Take out pesticides in water, don't let them bug you

Let me see…

You’re a healthy person.

And when you go grocery shopping, you get the best produce, organic whenever possible and fresh. You pick food with minimum additives and preservatives. But keeping it convenient.

You try to eat healthy.

But what happens when you get home and have a glass of water?

Do you ever stop and think about what’s in your water?

Is your water making you healthy?

How can you get clean, healthy water?

As you’re sipping that glass of water, you might be looking out the window and noticing the lush green lawn from your neighbor across the street.

Not a weed in sight! How does he do it?

Pesticides are used in gardens, lawns and farmlands all across America. Pest control products are also used at home to control insects, rodents and those pesky cockroaches – my worst nightmare(!)

Fertilizing truck in crop fieldA toxic cocktail of chemicals is sprayed in crops across the country. These chemicals enter the soil and water, get absorbed by plants which end up in our supermarkets and packaged food.

You probably have some pesticides in your garage or kitchen cabinet too

However, specially outdoors, these chemicals make their way into rivers and streams, percolating into groundwater and finally reaching our water supply. This journey may take years, even decades.

According to the US Geological Service, pesticides permeate through the soil and can reach water-bearing aquifers below ground from crop fields, accidental farm spills and leaks, and even from improper disposal. Whatever amount is left on the soil can be potentially absorbed by the crops and plants growing from it.

So, one way or another we are ingesting pesticides.

As pesticides percolate into the soil and enter our water tables, the flow of water within the depths of the aquifer can take 10-50 years to show up in our drinking water wells(!)

I was stunned when I read about this…

Ground water flow decadesIn nature, everything is a cycle. Things percolating down into the soul go deep down into the aquifers and these in turn head up into lakes and streams and to our ground water supply. (Image: USGS)

Understanding this time lag is essential to forecast the impact of these chemicals in present and future generations, the time to act is now.

Pesticides for ant control, home lawn and landscape care often contain pyrethroids, which attach to soil particles and may be washed away into waterways.

They are generally not toxic to humans but are toxic to fish, and guess what? We then eat the fish.

Another popular pesticide, although withdrawn from the market by early 2000s, contained organophosphate, poisonous to the nervous system and highly soluble in water.

The dangers of pesticides in drinking water depends on how much exposure these is to them and the level of toxicity or how poisonous they are.

The public outcry about pesticides in our water is relatively recent

One of the reasons, according to a study by Cornell University (albeit a little old), is that pesticides, a small category of synthetic organic compounds, have been used extensively just within the past 40 years; it is a modern chemical.

Another reason is that laboratory capabilities to detect these chemicals have improved only in the last 10 years or so.

That means, that there is an increase in pesticide use and an improvement on methods of detection. These two things have shed light on the impact of pesticides in our water supply only recently.

In an article form the National Pesticide Information Center, find tips to prevent pesticide contamination in our water supplies, here.

Industrial water pollutionWe don't get to see the back of these industries, where their waste disposal might not be up to regulation standards or these standards are all too low.

But pesticides in water are not the only contaminant out there...

Teflon in water has become yet another contaminant that our water treatment plants are not equipped to handle. The technology our towns have are limited and putting them up to speed is a costly and politically challenging ordeal.

Learn more about the dangers of PFAs in water here.

By filtering and purifying your water at home with a state-of-the-art filter you can still take advantage of all the health benefits of being properly hydrated.

Also, learn more about staying hydrated on the go. While you’re running errands or at work, a water filter bottle can become a must have.

You can receive monthly snippets of useful and up-to-date information about water and staying healthy by subscribing to my newsletter, below, it’s free!

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Cornell University, Pesticides: health effects in drinking water, http://psep.cce.cornell.edu

National Pesticide Information Center, Drinking water and pesticides, http://npic.orst.edu

US Geological Service (USGS), Pesticides in groundwater, www.usgs.gov

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