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A Review of the Chemistry, Pesticide Use, and Environmental Fate of Sulfur Dioxide, as Used in California

  • Kelsey Craig
Chapter
Part of the Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology book series (RECT, volume 246)

Abstract

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is an atmospheric pollutant that is moderately persistent in the atmosphere and highly water soluble. When applied as a pesticide, SO2 may be transported, deposited, or transformed in various chemical reactions. SO2 participates in the sulfur biogeochemical cycle, which involves complex reactions of sulfur-containing compounds between abiotic and biotic components of ecosystems. The main degradation route of SO2 is atmospheric oxidation, and sulfur oxides may undergo long-distance transport prior to removal from the atmosphere by wet or dry deposition. According to the Pesticide Use Reporting (PUR) database maintained by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR), SO2 use in California from 2010 to 2015 was primarily for fumigations (96%), including treatments of postharvest grape products and winery equipment sterilizations. Other site uses contributed less than 5% of reported statewide SO2 use from 2010 to 2015. A slight increasing trend in use of SO2 as a pesticide was observed from 2010 to 2015, with the highest reported uses of SO2 within California counties during the months of July–November. Although the primary sources of SO2 in the environment are anthropogenic emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels, emissions of SO2 from pesticide uses have the potential to contribute to the environmental and public welfare impacts of SO2 pollution. Oxidation of atmospheric SO2 may contribute to the negative environmental and public welfare impacts of acid rain, which include toxicity to aquatic organisms, fish, and terrestrial vegetation, and corrosion of man-made materials.

Keywords

Acid rain Acidification Agricultural Agriculture Black widow spider Botrytis cinerea California Chemical properties Department of Pesticide Regulation DPR Environmental fate Fumigation Gray mold disease Latrodectus hesperus Oxidation Pesticide Use Reporting Pesticides Physical properties PUR SO2 Sulfur dioxide Transport Winemaking Wineries Winery 

Abbreviations

ATSDR

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

CARB

California Air Resources Board

DPR

California Department of Pesticide Regulation

Koc

Soil adsorption coefficient

Kow

Octanol-water partition coefficient

NAAQS

National Ambient Air Quality Standards

NAMS

National Air Monitoring Stations

PUR

Pesticide Use Reporting

SLAMS

State and Local Air Monitoring Stations

USDA

United States Department of Agriculture

USEPA

United States Environmental Protection Agency

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author would like to thank the scientists at the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, with special acknowledgment to Minh Pham, Edgar Vidrio, Randy Segawa, Pam Wofford, and Madeline Brattesani.

Disclaimer

The mention of commercial products, their source, or their use in connection with material reported here is not to be construed as either an actual or implied endorsement of such products.

Conflict of Interest

The author has no conflicts of interest to declare; however, it should be noted that DPR is the author’s employer and the source of the PUR records analyzed within this report. The findings and conclusions of this report are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of DPR.

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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.California Department of Pesticide Regulation, Environmental Monitoring Branch: Air ProgramSacramentoUSA

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