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MDA Pest Nitrate Overview

MDA Pest Nitrate Overview

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Joseph Zachmann, Ph.D.
Research ScientistPesticide & Fertilizer Management Division
Pesticides & Risk
Pesticides control insect pests, weeds and diseases andmay pose risk to human health and the environment
Some pesticides leach to groundwater
People are concerned about exposure risks
Are there pesticides in my drinking water?
How high are the concentrations relative to known risk?
Even if concentrations are low, what about unknown risks likeexposure to pesticides in mixtures, endocrine disruption andother concerns?
Groundwater Monitoring for Pesticides
MDA monitoring networks aredesigned for agricultural pesticides
Wells are located adjacent tooperating farm fields
Central Sand Plainmonitoring well nest
Far from non-agricultural contaminant sources; intersect watertable to represent worst-case scenario
Southeast karst bedrock aquifers are monitored viasprings
Extremely rare long-term data set –entering 29
Statewide Network
What are we looking for?
In 2011
276 groundwater samples
From 171 wells/sites
CWF helped purchase state-of-the-art LC/MS-MS equipment to:
Find pesticides at lower concentrations
Increase number of pesticides & samples analyzed
Each sample analyzed for 110 different pesticides ordegradates = 30,000 analyses annually
As new pesticides are registered they are reviewed forrisk and may be added to the analytical list
What do we find?
40 pesticides or degradates detectedMost are found in fewer than 4% of samplesCommonly detected in vulnerable areas:
Acetochlor Alachlor Atrazine Metolachlor Metribuzin 
No pesticide concentrations exceeded MDHdrinking water risk levels

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