Gas-phase and particulate products from the atmospheric degradation of the organothiophosphorus insecticide chlorpyrifos-methyl

Autores UPV
Revista Chemosphere


The phosphorothioate structure is highly present in several organophosphorus pesticides. However, there is insufficient information about its degradation process after the release to the atmosphere and the secondary pollutants formed. Herein, the atmospheric reaction of chlorpyrifos-methyl (o,o-dimethyl o-(3,5,6-trichloropyridin-2-yl) phosphorothioate), is described for semi-urban or rural locations. The photo-oxidation under low NOx conditions (5-55 ppbV) was reproduced in a large outdoor simulation chamber, observing a rapid degradation (lifetime<3.5 h). The formation of gaseous products and particulate matter (aerosol yield 2-8%) was monitored. The chemical composition of minor products (gaseous and particulate) was studied, identifying 15 multi-oxygenated derivatives. The most abundant products were ring-retaining molecules such as o,o-dimethyl o-(3,5,6-trichloropyridin-2-yl) phosphorothioate, dimethyl 3,5,6-trichloropyridin-2-yl phosphate, o-methyl o-(3,5,6-trichloropyridin-2-yl) hydrogen phosphorothioate, 3,5,6-trichloropyridin-2-yl dihydrogen phosphate, 3,5,6-trichloropyridin-2-ol, and 3,5,6-trichloropyridine-2,4-diol. An atmospheric degradation mechanism has been proposed based on an oxidation started with OH-nucleophilic attack to P=S bond. The results have been extrapolated to other organothiophosphorus molecules, such as malathion, parathion, diazinon and methidathion, among many others, to estimate their photo-oxidative degradation and the expected products.