Pesticides are Raining Down on Us – Led by Glyphosate and Atrazine
A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey has determined that pesticide use continues to result in pesticide content in rain samples.
The newly published research compared tests for rain samples taken in 1995 with rain samples in 2007. In 1995, seven different pesticides were found in more than 50% of the rain samples, and in 2007, five pesticides were found in more than 50% of the rain samples.
The 2007 samples contained glyphosate (Roundup), atrazine, metolachlor, propanil and gyphosate’s derivative, AMPA. Glyphosate was found in more than 75% of the rain samples.
The good news was that the overall pesticide content of the samples from 2007 were lower than those in 1995.
But the types of pesticides have changed, as certain pesticides were not being used as much in 1995 as they were in 2007. Glyphosate application jumped from 11,000 tons in 1992 to 88,000 tons in 2007. By 2011 that use has jumped to over 90,000 tons.
It should also be noted that glyphosate use has increased dramatically with GMO production, and the unregulation of GMO seeds that resist glyphosate will further increase use of the chemical.
A 2011 study by researchers from the University of Minnesota’s School of Public Health found that rain samples had as much as 2.5 micrograms per liter of glyphosate content.
Another U.S. Geological Survey study found that glyphosate pollution has been rising in the Mississippi River watershed.
So next time it rains just remember that our pesticide use is coming back to us, not only in the form of poisoning our soils, watershed and groundwaters, but it is also raining down on us.
We can change the world with our wallets. Let’s choose organic foods.
Majewski MS, Coupe RH, Foreman WT, Capel PD. Pesticides in Mississippi air and rain: A comparison between 1995 and 2007. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2014 Feb 19. doi: 10.1002/etc.2550.
Chang FC, Simcik MF, Capel PD. Occurrence and fate of the herbicide glyphosate and its degradate aminomethylphosphonic acid in the atmosphere. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2011 Mar;30(3):548-55. doi: 10.1002/etc.431.
Widely Used Herbicide Commonly Found in Rain and Streams in the Mississippi River Basin. Released: 8/29/2011 8:19:35 AM http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=2909#.UwgqoPldWTI