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Pesticide Chemistry in the Environment

Agricultural Water

  1. Karina S.B. Miglioranza1,2,
  2. Mariana Gonzalez1,2,
  3. Julia E. Aizpún De Moreno1,
  4. Víctor J. Moreno1

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.aw1501

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Miglioranza, K. S., Gonzalez, M., Aizpún De Moreno, J. E. and Moreno, V. J. 2005. Pesticide Chemistry in the Environment. Water Encyclopedia. 3:647–651.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Mar del Plata, Argentina

  2. 2

    Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


The use of pesticides has resulted in increased crop production but also raised concerns about potential adverse effects on the environment. The knowledge of pesticide environmental behavior, like soil adsorption, leaching, and volatility, is necessary to asses the risk to the environment and humans. The properties of pesticides, such as herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides, combined with the amount applied, determine how many pesticides can be transported along each route into the environment. Among insecticides, the monitoring of organochlorine pesticides (OCP) with low water solubility and high environmental persistence is highly recommended. Field studies determined that soil characteristics, topographic position, and land uses influence in OCP accumulation. The accumulation pattern represent a dynamic balance between deposition and erosion in association with wind-induced circulation, tillage management practices, and effects by natural processes, such as rainfall and flooding periods, according to different soils. Moreover, the use of pesticides on agricultural land may have a negative effect on nearby aquatic ecosystems. This effect is determined by the specific chemicals used, the place and methods of application of the chemicals, and the various mechanisms available for transporting compounds to the waterbodies, with soil erosion being a major pathway. Hydrophobicity and persistence are the main properties of pesticides that control their accumulation in sediment and aquatic biota. Thus, this fact confirms the current necessity of OCP monitoring in natural areas.


  • pesticides;
  • organochlorines;
  • soils;
  • runoff;
  • leaching;
  • watershed;
  • monitoring