The role of indirect photochemical degradation in the environmental fate of pesticides: a review†
Photochemical degradation contributes to the environmental fate of many pesticides in surface waters. A better understanding of the role of direct and indirect photochemical degradation of pesticides is necessary in order to predict their environmental fate and persistence. This review includes all major pesticide classes and focuses on the importance of dissolved organic matter (DOM) as a sensitizer in indirect photodegradation within aquatic systems. Photochemical studies conducted under environmentally relevant conditions (i.e., aqueous solutions with irradiation wavelengths >290 nm) are included. Comparisons are made between observed photodegradation rates in pure or buffered water and in water containing DOM to assess the extent of pesticide susceptibility to DOM-sensitized indirect photolysis. When data is available, the role of specific reactive species in indirect photodegradation is described. While it is possible to assess the relative importance of direct and indirect photodegradation on a pesticide-by-pesticide basis in many cases, it is often difficult to make generalizations based on compound class. Knowledge gaps and inconstancies in the current body of literature are discussed and areas that require additional research are described.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Aquatic photochemistry