Pesticides are chemical or biological agents that have varying levels of toxicity and are most commonly used in agricultural practices to protect crops. As such, pesticides can end up in natural waters through run off, leaching or spills.
WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?
Pesticides are commonly used on agricultural lands, gardens and lawns. Contamination of drinking water supplies is possible as these chemicals make their way into ground water and surface water through run off, leaching or spills. Exposure to pesticides can cause various health effects depending on the type of chemical, with some affecting the nervous system while others may be carcinogens.
The EPA has approved several methods for measuring Pesticide Active Ingredients in drinking water. Each method is carried out in laboratory with many using a Gas Chromatography (GC) system for detection.