Detecting Herbicides/ Pesticides?

Asked January 21, 2016, 9:39 PM EST

My name is Kelly Kepler and I am a junior in the IB program. I am writing my extended essay this year (a 4000 word essay on any topic) and I was hoping to look at how pH can affect the chemical degradation of pesticides/herbicides. I have been struggling with choosing a specific chemical to test, as there are many limitations with the equipment I have access to! I was wondering which herbicides/pesticides it would be easiest to do this with, and how I could possibly go about testing decomposition?

Larimer County Colorado

1 Response

Hello Kelly!
I admire your interest in the chemical degradation of pesticides. I have attached a short brochure from Loveland Products that discusses water quality and pesticide performance (Unfortunately..it had to be uploaded as JPEGs). You should also check out the Purdue Publication that talks about the impact of water quality on pesticide performance:
https://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/PPP/PPP-86.pdf
As for you conducting some tests using pesticides...I am a bit concerned about that as these are hazardous chemicals and you should be working with them only after you have received some safety training and under the supervision of someone who understands the hazards and can help with precautions to avoid exposure.
With that in mind, I think you could contact Dr. Delphine Farmer in the Dept of Chemistry at CSU. She conducts research on the fate of pesticides and may be willing to guide you in your endeavor. Who knows, she may be interested in you as a student after you graduate!
To contact her:
Dr. Delphine Farmer
delphine.farmer@colostate.edu
970-491-0624
Good luck with your project!
thia