University of California

Some effects of thallium sulfate upon soils


A. S. Crafts

Author Affiliations

A. S. Crafts was Assistant Professor of Botany and Assistant Botanist in the Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 10(10):375-398. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v10n10p375. December 1936.

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With the increasing use of poisons for pest control in agriculture, new and little-known chemicals are frequently introduced. The ultimate effects of these reagents upon soils and crops may present serious problems, and the continued use of certain of them cannot be safely recommended until their long-time behavior is understood.

Brooks (1)4 has warned of the possible sterilization effects of thallium sulfate used in rodent control, and McCool (4) has confirmed the highly toxic nature of this chemical in soils.

In pest control, toxicity is of eminent importance; and in weed work, soil effects are of special interest. Although thallium compounds are too expensive to be practical in weed control, their behavior in soils characterizes a certain type of toxic materials. A study of their reactions should contribute to our general information.

A preliminary report on work done on the problem of thallium toxicity in California soils has been published (2). The method used in toxicity studies, as already described by the author (3) in.a previous paper, consists principally in pot-culture tests using 500-gram lots of soils in No. 2 cans as the culture media. The chemicals to be tested are applied to the soils in various ways, and their effects upon indicator plants (Kanota oats) are measured by recording height and fresh weight of the latter after a 30-day growth period. The details of the individual tests with thallium will become apparent in the following pages.

Literature Cited

[1] Brooks S. C. Thallium poisoning and soil fertility. Science. 1932. 75:105-06.

[2] Crafts A. S. The effects of thallium sulfate upon soils. Science. 1934. 79:2038-62.

[3] Crafts A. S. The toxicity of sodium arsenite and sodium chlorate in four California soils. Hilgardia. 1935. 9(9):459-98. DOI: 10.3733/hilg.v09n09p459 [CrossRef]

[4] McCool M. M. Effect of thallium sulfate on the growth of several plants and on nitrification in soils. Boyce Thompson Inst. Contrib. 1933. 5(3):289-96.

[5] Prat S., Babicka J., Polivkova I. The resorption of mineral salts by roots. Publication de la Faculte des Sciences de L’Universite Charles. C. 1932. 121:1-23.

Crafts A. 1936. Some effects of thallium sulfate upon soils. Hilgardia 10(10):375-398. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v10n10p375

Also in this issue:

Lemon industry in California: Long-term projection of market potential for lemon juice products based on variable determinants of summer demand

Timing oil spray on valencias: Study indicates influence of application timing on effect of pest control oil spray on yield and juice of Valencias

Spread of tristeza on citrus: Melon aphid relatively inefficient carrier of quick decline virus but at its height can ruin orchard in about five years

Growth regulators on apricot: Seeds from apricot trees treated with growth regulators are inhibited in germination and any seedling growth is abnormal

Soil fungi and seedling growth: Citrus tree growth and soil population relationships being studied in series of greenhouse tests underway at Riverside

Parasites of alfalfa aphid: Natural enemies of spotted alfalfa aphid found in search of Europe and Middle East may become established in California

Range rodent control by plane: Cereal bait scattered by plane at rate of one pound or less per acre prior to seeding effectively controls range rodents

Application of meat tenderizer: Precooking holding periods for beef treated with tenderizers using papain as the activating agent found to be unnecessary

Performance of crossbred ewes: Study made of four types of first-cross ewes to evaluate use of rams of medium-wool, dual-purpose breeds for replacements

Potato hair sprout: Disorder of potatoes causes problem for processors and seed producers

The herbicidal properties of boron compounds

Toxicity of arsenic, borax, chlorate, and their combinations in three California soils

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