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Neonic Pesticides in US Drinking Water

April 8th, 2017

An article from the BBC website that we should all be concerned about…

Small traces of the world’s most widely used insecticides have been detected in tap water for the first time.

Samples taken by scientists in the US state of Iowa showed that levels of neonicotinoid chemicals remained constant despite treatment.

However drinking water treated using a different method of filtration showed big reductions in neonic levels.

Scientists say they cannot draw any conclusions relating to human health but argue that further study is needed.

Rapid uptake

The use of neonicotinoids has increased rapidly since their introduction in the early 1990s.

These systemic chemicals were seen as an advance because they are usually applied as a seed coating and are lethal to insects but not to other species.


In the US, sales of seeds pre-treated with neonics tripled from 2004 to 2014.

However concerns over their environmental impacts have also grown and they have been consistently associated with causing harm to bees. So great has the worry been, that there has been a moratorium on their use on flowering crops in the European Union since 2013.

A study in 2015 from the US Geological Survey (USGS) found that neonics were widespread in water samples collected from 48 different rivers and streams in the US.

This new study from the USGS and the University of Iowa, looked at tap water that was treated in two different filtration systems.

Samples from the University of Iowa treatment plant barely removed any of the three main neonic chemicals, clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam.

Water taken from the Iowa City treatment facility removed 100%, 94% and 85% respectively, of these substances… to read the entire article click here