Behaviour of ddt in three soils exposed to solar radiations under different conditions



Volatilization, mineralization, degradation and binding of soil-applied [14C]DDT were studied in three different soils from a tropical region of southern India subjected to solar irradiation and flooding for a period of 42 days. The soil types–red cotton soil, nursery soil and canal bank soil–differed in their organic carbon content, pH and texture. Under unflooded conditions, volatile losses were highest in the sandy canal bank soil. Flooding significantly enhanced volatilization, and this effect was maximal in the nursery soil, which had the highest organic carbon. The soils fully exposed to solar radiations in quartz tubes registered 1.5-1.8 times greater volatility. The volatilized organics contained appreciable quantities of DDE under both flooded and unflooded conditions. In addition, greater quantities of DDD volatilized from the flooded systems. The rate of formation of DDE was faster when soils were irradiated in quartz tubes. Mineralization remained minimal throughout the period of exposure and flooding the soil appeared to reduce further the [14C]carbon dioxide evolution. Canal bank soil exhibited the least mineralization and degradation. The data indicate that volatilization was significantly influenced by solar radiation and flooding to a much greater degree than by the differences in soil properties. Binding of DDT to soil was significantly increased by flooding the soil, thus leaving up to 33% of the initial DDT as bound residues in the nursery soil.