Author(s): Smith EA, Prues SL, Oehme FW
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Abstract The environmental fate of a polyacrylamide thickening agent (PATA), formulated without and with a glyphosate-surfactant herbicide (GH), was examined under various environmental situations: formulation in surface water and ground water, volatility, and soil mobility. Environmental Fate of PATA in Surface Water and Ground Water: PATA was formulated at four concentrations in distilled-deionized water, three surface water samples, and two ground water samples, without and with a GH. Solutions were placed in glass bottles, covered with plastic wrap, and exposed to environmental (outdoor) conditions for 6 weeks. Acrylamide and ammonium concentration, pH, and bacterial and fungal populations were measured weekly. All solutions in this portion of the study had a homogeneous milky appearance but the conclusions of the study were nearly transparent. The results of this study suggest that polyacrylamide can degrade to acrylamide under environmental conditions. Statistically, there was no linear correlation between the various parameters measured. Volatility: PATA was formulated without and with GH. Each solution plus an acrylamide standard (positive control) was placed in a glass beaker and exposed to environmental (outdoor) conditions for 6 days. Acrylamide concentration, ammonium concentration, pH, and solution volume were measured daily. Acrylamide and ammonium concentrations increased during the study in all formulations, except when solutions evaporated to dryness. pH did not change greatly over the course of the study for these samples. Those solutions containing PATA had a homogeneous milky appearance but by the conclusions of the study were nearly transparent. This suggests a physical structural change in the polymer. Soil Mobility: PATA formulated with GH was also applied to soil columns and soil boxes containing sand, Eudora sandy loam, Eudora sandy clay, and Kohola silt loam. Acrylamide could be detected by Day 2 in all soil columns. Acrylamide could not be detected in the runoff of any of the soil boxes.
This article was published in Ecotoxicol Environ Saf
and referenced in Industrial Chemistry