Penetration of glyphosate salts across isolated poplar (Populus canescens (Aiton) Sm) cuticular membranes (CM) was studied using Na+, K+, NH4+, trimethylsulfonium+ (TMS) and isopropylamine+ (IPA) as cations. After droplet drying, humidity over the salt residues on the outer surfaces of the CM was kept constant, and cuticular penetration was monitored by sampling the receiver solution facing the inner surfaces of the CM. Glyphosate salts disappeared exponentially with time from the surfaces of the CM. This first-order process could be quantitatively described using rate constants (k) or half-times (time for 50% penetration; t1/2). Humidity strongly affected the velocity of penetration, as k increased by factors of 5.3 (K-glyphosate), 6.9 (TMS-glyphosate), 7.1 (NH4-glyphosate), 8.5 (Na-glyphosate) and 10.5 (IPA-glyphosate) when humidity was increased from 70 to 100%. Depending on the type of cation and humidity, t1/2 varied between 4 and 70 h, but the humidity effect was statistically significant only at 100% humidity, when half-times were highest with IPA-glyphosate and lowest with TMS-glyphosate. Glyphosate acid penetration was measured only at 90% humidity and found to be extremely slow (t1/2 = 866 h). Adding 0.2 g litre−1 of a wetter (alkylpolyglucoside) to the donor increased IPA-glyphosate rate constants by about four times, but increasing concentration produced no further increase in k. When donors contained 0.2 g litre−1 wetter, further additions of 4 g litre−1 Ethomeen T25 did not change rate constants measured with IPA-glyphosate at 90% humidity, while Genapol C-100 and diethyl suberate increased k by only 35%. Concentration of IPA-glyphosate (1, 2 and 4 g litre−1) did not influence k at 90% humidity, and pH of donor solutions (4.0, 7.7, 9.5) had no effect on k of K-glyphosate at 90% humidity. Temperature (10 to 25 °C) had only a small influence on velocity of penetration of IPA-glyphosate and K-glyphosate, as energies of activation amounted to only 4.26 and 2.92 kJ mole−1, respectively. These results are interpreted as evidence for penetration of glyphosate salts in aqueous pores.
© 2002 Society of Chemical Industry