Effects of Water Treatment on Neonicotinoids (insecticides) and drinking water quality: Study results published

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This month California Water Science Center Scientist Dr. Michelle Hladik and others published an article on water treatment processes and their effects on neonicotinoid pesticides and the potential health threats they pose.

A picture of a river in the neonicotionoid insecticide study

A river in the neonicotionoid insecticide study

Neonicotinoids are the most widely used insecticides in the world. Neonicotinoids are neurotoxins that have gained popularity due to their broad spectrum of control, high potency, and insect selectivity. Because of their chemical properties and widespread usage, neonicotinoids are commonly measured in surface waters across North America. Recently, neonicotinoids have been discovered in drinking water. At this point, the effects of chronic exposure of neonicotinoids to humans remain unknown. In addition, there is the possibility of byproducts formed from the degradation processes of neonicotinoids. The objectives of the research for this article were to understand how water treatment processes, such as chlorination, affect neonicotinoids, and to determine if neonicotinoids and their byproducts are compromising the quality of drinking water.

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