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Legacy Pesticides Found in Chesapeake Bay Air Quality Samples

Scientists from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, in collaboration with the University of Maryland and the University of Delaware, established air quality monitoring stations in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. From 2000-2003, the team tested rain and air samples for several legacy pesticides. All of the pesticides tested for were detected in at least one air sample. The persistent chemicals, all of which have since been banned in the U.S., included chlordane and related chemical products such as heptachlor; lindane; aldrin and dieldrin; DDT; and mirex.

Nearly all the air samples contained lindane and chlordane products, and the pesticides with the highest mean concentrations were dieldrin and DDE (a degradation product of DDT).

After accounting for variability, the scientists concluded that some of the pesticide contamination came from local and regional sources, possibly when soils were disrupted, releasing pesticides into the air. However, the studies suggested that most of the pesticide contamination came from sources more than 60 miles away.

Read more here: http://ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jul11/emissions0711.htm

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