Weekly composite, bulk air was sampled with respect to wind speed and direction from January 1996 through December 1997 in one urban and two agricultural locations in Sacramento County, California. The sampling sites were located along a north-south transect, the dominant directions of the prevailing winds. The samples were analyzed for a variety of current-use pesticides, including dormant orchard spray insecticides and rice herbicides. A variety of pesticides were detected throughout the year, predominantly chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and trifluralin. The data obtained during the winter and spring suggest that some pesticides used in agricultural areas become airborne and may be transported into the urban area. Confirmation of this drift is difficult, however, because these three predominant pesticides, as well as other detected pesticides, also are heavily used in the urban environment. The spring data clearly show that molinate and thiobencarb, two herbicides used only in rice production, do drift into the urban environment.
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USGS Numbered Series
Atmospheric transport of pesticides in the Sacramento, California, metropolitan area, 1996-1997