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Chemosphere

Time-integrated sampling of glyphosate in natural waters.


PMID 23044352

Abstract

Environmental monitoring of pesticide residues in surface water is often done with time-integrated sampling where a specified volume is sampled each hour during, e.g., a week, thus avoiding at momentary high or low extreme concentrations. However, sampling over an extended period of time can result in losses of easily degradable analytes, why the stability of the target analytes over the timespan of the sampling must be checked. Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides. Because of its chemical complexity, glyphosate binds differently to metals and colloids at different pH, and the degradation may also be affected. Recovery of glyphosate from spiked natural waters after 1 and 3 weeks of storage was higher when the samples were acidified to approximately pH 2 rather than at their natural pH. Keeping the samples refrigerated to 4°C in darkness also enhanced recovery, while glyphosate losses were substantial from samples kept at their natural pH at 20 °C. Total loss of glyphosate was observed in some samples kept at natural pH, 20 °C, and daylight; a loss partly due to binding to metals or colloids that could only partially be reversed by acidification. For 1-week time-integrated sampling a small amount of hydrochloric acid in a piece of heat-sealed hydrophobic micro-porous tubing is added to the sampling bottles before deployment, a procedure that acidifies the samples during collection keeping them below pH 2 until analysis, thus minimising losses of glyphosate. The method also allows determination of the primary degradation product aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA).

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