Urban pesticides pollute 90% of America's rivers

Urban pesticides pollute 90% of America's rivers

By Anastasia Gubin

A new study published in September found that at least 90 percent of all the country's rivers and streams are contaminated with pesticides from the urban sector, and 61 percent from those from agriculture, the US Geophysical Service reported. (USGS), clarifying that only less than half of those that were in use in the last two decades were investigated.

This revelation served as an alarm to other nations that know that caring for the environment and human health is key to development.

Between 1992 and 2001, urban insecticides contaminated 53 percent of rivers and streams, the USGS reported, meaning that today there is less awareness of their use and their effects are doubling.

One of these insecticides is Fipronil, which directly affects the central nervous system of insects, the report highlighted.

Regarding pesticides from the agricultural sector, they also remain very high, although they registered individual rises and falls. In the 90's they polluted 69 percent of the waters and in the next 61 percent.

One of the examples given was the use of Diazinon, which was detected mainly in the 1990s. When there was a decrease in its use, a decrease in contamination was reflected between 1997 and 2001.

According to the USGS team, "rarely did levels exceed limits for human health," however they did for the health of aquatic life.

In this sense, the researchers acknowledge and note that the observations were limited to less than half of the 400 pesticides used and only measurements were made in the waters.

This means that all contamination levels were not quantified.

However, William Werkcheisen, USGS Director of Waters, stated that "the information gained through this important investigation is critical in assessing the risks associated with existing levels of pesticides."

The full study "Pesticides in US Rivers and Streams" It was published in the journal Ciencia y TecnologĂ­a del Medio Abiente - Enviromental Science and Technology in its official name, and can be read online here. (PDF in English)

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