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Evidence of Pesticides in Farmland Streams and Groundwater:
The Heinz Center Reports … In this study it was found that all of the streams monitored in farm areas had “at least one pesticide at detectable levels throughout the year, and about 75% had an average of five or more.” In 83% of the streams, at least one pesticide was present in amounts exceeding aquatic life guidelines. In 4% of the cases, human health standards were also exceeded. Groundwater fared better. Although 60% of farm wells had pesticide at detectable levels, less than 1% exceeded health standards.
A 2006 US Geological Survey review of 51 studies over ten years reported that 96% of fish, 100% of surface water, and 33% of major aquifers sampled from 1992 to 2001 contained one or more pesticides. Nearly 10% of stream sites and 1.2% of ground water sites in agricultural areas, and 6.7% of stream and 4.8% of ground water site in urban areas contained pesticides at concentrations exceeding benchmarks for human health derived from US EPA standards and guidelines for drinking water.
Our human body is similarly contaminated with pesticides, pesticide-related compounds and other synthetic chemicals. A 2002 study led by Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers found an average of 91 industrial compounds, pollutants and other chemicals in the blood and urine of nine volunteers. A total of 167 chemicals were found in these individuals, none of whom worked with chemicals occupationally or lived near industrial facilities. Of the 167 chemicals found, 17 were pesticides or pesticide breakdown products. Seventy-six were carcinogens, 94 neurotoxins, and 79 developmental or reproductive toxins.
Pests can also become resistant to pesticides, increasing control costs, crop losses or other pest damage. Many natural enemies of pests are killed by pesticides, freeing pests from these natural controls.
Please see our previous post on a study concluded that Bed Bugs and may be other bugs may have developed resistance to conventional Pesticides and Insecticides.
Let us introduce Integrated Pest Management (IPM)!
IPM is an approach to solving pest problems by applying our knowledge & experience about pests (A pest is an organism which has characteristics that are regarded by humans as injurious or unwanted) to prevent them from damaging crops, harming animals, infesting buildings or otherwise interfering with our livelihood or enjoyment of life.
IPM means responding to pest problems with the most effective, least-risk option. It is control and Management of such nuisance pests by attempting to prevent, control and prevent without initially using any pesticides to kill or eradicate the pests.
IPM is designed to target the troublesome pest, and limit the impact on other organisms and the environment. Using pesticides to crops, animals, buildings or landscapes on a routine basis, regardless of need, is not IPM. Spraying of pesticides are always the last resort in an IPM program.
Pesticides are powerful chemical solutions for responding to persistent pest problems. It’s not smart, effective or affordable to use these chemicals when they are not necessary. Using IPM to prevent pest problems and minimize reliance on pesticides is the best solution for a healthy environment for everyone.
In recent years the majority of new pesticide registrations have met criteria set by EPA for “minimum risk” including lower hazards to human health and non-target organisms, and reduce potential for contamination of groundwater, surface water, and other environmental resources.
These EPA “minimum risk” pesticides include bio-pesticides, which are naturally occurring substances, microorganisms, or insecticidal substances produced by plants containing genetic material introduced specifically to control pests.