Persistence of aerially-sprayed naled in coastal sediments

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Aerial sprays of the organophosphate pesticide, naled, were intensified over beach areas during the summer of 2016 to control the locally-acquired Zika outbreak in the continental U.S. Concerns were raised in beach frequented areas about contaminated sediments. The aim of this study was to evaluate the persistence and levels of naled and its byproduct, dichlorvos, in sediments obtained from the affected areas. Laboratory experiments were designed to simulate the effect of various natural conditions on the decomposition of naled in three sediment types (beach sand, marl, and calcinated beach sand). The three sediment samples were also exposed to field aerial sprays. After 30 min of exposure, more dichlorvos was detected in the sediments than naled, with 33 to 43% of the molar concentration initially applied as either naled or dichlorvos. Under dark conditions, trace levels of naled were observed after 24 h on sediments. Higher temperature accelerated the natural decomposition of both naled and dichlorvos in sediments. The half-life of naled ranged from 3 to 5 h at 22.5 °C and ranged from 1 to 3 h at 30 °C. Expedited decomposition of naled was observed under sunlight conditions with a half-life of naled of 20 min. In the field, only dichlorvos was detected in the sediment samples at concentrations between 0.0011 and 0.0028 μmol/g 1 h after aerial sprays. This data can be used towards a risk assessment that evaluates exposures to naled and dichlorvos through beach sands impacted by aerial spray activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number148701
JournalScience of the Total Environment
StatePublished - Nov 10 2021


  • Aerial spray
  • Dichlorvos
  • Mosquito control
  • Naled
  • Sediments
  • Zika virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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