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Degradation of Chlorpyrifos in Soil: Influence of Autoclaving, Soil Moisture, and Temperature

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The decomposition of 14C-ring-labeled chlorpyrifos was followed in 2 soils for a 32-week period under laboratory conditions at 25°C. Time required for 50% loss of parent compound in Chehalis clay loam and Sultan silt loam was 4 and 12 weeks, respectively. Faster breakdown of the insecticide in the clay loam was due to microbial degradation since initial halflives of 24 weeks were observed in both autoclaved soils. Radioactivity from degraded chlorpyrifos was recovered as 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol, as expired CO2, and as a nonextractable soil-bound residue component. After 32 weeks, 47% of the radioactivity from degraded insecticide were recovered as CO2 in the clay loam as compared to only 8% in the silt loam.

Temperature had a pronounced effect on the decay rate of chlorpyrifos in Sultan silt loam during a 24-week incubation period at 15°, 25°, and 35°C; initial half-lives were 25, 13, and 6 weeks, respectively. Soil moisture contents ranging from 3–20% did not affect insecticide degradation rates in the Sultan silt loam.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1981

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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