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Lax limits on agrotoxics in drinking water

In Americas on July 26, 2011 at 9:18 pm

By Mario Osava

Brazil sets acceptable drinking water limits for 22 different types of pesticides and fertilisers, 13 heavy metals, 13 solvents and six disinfectants. However, these are sometimes exceeded for economic reasons or due to inadequate monitoring.

Up to 1977, health authorities decreed that water for human consumption could not contain residues of more than 12 toxic agricultural chemicals or 10 metals, with no further details.

Since then the regulations have been updated twice, in 1990 and 2004, with amendments that have “legalised” residues of new chemical inputs used in agriculture and industry, complained Dr. Wanderlei Pignati, a professor at the Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT).

The European Union, in contrast, only permits five agrotoxics, with maximum limits that are lower than the concentrations allowed in Brazil, and a total allowable concentration of pesticides that prevents all the individual agrotoxics from reaching their maximum tolerated level, a precaution that is not applied in Brazil.

Quality control of drinking water is still focused on eliminating bacteria, and does not take into account the increase in chemical contaminants, which…

Full article…

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