Evaluating the PAS-SIM model using a passive air sampler calibration study for pesticides†
The main objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of a model for simulating the uptake of various pesticides on passive air samplers (PAS). From 2006–2007 a series of PAS using XAD-resin were deployed at Egbert, a rural agricultural site in southern Ontario, Canada, to measure the uptake of pesticides for time periods ranging from two months to one year. A continuous increase in sequestered amounts was observed for most pesticides, except for trifluralin and pendimethalin, which could conceivably be subject to substantial degradation inside the sampler. Continuous low-volume active air samples taken during the same period, along with data on weather conditions, allowed for the simulation of the uptake of the pesticides using the model (PAS-SIM). The modelled accumulation of pesticides on the PAS over the deployment period was in good agreement with the experimental data in most cases (i.e., within a factor of two) providing insight into the uptake kinetics of this type of sampler in the field. Passive sampling rates (PSR, m3 d−1) were determined from the empirical data generated for this study using three different methods and compared with the PSRs generated by the model. Overall, the PAS-SIM model, which is capable of accounting for the influence of temperature and wind variations on PSRs, provided reasonable results that range between the three empirical approaches employed and well-established literature values. Further evaluation and application of the PAS-SIM model to explore the potential spatial and temporal variability in PAS uptake kinetics is warranted, particularly for established monitoring sites where detailed meteorological data are more likely to be available.