Indexed on: 01 Oct '16Published on: 01 Oct '16Published in: Environmental Science and Pollution Research
Organophosphorus pesticides (OPPs) are used worldwide and pose great risks to human health. However, information on their presence in agricultural soils at regional scale and the associated risks is limited. In this study, an extensive investigation on agricultural soils was conducted throughout the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) of China to reveal the status of OPP pollution. The total concentrations of the nine OPPs ranged from <3.0 to 521 ng g(-1) dry weight, with a mean of 64.7 ng g(-1) dry weight and a detection rate of 93 %. Dimethoate was found to be the primary compound, followed by methyl parathion and parathion. The highest concentrations of OPPs were found in Jiangsu province due to the intensive agricultural activities. The pollution of OPPs is also highly associated with the land use types. The lower concentrations of OPPs found in vegetable fields could be attributed to their easy photodegradation and hydrolysis in aerobic soils. There was no significant difference in microbial communities among the sample sites, indicating that OPPs in agricultural soils of the YRD region cause negligible effects on microbiota. The risks of OPPs in the soils to human health were further evaluated. The hazard indexes in all the soil samples were below 1, suggesting absence of non-cancer risks. This study provides valuable information for a better understanding of the pollution status of OPPs in agricultural soils and a scientific basis for soil quality assessments.