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Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry (ESI-MS) monitoring of the photolysis of diazinon in aqueous solution: Degradation route and toxicity of by-products against Artemia salina

Souza, Amauri G., Cardeal, Zenilda L., Augusti, Rodinei
Journal of environmental science and health 2013 v.48 no.3 pp. 171-176
Artemia salina, byproducts, chemical structure, diazinon, ionization, ions, mass spectrometry, microorganisms, monitoring, neutralization, pH, photolysis, sodium hypochlorite, toxicity, ultraviolet radiation, water treatment
The photolytic degradation of diazinon, an organophosphorus pesticide, in aqueous medium under assorted pH values was continuously monitored by direct infusion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). The results indicated that the UV radiation was quite efficient in promoting the pesticide degradation at the three pH levels evaluated (5, 7 and 8). The m/z of the most abundant ions observed in the mass spectra (MS), in conjunction with the fragmentation patterns of such ionic species (MS/MS data), made possible the proposition of chemical structures for the main by-products formed. As a result, routes for the photodegradation of diazinon in aqueous solution could thus be suggested. In the assays using Artemia salina (brine shrimp) it was verified that the photodegradation products exhibited much lower toxicity than the primary substrate. Aiming at mimicking the conditions ordinarily found in water treatment plants, an additional series of tests was conducted with a solution containing sodium hypochlorite and diazinon. This solution, when not exposed to UV radiation, exhibited high toxicity against the microorganisms. Under the influence of UV radiation, however, the toxicity rates decreased dramatically. This result is relevant because it points toward the confident application of UV radiation to neutralize the deleterious effects caused by diazinon (and perhaps other organophosphorus pesticides) as well as sodium hypochlorite to the environment.