Environmental Reactivity, Persistence and Toxicity of Chloroacetamide Herbicides and Safeners: Toward the Design of ‘Greener’ Agrochemicals and Sustainable AgricultureEPA Grant Number: FP916942
Title: Environmental Reactivity, Persistence and Toxicity of Chloroacetamide Herbicides and Safeners: Toward the Design of ‘Greener’ Agrochemicals and Sustainable Agriculture
Investigators: Sivey, John David
Institution: The Johns Hopkins University
EPA Project Officer: Michaud, Jayne
Project Period: September 1, 2008 through August 31, 2011
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2008) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships
The overarching goal of this project is to determine the environmental behavior of chloroacetamide agrochemicals, including both herbicides and safeners. Safeners are chemicals designed to protect crop plants from the harmful effects of herbicides. Chloroacetamide herbicides and safeners are widely used in the United States. This research will determine which chemical transformations are important in controlling the fate and persistence of chloroacetamides in the environment. The identity and persistence of chloroacetamide transformation products will also be determined. We hypothesize that some environmental transformation products may be of greater concern (i.e., more persistent and/or toxic) than the parent compounds. Predictive structure-reactivity-toxicity models for chloroacetamide herbicides and safeners will be developed.
The reactivity of chloroacetamide herbicides and safeners in model environmental systems will be assessed. Specifically, the following reactions will be monitored in the laboratory:
- Hydrolysis at environmentally relevant pH and ionic strength conditions
- Reactivity with reduced mineral species under anoxic conditions
- Substitution reactions with environmental and biological nucleophiles
To facilitate the construction of structure-reactivity models, additional experiments will be performed with analytes that are structurally-similar to chloroacetamide herbicides and safeners.
This project will elucidate the rates, mechanisms and products of chloroacetamide transformations in environmental systems. The results of this work will facilitate the reverse engineering of “greener” agrochemicals. The impacts of this project include the protection human health, the preservation of at-risk water resources, and the advancement of agricultural sustainability.