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pesticide and herbicide persistence in soils

I'm curious about the possibility of the persistence of insecticide and
herbicides in garden soil which we might be collecting and using for
growing aquatic plants. Some of these toxins are highly poisonous to
fish. How long can they remain toxic? Do they break down rapidly after a
few months? I have fruit trees in my back yard and I'm curious if the
previous owner used insecticides like Malathion. Does anybody know how
persistent it is?
Steve Pushak                              Vancouver, BC, CANADA 

Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page"      http://home.infinet.net/teban/
 for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!