Modelling peak exposure of pesticides in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems: importance of dissolved organic carbon and vertical particle movement in soil
In the present work, an existing vegetation/air/litter/soil model (SoilPlusVeg) was modified to improve organic chemical fate description in terrestrial/aquatic ecosystems accounting for horizontal and vertical particulate organic carbon (POC) transport in soil. The model was applied to simulate the fate of three pesticides (terbuthylazine, chlorpyrifos and etofenprox), characterized by increasing hydrophobicity (log KOW from about 3 to 7), in the soil compartment and more specifically, their movement towards surface and groundwater through infiltration and runoff processes. The aim was to evaluate the role of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and POC in the soil in influencing the peak exposure of pesticides in terrestrial/aquatic ecosystems. Simulation results showed that while terbuthylazine and chlorpyrifos dominated the free water phase (CW-FREE) of soil, etofenprox was mainly present in soil porewater as POC associated chemical. This resulted in an increase of this highly hydrophobic chemical movement towards groundwater and surface water, up to a factor of 40. The present work highlighted the importance of DOC and POC as an enhancer of mobility in the water of poor or very little mobile chemicals. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the bioavailability change with time and parameterize this process in multimedia fate models.