Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 186, Issue 3, pp 1343–1353 | Cite as

Community air monitoring for pesticides—part 2: multiresidue determination of pesticides in air by gas chromatography, gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, and liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry

  • Matt HengelEmail author
  • P. Lee


Two multiresidue methods were developed to determine pesticides in air collected in California. Pesticides were trapped using XAD-4 resin and extracted with ethyl acetate. Based on an analytical method from the University of California Davis Trace Analytical Laboratory, pesticides were detected by analyzing the extract by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to determine chlorothalonil, chlorthal-dimethyl, cycloate, dicloran, dicofol, EPTC, ethalfluralin, iprodione, mefenoxam, metolachlor, PCNB, permethrin, pronamide, simazine, trifluralin, and vinclozolin. A GC with a flame photometric detector was used to determine chlorpyrifos, chlorpyrifos oxon, diazinon, diazinon oxon, dimethoate, dimethoate oxon, fonophos, fonophos oxon, malathion, malathion oxon, naled, and oxydemeton. Trapping efficiencies ranged from 78 to 92 % for low level (0.5 μg) and 37–104 % for high level (50 and 100 μg) recoveries. Little to no degradation of compounds occurred over 31 days; recoveries ranged from 78 to 113 %. In the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) method, pesticides were detected by analyzing the extract by GC-MS to determine chlorothalonil, chlorpyrifos, cypermethrin, dichlorvos, dicofol, endosulfan 1, endosulfan sulfate, oxyfluorfen, permethrin, propargite, and trifluralin. A liquid chromatograph coupled to a MS was used to determine azinphos-methyl, chloropyrifos oxon, DEF, diazinon, diazinon oxon, dimethoate, dimethoate oxon, diuron, EPTC, malathion, malathion oxon, metolachlor, molinate, norflurazon, oryzalin, phosmet, propanil, simazine and thiobencarb. Trapping efficiencies for compounds determined by the CDFA method ranged from 10 to 113, 22 to 114, and 56 to 132 % for 10, 5, and 2 μg spikes, respectively. Storage tests yielded 70–170 % recovery for up to 28 days. These multiresidue methods represent flexible, sensitive, accurate, and cost-effective ways to determine residues of various pesticides in ambient air.


Air sampling Gas chromatography Liquid chromatography Mass spectrometry Pesticides XAD resin Multiresidue 



The University of California Davis Trace Analytical Laboratory (J. Engebretson, B. Hung, G. Hall, and J. McFarland), under the direction of Chuck Mourer at the time of this project, would like to thank Randy Segawa and Pam Wofford at the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and the Lompoc Interagency Work Group for funding and support of this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental ToxicologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA

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