Distribution and chemical fate of ³⁶Cl-chlorine dioxide gas during the fumigation of tomatoes and cantaloupe.J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Dec 03; 62(48):11756-66.JA
The distribution and chemical fate of (36)Cl-ClO2 gas subsequent to fumigation of tomatoes or cantaloupe was investigated as were major factors that affect the formation of chloroxyanion byproducts. Approximately 22% of the generated (36)Cl-ClO2 was present on fumigated tomatoes after a 2 h exposure to approximately 5 mg of (36)Cl-ClO2. A water rinse removed 14% of the radiochlorine while tomato homogenate contained ∼63% of the tomato radioactivity; 24% of the radiochlorine was present in the tomato stem scar area. Radioactivity in tomato homogenate consisted of (36)Cl-chloride (≥80%), (36)Cl-chlorate (5 to 19%), and perchlorate (0.5 to 1.4%). In cantaloupe, 55% of the generated (36)Cl-ClO2 was present on melons fumigated with 100 mg of (36)Cl-ClO2 for a 2 h period. Edible cantaloupe flesh contained no detectable radioactive residue (LOQ = 0.3 to 0.4 μg/g); >99.9% of radioactivity associated with cantaloupe was on the inedible rind, with <0.1% associated with the seed bed. Rind radioactivity was present as (36)Cl-chloride (∼86%), chlorate (∼13%), and perchlorate (∼0.6%). Absent from tomatoes and cantaloupe were (36)Cl-chlorite residues. Follow-up studies have shown that chlorate and perchlorate formation can be completely eliminated by protecting fumigation chambers from light sources.