Two schools in Southern Taiwan, one college school in an agricultural area and another senior high school in a metropolitan area, were selected for assay of 46 organophosphorus pesticides in air during July 2007. Analytical results for samples collected outside the classroom in an agricultural area showed that chlorpyrifos had the highest detection frequency (50%) and its median and arithmetical means of measured concentration were 7.1 and 10.8 ng/m3. No organophosphorus pesticide was detected outside the metropolitan area classroom. The assay results of concurrent air sampling inside and outside the classrooms in the agricultural area revealed chlorpyrifos concentrations of 17.1 and 10.2 ng/m3 and diazinon concentrations of 6.5 and 6.0 ng/m3. For both chlorpyrifos and diazinon, concentrations measured inside and outside did not significantly differ. Findings of the study show that only chlorpyrifos and diazinon were present in air of the agricultural area school. Highly toxic organophosphorus pesticides, which were banned or restricted by the Taiwan government, were not found in air of either agricultural or metropolitan area schools. Concentrations of chlorpyrifos presented in this study exceed those reported by other works during the past ten years. However, student inhalation exposure in agricultural area schools exceeds that in metropolitan areas, but integrated diversity assessment is necessary to examine indoor air concentrations of organophosphorus pesticides.
Key words: Agricultural, organophosphorus pesticides, inhalation exposure.
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