Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Pesticide Concentrations Decreasing

Date:
October 21, 2008
Source:
American Society of Agronomy
Summary:
The use of pesticides in the United States has been widespread for decades, and a new study shows the effects they have had as a contaminant in the nation's groundwater. The researchers took samples from over 300 wells and examined different contaminants that have been used over the years, with encouraging results as to the levels of concentration that the samples have measured.

The widespread use of pesticides across the United States has been in practice for decades, with little knowledge of the long-term effects on the nation’s groundwater.

The results of a new study show that samples taken from over 300 wells across the US have not retained a high concentration of pesticide contamination. The news is a result of a decadal long study to assess the extent of the impact of contaminants on the nation’s water supply.

Over the years, frequent research has detected pesticides in ground water around the country, including in aquifers used for drinking-water supply. Over the past few decades, the use of some pesticides has been restricted or banned, while new pesticides have been introduced. One goal of the study was to track the retention of various types of contaminants that would be found in the different pesticides used over the years.

Results for one of the first national studies on the presence of pesticides in groundwater were recently published by the U.S. Geological Survey in the September-October issue of the Journal of Environmental Quality. The study is a part of that agency’s federally-funded National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program.

“The results of this study are encouraging for the future state of the nation’s ground-water quality with respect to pesticides,” said Laura Bexfield, who conducted the data analysis. “Despite sustained use of many popular pesticides and the introduction of new ones, results as a whole did not indicate increasing detection rates or concentrations in shallow or drinking-water resources over the 10 years studied.”

Original samples were taken from the wells from 1993-1995, and compared with samples taken from 2001-2003. Laboratory analysis was performed using methods that allowed detection of pesticide compounds at concentrations as small as 1,000 times below USEPA drinking-water standards. Of the 80 compounds studied, only six were detected in ground water from at least 10 wells during both of those sample periods. Concentrations of these compounds generally were less than 0.12 parts per billion, or more than 10 times lower than applicable USEPA drinking-water standards.

Characterization of trends in pesticide occurrence and concentrations through time is important in determining how quickly ground-water systems respond to changes in chemical use and in identifying compounds that may pose a threat to water quality before large-scale problems occur. Continuing research is planned to track and understand changes in both ground and surface-water quality across the United States.

The NAWQA is an ongoing USGS program that provides an understanding of water-quality conditions and how those conditions may vary locally, regionally, and nationally; whether conditions are getting better or worse over time; and how natural features and human activities affect those conditions.

This article was included as part of the 316-page Journal of Environmental Quality supplement that houses two special collections of papers: the Environmental Impacts and Sustainability of Degraded Water Reuse Symposium and USGS National Water-Quality Assessment Ground-Water Trends Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society of Agronomy. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bexfield et al. Decadal-Scale Changes of Pesticides in Ground Water of the United States, 1993-2003. Journal of Environmental Quality, 2008; 37 (5 supplement): S-226 DOI: 10.2134/jeq2007.0054

Cite This Page:

American Society of Agronomy. "Pesticide Concentrations Decreasing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081020120052.htm>.
American Society of Agronomy. (2008, October 21). Pesticide Concentrations Decreasing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081020120052.htm
American Society of Agronomy. "Pesticide Concentrations Decreasing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081020120052.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

Raw: Wildfires in CA Burn Forest Asunder

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) An out-of-control Northern California wildfire has nearly 2,800 people from their homes as it continues to grow, authorities said Thursday. Authorities said a man has been arrested on suspicion of arson for starting the fire on Saturday. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins