Carbon and hydrogen isotope analysis of parathion for characterizing its natural attenuation by hydrolysis at a contaminated site.
The applicability of compound-specific isotope analysis (CSIA) for assessing in situ hydrolysis of parathion was investigated in a contaminated aquifer at a former pesticide wastes landfill site. Stable isotope analysis of parathion extracted from groundwater taken from different monitoring wells revealed a maximum enrichment in carbon isotope ratio of þ4.9‰ compared to the source of parathion, providing evidence that in situ hydrolysis took place. Calculations based on the Rayleigh-equation approach indicated that the natural attenuation of parathion was up to 8.6% by hydrolysis under neutral and acidic conditions. In degradation experiments with aerobic and anaerobic parathion-degrading microbes, no carbon and hydrogen isotope fractionation of parathion were observed. For the first time, CSIA has been applied for the exclusive assessment of the hydrolysis of phosphorothioate-containing organophosphorus pesticides at a contaminated field site.