Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

MS in Public Health (M.S.P.H.)

Degree Granting Department

Public Health

Major Professor

Rene Salazar, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Raymond Harbison, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeffrey H. Driver, Dr.P.H., D.A.B.T., M.T., C.L.S.


Chlorpyrifos, Organophosphorus, Secondary spray drift, SOFEA


Chlorpyrifos (CPF) is a popular organophosphorus insecticide that is heavily used in the agriculture industry as a means of pest control. Chlorpyrifos is known for its toxic effect to inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (ACHE) in humans and is widely used in areas of California where the site of application is close to occupied areas, such that exposures to residents and bystanders can occur due to secondary drift. Secondary drift refers to the volatilization of a pesticide from the surface to which it was applied (e.g. soil or plant foliage) and subsequent off-site movement in ambient air. Secondary drift is different from spray drift, which occurs during and very shortly after application. The goal of this thesis is to evaluate existing measurements of secondary drift from ambient air measurements of CPF available from California’s Air Monitoring Network (AMN), in comparison to predictions using a state-of-the-art dispersion model. Pesticide use data were obtained from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) website and was compiled to form scenarios to be modeled and compared against measurements taken throughout the year. Probability distributions for the measured and predicted CPF concentrations resulted in correlations ranging from 3% to 91% depending on the year and modeled scenario. Overall the model overpredicted air concentrations for the modeled scenarios, providing conservative values for risk assessment purposes.