Pesticides are a broad class of compounds used to kill a wide range of unwanted pests encountered in agricultural operations, including insects, rodents, fungi and unwanted plants. Organophosphorus pesticides (OP), generally thiophosphate or phosphate ester compounds, work by inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, which is essential to both insect and human nervous system function. As such, OP pesticides pose a health risk not only to the pests it targets, but also to humans coming into contact with residues.
In this study, a Soxhlet extraction technique is used to extract target pesticides from soil samples. Following extraction, the extracts are analyzed by liquid injection into a PerkinElmer Clarus® SQ8 GC/MS system. The results demonstrate that the method is accurate and reliable in the analysis of OP pesticides in soil samples.