About Pesticide in Your Water
The largest producer of food in the world is the United States. Needless to say, the use of pesticides has been increasing over the years to meet that need. The reason the United States has stepped into the forefront of food production is because of pesticides. These chemicals made it possible to control organisms like insects and weeds so that there is a greater chance of producing larger amounts of food. Although this is good, there is a negative associated with it. These pesticides find their way into our water systems, and they are known to do damage to human health.
How to Test for Pesticide in Water
According to the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, the Environmental Protection Agency and other governmental bodies are charged with regulating and monitoring the county’s water supply. Because of this, the contaminants that are in your water are at very low levels. This is how it is supposed to be, but you may have reason to test your water if you believe that it contains pesticides in greater numbers than the government has determined are safe. For example, water systems that provide the public with water are required to perform this testing. If your water comes from a private well, there aren’t any regulations, so testing for pesticide in water is encouraged.
If you are getting your water from a well, there are many ways that it could have been contaminated by pesticides. In the event that a neighbor’s well is contaminated, there is a chance that your well may be contaminated also. There may be a pesticide distributor near you. In that case, you will need to test your water for pesticides. If your well is shallow, it may be contaminated. Contamination also occurs when your well is near a place where pesticide has been mixed, spilled or tanks emptied a few hundred feet away from your well.
In order to find out if your water contains pesticides, you will need to take a sample to the laboratory. The scientists will screen for several contaminants. The best plan will be to arrange to have these tests on a regular basis. The Department of Public Health will be able to tell you where you can go for testing for pesticide in water. After you have located a laboratory that can do the test for you, you will be able to find out what the cost will be.
Is There A Safe Level of Pesticides in Water?
The Maximum Contaminant Level is the point at which pesticides can be present in the water without causing harm, and the Environmental Protection Agency has set these levels for many contaminants. Not all the contaminants in existence are currently on this list, but the EPA has a health advisory level set for some of these contaminants. These levels are not enforced by the EPA, but they can move a contaminant to the MCL list if it is warranted in the future.
How Does Pesticide Get Into Water?
Pesticides that farmers take care to apply correctly can still find their way into your water. Pesticides will either bind to the plant they were meant to protect, or they will degrade so that it is no longer toxic. If there is rainfall before either of these two events can happen, it will carry the pesticides to uncontaminated water sources. It also enters aquifers by water that passes through the soil.
When there is a problem with insects, fish or aquatic weeds, officials will spray pesticides directly into the water to control these species. They are not, however, supposed to be used in close proximity to a water supply system.
Sometimes, people misuse pesticides or spill or dump them where they should not be present. This increases the chances that they will end up in the drinking water. Homeowners have also been known to dump pesticides down their drains. This is the improper way of handling pesticides, and they can find their way into the water system.
Water treatment plants also add disinfectant pesticides to the water. These pesticides are the type that prevent bacteria and viruses found in the water from harming humans.
Health Issues Of Being Exposed To Pesticide In Your Water
Pesticides in the water are considered to be a health hazard. How much of the pesticide you ingest and the toxicity of the contaminant determines whether or not there will be any health concerns. How long you are exposed to the pesticide and how often also play a role in the level of toxicity. It also depends on whether or not you are particularly sensitive to a pesticide.
Pesticides are not always dangerous. These pesticides can exist at levels that are not harmful to humans. When pesticides are present in large amounts, they have been known to cause cancer and organ damage in laboratory animals. They also damage the reproductive systems of laboratory animals when present in large concentrations.
The research that has been done so far has shown that animals exposed to pesticides in high concentrations experience toxic effects. Some pesticides can also be present in medium or low levels of concentration, but they can still cause harmful effects. The amount found in drinking water is regulated to be at low levels, and the amount is not known to cause any side effects.
The Environmental Protection Agency has determined what the maximum levels for pesticides in drinking water are admissible. They set these levels based on their animal studies that were conducted over a long period of time. You are only expected to experience negative health effects if you ingest water that contains contaminants higher than the Maximum Contaminant Level. Therefore, if your water contains contaminants at higher levels, you must refrain from drinking it.
Ways To Eliminate Pesticide From Water
In the event that you discover that there is an unacceptable amount of pesticides in your water, you are advised to perform a second test. If it has rained, for example, that could be the reason for the high concentrations of pesticides. The levels do tend to go up and down over time.
The next thing you will need to do is contact your state health department to find out what your next action should be. You may be required to do another test. After you have learned what is present in your water and how much of it is located there, the public health department will be able to give you a health advisory summary. The summary will let you know if there are any non-cancer or cancer health risks in your water.
You also need to report your findings to your State Department of Agriculture. You may already be suffering from the effects of contaminants in your water. Be sure to visit your physician to inform him or her of this issue. You can also let the National Pesticide Telecommunications Network know the results of your tests.
Next, you will need to contact your EPA regional office to find out what the best method is for removing the particular pesticide that is present in your water. If you have a private well, the best plan is to dig a deeper well that will have less of a chance of contracting pesticides. However, this method does not always work. Until you know what you will need to do to correct this problem, drink bottled water.