Journal of environmental quality

Leaching of Glyphosate and Aminomethylphosphonic Acid through Silty Clay Soil Columns under Outdoor Conditions.

PMID 26436283


Glyphosate [-(phosphono-methyl)-glycine] is the main herbicide used in the Chianti vineyards. Considering the pollution risk of the water table and that the vineyard tile drain may deliver this pollutant into nearby streams, the objective of the present study was to estimate the leaching losses of glyphosate under natural rainfall conditions in a silty clay soil in the Chianti area. The leaching of glyphosate and its metabolite (aminomethylphosphonic acid [AMPA]) through soils was studied in 1-m-deep soil columns under outdoor conditions over a 3-yr period. Glyphosate was detected in the leachates for up to 26 d after treatments at concentrations ranging between 0.5 and 13.5 μg L. The final peak (0.28 μg L) appeared in the leachates approximately 319 d after the first annual treatment. Aminomethylphosphonic acid first appeared (21.3 μg L) in the soil leachate 6.8 d after the first annual treatment. Aminomethylphosphonic acid detection frequency and measured concentration in the leachates were more than that observed for the glyphosate. Aminomethylphosphonic acid was detected in 20% of the soil leachates at concentrations ranging from 1 to 24.9 μg L. No extractable glyphosate was detected in the soil profile. However, the AMPA content in the lowest layer ranged from 13.4 to 21.1 mg kg, and on the surface layer, it ranged from 86.7 to 94 mg kg. Overall, these results indicate that both glyphosate and AMPA leaching through a 1-m soil column may be potential groundwater contaminants.