- Sundaram, K.M.S.
Environment Canada Forestry Service
Fenitrothion, 0, 0-dimentyl-0-(4-nitro-m-totyl) phosphorothioate, has been used extensively since 1969 for the control of spruce budworm in Canadian forests. Aerial application fo the insecticide at a dosage of 2 to 4 ozs AI/acre when budworm were in 3rd, 4th and 5th instar stages, prevented defoliation without serious hazard to forest plants, animals, birds and fish (Fettes 1968). The increasing utilization of the insecticides is primarily due to its high biological activity (Miyamoto 1969), short persistence (Yule and Duffy 1972), and ready degradability (Sundaram 1973) in forest environments. Current interest at the Chemical Control Research Institute (CCRI) centers on studying possible long term effect and significance of fenitrothion residues arising from its repeated use, on various nontarget species of fauna inhabiting the forest and exposed to the toxicant. To this end, it became necessary to develop sensitive analytical methods or to modify the existing ones for studying the insecticide and its breakdown products in various biological components of the forest. Despite the large number of methods described for quantifying fenitrothion residue in agricultural samples (for a review see Bowman and Beroza 1969), few can be used without modification, because of the high sensitivity, specificity and minimum interferences required in analyzing biological samples of forest origin. The present reports describes the development of a gas-liquid chromatographic (GLC) method of analysis of the parent insecticide, its oxon and the cresol hydolysis product in honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) pollen, beeswax and honey from forested areas which had been treated with fenitrothion applied by aircraft.