Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 115, Issue 1, pp 219–243

Transformations of Pesticides in the Atmosphere: A State of the Art


  • Roger Atkinson
    • Air Pollution Research CenterUniversity of California
  • Rob Guicherit
    • TNO Institute of Environmental Sciences, Energy Research and Process Innovation
  • Ronald A. Hites
    • Department of ChemistryIndiana University
  • Wolf-Ulrich Palm
    • Fraunhofer-Institut für Toxikologie und Aerosolforschung
  • James N. Seiber
    • Western Regional Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, USDA
    • Amsterdam Research Institute for Substances in Ecosystems (ARISE) Environmental and Toxicological ChemistryUniversity of Amsterdam

DOI: 10.1023/A:1005286313693

Cite this article as:
Atkinson, R., Guicherit, R., Hites, R.A. et al. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution (1999) 115: 219. doi:10.1023/A:1005286313693


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.

atmospheric lifetimespesticidesreaction ratestransformation products

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999