During 2013, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation air quality sampling program in major agricultural areas found no detectable pesticide concentrations nearly 93 percent of the time.
In only 7.1 percent of the cases did it even find detectable concentrations, and only 2.6 percent had quantifiable concentrations.
Those are the draft results of an air monitoring program that the state began in 2011. Since then, it has monitored three sites: one in Salinas in Monterey County, one in Shafter in Kern County and one in Ripon in San Joaquin County.
Of the 226 communities considered, CDPR settled on these three because of pesticide use, demographics, availability of other exposure and health data.
The monitoring targeted 32 pesticides and five pesticide breakdown products, according to a news release.
One 24-hour sample was collected each week at each of the three sites. The starting date varied and was ramdomly selected.
Of the 32 pesticides and five breakdown products included in the program, 24 were detected in at least one sample. Nearly all concentrations were low relative to the screening levels, according to the release.
Of the products targeted, only chloropicrin and 1,3-dichloropropene, marketed as Telone among other brand names, exceeded any screening levels for any of the exposure periods.
Of the 24 pesticides detected, 10 were detected at trace levels, and 14 had quantifiable concentrations.
Eleven of those 14 were either fumigants or organophosphate insecticides. The other three were the herbicides oxyfluorfen and EPTC and the fungicide chlorothalonil.
The chemicals with the highest number of detections were chlorothalonil, the insecticide chlorpyrifos and the fumigant MITC or methyl isothiocyanate, also known as metam sodium.
View the complete report at CDPR.