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The ARS Pesticide Properties Database

PESTICIDES are being found in our water supplies. The frequency and levels of detections are extremely low, but sound water quality management requires us to direct research towards minimizing future contamination. The ARS Pesticide Properties Database (PPD) has been developed to provide water quality modelers and managers a list of the pesticide properties most important for predicting the potentials of pesticides to move into ground and surface waters under a range of weather and soil conditions.

The ARS PPD is a compendium of chemical and physical properties of 334 widely used pesticides. Information included in the database focuses on 16 of the most important properties that affect pesticide transport and degradation characteristics. The database is administered by the Crop Systems & Global Change Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, which has the responsibility for adding pesticides and new data as they become available. A steering committee that represents database users gives advice on the form and content of the database.

The ARS PPD relies on experimentally determined data. Its developers, working with the American Crop Protection Association (formerly the National Agricultural Chemicals Association), have communicated directly with the manufacturers to obtain the original experimental data used to characterize the pesticide properties and fulfill requirements for federal and state regulations. The data are augmented with data from the scientific literature. Earlier databases by Dr. Ralph Nash and Dr. R. Don Wauchope have been incorporated.

The ARS PPD differs from previous databases of pesticide properties in the following ways:

  • References are given for all data.

  • When a given property has several values, all values are cited.

  • Selected values are also available.

  • All data have been verified by the manufacturers to confirm that they are the latest and most reliable figures available.