Pes­ti­cides in wa­ter rare, but can be se­vere: study

The China Post - - BUSINESS -

A global study of pes­ti­cides in streams and wa­ter­ways re­leased Mon­day found that such pol­lu­tion is rare, but when found it ex­ceeded reg­u­la­tory lim­its about half the time.

The study in the Pro­ceed­ings of the Na­tional Academy of Sciences, a peer-re­viewed U.S. jour­nal, was based on a re­view of more than 800 stud­ies con­ducted in 73 coun­tries over the past five decades.

Of the some 2,500 aquatic sites cov­ered, just 2.6 per­cent of the sam­ples con­tained mea­sur­able lev­els of in­sec­ti­cides.

Re­searchers looked for 28 com­monly used in­sec­ti­cides rep­re­sent­ing all ma­jor in­sec­ti­cide classes.

“At the sites con­tain­ing in­sec­ti­cides, 52.4 per­cent of the de­tec­tions ex­ceeded reg­u­la­tory thresh­olds,” said the find­ings.

The study was led by Se­bas­tian Stehle and Ralf Schulz at the In­sti­tute for En­vi­ron­men­tal Sciences at Uni­ver­sity Koblenz-Lan­dau in Ger­many.

“Thresh­old level ex­ceedances were high even in highly reg­u­lated coun­tries and were pro­nounced for new-gen­er­a­tion in­sec­ti­cides.”

Re­searchers warned that the high lev­els of pes­ti­cide con­tam­i­na­tion they did find “con­sti­tutes an ex­ces­sive threat to aquatic bio­di­ver­sity,” said the study.

“Over­all, our anal­y­sis sug­gests that fun­da­men­tal re­vi­sions of cur­rent reg­u­la­tory pro­ce­dures and pes­ti­cide ap­pli­ca­tion prac­tices are needed to re­verse the global en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts of agro­chem­i­cal-based high-in­ten­sity agri­cul­ture.”

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