Pesticides Found In Most US Rivers And Streams
Associated Press | March 4, 2006
Most of the nation's rivers and streams and the fish in them are contaminated with pesticides linked to cancer, birth defects and neurological disorders, but not at levels that can harm humans.
Pesticides were found in almost all U.S. rivers and streams from 1992 to 2001, says a study released Friday by the U.S. Geological Survey, although most drinking water supplies have not been affected.
Most frequently detected in agricultural streams were three herbicides used mainly on farms: atrazine, metolachlor and cyanazine. Just last week, the Environmental Protection Agency settled a 2003 lawsuit brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council, forcing the government to assess whether atrazine threatens the survival of endangered Chesapeake Bay sea turtles, endangered Texas salamanders and 16 other aquatic species.
Three other herbicides used commonly in cities--simazine, prometon and tebuthiuron--showed up more often in urban streams.
The USGS looked for 100 pesticides and found 40 of them had a widespread presence in streams and sediment in urban and agricultural areas, at concentrations that could affect aquatic life or fish-eating wildlife. The pesticides showed up more than 90 percent of the time in the fish tissue.
Last modified March 6, 2006