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Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
2016, Pages: 1-48

Degradation Processes of Pesticides Used in Potato Cultivations

M. Kurek, H. Barchanska, M. Turek

Department of Inorganic, Analytical Chemistry and Electrochemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Silesian University of Technology, B. Krzywoustego 6, 44-100, Gliwice, Poland.


Potato is one of the most important crops, after maize, rice and wheat. Its global production is about 300 million tons per year and is constantly increasing. It grows in temperate climate and is used as a source of starch, food, and in breeding industry.

Potato cultivation requires application of numerous agro-technical products, including pesticides, since it can be affected by insects, weeds, fungi, and viruses. In the European Union the most frequently used pesticides in potato cultivations check are: thiamethoxam, lambda-cyhalothrin and deltamethrin (insecticides), rimsulfuron (herbicide) and metalaxyl (fungicide).

Application of pesticides improves crop efficiency, however, as pesticides are not totally selective, it affects also non-target organisms. Moreover, the agrochemicals may accumulate in crops and, as a consequence, negatively influence the quality of food products and consumer health. Additional risks of plant protection products are related to their derivatives, that are created both in the environment (soil, water) and in plant organisms, since many of these compounds may exhibit toxic effects.

This article is devoted to the degradation processes of pesticides used in potato crop protection. Attention is also paid to the toxicity of both parent compounds and their degradation products for living organisms, including humans. Information about the level of pesticide contamination in the environment (water, soil) and accumulation level in edible plants complement the current knowledge about the risks associated with widespread use of thiamethoxam, lambda-cyhalothrin and deltamethrin, rimsulfuron and metalaxyl in potato cultivation.

Keywords: Potatoes, Pesticides, Thiamethoxam, Lambda-cyhalothrin, Deltamethrin, Rimsulfuron, Metalaxyl, Biodegradation Hydrolysis, Photodegradation Pesticides toxicity.

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