Synthetic pesticides are amongst the most heavily regulated chemicals worldwide. Although approaches in world regions differ, the regulations generally focus on demonstrating biological efficacy on the target organism(s), apart from information on the toxicology and ecotoxicology (to non-target organisms), dietary and operator exposure, behaviour in the environment, physical chemistry and analytical chemistry.
The behaviour of a pesticide in the environment is determined by the physical properties and metabolism/degradation of the compound. As highlighted above for ionisable organic compounds, one of the most important physical properties involved in environmental processes is soil adsorption. In this chapter the experiences gained by the agrochemicals industry whilst investigating the soil adsorption characteristics of synthetic pesticides are summarised.