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RETRACTED ARTICLE: Development of a screening tool to assess the temporal risk of pesticides leaching to groundwater using the source, target, vector approach. An Irish case study for shallow groundwater

  • Herve E. Labite
  • Enda Cummins
Article

Abstract

During this study, a groundwater screening tool was developed to assess the temporal risk of groundwater contamination from the use of pesticides. It is based on a source, vector, target approach. The method utilised in this study uses a semi-quantitative probabilistic risk assessment where the input parameters were classified and assigned a relative score from 1 to 5 (i.e. 1 = no risk and 5 = high risk). The model was parameterised by using national data and calibrated with 2 years of national pesticide groundwater monitoring data. After calibration, two specific sites were selected for model validation. Based on the presence of the source, vector and target, the evaluation indicated that the temporal risk is site specific (i.e. May to December for the country model, June to September for the Oak Park site and September for the Castledockrell site). A sensitivity analysis performed on the national scale revealed that the groundwater vulnerability category (gv), the clay content (cc%), the persistence of pesticides in soil (DT50) and the rainfall represented by wet day (wd) were the most important parameters that affected model predictions (correlation coefficients of 0.54, −0.39, 0.35 and 0.31, respectively), highlighting the importance of soil hydrogeological conditions, soil type and rainfall in influencing water model predictions. The model developed can help to identify the temporal risk from pesticides to groundwater and guide regulators in highlighting at-risk periods, therefore allowing more focused monitoring programmes.

Keywords

Screening tool Score Pesticide Monte Carlo Groundwater contamination Risk assessment 

Abbreviations

A

Application rate

AC

Soil air content

AF

Attenuation factor

BD

Bulk density

BW

Body weight

C

Water consumption

cc%

Score for texture

CF1, CF2 and CF3

Weighting factor for the source, vector and target, respectively

CEC

Commission of the European Communities

DAFF

Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

DAFM

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

dgw

Depth to groundwater

DT50

Pesticide half-life in soil

E

Evapotranspiration

EC

Effective concentration

ED50

Effective dose

EF

Model efficiency

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

ER

Effective precipitation

EU

European Union

FC

Soil field capacity

g

GUS score

Gr

Groundwater recharge

gv

Score for groundwater vulnerability category

GUS

Groundwater ubiquity score

H

Thickness of water table

I

Chemical intake

KH

Henry’s law constant

koc

Soil sorption coefficient

LD50

Lethal dose

LC50

Lethal concentration

LQ

Leached quantity

LOAEL

Lowest observed adverse effect level

m

Pesticide application month

NOAEL

No observed adverse effect level

NOEC

No observed effect concentration

NOEL

No observed effect level

P

Porosity

PCS

Pesticide Control Service

PD

Particle density

PEC

Predicted Environmental Concentration

PPP

Plant Protection Products

Pr

Precipitation

R

Risk ratio value

RC

Recharge coefficient

RF

Retardation factor

Rs

Overall month risk score

S

Score for source

soc

Soil organic carbon content of soil

T

Score for target

t

Number of days following the application month

TER

Toxicity exposure ratio

tp

Score for temperature

wd

Score for wet day

V

Score for vector

WHO

World Health Organization

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) under the Research Stimulus Fund. The authors are also grateful to Mannix A from the EPA and McManus SL from Trinity College who provided monitoring data at national and site scales, respectively.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UCD School of Biosystems Engineering, College of Engineering and ArchitectureUniversity College DublinDublin 4Ireland

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