The European Environment Agency recently released a new indicator that detects traces of pesticides in rivers, lakes and groundwater in Europe. The data was collected from EEA member countries and is limited to pesticides whose threshold levels have been exceeded in Europe.
The new indicator shows that the levels of pesticides that exceed the European surface water thresholds were detected in a quarter of the monitoring sites in 2019. This share increased from 13% to 30% from 2013 to 2019. On the contrary, regarding groundwaters, the share is considerably lower, i.e., between 3% and 7%.
The European Union regulates the use of pesticides to protect human health and the environment with rules that are authorized following a complete scientific risk assessment. Nonetheless, surface waters and groundwater can still be subject to contamination, causing damage to flora and fauna.
Indeed, the EEA indicates that despite the positive advances, the minimum target set by the EU has not yet been achieved, but 47% of the water bodies monitored in 2016 were in good chemical condition, with quantities of pollutants not exceeding EU standards.
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