May 03, 2017

Research Finds Traces of Insecticide in U.S. Tap Water

Americans increasingly fear water pollution

Research finds insecticide in U.S. tap water, Americans fear water pollution

American scientists found traces of an insecticide in U.S. tap water for the first time, reports Bluewater. Bluewater notes the findings come as a Gallup poll published in April indicates Americans are more concerned about water pollution than they have been since 2001.

According to a study published in Environmental Science & Technology Letters, chemists and engineers from the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Iowa, identified the presence of three neonicotinoids in drinking water delivered from an Iowa City treatment facility. 

Neonicotinoids have ranked one of the most popular pesticides harnessed by American farmers in recent decades and are considered difficult to treat in conventional water treatment processes. 

With a chemical structure similar to that of nicotine, neonicotinoids have been blamed alongside habitat loss and disease for a decline in honeybee populations. The pesticide also has been found in insects, microbes and coastal shellfish, prompting several countries in Europe such as Germany, France and Italy, as well as a number of states in the U.S., to restrict the use of neonicotinoids.

Meanwhile, a Gallup poll conducted March 1 to 5, 2017, reveals Americans are more concerned about water pollution than they have been since 2001. The latest percentages of Americans who are worried "a great deal" about the pollution of drinking water (63%) and of rivers, lakes and reservoirs (57%) have inched past the elevated levels of concern seen since 2014, according to the Gallup survey of 1,018 adults, aged 18 and older, living in 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.