Bioaccumulative Pesticides

Many organochlorine pesticides phased out since substantial use began in the 1960’s have properties that result in their increased accumulation up the food chain (bioaccumulation). Dichlorodiphenyl trichlororethane (DDT), dieldrin, and toxaphene are bioaccumulative pesticides that are no longer in use in the United States, but persist and are still detected in the environment. Exposure to bioaccumulative pesticides can affect nervous, reproductive, and immune system function. In addition, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies most organochlorine pesticides as probable human carcinogens. Minnesota has Water Quality Standards for DDT, dieldrin, and toxaphene, which are measured in water in units ranging from nanograms (one billionth of a gram) per liter (ng/L) to picograms (one trillionth of a gram) per liter (pg/L).

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