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Widespread pesticide distribution in the European atmosphere questions their degradability in air

Mayer, Ludovic; Degrendele, Céline; Šenk, Petr; Kohoutek, Jiři; Přibylová, Petra; Kukučka, Petr; Melymuk, Lisa; Durand, Amandine; Ravier, Sylvain; Alastuey, Andres; Baker, Alex R.; Baltensperger, Urs; Baumann-Stanzer, Kathrin; Biermann, Tobias; Bohlin-Nizzetto, Pernilla; Ceburnis, Darius; Conil, Sébastien; Couret, Cédric; Degórska, Anna; Diapouli, Evangelia; Eckhardt, Sabine; Eleftheriadis, Konstantinos; Forster, Grant L.; Freier, Korbinian; Gheusi, François; Gini, Maria I.; Hellén, Heidi; Henne, Stephan; Herrmann, Hartmut; Holubová Šmejkalová, Adéla; Hõrrak, Urmas; Hüglin, Christoph; Junninen, Heikki; Kristensson, Adam; Langrene, Laurent; Levula, Janne; Lothon, Marie; Ludewig, Elke; Makkonen, Ulla; Matejovičová, Jana; Mihalopoulos, Nikolaos; Mináriková, Veronika; Moche, Wolfgang; Noe, Steffen M.; Pérez, Noemí; Petäjä, Tuukka; Pont, Véronique; Poulain, Laurent; Quivet, Etienne; Ratz, Gabriela; Rehm, Till; Reimann, Stefan; Simmons, Ivan; Sonke, Jeroen E.; Sorribas, Mar; Spoor, Ronald; Swart, Daan P. J.; Vasilatou, Vasiliki; Wortham, Henri; Yela, Margarita; Zarmpas, Pavlos; Zellweger Fäsi, Claudia; Tørseth, Kjetil; Laj, Paolo; Klánová, Jana; Lammel, Gerhard. 2024 Widespread pesticide distribution in the European atmosphere questions their degradability in air. Environmental Science & Technology. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.3c08488

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Abstract/Summary

Risk assessment of pesticide impacts on remote ecosystems makes use of model-estimated degradation in air. Recent studies suggest these degradation rates to be overestimated, questioning current pesticide regulation. Here, we investigated the concentrations of 76 pesticides in Europe at 29 rural, coastal, mountain, and polar sites during the agricultural application season. Overall, 58 pesticides were observed in the European atmosphere. Low spatial variation of 7 pesticides suggests continental-scale atmospheric dispersal. Based on concentrations in free tropospheric air and at Arctic sites, 22 pesticides were identified to be prone to long-range atmospheric transport, which included 15 substances approved for agricultural use in Europe and 7 banned ones. Comparison between concentrations at remote sites and those found at pesticide source areas suggests long atmospheric lifetimes of atrazine, cyprodinil, spiroxamine, tebuconazole, terbuthylazine, and thiacloprid. In general, our findings suggest that atmospheric transport and persistence of pesticides have been underestimated and that their risk assessment needs to be improved.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.3c08488
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0013-936X
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: pesticides, atmosphere, transport, degradation, risk assessment
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 12 Feb 2024 10:15 +0 (UTC)
URI: https://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/536881

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