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Pesticides In Water – A Serious Threat To Our Health
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Pesticides In Water – A Serious Threat to Our Health

Documentation has been mounting showing increasing pesticides in water, and a serious lack of regulatory response. These pesticides pose a serious health risk to all waterways, communities and life forms.

The Health Risks

Consuming pesticides in water have many serious health effects for mammals, aquatic life, birds, and other living organisms. Out of a long list of proven effects are endocrine disruption, increases in cancer rates, low birth rates and low sperm counts.

Runoff from dozens of pesticides coming from farms and residential usage are contaminating waterways and are escaping regulatory oversight. These waterways are the sources for virtually all municipal water treatment facilities for usage in residential homes.

Clean untainted water is the basic building block of all life, and is essential for all life forms. The concentrations of these toxins in our environment are increasing to the point of crises. As concerned citizens, we must demand that steps be taken to curtail pesticide usage. To avoid pesticides in water, we must adopt alternative, more natural and organic practices. Studies have found that one or more pesticides have been found in all surface water samples, nearly all fish, and over 35% of major aquifers.

Sources of Pesticides in Water

Every year in the U.S., over a billion pounds of pesticides are applied in gardens, parks, lawns, golf courses, and on agricultural land. Some of this is absorbed by plants, but some is washed into the soil and causes groundwater contamination of the local aquifer. Pesticides in water are also washed into drainage ditches and flow into storm sewers, accumulate into creeks, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Depending where you live, a municipality will draw its source water from any of these sources for filtering of particulates, disinfection, and delivery to its local customers. Although municipalities deal with these issues fairly well, most of these facilities have no means to deal with pesticides in water.

A sizable percentage of residents draw their water directly from a drilled well on their property, tapping into the groundwater to feed their homes. This is putting them at risk by consuming contaminants in water. The U.S. Geological Survey has found that over 50% of samples from private and public wells are contaminated with one or more types of pesticides or herbicides, especially by the herbicide atrazine, and many are measured above the maximum permissible contaminate levels set by the EPA.

A Lax Regulatory System fails the Citizenry

Water quality standards developed by the EPA have been roundly criticized by concerned groups for setting the allowable levels of pesticides in water too high, and not setting standards for others. No real effort by the EPA is being put into regulation that would help curtail toxic pesticide usage. There’s a lack of initiative by any regulatory agency toward the adoption of non-chemical alternatives and practices that won’t pollute our environment.


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