Author(s): Fogg P, Boxall AB, Walker A
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Abstract Biobeds aim to create an environment whereby any pesticide spills are retained and then degraded, thus reducing the potential for surface or groundwater contamination. Biobeds may receive high concentrations of relatively complex mixtures of pesticides. The effects of concentration and pesticide interaction on degradation rate were therefore investigated. At concentrations up to 20 times the maximum recommended application rate for isoproturon and chlorothalonil, the rate of degradation in topsoil and biomix decreased with increasing concentration. With the exception of isoproturon at concentrations above 11 mg kg(-1), degradation was quicker in biomix (a composted mixture of topsoil, compost, and wheat straw) than in topsoil. One possible explanation for faster isoproturon degradation in topsoil as compared to biomix may be that previous treatments of isoproturon applied to the field soil as part of normal agricultural practices had resulted in proliferation of microbial communities specifically adapted to use isoproturon as an energy source. Such microbial adaptation could enhance the performance of a biobed. Studies with a mixture of isoproturon and chlorothalonil showed that interactions between pesticides are possible. In biomix, the degradation of either isoproturon or chlorothalonil was unaffected by the presence of the other pesticide, whereas in topsoil, isoproturon DT(50) values increased from 18.5 to 71.5 days in the presence of chlorothalonil. These studies suggest that biobeds appear capable of treating high concentrations of more than one pesticide.
This article was published in J Agric Food Chem
and referenced in Journal of Nursing & Care