Surface waters contaminated with pesticides

Photo credit: John Cooke Photo credit: John Cooke

A new study published in the journal Science of the Total Environment shows that multiple pesticides have contaminated the surface waters of lakes in Rwanda. The research team looked both at the ecological risks of the contamination, as well as farmers’ knowledge and awareness about the use of pesticides and potential for environmental and health consequences. Findings showed multiple pesticides in the surface waters of lakes (malathion, metalaxyl and carbendazim), with the pesticide malathion exceeding the safety risk threshold for arthropods. Finding that farmers lacked specialized training about pesticides, researchers recommended increased training and guidance services for farmers, educating them about the environmental and health hazards associated with occupational exposure to pesticides, and runoff into local waterways.