Occurrence of 1,1′-dimethyl-4,4′-bipyridinium (Paraquat) in irrigated soil of the Lake Chad Basin, Niger

  • Crampon M
  • Copard Y
  • Favreau G
 et al. 
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Increased use of agrochemical products to improve yields for irrigated crops in sub-Saharan Africa has been accompanied by a significant increase in the risk of environmental contamination. Detailed examples of the fate of pesticides after initial spreading on crop fields are scarce in tropical regions, where safe practices and related health risks are poorly understood by smallholder farmers. In the semi-arid environment of the Lake Chad Basin, SE Niger, both intrinsic properties of pesticides and extrinsic factors such as soil and climate helped to characterize processes leading to an accumulation of pesticides in soils. Analysis by HPLC-UV of a 6 m deep soil profile showed the presence of Paraquat at concentrations from 953 +/- 102 mu g kg(-1) to 3083 +/- 175 mu g kg(-1) at depths between 0.80 and 2.75 m below the land surface. Soil analysis revealed that up to approximately 15 % of the total soil matrix consists of smectites, a clay mineral capable of retaining cationic pesticides such as Paraquat, and a very low content of organic matter (

Author-supplied keywords

  • Lake Chad
  • Paraquat
  • Sahel
  • Semi-arid region
  • Soil pollution
  • Vertisol

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