A federal Department of Agriculture study has found low levels of pesticides in the drinking water of 11 rural schools in Oregon.
Half of the 22 schools tested had traces of at least one pesticide in their water. Several schools tested positive for more than four pesticides. And at least one school had 12 different pesticides in its water. All of the schools tested get their drinking water from groundwater wells.
David Farrer is a toxicologist with the Oregon Health Authority. He says his agency sent the results to administrators but isn’t releasing the names of the individual schools to the public.
“What we found was orders of magnitude lower than the concentration we would call a public health concern,” he said. “In most cases it’s at least 10 times a hundreds times or even a thousand times lower than a concerning level.”
OHA is advising schools with multiple pesticide detections to contact the state for help addressing local pesticide use.