Glyphosate: Understanding its Atmospheric Transport and Fate

Chrostopher M. B. Lehmann, David A. Gay, John W. Scott, Wei Zheng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Glyphosate is a widely used agricultural chemical in the United States. It is an environmental contaminant of concern as a suspected carcinogen, although an evaluation of its health effects is ongoing. There is a need to better understand its transport and fate in the environment, particularly in sensitive ecosystems. Glyphosate is non-volatile and sorbs to soil particles. Studies have detected it in air and rainwater samples, suggesting that Its transport and fate in the atmosphere is linked to airborne particulate matter. The Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) and the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) have performed limited studies to assess the transport of glyphosate in the atmosphere. The National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) within ISWS collects rainwater and snowmelt samples at more than 300 locations across North America. Preliminary work performed at ISTC has demonstrated that glyphosate and several of its environmental decomposition products can be readily measured by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LCMS) down to 60 ng/L. ISWS and ISTC are seeking further funding opportunities to better characterize the atmospheric transport of this agricultural chemical of concern.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2017 Emerging Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment Conference
StatePublished - 2017


  • ISWS
  • ISTC


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