Toxic Thursdays-Toxins in Water II

19 Jan

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?


Rank Pesticide or Pesticide Class


< 6 years

Adults6-19 yrs. Total*
1 Organophosphates


3274 4002
2 Pyrethrins and pyrethroids** 1100 2850 3950
3 Pine oil disinfectants 1336 903 2246
4 Hypochlorite disinfectants


1291 2109
5 Insect repellents 1081 997 2086
6 Phenol disinfectants


405 1040
7 Carbamate insecticides


817 1030
8 Organochlorine insecticides


454 685
9 Phenoxy herbicides


387 453
10 Anticoagulant rodenticides


33 209
All Other Pesticides


3604 4623
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


What’s next?

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?


2 Responses to “Toxic Thursdays-Toxins in Water II”

  1. Corinne @ RI Nutrition Housecalls January 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    Yes I do worry about it. I drink a lot of water which I filter from the tap but I wonder how much of the nasty stuff really gets filtered out.


  1. Toxic Thursday-Toxins in Water III « naturallyhealthyandgorgeous - February 9, 2012

    […] Welcome to the third week of my blog series about toxins in water!  If you missed the first and second week,we talked about the types of contaminants that can be in water and why pesticides and insecticides are in our water. […]

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