Widespread pesticide distribution in the European atmosphere questions their degradability in air

Mayer, Ludovic, Degrendele, Céline, Šenk, Petr, Kohoutek, Jiři, Přibylová, Petra, Kukučka, Petr, Melymuk, Lisa, Durand, Amandine, Ravier, Sylvain, Alastuey, Andres, Baker, Alex R. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8365-8953, Baltensperger, Urs, Baumann-Stanzer, Kathrin, Biermann, Tobias, Bohlin-Nizzetto, Pernilla, Ceburnis, Darius, Conil, Sébastien, Couret, Cédric, Degórska, Anna, Diapouli, Evangelia, Eckhardt, Sabine, Eleftheriadis, Konstantinos, Forster, Grant L., Freier, Korbinian, Gheusi, François, Gini, Maria I., Hellén, Heidi, Henne, Stephan, Herrmann, Hartmut, Holubová Šmejkalová, Adéla, Hõrrak, Urmas, Hüglin, Christoph, Junninen, Heikki, Kristensson, Adam, Langrene, Laurent, Levula, Janne, Lothon, Marie, Ludewig, Elke, Makkonen, Ulla, Matejovičová, Jana, Mihalopoulos, Nikolaos, Mináriková, Veronika, Moche, Wolfgang, Noe, Steffen M., Pérez, Noemí, Petäjä, Tuukka, Pont, Véronique, Poulain, Laurent, Quivet, Etienne, Ratz, Gabriela, Rehm, Till, Reimann, Stefan, Simmons, Ivan, Sonke, Jeroen E., Sorribas, Mar, Spoor, Ronald, Swart, Daan P.J., Vasilatou, Vasiliki, Wortham, Henri, Yela, Margarita, Zarmpas, Pavlos, Zellweger Fäsi, Claudia, Tørseth, Kjetil, Laj, Paolo, Klánová, Jana and Lammel, Gerhard (2024) Widespread pesticide distribution in the European atmosphere questions their degradability in air. Environmental Science & Technology, 58 (7). pp. 3342-3352. ISSN 0013-936X

[thumbnail of Mayer_etal_2024_EnvSciTech]
PDF (Mayer_etal_2024_EnvSciTech) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (3MB) | Preview


Risk assessment of pesticide impacts on remote ecosystems makes use of model-estimated degradation in air. Recent studies suggest these degradation rates to be overestimated, questioning current pesticide regulation. Here, we investigated the concentrations of 76 pesticides in Europe at 29 rural, coastal, mountain, and polar sites during the agricultural application season. Overall, 58 pesticides were observed in the European atmosphere. Low spatial variation of 7 pesticides suggests continental-scale atmospheric dispersal. Based on concentrations in free tropospheric air and at Arctic sites, 22 pesticides were identified to be prone to long-range atmospheric transport, which included 15 substances approved for agricultural use in Europe and 7 banned ones. Comparison between concentrations at remote sites and those found at pesticide source areas suggests long atmospheric lifetimes of atrazine, cyprodinil, spiroxamine, tebuconazole, terbuthylazine, and thiacloprid. In general, our findings suggest that atmospheric transport and persistence of pesticides have been underestimated and that their risk assessment needs to be improved.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: This work was supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (857560); the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports through RECETOX Research Infrastructure (LM2023069), ACTRIS-CZ RI (LM2023030) and CETOCOEN EXCELLENCE (CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/17_043/0009632); the Brno City Municipality and the South Moravian Centre for International Mobility (JCMM, fellowship award to L.M.); the Czech Science Foundation (20–07117S); the Estonian Research Council (PRG714, PRG1674); the General Secretariat of Research and Innovation of the Greek Ministry of Development and Investments, Public Investment Program, through the National Network on Climate Change and Its Impacts; the Norwegian Fram Center (CLEAN-FRAM) and COPE (NFR #28114); and the Swedish Research Council (ACTRIS_SE RI 2021–00177). This publication reflects only the author’s view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
Uncontrolled Keywords: atmosphere,degradation,pesticides,risk assessment,transport,chemistry(all),environmental chemistry ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1600
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2024 14:30
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2024 14:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/94771
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.3c08488

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item