Pesticide Levels in Waterways Have Dropped, Reducing the Risks to Humans

The development of safer pesticides and legal restrictions on their use have sharply reduced the risk to humans from pesticide-tainted rivers and streams, while the potential risk to aquatic life in urban waters has risen, according to a two-decade survey published on Thursday.

The study, conducted by the United States Geological Survey and published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, monitored scores of pesticides from 1992 to 2011 at more than 200 sampling points on rivers and streams. In both of the last two decades, researchers reported, they found insecticides and herbicides in virtually all of the waterways.

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