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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Vadose Zone Processes and Chemical Transport

Acrylamide Monomer Leaching from Polyacrylamide-Treated Irrigation Furrows


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 37 No. 6, p. 2293-2298
    Received: Oct 30, 2007

    * Corresponding author(s): rick.lentz@ars.usda.gov
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  1. R. D. Lentz *a,
  2. F. F. Andrawesb,
  3. F. W. Barvenikb and
  4. A. C. Koehna
  1. a USDA-ARS, Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Lab., 3793 N 3600 E, Kimberly, ID 83341
    b CYTEC Research and Development, 1937 W. Main, Stamford, CT 06904


Water-soluble anionic polyacrylamide (WSPAM), which is used to reduce erosion in furrow irrigated fields and other agriculture applications, contains less than 0.05% acrylamide monomer (AMD). Acrylamide monomer, a potent neurotoxicant and suspected carcinogen, is readily dissolved and transported in flowing water. The study quantified AMD leaching losses from a WSPAM-treated corn (Zea mays L.) field using continuous extraction-walled percolation samplers buried at 1.2 m depth. The samplers were placed 30 and 150 m from the inflow source along a 180-m-long corn field. The field was furrow irrigated using WSPAM at the rate of 10 mg L−1 during furrow advance. Percolation water and furrow inflows were monitored for AMD during and after three furrow irrigations. The samples were analyzed for AMD using a gas chromatograph equipped with an electron-capture detector. Furrow inflows contained an average AMD concentration of 5.5 μg L−1 The AMD in percolation water samples never exceeded the minimum detection limit and the de facto potable water standard of 0.5 μg L−1 The risk that ground water beneath these WSPAM-treated furrow irrigated soils will be contaminated with AMD appears minimal.

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Copyright © 2008. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyAmerican Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America