Weekly composite air samples were collected from early April through to mid-September 1995 at three paired urban and agricultural sites along the Mississippi River region of the Midwestern United States. The paired sampling sites were located in Mississippi, Iowa, and Minnesota. A background site, removed from dense urban and agricultural areas, was located on the shore of Lake Superior in Michigan. Each sample was analyzed for 49 compounds; of these, 21 of 26 herbicides, 13 of 19 insecticides, and 4 of 4 related transformation products were detected during the study, with most pesticides detected in more than one sample. The maximum number of pesticides detected in an air sample was 18. Herbicides were the predominant type of pesticide detected at every site. Detection frequencies of most herbicides were similar at the urban and agricultural sites in Iowa and Minnesota. In Mississippi, herbicides generally were detected more frequently at the agricultural site. The insecticides chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and carbaryl, which are used in agricultural and non-agricultural settings, were detected more frequently in urban sites than agricultural sites in Mississippi and Iowa. Methyl parathion was detected in 70% of the samples from the Mississippi agricultural site and at the highest concentration (62 ng/m3 air) of any insecticide measured in the study. At the background site, dacthal (100%), atrazine (35%), cyanazine (22%), and the (primarily atrazine) triazine transformation products CIAT (35%) and CEAT (17%) were detected most frequently, suggesting their potential for long-range atmospheric transport. Copyright (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.