Monitoring and Assessment of Pesticides and Transformation Products in the Environment
The presence of pesticide residues in various environmental matrices as a result of their agricultural and non-agricultural use has led to the need for comprehensive monitoring schemes not only for pesticide screening but also for the establishment of cause/effect relationships in order to assess the environmental risk in all compartments. Environmental monitoring programs are essential to control the compliance with standards and quality objectives and to provide early warning detection of pollution. They also act as the basis for efficacious measures, strategies and policies to deal with environmental problems at a local, regional or global scale.
In this chapter, the purpose and design of pesticide monitoring programs are presented. A brief description of each type of monitoring (water, soil, sediment, biota, and air) is given discussing the influencing factors. Occurrence and levels of pesticides in the different environmental compartments during the last 15 years are also reviewed.
Key factors of exposure evaluation such as environmental and pesticide parameters are summarized. Furthermore, the steps for risk characterization of individual pesticides and mixtures are given while different risk assessment approaches are discussed. The scientific knowledge obtained from the monitoring and risk assessment procedures constitutes a powerful tool towards environmental sustainability.