Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: August 6, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Pesticide residues in foods have been a matter of public interest since the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1961. The more recent detection of trace amounts of organic pesticides in surface and ground water has been a major environmental issue over the last decade and a half. From a national perspective, particular concern was focused on the rural water supplies, since ground water is the major source of drinking water. The scope of the pesticide issue in water is so large and complex that the current chapter only addresses the important classes of organic pest control chemicals. Soils play a significant role in modifying the amounts and kinds of pesticides ultimately detected in water. Intensive research on the dynamic interactions between pesticides, soils and water has led to a major increase in our understanding of the chemical and biochemical processes that impinge on all three systems.