What agricultural chemicals are in China’s water, and how harmful are they?
Agricultural chemicals such as pesticides are by their very nature, toxic. Many agricultural chemicals are water soluble, meaning they can easily enter the water supply through runoff or by infiltrating the ground water.
As China’s population has grown, and become increasingly urban, farming practices have intensified to meet the growing demand for food.
This has translated to an explosion in the use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers; which has exacerbated the problem.
Chronic exposure to agricultural chemicals leads to around 355,000 deaths globally every year. The health impacts of long term exposure to pesticides has been shown to include:
- Tumor promotion,
- Chronic and acute neurotoxicity,
- Immunotoxicity, and
- Reproductive and developmental toxicity (Mushak and Piver, 1992)
What’s in the Water