Sorption of chlorpyrifos (CPF) from 2.85 microM (1 mg/L) aqueous solutions in 0.01 M NaCl to montmorillonite, kaolinite, and gibbsite was investigated at 25 degrees C. Uptake of CPF by kaolinite and gibbsite was generally <10%, with pH having at most a small effect. Sorption to montmorillonite was significantly greater, with approximately 50% of the initial CPF being removed from solution below pH 5. Above pH 5 the sorption decreased to about 30%. About 70% of CPF was sorbed to kaolinite and gibbsite after 30 min, whereas on montmorillonite only 50% sorbed in an initial rapid uptake (approximately 30 min) followed by slower sorption, with a maximum achieved by 24 h. Although CPF desorbed completely from kaolinite in methanol, only about two-thirds was desorbed from montmorillonite. CPF has only a weak affinity for the surfaces of kaolinite and gibbsite. In the case of montmorillonite, sorption is significantly stronger and may involve a combination of sorption to external surfaces and diffusion into microporous regions. At pH >6 increased negative surface charge results in a lower affinity of CPF for the external surface. In the presence of 50 mg/L humic acid (HA) the amount of CPF sorbed on gibbsite and kaolinite was 3-4 times greater than that in the binary systems. The HA forms an organic coating on the mineral surface, providing a more hydrophobic environment, leading to enhanced CPF uptake. The HA coating on montmorillonite may reduce access of CPF to microporous regions, with CPF tending to accumulate within the HA coating.