Plant protection products endanger our waters

levels alarming high worldwide
The concentration of plant protection products in many German waters is often higher than permitted by the competent authorities. Results of a study by the University of Koblenz-Landau now show that the values ​​in streams and ponds are also alarmingly high worldwide. According to a report from the dpa news agency, co-author Ralf Schulz from the Institute of Environmental Sciences said: "It's the same in Germany as it is everywhere." There is little difference between countries with strict environmental legislation and less restrictive countries.

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Danger to biodiversity
The scientists evaluated 838 studies from 73 countries for their analysis. Schulz and his colleague Sebastian Stehle present the results in the "Proceedings" of the US National Academy of Sciences( "PNAS").Schulz emphasized that there is no direct danger for people in Germany that the drinking water is well monitored. The researchers collected 11,300 samples that detected toxic agents in the aquatic environment for insects and small crabs. In more than 50 percent of cases, the substances were more concentrated than allowed. According to the scientists, this endangers biodiversity. The damage has long been done in many streams and ponds, because the researchers rely on scientific articles from the years 1962 to 2012. For newer drugs, the picture was reportedly more questionable than in older.

Error in the use and approval of the insecticides
Schulz also expects a high number of unreported cases, as data from around ten percent of the world's waters is expected to be available. In addition, insecticides are often present only in two or three days a year in the waters. That's why there are no indications on many days."Even in heavily polluted waters, insecticides can only be found on a few days a year, because they are rapidly degraded or removed in the case of running waters," explained Schulz."But at high concentrations, a short time is enough to kill all insects in the water." Errors in the application and already in the approval of funds could be due to the high values. At launch the maximum levels would be considered too unrealistic.

farmers do not comply with regulations
As the Agency further writes, Jörn Wogram of the Federal Environmental Agency( UBA) also suspects that farmers do not comply with the provisions on the use of poisons. He also calls the findings of the investigation alarming. In this country, waters with a catchment area of ​​less than ten square kilometers would not be adequately monitored. But according to Wograms, these make up a large part of all watercourses. Furthermore, especially the small brooks and ponds would be closer to agricultural areas and would therefore be particularly exposed to insecticides.

samples are not specifically sampled
The UBA is currently conducting a preliminary study to monitor smaller waters, Wogram said. According to current planning, data could already be collected in 2018 for the first time. Wogram also criticizes the study of large bodies of water. Samples were taken instead of targeted, only in a rigid pattern. It was therefore only possible to prove whether short-term limit values ​​were exceeded. It would be better to examine the water if farmers sprayed adjacent fields or if rains washed the fabrics off the fields.

Tens of thousands dead by pesticides
pesticides are not only endangering biodiversity in waters, but also in other living things. A few years ago, researchers from the School of Natural Sciences at the University of Stirling, UK, found in a study that pesticides appear to play an important role in bumblebee and bee mortality. In addition, the chemicals also endanger people. Experts at the children's aid organization Terre des Hommes said years ago that around 40,000 people die each year as a result of pesticide poisoning, although it remains unclear how many of those affected are children. Symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, blurred vision, eye and skin damage, muscle cramps and unconsciousness occur during acute poisoning. According to health experts, the long-term consequences of pesticide poisoning include an increased risk of allergies and cancer, impaired concentration and infertility.(ad)

Pesticides Endanger Many Waters


Pesticides pollute many bodies of water worldwide. This has been shown in a study by the University of Koblenz-Landau. For years, chemicals have threatened biodiversity in streams and lakes. In Germany, the limit values ​​are often exceeded.

& gt; Image: FotoHiero /

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