Tue 05 Jun 12, 16:13pm AEST
Pesticides could be damaging river biodiversity at levels that have been
traditionally regarded as environmentally safe by authorities, suggests a new
study. Ecotoxciologist Dr Ben Kefford, of University of Technology, Sydney, and
colleagues, report their findings online in Environmental Science &
Technology. "Pesticides are having an effect at 10 to 100 times lower
concentrations than traditionally thought," says Kefford. He says when
authorities try to protect our streams and rivers from pesticides they rely on
thresholds, under which it is assumed pesticides have no effect. For example,
the European Union recommends the use of a commonly-used safety factor of 100.
This means if a negative effect on an aquatic organism is only seen at a
particular concentration of pesticide,...
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