Today, 2,000 pesticides with 500 chemical substances are being used in Europe. However, data on how such substances affect soil quality is incomplete and fragmented, and fails to clearly reflect their overall impact on soil systems and human health. First-time research conducted in the course of two EU-funded projects, iSQAPER and RECARE, is shedding light on the state of European soils. The results are far from reassuring. According to a paper published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, pesticide residues were found in the vast majority of agricultural soils tested in 11 European countries.
Pesticide residues were found in 83% of the analysed agricultural soils in 166 different pesticide combinations. The most common mixtures detected at the highest concentrations were the controversial weedkiller glyphosate and its metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid, followed by the commonly used pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (banned in the EU in 1986), and the broad-spectrum fungicides boscalid, epoxiconazole and tebuconazole.
Source: Infosurhoy, 20 Jan 2019