculates fumigant concentrations in air arising from volatility losses from treated fields for large agricultural regions using multiple transient source terms (treated fields), geographical information systems (GIS) information, agronomic specific variables, user-specified buffer zones, and field reentry intervals. A modified version of the USEPA Industrial Source Complex Short Term model (ISCST3) is used for air dispersion calculations. Weather information, field size, application date, application rate, application type, soil incorporation depth, pesticide degradation rates in air, tarp presence, field retreatment, and other sensitive parameters are varied stochastically using Monte Carlo techniques to mimic region and crop specific agronomic practices. Regional land cover, elevation, and population information can be used to refine source placement (treated fields), dispersion calculations, and risk assessments. This paper describes the technical algorithms of SOFEA and offers comparisons of simulation predictions for the soil fumigant 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) to actual regional air monitoring measurements from Kern, California. Comparison of simulation results to daily air monitoring observations is remarkable over the entire concentration distribution (average percent deviation of 44% and model efficiency of 0.98), especially considering numerous inputs such as meteorological conditions for SOFEA were unavailable and approximated by neighboring regions. Both current and anticipated and/or forecasted fumigant scenarios can be simulated using SOFEA to provide risk managers and product stewards the necessary information to make sound regulatory decisions regarding the use of soil fumigants in agriculture.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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