About 80% of lands in the EU are polluted (research results)

A science magazine “Science of Total Environment” published a study conducted by a research group from Wageningen University & Research. They tested soils in the EU for pesticides. The results turned out to be disappointing, writes “Agro-Center”.

Soil contamination with pesticides has become a problem in recent years. The results of the study showed that more than 80% of soil samples contain residues of pesticides. Scientists say that the presence of pesticides in the soil is quite common, not an exception.

In order to obtain results, scientists have selected and tested 317 European samples of the upper layer of soil from agricultural land. In particular, they took soils from potato, wheat, corn, and vegetable fields as well as vineyards. 58% of the samples contained multiple pesticide residues (some as much as 13) and 25% of the samples contained one type of pesticide residue. More than 150 different pesticide mixtures were found in the soil.

The most common among detected pesticides are glyphosate and its metabolites AMPA, metabolites DDT – prohibited in Europe – and fungicides of a wide action spectrum: boscalid, epoxiconazole, and tebuconazole. The maximum total pesticide content in the soil was 2.87 milligrams per kilogram of soil.

“Although we discovered more than one residue in 58% of soils, it can be stated that the presence of several pesticide residues in the soil environment is quite common, not an exception,”

said Professor Violett Geiss.

Experts say that the level of soil pollution with pesticides must be included in the general characteristics of the soil. In the EU, there are no legally established standards for the use of pesticides in agriculture. Therefore, it is necessary to introduce checks on the effects of individual pesticides and pesticide mixtures on a wide range of basic soil organisms. This requires an adequate soil protection policy.

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