Toxins in the Water II
Welcome to the second week of toxins in water! If you missed the first week, we talked about the types of contaminants that can be in water.
This week we are going to start to discuss the toxins that may be in our water.
The possible contaminants that were mentioned last week include:
- Insecticides and herbicides
- Petroleum hydrocarbons, including fuels
- Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs)
- Chemical compounds found in personal hygiene and cosmetic products (medicine)
- Ammonia from food processing waste
- Fertilizers containing nitrates and phosphates
This week we are going to start to talk about insecticides and pesticides.
Are these toxins really in my water?
To find out if these toxins are in your water, visit EWG’s site.
Why are these toxins in my water?
There are a few major routes through which insecticides and pesticides reach the water:
- they may drift outside of the intended area when it is sprayed
- they may percolate, or leach, through the soil
- they may be carried to the water as runoff
- they may be spilled (source)
- they may be carried to water by eroding soil (source)
In streams sampled by NAWQA, at least one pesticide or degradate was detected more than 90 percent of the time in water, in more than 80 percent of fish samples, and in more than 50 percent of bed-sediment samples collected during 1992– 2001 (source)
What types of insecticides and pesticides are we talking about?
PESTICIDES MOST OFTEN IMPLICATED IN SYMPTOMATIC ILLNESSES, 1996
|Rank||Pesticide or Pesticide Class||
< 6 years
|2||Pyrethrins and pyrethroids**||1100||2850||3950|
|3||Pine oil disinfectants||1336||903||2246|
|All Other Pesticides||
|Total all pesticides/disinfectants||7279||15,015||22,433|
* Totals include a small number of cases with unknown age.
** Rough estimate: includes some veterinary products not classified by chemical type.
Source: American Association of Poison Control Centers, Toxic Exposure Surveillance
In the next few weeks, we will talk about the top inseticides and pesticides found in water and the toxic effects they can have.
Do you worry about things like inseticides and pesticides in your water?