Fate and Risks of Polar Pesticides in Groundwater Samples of Catalonia

  • Marianne Köck-SchulmeyerEmail author
  • Antoni Ginebreda
  • Miren López de Alda
  • Damià Barceló
Part of the The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry book series (HEC, volume 20)


Contamination of groundwater by pesticides is a subject of growing concern, first, because groundwater is the most sensitive and also the largest body of freshwater in the European Union and, second, because pesticides have been shown to be ubiquitous contaminants in this aquatic compartment. This work presents the results of a monitoring study carried out in Catalonia (NE, Spain) to investigate the occurrence of 22 multiclass polar pesticides in 13 different groundwater bodies where agricultural practice is significant, between 2007 and 2010. Results have shown a pesticide profile dominated by triazines (atrazine, simazine, terbuthylazine), although organophosphates such as dimethoate and phenylureas such as diuron and linuron show also an important contribution. The groundwater quality standards set by Directive 2006/118/EC for both individual and total pesticides levels were surpassed in several cases. The most contaminated groundwater bodies were located in areas with intensive agricultural activity (especially irrigated lands). Temporal trends indicate that the area known to be the most polluted by pesticides in Catalonia (Lleida) is changing over time to better conditions, whereas in others, pesticide pollution remains constant or slightly increases.


Catalonia Groundwater Monitoring Polar pesticides 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marianne Köck-Schulmeyer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Antoni Ginebreda
    • 1
  • Miren López de Alda
    • 1
  • Damià Barceló
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environmental ChemistryIDAEA-CSICBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Catalan Institute for Water Research-ICRAParc Científic i Tecnològic de la Universitat de GironaGironaSpain
  3. 3.King Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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