Transformations of pesticides in the atmosphere: A state of the art

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


  • Roger Atkinson
  • Rob Guicherit
  • Ronald A. Hites
  • Wolf Ulrich Palm
  • James N. Seiber
  • Pim De Voogt

The current knowledge about transformation rates and products of pesticides in the atmosphere is reviewed. Reactive species and their concentrations in the atmosphere are presented. Reactions of pesticides with these species (including photolysis) in the gas and the particulate phase are evaluated from available experimental data. The potential of estimation methods is discussed. Experimental techniques for laboratory and outdoor measurements are reviewed. Finally, an estimation is made of uncertainties in atmospheric lifetimes due to chemical or physical reactions. It is concluded that the most important transformation of pesticides in the atmosphere is due to reaction with OH radicals. Very few experimental data for pesticides are available though. The levels of uncertainty in OH radical concentrations are acceptable, however, for a proper estimation of atmospheric removal rates due to reactions with OH radicals of those pesticides for which experimental transformation rates (of homologues) are available.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number1-4
Pages (from-to)219-243
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 10.1999
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Atmospheric lifetimes, Pesticides, Reaction rates, Transformation products
  • Chemistry