Current use pesticides in soil and air from two agricultural sites in South Africa: Implications for environmental fate and human exposure


  • Degrendele Céline
  • Klánová Jana
  • Prokeš Roman
  • Příbylová Petra
  • Šenk Petr
  • Šudoma Marek
  • Röösli Martin
  • Dalvie Mohamed Aqiel
  • Fuhrimann Samuel


  • Current use pesticides
  • Air
  • Soil
  • Human exposure
  • Inhalation
  • Africa

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Concerns about the possible negative impacts of current use pesticides (CUPs) for both the environment and human health have increased worldwide. However, the knowledge on the occurrence of CUPs in soil and air and the related human exposure in Africa is limited. This study investigated the presence of 30 CUPs in soil and air at two distinct agricultural sites in South Africa and estimated the human exposure and related risks to rural residents via soil ingestion and inhalation (using hazard quotients, hazard index and relative potency factors). We collected 12 soil and 14 air samples over seven days during the main pesticide application season in 2018. All samples were extracted, purified and analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. In soils, nine CUPs were found, with chlorpyrifos, carbaryl and tebuconazole having the highest concentrations (up to 63.6, 1.10 and 0.212 ng g −1 , respectively). In air, 16 CUPs were found, with carbaryl, tebuconazole and terbuthylazine having the highest levels (up to 25.0, 22.2 and 1.94 pg m −3 , respectively). Spatial differences were observed between the two sites for seven CUPs in air and two in soils. A large dominance towards the particulate phase was found for almost all CUPs, which could be related to mass transport kinetics limitations (non-equilibrium) following pesticide application. The estimated daily intake via soil ingestion and inhalation of individual pesticides ranged from 0.126 fg kg −1 day −1 (isoproturon) to 14.7 ng kg −1 day −1 (chlorpyrifos). Except for chlorpyrifos, soil ingestion generally represented a minor exposure pathway compared

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