Europe’s rain contaminated with pesticides

Much of Europe's rain is contains levels of pesticides exceeding drinking water standards, says a new report to be published this summer by Swiss scientists.

To date it has been assumed that pesticides only infiltrated into groundwater directly from fields. The new research from the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology found that pesticides also evaporate from fields to become part of clouds and fall in rain.

The report also warns of the dangers of using rainfall from rooftops to recharge groundwater, since this often contains dissolved herbicides that are added to roofing materials to prevent excess vegetation. For more details, see the report in this month’s New Scientist, linked below.

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