Pesticides in rainwater in Flanders, Belgium: results from the monitoring program 1997–2001
In 1997 the Flemish Environmental Agency (FEA) started a monitoring program “Pesticides in Rain in Flanders, Belgium”. The original purpose of the monitoring program was to examine the possible occurrence of dichlorvos in rainwater and subsequent deposition. However, it was thought necessary from the beginning to monitor a wide range of pesticides. During the first year some 62 pesticides and metabolites and 9 polychlorinated biphenyls, were monitored at 4 locations. Nowadays the monitoring program has grown up to more than 100 pesticides and metabolites and 11 polychlorinated biphenyls examined at 8 different locations. Rainwater is collected continuously and samples are examined for pesticides and PCB's on a weekly basis. In agreement with other European studies pesticides are found in rainwater samples during times of application. Pesticides which are most frequently detected are α-, β-endosulfan and endosulfan sulfate, γ-HCH (lindane), dichlorvos, atrazine, diuron, DNOC, glyphosate and AMPA and isoproturon. Furthermore it was seen that most pesticides showed a deposition pattern related to local spraying operations.