Pesticides/plant protection products

Plant protection products

Herbicides and pesticides, i.e. generally plant protection products in drinking water, are a major problem. Studies carried out by the Federal Environment Agency have identified pesticides or their active ingredients and degradation products in almost 30 percent of all water supplies in Germany. Even pesticides that have been banned for years, such as atrazine or DDT, or their degradation products can still be found in groundwater.

The much-discussed pesticide glyphosate is one of the most frequently used weed control agents in agriculture. Although clear evidence is lacking, glyphosate in drinking water could have immense health consequences, so the effects of the pesticide are currently being investigated in more detail. Large-scale studies by renowned research laboratories suggest that glyphosate ingestion from drinking water or food can cause birth defects and miscarriages in babies.

The Drinking Water Ordinance sets strict limits for pesticides such as glyphosate, and the concentration in drinking water must not exceed the prescribed limit of 0.5 µg/l.