Nav: Home

Neonicotinoids detected in drinking water in agricultural area

April 05, 2017

Concern over the use of neonicotinoid pesticides is growing as studies find them in rivers and streams, and link them with declining bee populations and health effects in other animals. Now researchers report that in some areas, drinking water also contains the substances -- but they also have found that one treatment method can remove most of the pesticides. The study, conducted in Iowa, appears in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

Neonicotinoids are potent insecticides that are used widely around the world, often applied to seed coatings of crops. But some research has associated the compounds in certain cases with harm to bees. Other studies have suggested that chronic exposure to the compounds can cause developmental or neurological problems in other animals, too. The pesticides are so commonly used in agriculture that surveys of streams in farming-intensive regions in the U.S. have found that neonicotinoids are widespread in surface waters. Gregory H. LeFevre, David M. Cwiertny and colleagues wanted to investigate the fate of these compounds as water from the Iowa River and an aquifer supplied by the river is treated and ends up at the tap.

The researchers tested water as it went through two different water treatment systems. They found that a system serving Iowa City, which uses granular activated carbon filtration, removed 100 percent, 94 percent and 85 percent of the neonicotinoids clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam, respectively. The rapid sand filtration system serving the University of Iowa reduced the same substances only by about 1 percent, 8 percent and 44 percent, respectively. Drinking water samples from this treatment plant contained between 0.24 and 57.3 nanograms of individual neonicotinoids per liter. Regulatory limits for these substances are not currently in place as researchers are still working to understand if and how neonicotinoids impact human health, the researchers note. They add that more studies are needed to figure out whether chronic, low-level exposure to neonicotinoids might be harmful.
-end-
The authors acknowledge funding from the University of Iowa Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination, the National Science Foundation Graduate Researcher Fellowship Program and the U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program.

The paper will be freely available on April 5 here: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.estlett.7b00081

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world's largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us: Twitter | Facebook

American Chemical Society

Related Pesticides Articles:

Nanozymes -- efficient antidote against pesticides
Members of the Faculty of Chemistry of the Lomonosov Moscow State University have developed novel nanosized agents -- nanozymes, which could be used as efficient protective and antidote modalities against the impact of neurotoxic organophosphorous compounds: pesticides and chemical warfare agents.
Study examines pesticides' impact on wood frogs
A new study looks at how neonicotinoid pesticides affect wood frogs, which use surface waters in agricultural environments to breed and reproduce.
USDA announces $1.8 million for research on next generation pesticides
The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $1.8 million in available funding to research new, environmentally friendly pesticides and innovative tools and strategies to replace an older treatment, methyl bromide.
Light therapy could save bees from deadly pesticides
Treating bees with light therapy can counteract the harmful effects of neonicotinoid pesticides and improve survival rates of poisoned bees, finds a new UCL study.
The effects of pesticides on soil organisms are complex
There are significant interactions between soil management factors, including pesticide application, with respect to effects on soil organisms.
Pesticides used to help bees may actually harm them
Honeybees from chlorothalanil-treated hives showed the greatest change in gut microbiome.
Research associates some pesticides with respiratory wheeze in farmers
New research from North Carolina State University connects several pesticides commonly used by farmers with both allergic and non-allergic wheeze, which can be a sensitive marker for early airway problems.
Electronic nose smells pesticides and nerve gas
Detecting pesticides and nerve gas in very low concentrations. An international team of researchers led by Ivo Stassen and Rob Ameloot from KU Leuven, Belgium, have made it possible.
Honeybees pick up 'astonishing' number of pesticides via non-crop plants
A Purdue University study shows that honeybees collect the vast majority of their pollen from plants other than crops, even in areas dominated by corn and soybeans, and that pollen is consistently contaminated with a host of agricultural and urban pesticides throughout the growing season.
Common pesticides kill amphibian parasites, study finds
A recent study by Jessica Hua, assistant professor of biological sciences at Binghamton University, and colleagues, explored the effects of six commonly used pesticides on two different populations of a widespread parasite of amphibians.

Related Pesticides Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#530 Why Aren't We Dead Yet?
We only notice our immune systems when they aren't working properly, or when they're under attack. How does our immune system understand what bits of us are us, and what bits are invading germs and viruses? How different are human immune systems from the immune systems of other creatures? And is the immune system so often the target of sketchy medical advice? Those questions and more, this week in our conversation with author Idan Ben-Barak about his book "Why Aren't We Dead Yet?: The Survivor’s Guide to the Immune System".