Investigation of the Abiotic Reduction of the Herbicides Trifluralin and Pendimethalin

Project Staff: 

Principal Investigator: William Arnold, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering

Funding: 

USGS-WRRI 104B/ CAIWQ Competitive Grants Program

Project Duration: 

March 2000 - February 2001

Summary: 

Trifluralin and pendimethalin are dinitroaniline herbicides commonly used in Minnesota for agricultural purposes. As a result, low concentrations of both herbicides have been detected as contaminants in groundwater, surface water, and air. The EPA classifies them as persistent-bioaccumulative toxins, but their environmental impact and potential threat to public health are not well understood. To investigate their fate in groundwater, William Arnold, assistant professor, Department of Civil Engineering, was awarded a grant to evaluate the potential role of abiotic reduction as a sink for these compounds under a variety of groundwater conditions. He also will identify transformation products resulting from such reactions so that the potential environmental and human health effects of these compounds on the environment can be better understood.