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Photodegradation of Selected Organophosphorus Insecticides Under Sunlight in Different Natural Waters and Soils

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In this work photodegradation of four organophosphorus insecticides (ethyl-parathion, methyl-parathion, fenitrothion, fenthion) in different natural waters and soils was studied under sunlight. The origin of the waters was from the region of Ioannina (underground, lake, and river water) and from Preveza (sea water) in Northern-West Greece. The soils used had different percentages of organic matter (0.9-3.5%) and their characterization were SCL, CL, and SL respectively.

The photodegradation kinetics of these insecticides were followed by GC-FTD. The identification of the photodegradation by-products was made by using GC-MS. The half-lives of the organophosphorus insecticides vary from 0.4 to 35.4 days in natural waters and from 3.4 to 21.3 days in soils. The humic substances and the other components of these environmental matrices seem to influence the degradation kinetics.

The use of GC-MS allowed the identification of some important photodegradation by-products such as: fenthion sulfone, fenthion sulfoxide, fenoxon, 4-methylthio-3,5-dimethyl phenol, O,O,O-triethyl phosphorothioate, paraoxon, 4-nitrophenol, aminoparathion.
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Keywords: Fenitrothion; Fenthion; Organophosphorus insecticides; Parathion; Photodegradation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Chemistry, University of Ioannina, Ioannina 45110, Greece

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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