A strategy to determine the fate of active chemicals in soil – applied to antimicrobials

Berendsen, B.J.A.; Roelofs, G.; van Zanten, B.T.H.; Driessen-van Lankveld, W.D.M.; Pikkemaat, M.G.; Bongers, I.E.A.; de Lange, E.


The European Commissions aims for a toxic-free environment.
However, some chemical use is unavoidable in our food production
system, e.g. for pest control in crops or to treat sick animals. These
chemicals are released into the environment. It is of primary concern
to understand the safety hazards arising from the use of such
chemicals, also on the long term. Particularly persistent chemicals are
a potential hazard as residues might accumulate over time and exert
negative effects on ecosystems’ functions, animals or humans. We
need to understand:
1) what chemicals are introduced into the food production system;
2) the persistence of these chemicals;
3) how these persistent chemicals are translocated among reservoirs
and where they potentially accumulate.
Here we present a simple yet effective strategy to determine the fate
(persistence and mobility) of chemicals. Antimicrobials that are
introduced into agricultural soil via manure are taken as a case study.