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Endosulfan wet deposition in Southern Florida (USA)

Thomas L. Potter, Cathleen J. Hapeman, Laura L. McConnell, Jennifer A. Harman-Fetcho, Walter F. Schmidt, Clifford P. Rice, Bruce Schaffer
Science of the total environment 2014 v.468-469 pp. 505-513
crop production, national parks, toxicity, aquatic organisms, humans, volatilization, vegetable crops, isomers, risk assessment, wet deposition, endosulfan, environmental impact, climatic factors, Florida
The atmosphere is an important transport route for semi-volatile pesticides like endosulfan. Deposition, which depends on physical–chemical properties, use patterns, and climatic conditions, can occur at local, regional, and global scales. Adverse human and ecological impact may result. We measured endosulfan wet deposition in precipitation over a 4-year period within an area of high agricultural use in Southern Florida (USA) and in nearby Biscayne and Everglades National Parks. Endosulfan's two isomers and degradate, endosulfan sulfate, were detected at high frequency with the order of detection and concentration being β-endosulfan>α-endosulfan>endosulfan sulfate. Within the agricultural area, detection frequency (55 to 98%) mean concentrations (5 to 87ngL−1) and total daily deposition (200ngm−2day−1) exceeded values at other sites by 5 to 30-fold. Strong seasonal trends were also observed with values at all monitored sites significantly higher during peak endosulfan use periods when vegetable crops were produced. Relatively high deposition in the crop production area and observations that concentrations exceeded aquatic life toxicity thresholds at all sites indicated that endosulfan volatilization and wet deposition are of ecotoxicological concern to the region. This study emphasizes the need to include localized volatilization and deposition of endosulfan and other semi-volatile pesticides in risk assessments in Southern Florida and other areas with similar climatic and crop production profiles.