The Phaserl


Pesticides Known to Kill Bees Found in U.S. Drinking Water

EPA has not defined safe neonicotinoid levels in drinking water

by Julie Fidler, Natural Society:

On April 5, a team of chemists and engineers at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the University of Iowa reported that they had discovered neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides, in treated drinking water. This finding marks the first time anyone has identified the chemicals in tap water. [1]

Gregory LeFevre, a study author and University of Iowa environmental engineer, said:

“Having these types of compounds present in water does have the potential to be concerning, but we don’t really know, at this point, what these levels might be.” [1]

Researchers collected samples last year from taps in Iowa City, as well as on the university campus, and found neonicotinoid concentrations ranging from 0.24 to 57.3 nanograms per liter. That’s based on a scale of parts per trillion, so the concentrations were very small – roughly equal to a single drop of water placed into 20 Olympic-size swimming pools, according to LeFevre.

However, the EPA has not defined safe levels of neonicotinoids in drinking water, partly because the pesticide class is relatively new. Most neonicotinoids were released in the 1990s and were designed to be more environmentally friendly than the competing chemicals. But neonicotinoids kill bees, and the EPA finally admitted as much in January 2016.

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