Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DISCERNING THE FATE OF ATMOSPHERIC AGRICULTURAL EMISSIONS IN THE CHESAPEAKE BAY REGION

Location: Environmental Management and Byproduct Utilization Laboratory

Title: Examining the fate and transport of alpha- and beta-endosulfan in the atmosphere of South Florida

Authors
item Hapeman, Cathleen
item McConnell, Laura
item Potter, Thomas
item Harman Fetcho, Jennifer
item Rice, Clifford
item Schaffer, Bruce -
item Curry, Richard -

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 22, 2013
Publication Date: September 8, 2013
Citation: Hapeman, C.J., Mcconnell, L.L., Potter, T.L., Harman Fetcho, J.A., Rice, C., Schaffer, B.A., Curry, R. 2013. Examining the fate and transport of alpha- and beta-endosulfan in the atmosphere of South Florida. [abstract]. AGRO 334.

Technical Abstract: Agricultural activity in the South Florida region occurs in close proximity to both important natural areas like Biscayne and Everglades National Parks. One possible transport mechanism for pesticides into these sensitive ecosystems is release to the atmosphere after application. The process is enhanced in this region due to the calcareous soils, frequent rainfall, and high humidity and temperatures. Endosulfan is a widely-used pesticide with high toxicity to aquatic organisms. Air samples were collected over a five-year period (2001 to 2006) at a site within the agricultural community of Homestead, Florida and at sites located in nearby Biscayne and Everglades National Parks (NPs). Mean gas-phase air concentrations of alpha-endosulfan were 17 ± 19 ng m-3 at Homestead, 2.3 ± 3.6 ng m-3 at Everglades NP, and 0.52 ± 0.69 ng m-3 at Biscayne NP. Examination of spatial and temporal trends indicated that endosulfan emissions from agricultural areas around Homestead influenced air concentration observations at the NP sites. Results of an intensive sampling campaign during the larger study indicated the highest total endosulfan concentrations at the NP sites were observed on days when air parcels were predicted to move from Homestead towards the sampling locations. The alpha-endosulfan fraction (a/(a+B)) was used to examine the contribution of pesticide drift versus volatilization to the overall residue level. The median alpha fraction observed during periods of high agricultural activity at Homestead and Everglades NP was 0.84 and 0.88, respectively, and during periods of low agricultural activity, the median at Homestead was 0.86, indicating contributions from drift. The median alpha fraction at Everglades NP was 1.0 during periods of low agricultural activity, while Biscayne NP was 1.0 year round, indicating air concentrations are primarily influenced by regional volatilization. Agricultural activity in the South Florida region occurs in close proximity to both important natural areas like Biscayne and Everglades National Parks. One possible transport mechanism for pesticides into these sensitive ecosystems is release to the atmosphere after application. The process is enhanced in this region due to the calcareous soils, frequent rainfall, and high humidity and temperatures. Endosulfan is a widely-used pesticide with high toxicity to aquatic organisms. Air samples were collected over a five-year period (2001 to 2006) at a site within the agricultural community of Homestead, Florida and at sites located in nearby Biscayne and Everglades National Parks (NPs). Mean gas-phase air concentrations of alpha-endosulfan were 17 ± 19 ng m-3 at Homestead, 2.3 ± 3.6 ng m-3 at Everglades NP, and 0.52 ± 0.69 ng m-3 at Biscayne NP. Examination of spatial and temporal trends, indicated that endosulfan emissions from agricultural areas around Homestead influenced air concentration observations at the NP sites. Results of an intensive sampling campaign during the larger study, indicated the highest total endosulfan concentrations at the NP sites were observed on days when air parcels were predicted to move from Homestead towards the sampling locations. The alpha-endosulfan fraction (a/(a+B)) was used to examine the contribution of pesticide drift versus volatilization to the overall residue level. The median alpha fraction observed during periods of high agricultural activity at Homestead and Everglades NP was 0.84 and 0.88, respectively, and during periods of low agricultural activity the median at Homestead was 0.86, indicating contributions from drift. The median alpha fraction at Everglades NP was 1.0 during periods of low agricultural activity, while Biscayne NP was 1.0 year round indicating air concentrations are primarily influenced by regional volatilization.

Last Modified: 4/18/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page