• Learn to Manage Pests Naturally
  • LIving Near Fields Increases Pesticide Exposure
  • Learn to Keep Insects Out of your Crops
  • Grow a Lush Garden Organically
  • Weeds Can Be Managed Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Learn About Pesticides in Foods
  • SNAP Tour of Organic Vegetable Garden
  • Driving Near Recently Sprayed Fields Exposes People to Pesticides
  • Learn About Colony Collapse Disorder and How to Protect Bees
  • SNAP Display at Event


Pesticides in SK Water

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More on neonicotinoids at http://www.snapinfo.ca/issues/bee-die-off,  http://www.snapinfo.ca/info/fact-sheets/ neonicotinoids and http://www.snapinfo.ca/info/wildlife/birds

see also pesticide usewildlife section 

Tackling the Environmental Challenges of Rising Pesticide Use in Canada   By Dr Christy Morrissey (University of SK), UNBC-NRESI Colloquium Series, 14 October, 2022)  (University of Northern British Columbia colloquium series)    Great one hour video presentation by Dr Morrissey. Worth watching. Lots of graphs with information new to me: like 

  • the area treated (Canadian Census of Agriculture) maps for herbicide, fungicide and insecticide. Prairies saw a 58% increase in herbicides, 50% (conservative estimate) insecticides and 412% more fungicides. Also increase in BC, S. ON and everywhere in Canada. (@6 min 40). According to her data, SK uses 80% of all Canadian pesticides.
  • Landscape simplification drives higher pesticide use, especially insecticides.
  • risk of wetland contamination very high in most of areas of Prairies because of seed treatment, which is also the main reason for increased pesticide use.
  • Fungicides in seed treatment are used to potentiate the insecticide, not for disease prevention.
  • SK study relating increased pesticide residues in wetlands with reduced insect diversity and numbers.
  •  it takes only 15 minutes for Red-winged Blackbird to feel really sick from eating neonicotinoid treated seeds and quit eating (equivalent to 4 canola seeds). so whether it survives or not, depends on how much it ate.There is a razor-thin margin between losing body mass and dying.

Water Testing Offense: the Provinced Asked for It (Russell Wangersky, Regina Leader Post, 2 September 2022)   Environment and Climate Change scientists took water samples ner Pense and were confronted for being on private property and considered criminal trespassers. They were taking water samples to monitor for  pesticides. The Saskatchewan government was a stakeholder at a meeting where 'all stakeholders expressed support for strenghteming PMRA's information base for pesticide decisions through enhanced water monitoring and pesticide-use information." so should have know about and supported it rather than angry tweets and a letter of complaint to the federal minister. see also Trevor Herriot, Al Birchard: The Sask. government is fanning unfounded fears over water testing

Concentrations of Herbicides in Wetlands on Organic and Minimum-Tillage Farms (David B. Donald, Allan J. Cessna and Annemieke Farenhorst. Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - Wetlands and Aquatic Processes, September 13, 2018)   This paper includes an extensive bibliography of 'most of the citations for pesticides research conducted in the prairies from day one.'  Without subscription only the abstract is available. However, I received a paper copy of the article and will link to a psd of the bibliography.

Core Ideas:

  • Wetland biota may be at risk from toxic effects of herbicides.
  • We assessed 29 herbicides in wetlands on minimum-tillage and organic farms.
  • Fewer herbicides and lower concentrations were detected in wetlands on organic farms.
  • Detections were related to relative use, herbicide volatility, and water solubility.
  • Herbicides in wetlands on minimum-tillage farms were usually below toxic thresholds                                                                                                Concentrations of clopyralid were significantly higher in wetlands on minimum-tillage farms than in those on organic farms, whereas no significant difference was observed for any of the other five herbicidesGlyphosate, including its degradation product AMPA, was detected in >50% frequency only in wetlands on minimum-tillage farms where the mean concentration (1278 ng L−1) was higher than the concentration of other herbicides.SNAP Comment: I disagree with the following conclusion because pesticides were present in mixtures and there is a lack of studies on mixtures, and also because we now scientifically know that low levels effects happen. Many negative health and behavioral effects have been measured at environmentally relevant concentrations. 'Herbicide concentrations in all but two samples were less than their respective Canadian guideline for protection of aquatic life, suggesting that, overall, individual herbicide concentrations in the wetlands were not toxic to biota.'

Widespread Use and Frequent Detection of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Wetlands of Canada's Prairie Pothole Region (Anson R. Main,et al including Allan J. Cessna and Christy A. Morrissey. PLOS. March 26, 2014) scientific journal article." In spring 2012 prior to seeding,36% of wetlands contained at least one neonicotinoid. Detections increased to 62% in summer 2012, declined to 16% in fall, and increased to 91% the following spring 2013 after ice-off...Wetlands situated in barley, canola and oat fields consistently contained higher mean concentrations of neonicotinoids than in grasslands, but no individual crop singularly influenced overall detections or concentrations."

Pesticide 'contaminating' Prairie wetlands: scientist (Jan 06, 2014.CBC). Researcher suggests pesticide may be linked to insect, bird declines. "This is huge" Morrissey said. "The impact on biodiversity could be probably bigger than we've ever seen before if we keep going at this rate." Morrissey said her conservative estimate is 44 per cent of crop land in the Prairies was treated with neonics in the year she reviewed. They are commonly showing up in wetlands in concentrations at least three to four times higher than what has been deemed habitable for insects, in some cases 100 times."upwards of 80 to 90 per cent of the wetlands are contaminated." says Morrisey. 

Pesticides in Surface Drinking Water Supplies of the Northern Great Plains. 2007. David B. Donald, Allan J. Cessna et al.

  • Tested for 45 pesticides.
  • Detected 2 insecticides and 27 herbicides in reservoir water.
  • Drinking water contained 3-15 herbicides (average 6.4) at levels below respective guidelines of the 7 that have guidelines.

Seasonal variation of concentrations of herbicides and major inorganic ions in farm dugouts.Cessna A and Elliot A. Water research Institute, Saskatoon. Fourth international symposium "rural health and safety in a changing world".October 18-22 1998,  click on Chemicals Exposure, Toxicology and Human Health - presentation O 20.Pesticide levels increase to high levels at turnover time in fall. 

Magnitude and Persistence of Herbicide Residues In Farm Dugouts and Ponds in the Canadian prairies. Raj Grover, Don T Waite, Allan J Cessna et al. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Vol. 16 no 4 PP 638-643. 2009.

Mobilization of pesticides on an agricultural landscape flooded by a torrential storm. David B. Donald, et al. Vol. 24, No 1, pp 2 -10, 2005. 278 kg of herbicide were mobilized into rain and by runoff into surface waters. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Vol. 24 no 1 PP 2-10.

Occurrence of Pesticides in Prairie Lakes in Saskatchewan in Relation to Drought and Salinity. David B. Donald  and Jim Syrgiannis. Environment Canada. 1995. Journal of Environmental Quality. Vol. 24 No.2, March April 1995 PP 266 270. Pesticides are more prevalent in semi-pernmanent wetlands. 

Diffuse Geographic Distribution of Herbicides in Northern Prairie Wetlands. 2001. David B. Dodnald et al. Environment Canada. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. Vol. 20 no 2 PP 273-279.The overall detection frequency of 10 commonly used herbicides was not significantly different among wildlife habitat with no pesticide use, farms with no pesticide use, conventional farms, and minimum till farms.

Agricultural Pesticides Threaten the Ecological Integrity of Northern Prairie Wetlands. 1999. Davind B. donald, Jim Syrgiannis, et al. Environment Canada. The proportion of wetlands in which at least one pesticide exceeded Canadian guidelines for the protection of aquatic life increased from 0% to 60% over the same precipitation range ( 21 mm to 90 mm during the previous 15 days).The number of wetlands subjected to pesticide levels that exceeded guidelines for the protection of aquatic life was significant ranging from 152,000 to 424,000 wetlands or 9 to 24%, respectively, of the total.

Pesticides in Water - Canada

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Water quality issues : pesticides (Government of Canada, 2017-11-23)

Unmonitored: pesticide residues in water   (By Robert Arnason, Western Producer,  February 23, 2017)  '“There are no surface waters in Western Canada that don’t have pesticides in them,” said Allan Cessna, a semi-retired Environment Canada scientist who specializes in agricultural pesticides and their fate in the environment...However, Environment Canada doesn’t have a consistent program to monitor prairie surface waters for ag chemicals...A national monitoring program could be helpful for the environment and might enhance public confidence in farming.'

Pesticides are all over the St. Lawrence River — many at levels that hurt fish and invertebrates   nearly one-third of the samples had neonicotinoid pesticides at levels higher than the threshold to protect aquatic creatures. Glyphosate and atrazine were in more than 80% of samples.  (Environmental Health News, Brian Bienkowski, May 1, 2019)'The study, published in Environmental Pollution, found that 99 percent of 68 water samples collected from the large water system contained at least one of the 10 pesticides researchers tested for and 31 percent of the samples contained neonicotinoids at levels higher than Canada allows....In the new study, researchers tested for glyphosate, atrazine and a suite of neonicotinoids. Glyphosate was found in 84 percent of the samples and atrazine was found in 82 percent...In a companion paper to the new study, the scientists found atrazine and one of its metabolites in all 450 water samples taken from 2015 to 2018 from drinking water in Quebec.'

PRESENCE AND LEVELS OF PRIORITY PESTICIDES IN SELECTED CANADIAN AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS. (Water Science and Technology Directorate Environment Canada, March 2011) This report presents the study design and results, and the state of pesticide use data."There is no central registry of pesticide sales or use data in Canada... a national source of sales and use data will become available in the near future. Several Canadian provinces and territories maintain sales and/or use records within their jurisdictions, or they commission regular surveys to determine which active ingredients are being sold and used. In some cases, provincial pesticide legislation requires that this information be collected. Together, these data provide a national patchwork of sales and/or use data." (p.6)" Detailed information on pesticide sales and use is lacking for Saskatchewan. However, some information is available on pesticide use in Saskatchewan in Donald et al. (1999), Donald et al. (2001) and in “protected” documents from the 1990s. In Saskatchewan, commonly used pesticides include glyphosate, 2,4-D, MCPA and bromoxynil. Brimble et al. (2005) reported that Saskatchewan is the greatest user of pesticides in Canada, accounting for an estimated 36% of total Canadian sales." (p. 8) see also Pesticide Use and Sales - SK It is my understanding that there are no longer Environment Canada researchers working on pesticides in SK, and that the Prairie research is curently done in Alberta. (June 2018)

Pesticides Indicator  (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Date modified:   2016-07-11) with interactive maps and legend. A lot of high risk land in Saskatchewan.

The Pesticides Indicator (official name: Indicator of the Risk of Water Contamination by Pesticides) evaluates the relative risk of water contamination by pesticides across agricultural areas in Canada. It can be used to assess pesticide inputs to cropland and the amount of pesticide transported to surface and ground water. This indicator has tracked pesticide risk associated with Canadian agricultural activities from 1981 to 2011.

Overall state and trend 

Pesticide risk has been increasing on agricultural lands in Canada, although the majority of agricultural land is still considered to be at low or very low risk. From 1981 to 2011, the level of risk increased on 50% of agricultural land, primarily due to an increase in the area treated with pesticides and to unusually wet weather in the Maritimes and the Prairies in 2010.

Generally speaking, the increases in risk observed in between 2006 and 2011 were caused by an increase in the area treated with pesticides; in Eastern Canada and the Maritimes, this can be attributed to shifts from pasture and forage production to annual cropping systems, and in the Prairies to ongoing shifts from conventional tillage to reduced tillage and no-till systems, which require greater herbicide use for weed control. Between 2006 and 2011, there was a marked increase in the use of fungicides in the Prairies (from 3.7% to 7.5% of the land area) which can be attributed to wetter-than-usual weather in 2010, as well the shift to reduced tillage systems, both of which increase the risk of fungal diseases such as fusarium blight. Another factor that may have contributed to the increase in pesticide use per unit cropland in recent years is the expansion of land devoted to glyphosate-tolerant canola, soybeans and corn and the mass of glyphosate herbicide applied in these systems.

...Pesticide residues have been detected in surface and ground water in monitoring studies conducted in various regions of Canada, raising concerns for potential adverse effects on wildlife as well as on drinking water quality.

SNAP Comment: I just became aware of this document so am adding it to the web site. 1.The assessment is based on "the percentage of agricultural land area treated with pesticides for all Census years". However, this likely does not take into consideration use by power companies, railroads, and use in forestry, and likely not the use in urban areas. Therefore the quantity of treated acres seems to strictly refer to agriculture and the problem may be worse than estimated. 2. Considering that pesticide residues have been detected in surface and ground water in monitoring studies conducted in various regions of Canada including the Prairies, I am not sure it is an acceptable risk. 3. With widespread flooding of the 2010-16 years in Saskatchewan, there has obviously been a lot of pesticides entering water from flooded land. 

Pesticides in Glaciers

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Old pesticide pollutants are melting out of glaciers  (MihaiAndrei, www.zmescience.com, August 1ST, 2019)    'According to a new study, harmful chemicals used in pesticides have been accumulating in the ice sheets and glaciers since the 1940s. Now, those chemicals are being released into the environment as the climate continues to heat up.  Pollutants can travel long distances and accumulate even in the most pristine environments. Previous studies have shown that they can travel for thousands of kilometers before being incorporated into Arctic or Antarctic ice (or glaciers) — where they remain trapped.'

Historical Trends of Organochlorine Pesticides in an Alpine Glacier  (Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry, November 2003, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 295–311) This study is in the Alps.

Melting Glaciers: A Major Source of Persistent Organochlorines to Subalpine Bow Lake in Banff National Park, Canada (AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 30(7):410-415. 2001, Jules M. Blais David W. Schindler et al)  'Organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitous and persistent in the environment. They are known to concentrate in cold environments as a result of progressive evaporation from warm regions, and condensation in colder regions. In this study we show that melting glaciers supply 50 to 97% of the organochlorine inputs to a subalpine lake in Alberta, Canada, while contributing 73% of input water. Tritium analyses indicated that during the mid- to late summer warm period, at least 10% of the glacial melt originated from ice that was deposited in 1950–1970, when it was more contaminated with organochlorines. This finding suggests that climate warming may cause melting glaciers to become increasing sources of contaminants to freshwaters. Organochlorines from glacial streams were largely in dissolved form because the organic-poor glacial clays had a limited sorption capacity for the more hydrophobic chemicals.'

Melting Glaciers: A Major Source of Persistent Organochlorines to Subalpine Bow Lake in Banff National Park, Canada  (Martin Sharp, co-author of the previous paper) pdf.

Delayed Deposition of Organochlorine Pesticides at a Temperate Glacier (David B. Donald*, Jim Syrgiannis, and Robert W. Crosley et al,  Environ. Sci. Technol., 1999, 33 (11), pp 1794–1798 DOI: 10.1021/es981120y)  'Meltwater from glaciers may contribute high concentrations of pesticides to cold aquatic ecosystems for decades or centuries. '

Organochlorine Pesticide and Polychlorinated Biphenyl Concentrations in Snow, Snowmelt, and Runoff at Bow Lake, Alberta  (Melissa J. Lafrenière*, Jules M. Blais et al, Environ. Sci. Technol., 2006, 40 (16), pp 4909–4915 DOI: 10.1021/es060237g)


Algae blooms

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Glyphosate Causes Biodiversity Loss in Freshwater Ecosystems, According to Study  Experimental ponds in Gault Nature Reserve. Photo credit: Vincent Fugère (Beyond Pesticides, March 5, 2020)    'Researchers found that algae can develop resistance to contamination, but surviving phytoplankton communities are much less diverse. Diversity loss is cause for concern as it could hinder adaptation to other potential stressors, such as climate change.    Using experimental ponds, researchers first exposed some phytoplankton communities to low levels of Roundup over time, then dosed the ponds with a lethal amount. Groups that had been given low doses survived the lethal phase whereas unpolluted, control ponds did not. Researchers observed “community rescue,” where genetic changes avert population collapse in a lethal environment. In fact, glyphosate eventually became a fertilizer in resistant ponds as it is a significant source of phosphorus. Other studies, too, have noted that phosphorous loading is an overlooked impact of glyphosate contamination.    The resulting damage to genetic diversity causes concern. Andrew Gonzalez, Ph.D., says, “We observed significant loss of biodiversity in communities contaminated with glyphosate. This could have a profound impact on the proper functioning of ecosystems and lower the chance that they can adapt to new pollutants or stressors.'

Glyphosate Sprayed on GMO Crops Linked to Lake Erie’s Toxic Algae Bloom  (Lorraine Chow, Ecowatch, Jul. 05, 2016)   'Previous studies have tied glyphosate to the phosphorous fueling Lake Erie's blue-green algae. In 2009, Ohio Sea Grant researchers, Drs. R. Michael McKay and George Bullerjahn of Bowling Green State University, found that glyphosate could only be detected in the lake at certain times of year—after crops are planted.  "It turns out that many cyanobacteria present in Lake Erie have the genes allowing the uptake of phosphonates, and these cyanobacteria can grow using glyphosate and other phosphonates as a sole source of phosphorus," 

Glyphosate use linked to phosphorus pollution in water bodies (GM Watch, 30 January 2019)   'Estimating the supply of phosphorus (P) derived from glyphosate use, both globally and in the US alone, we show that trends have markedly increased over the past two decades. Across the US, mean inputs of glyphosate‐derived P increased from 1.6 kg P km−2 in 1993 to 9.4 kg P km−2 in 2014, with values frequently exceeding 20 kg P km−2 in areas planted with glyphosate‐resistant crops...Although still a minor source of P relative to fertilizers, P inputs from glyphosate use have now reached levels comparable to those from sources for which P regulations were initiated in the past. We thus argue for greater recognition of glyphosate's influence on P flow in watershed research and management.'

Breakfast Favorite Orange Juice Tainted by Glyphosate Herbicide Threatens Our Health and Florida's Environment  (Moms Across America, by Zen Honeycutt October 26, 2018)  The amount of glyphosate that is used in Florida on orange groves, sugar cane fields, and on city streets is enormous. Over 3.5 million lbs per square mile of glyphosate was sprayed in Florida according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) between 2000-2012. In addition, glyphosate herbicide AquaMaster was permitted to be sprayed directly in waterways such as Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades, a nature reserve. Local environmentalists are outraged by the lack of action from their governor and local authorities to discontinue the use of glyphosate herbicides and protect marine life. Glyphosate Test Results in Florida’s Water   Moms Across America commissioned the testing of water in Lake Okeechobee and off the coast of Cape Coral. Lake O results, where cyanobacteria was present, showed levels between half the amount and 2 times higher than is allowed in European drinking water. Because cyanobacteria digests glyphosate it would be expected that where cyanobacteria is present the water would sometimes test for lower levels of glyphosate. The test results off the coast of Cape Coral, at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River where cyanobacteria was present* showed levels of glyphosate 5 -12 times higher than is allowed in European drinking water.

see also neonicotinoidsglyphosatewatersoilswildlife, wildlife/aquatic organisms, exposure to pesticides

 Harming Wildlife, Pesticides in Waterways Run into the Great Lakes Year-Round  (Beyond Pesticides, February 14, 2023) The waterways that flow into the Great Lakes are experiencing year-round pesticide contamination that exceeds benchmarks meant to protect aquatic life, according to research published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). It is evident that the toxic soup that many U.S. waterways are carrying is unsustainable and threatens the foundation of many food chains. Imbalances in aquatic environments can ripple throughout the food web, creating trophic cascades that further exacerbate health and environmental damage.

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Plastic Sports Bottles Leach Thousands of Chemicals, including a Common Insect Repellent   (Beyond Pesticides, February 17, 2022)  (The insect repellent) 'DEET was confirmed to be present in every plastic bottle tested. Scientists indicate that DEET’s presence is likely a result another chemical with a similar chemical structure to DEET. In particular, the plasticizer material laurolactam is implicated. Either the plasticizer was produced with impurities that mimic DEET, or it was transformed into DEET  in the dishwasher through a chemical reaction with other materials in the plastic bottles.   The scientists opine that the identification of DEET may in fact be the source of ubiquitous DEET detection in the environment. A phenomenon that has long been ascribed to its use as a repellent, the widespread presence of DEET in the natural world by chemical happenstance may be yet another side-effect of a world where chemical pollution has exceeded the safe limits for humanity.

Impacts of Neonics in New York Water Their Use and Threats to the State’s Aquatic Ecosystems (Pierre Mineau; Pierre Mineau Consulting, probably 2019)     'Neonics now frequently appear in New York surface waters at levels expected to cause significant harm to the state’s aquatic ecosystems...Detected levels of imidacloprid alone in New York streams exceed levels at which deleterious effects on stream ecology were observed in other research. The probability that imidacloprid and other neonics are causing ecosystem-wide damage in New York is very high. Substantial reductions in outdoor neonic use are needed to mitigate further damage... Water sampling for other neonics has been sparse, but given the high runoff potential for clothianidin' (only approved in NY for seed treatment) 'and thiamethoxam (both greater than imidacloprid), and their significant use in New York, regular monitoring for these chemicals is needed. ' SNAP Comments: The article discusses in detail what benchmark values are, how they are established and what they should be. Also extensive list of references.

Pesticide Contamination in Waterways Raises New Alarm for Aquatic Life, Citing Poor Regulation   (Beyond Pesticides, June 23, 2021) Small streams are prone to excessively high levels of pesticide contamination that are even more hazardous than once thought, according to a pilot study generated by a team of German researchers. The results indicate significant risks for the health of aquatic ecosystems and should be used as evidence for establishing greater protections from toxic pesticide use, researchers say. With many aquatic benchmarks set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lower than those established in Germany and the European Union, and evidence of widespread pesticide contamination in America’s waterways,   SNAP Comment: 1.Canada only has unenforceable guidelines for pesticides in water. 2. These guidelines are generally set at a much higher level than in europe. 3. We also have limited funds therefore studying many fewer pesticides. 4. In addition, in many areas no inormation is available on local pesticide use short of interviewing farmers. 

Pesticide Pollution Continues Unabated, According to New Data    (Beyond Pesticides, June 4, 2021) 'The release of the most recent U.S. Geological Services (USGS) study of pesticide contamination of rivers on the U.S. mainland finds that degradation of those rivers from pesticide pollution continues unabated. USGS scientists looked at data from 2013 to 2017 (inclusive) from rivers across the country and offered these top-level conclusions: “(1) pesticides persist in environments beyond the site of application and expected period of use, and (2) the potential toxicity of pesticides to aquatic life is pervasive in surface waters.”'    The study 'quantified concentrations of 221 compounds — 57 herbicides, 38 insecticides, 11 fungicide parent compounds, and 115 pesticide degradates (breakdown products). Herbicides constitute 88% of the total pesticide use represented in the sampling.'

Hazardous Pesticide Breakdown Chemicals Found in Streams Nationwide, Raising Health Concerns     (Beyond Pesticides, March 31, 2021) Pesticide breakdown products are just as ubiquitous as their parent compounds in urban streams throughout the United States, according to research conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and published in Environmental Science and Technology.   Herbicide metabolites were detected more frequently than insecticides and fungicides, but one problematic insecticide metabolite alone, fipronil sulfone (breakdown of the active ingredient fipronil), has the potential to significantly increase the toxicity of a steam to aquatic organisms. With fipronil sulfone detected in 20% of sampled streams – more frequently than its parent compound—there are significant implications for the health of U.S. waterways.   SNAP Comment: A PMRA label search found 0 fipronil products registered in Canada.

Implications for Human Health: Glyphosate-Related Soil Erosion Re-Releases Toxic Pesticides from Soil   French West Indies study.  (Beyond Pesticides, March 4, 2021) A new study finds glyphosate use stimulates soil erosion responsible for releasing banned, toxic pesticide chlordecone (Kepone), which was used in banana production. ... Researchers note, “Chlordecone fluxes drastically increased when glyphosate use began, leading to widespread ecosystem contamination. As glyphosate is used globally, ecotoxicological risk management strategies should consider how its application affects persistent pesticide storage in soils, transfer dynamics, and widespread contamination.” Conventional pesticide use contaminates soil and their respective Critical Zone (CZ) compartments.  SNAP Comment: I wonder how many other chemicals it might release through erosion... However, there was a lot more soil drifting in SK before chem fallowing with Roundup.

Herbicide Use in “Regenerative” No-Till Contaminates Waterbodies   US study. (Beyond Pesticides, February 19, 2021)  'Tackling any one problem without precautionary attention to potential consequences of a solution — before it is enacted — is the opposite of the holistic understandings and strategies needed to solve environmental crises. Piecemeal approaches often generate unintended consequences. To wit: Vermont Public Radio (VPR) reports on revelations from a retired state scientist, Nat Shambaugh, who finds that farmers’ efforts to reduce agricultural runoff from fields into waterbodies, by planting cover crops, has resulted in significant increases in the use of herbicides to kill off those crops.'  

Pet flea treatments poisoning rivers across England, scientists find (The Guardian, 17 November 2020)   Discovery is ‘extremely concerning’ for water insects, and fish and birds that depend on them.    The research found fipronil in 99% of samples from 20 rivers and the average level of one particularly toxic breakdown product of the pesticide was 38 times above the safety limit. Fipronil and another nerve agent called imidacloprid that was found in the rivers have been banned from use on farms for some years (NOTE: In the UK, not Canada) .  There are about 10 million dogs and 11 million cats in the UK, with an estimated 80% receiving flea treatments, whether needed or not. The researchers said the blanket use of flea treatments should be discouraged and that new regulation is needed. Currently, the flea treatments are approved without an assessment of environmental damage.  “Fipronil is one of the most commonly used flea products and recent studies have shown it degrades to compounds that are more toxic to most insects than fipronil itself...”  “The problem is these chemicals are so potent,” he said, even at tiny concentrations. “We would expect them to be having significant impacts on insect life in rivers.” One flea treatment of a medium-sized dog with imidacloprid contains enough pesticide to kill 60 million bees, he said.   The researchers found the highest levels of the pesticides downstream from water treatment plants, showing that urban areas were the main source and not farmland.   The washing of pets was already known to flush fipronil into sewers and then rivers, while dogs swimming in rivers provides another pathway for contamination. see also Flea Treataments Found to Contaminate Waterways.(Beyond Pesticides, November 20, 2020)for more in depth analysis. 'Though these compounds are banned for agricultural uses in the United Kingdom (UK), risk assessment for them, as used on animals, has been minimal because of the assumption that the amounts used for veterinary treatments would mean far-less-significant environmental impact than might be expected with agricultural-scale use..”"  SNAP Comment: As of 19 November 2020, the PMRA label search indicates that fipronil was never registered in Canada. Research indicates that may formulations are licnesed in the USA for a wide variety of usages, likely including flea treatment. In Canada, there are 99 registered insecticides containing Imidacloprid, 50 of which are specifically for flea treatment. 

Ecosystem-Killer Fipronil More Toxic Than Previously Thought, Found in Waterways Throughout the U.S.   (Beyond Pesticides, October 27, 2020) The insecticide fipronil is more toxic to aquatic insects than previously thought, often present in U.S. waterways, and can trigger trophic cascades that disrupt entire aquatic ecosystems, finds new research published by the U.S. Geological  Survey (USGS). The data have important implications for waterways throughout the country, but particularly in the Southeast U.S. where the chemical was found at hazardous levels in over half of sampled steams.  SNAP Comment: As of 28 October 2020, the PMRA label search comes up with 0 fipronil products, either curently or historically registered.

U.S. Geological Survey Finds Mixtures of Pesticides Are Widespread in U.S. Rivers and Streams    (Beyond Pesticides, September 24, 2020) 'A new report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project, reveals the presence of pesticides is widespread in U.S. rivers and streams, with over almost 90 percent of water samples containing at least five or more different pesticides. Thousands of tons of pesticides enter rivers and streams around the U.S. from agricultural and nonagricultural sources, which contaminate essential drinking water sources, such as surface water and groundwater.    'The median number of pesticides present per water samples from each land-use type is highest in agricultural settings with 24 pesticides, and lowest in mixed (both agricultural and developed land) settings with seven pesticides. Developed areas fall in the middle, amassing 18 pesticides per water sample. Pesticides in water samples are potentially acutely to chronically toxic to aquatic invertebrates and chronically toxic to fish. Of the 221 pesticide compounds analyzed, 17 (13 insecticides, two herbicides, one fungicide, and one synergist) are primary drivers of toxicity in aquatic taxonomic groups. According to the PTI analysis, one pesticide compound contributes to >50% of the sample toxicity, while other present pesticides only contribute minimally to toxicity.

filed under water 

Unregulated, “Shocking” and Destructive Levels of Pesticide Mixtures Found in Waterways    (Beyond Pesticides, July 17, 2020)    'Researchers have discovered that the rivers and creeks that discharge into the lagoon of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) are riddled with mixtures of pesticides. The University of Queensland team expected to find some such mixtures in their sampling, but was shocked to find that 99.8% of their samples contained up to 20 different pesticides. Michael Warne, PhD, lead researcher and associate professor at the University of Queensland’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, says, “The issue with having mixtures of pesticides is that as the number of pesticides increases the impact to aquatic ecosystems generally increases.”    The discovery of such intensive penetration of pesticides in the GBR Lagoon adds to the chronicling of damage being wrought on these marine wonderlands'

The Pesticide Atrazine and 200 Other Toxic Chemicals Found in Fracking Wastewater; Contamination Goes Unregulated (Beyond Pesticides, June 4, 2020)  SNAP Comment: US study. New analysis method. Is there fracking in Saskatchewan?  'No Canadian province has fewer regulations surrounding the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) than Saskatchewan. Other provinces – and some US jurisdictions and foreign countries – have banned fracking or chosen to heavily regulate it because of its environmental and public health risks.' (Is anyone out there? Exploring Saskatchewan’s civil society involvement in hydraulic fracturingEnergy Research & Social Science, Volume 39, May 2018, Pages 192-197)           'A new, simultaneous chemical identification method has found the presence of the weed killer atrazine and 200+ other hazardous chemicals in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) wastewater or produced water...Although produced water is a waste product of fracking, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows many states to reuse produced water in agriculture and other industries or dispose of it into waterways. Currently, EPA waives requirements that chemical companies (e.g., Syngenta in the case of atrazine) monitor for the presence of pesticides in waterways, endangering public health of the environment.. A Yale University public health analysis finds fracking operations release fifty-five chemicals into the air and water that are known carcinogens, 20 of which increase the risk of leukemia and lymphoma. Other fracking health implications include asthma and low birth weights. Oil and natural gas production is exempt or excluded from several major federal environmental laws, allowing the industry to use produced water in agriculture or dispose of it in waterways without restrictions.  Many states use treated produced water to irrigate organic and non-organic crops, compensating for excessive water use, as the federal government leaves fracking regulations largely up to state governments. Even if treated produced water bypasses agriculture use, oil and gas companies dispose of produced water in waterways or ground pits (wastewater disposal wells). Chemical carcinogens, solvents, and petroleum distillates are present in produced water, directly polluting drinking water sources. . Chemicals in produced water are not always the same for every fracking operations, and many chemicals still need proper identification.

Study Finds Urban Runoff is a Toxic Soup Containing Dozens of Pesticides and Other Industrial Chemicals  (Beyond Pesticides, September 6, 2019) 'Heavy rains in urban areas bring together a toxic mixture of man-made chemicals which make their way to waterbodies at levels that can harm aquatic life...Although U.S. government agencies continue to accurately identify chemical hazards in the everyday environment, precaution and action on these emerging threats has not materialized. ' 'The team tested for 438 different compounds, including pesticides, pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other industrial chemicals.'   'Nearly 50% (215) of the 438 chemicals tested for were found at least once during the course of the study. Most sites contained 73 or more chemicals per site, with pesticides being the most frequently detected chemical group, accounting for 35% of all detections....'The following chemicals were what the researches deemed “pervasive across all samples:” DEET, nicotine, cotinine (nicotine metabolite), caffeine, carbendazim (a metabolite of the pesticide benomyl), methyl-1H-benzotriazole (industrial corrosion inhibitor), creosol (wood preservative), fipronil, bisphenol A (BPA), pluoranthene (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, PAH), and pyrene (PAH). Each of these chemicals were found in over 90% of samples tested. (NOTE: pesticides in italics).   Nearly 75% of imidacloprid detections exceeded EPA’s benchmark for chronic impacts to aquatic life, while 44% of fipronil samples surpassed this limit.

Levels and trends of current-use pesticides (CUPs) in the arctic: An updated review, 2010–2018 (Jennifer E.BalmerabAdam et al, Science Direct, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emcon.2019.02.002) 'Since 2010, at least seven new CUPs have been measured in Arctic media: 2-methyl-4- chlorophenoxyacetic acid (MCPA), metribuzin, pendimethalin, phosalone, quizalofop-ethyl, tefluthrin and triallate. Considering the large number of pesticides in current use, the number measured in the Arctic is very limited, however, modelling studies have identified additional CUPs as potential Arctic contaminants that have yet to be investigated in the Arctic. Owing to their recent detection, reports of CUPs in the Arctic are limited, but growing. CUPs have been reported in a wide range of abiotic Arctic matrices, including air, snow, ice, freshwater and seawater, indicating their capacity for long-range atmospheric transport, however, concentrations are generally low in comparison to legacy pesticides and other persistent organic pollutants (POPs)...however, in contrast to POPs, the highest concentrations of many CUPs were found in lower trophic-level organisms'

Europe’s Waterways Contaminated by Pesticides and Antibiotics  (Beyond Pesticides, April 11, 2019) A recent study of 29 discrete, small European waterways found ubiquitous pesticide contamination. Analyzed samples contained a total of 103 different pesticides and 21 veterinary drugs... Pesticides find their way into water systems via dry deposition (absorption of particles from the atmosphere), pesticide drift, and runoff from contaminated soils...There were 24 unapproved pesticides in the water samples. Rather than illegal current use, it is more likely that these are leftover pesticides from former, legal applications and are only now leaching into the waterways.'  SNAP's Comment: If they had checked for human used drugs, the contamination would likely have been much worse. 

Drinking Water Contaminated with Neonicotinoid Insecticide Byproducts  (Beyond Pesticides, February 8, 2019)  'The experts discovered two metabolites of imidacloprid (a neonicotinoid insecticide) residues that had not previously been identified in drinking water — desnitro-imidacloprid and imidacloprid-urea. The researchers note both that these metabolites have never been evaluated for their potential risks to human and environmental health, and that there may be potential risks of anthropogenic compounds that can be created when water with neonicotinoid residues, and thus, these metabolites, undergo typical water treatment (often chlorination and/or pH treatment)...The presence of neonics in drinking water is concerning per se, because federal regulators have never addressed what might be “safe” levels of such insecticides in tap water,

Occurrence of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Finished Drinking Water and Fate during Drinking Water Treatment   (Kathryn L. Klarich et al, Environ. Sci. Technol. Lett., 2017, 4 (5), pp 168–173, April 5, 2017) 'Neonicotinoid insecticides are widespread in surface waters across the agriculturally intensive Midwestern United States. We report for the first time the presence of three neonicotinoids in finished drinking water and demonstrate their general persistence during conventional water treatment...Clothianidinimidacloprid, and thiamethoxam were ubiquitously detected in finished water samples at concentrations ranging from 0.24 to 57.3 ng/L Samples collected along the University of Iowa treatment train indicate no apparent removal of clothianidin or imidacloprid, with modest thiamethoxam removal (∼50%). In contrast, the concentrations of all neonicotinoids were substantially lower in the Iowa City treatment facility finished water using granular activated carbon (GAC) filtration. 

DDT in Glacial Melt Puts Alaskan Communities at Risk  (Beyond Pesticides, December 11, 2018)   SNAP Comment: In addition to pesticide aerial transport causing deposition in the far North, similar Canadian and world studies have detected DDT and several other pesticides in all mountain glaciers studied including in Banff and Jasper where the mountain aquatic organisms and fish contained higher pesticide levels than those of the Arctic. The ice is certainly melting off most glaciers of the world, putting these pesticides in circulation, and the environment and people at risk everywhere including Saskatchewan where our major rivers are glacier-fed.

Breakfast Favorite Orange Juice Tainted by Glyphosate Herbicide Threatens Our Health and Florida's Environment  (Moms Across America, by Zen Honeycutt October 26, 2018)  The amount of glyphosate that is used in Florida on orange groves, sugar cane fields, and on city streets is enormous. Over 3.5 million lbs per square mile of glyphosate was sprayed in Florida according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) between 2000-2012. In addition, glyphosate herbicide AquaMaster was permitted to be sprayed directly in waterways such as Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades, a nature reserve. Local environmentalists are outraged by the lack of action from their governor and local authorities to discontinue the use of glyphosate herbicides and protect marine life. Glyphosate Test Results in Florida’s Water   Moms Across America commissioned the testing of water in Lake Okeechobee and off the coast of Cape Coral. Lake O results, where cyanobacteria was present, showed levels between half the amount and 2 times higher than is allowed in European drinking water. Because cyanobacteria digests glyphosate it would be expected that where cyanobacteria is present the water would sometimes test for lower levels of glyphosate. The test results off the coast of Cape Coral, at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River where cyanobacteria was present* showed levels of glyphosate 5 -12 times higher than is allowed in European drinking water.

USGS Report Shows Dozens of Pesticides Consistently Found in Midwestern Streams, Underscoring the Need for Organic Practices   (Beyond Pesticides, August 22, 2017) Streams in the Midwestern U,S. are polluted with complex mixtures averaging over 50 pesticides each, according to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report published earlier this month. This is the latest and also most extensive study on pesticide contamination in U.S. streams to date. SNAP Comment: There are a few Saskatchewan studies of only a few pesticides each (Canada does not have the same resources as the US for testing) also indicating widespread contamination in Saskatchewan. Some Saskatchewan studies under Pesticides in SK Water. Complex mixtures of dissolved pesticides show potential aquatic toxicity in a synoptic study of Midwestern U.S. streams (Science of The Total Environment,online 9 August 2017)  In weekly water samples, 94 pesticides and 89 degradates were detected, with a median of 25 compounds detected per sample and 54 detected per site. Relatively few pesticides in water—atrazineacetochlormetolachlor, (the insecticides) imidaclopridfipronilorganophosphate insecticides, and the fungicide carbendazim—were predicted to be major contributors to potential toxicity. Agricultural streams had the highest potential for effects on plants, especially in May–June, corresponding to high spring-flush herbicide concentrations. Urban streams had higher detection frequencies and concentrations of insecticides and most fungicides than in agricultural streams, and higher potential for invertebrate toxicity, which peaked during July–August. SNAP Comment: I wonder how many pesticides they actually tested for (i.e. were there any negativ findings?) I suspect that the reason only 7 pesticides were major contributors to potential toxicity is that they are the most heavily used. Hopefully this assertion is examined in the paper.I suspect that most of what is used would be found in an area's streams in Canada, should we check. However we re still in the dark as to pesticides used in each province.

Carcinogenic Contaminant in Common Pesticide   (Beyond Pesticides, April 27, 2017) Multinational chemical companies Dow Chemical Company and Shell Chemical Company knowingly sold and marketed fumigants contaminated with a cancer-causing chemical that had a strong propensity to leach into and remain in groundwater... The contaminant of concern, 1,2,3-trichloropropene (TCP), was a manufacturing by-product found in Dow’s Telone and Shell’s D-D fumigant pesticide products with the active ingredient 1,3-Dichloropropene. The products, used to kill soil-dwelling nematodes, are toxic in their own right, but contained TCP in their formulation from the 1940s until the mid-1980s. EWG’s report details widespread contamination of drinking water in California’s agricultural regions, with detections found in 562 wells, and 94 public water systems identifying TCP above legal limits. Thirty-seven additional public water systems serving nearly 4 million U.S. residents throughout the country were also found to contain TCP. SNAP Comment: Canada has much less money for testing than the US and, as a result, many fewer chemicals have been tested for. I don't know if TCP has ever been tested for iin Canada but I do know that Telone has been used...

Study Finds Neonicotinoids in Water Straight from the Tap  (Beyond Pesticides, April 5, 2017) A new study, Occurrence of Neonicotinoid Insecticides in Finished Drinking Water and Fate during Drinking Water Treatment, has detected neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides known for their detrimental effects on bees, in treated drinking water. The study authors “report for the first time the presence of three neonicotinoids in finished drinking water and demonstrate their general persistence during conventional water treatment.” In contrast, the Iowa City water treatment methods (granular activated carbon filtration) result in substantially lower levels of the neonicotinoids. SNAP Comment: Thankfully for Regina and Moose Jaw residents, our water is carbon filtered, which should help in removing some glyphosate. Everyone else beware. Buy a carbon water filter.

Insecticides Similar to Nicotine Found in about Half of Sampled Streams across the United States 8/18/2015.U.S. updated US research direct link to neonicotinoids in water, or copy and paste the title into the search box at the main site. Geological Survey. USGS discovered insecticides known as neonicotinoids in a little more than half of both urban and agricultural streams sampled across the United States and Puerto Rico, according to a study by the agency published today in Environmental Chemistry. “In the study, neonicotinoids occurred throughout the year in urban streams while pulses of neonicotinoids were typical in agricultural streams during crop planting season,” said USGS research chemist Michelle Hladik, the report’s lead author. Also filed under pesticide fact sheets under neonicotinoids 

Sewage Sludge (Biosolids) Contaminants Move to Groundwater (Beyond Pesticides, May 14, 2014) Chemical contaminants are sufficiently mobile and persistent that they can easily be transported to groundwater, with implication for local drinking water. Test for 57 contaminants of emerging concerns (chemicals that are increasingly being discovered in waters) found chemicals ranging from antibacterial soaps, chemical cleaners, cosmetics, fragrances, and prescription drugs, such as the antidepressant Prozac and the blood thinner Warfarin, which had migrated down the soil column. In fact, 10 of the chemicals examined migrated to depths of 7 to 50 inches over 18 months after treated sewage sludge was applied. (Colorado study)

USGS Documents Threat of Pesticides to Waterways; Farm Bill Amendment Undermines Clean Water Act (Beyond Pesticides, May 20, 2013)  The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released a national assessment that shows the distribution and trends of pesticide use from 1992-2009, providing visible evidence that contamination of pesticides in our nation’s water is clearly a continuing threat.

Ontario study finds an 80% drop in toxic lawn pesticides found in urban streams and creeks since the province-wide pesticide ban  June 10, 2010  And for an audio recording of the news, please click here.

Dioxins from Triclosan Increasingly Found in Water (Beyond Pesticides, May 20, 2010.Posted in Antibacterial, Triclosan, Water) Triclosan is one of the most detected chemicals in US waterways. It is an endocrine disruptor with specific effect on male an dfemale hormones and the thyroid gland. It is extensively used in consumer goods and triclosan and its metabolites are present in, fish, umbilical cord blood and human milk and urine. It produces 4 specific dioxins which have increased 200-300%."In the most current sediments, these triclosan-derived dioxins account for about 30 percent of the total dioxin mass.” Dioxins are persistent organic pollutants that bioaccumulate in humans and other animals, especially in fatty tissue. Dioxin can be highly carcinogenic and can cause severe health problems.

Threatened Waters Turning the Tide on Pesticide Contamination. (Beyond Pesticides, October 2006). Note for Canadians: US environmental studies consistently measure many more pesticides than we study in Canada, because they have more funds. In Canada, research has also been hampered by the fact that we had no pesticide sales or use database. The Canadian risks of water contamination are therefore likely to be underestimated.

Leaching Potential (LP) Rankings for Herbicide Products Listed in the Alberta Crop Protection 2000 Handbook  In this document you will see that 2,4-D has a reasonably high leaching potential, and RoundUp formulations are in the middle. reference: Hill, B.D., Miller, J.J., Harker, K.N., Byers, S.D., Inaba, D.J., and Zhang, C. (2000). "Estimating the relative leaching potential of herbicides in Alberta soils.", Water Quality Research Journal of Canada, 35(4), pp. 693-710.