Data released in pesticide study

LIHUE — Data collected during an initial six-month period of monitoring for pesticides in surface water on Kauai and Oahu found “trace levels” in most detections.

“This multi-year surface water study goes a long way towards assuring the citizenry of Hawaii that pesticides are continuing to be used properly,” said Scott Enright, chairman of the Hawaii Board of Agriculture.

The U.S. Geological Survey is conducting the study which collected 32 water samples at 31 sites between November 2016 and April 2017 that produced 7,200 test results.

The USGS tests screened each sample for 225 pesticides, and all the results were within state and federal regulatory water quality standards, according to a Wednesday press release from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health.

“Thirty-one of the 32 samples detected one or more pesticides,” according to the release. “However, a large majority of the detections were at trace levels that were at least 10 times lower than the federal benchmark to be protective of human health and aquatic life.”

Sixty-one different pesticide compounds were detected at least once, the release said.

The study was ordered in 2016 by HDOA and DOH in a $520,000 joint funding agreement with the USGS to provide a science-based water monitoring program as part of Gov. David Ige’s statewide initiative to help to address community concerns about pesticide use in the state.

During the monitoring period, water samples were taken during various water flow conditions, including low-flow (dry weather conditions) and high-flow (storm) conditions. Sampling areas included agricultural lands, urban and developed lands, and mixed land use.

The second year of the study is underway with pesticide monitoring being expanded to sites on Maui and Hawaii Island. In addition, USGS will retest sites on Oahu and Kauai where detections were near the benchmark levels.

  1. susie ruthann wood March 15, 2018 6:01 am Reply

    well now Kauai can get its’ wish of decreased tourism.

  2. No_They_Didn't March 15, 2018 7:16 am Reply

    EPA has to decide for the people. Pesticides control is important enough. I just ate a McDonald’s salad and I buy bell peppers and potatoes all the time. It is good to know that it is safe. Eating vegetarian style is the way to go. Ok, once in a while.

  3. Lucky We Live Kauai March 15, 2018 7:46 am Reply

    No, Scott Enright, that is not what it means. It means that chemicals that aren’t suppose to be in water are in our water! The chemical companies spend millions lobbying and spinning their truth to government agencies until chemicals that disrupt biological processes are allowed in our water. It depends on your size, your exposure and your sensitivity whether or not it makes you sick or outright kills you. If you are a fetus the impact would obviously be more substantial then if you are a full grown man. Oh, that’s right, Scott, you are buddy buddy with the people at the chemical companies.

    Even more ridiculous is having the representative of the company formerly known as Syngenta on the Kaua‘i County Council. Would the large land owners, who manipulate the elections on Kaua‘i, please stand up. Stop making your employees wave signs for your chosen puppets. Most certainly stop telling them who to vote for in our elections. It is a little off putting when you see names written on people’s hands as they enter the voting booth.

  4. amused March 15, 2018 9:46 am Reply

    So will Hooser etc. finally shut up now and quit making their phony claims about pesticide poisoning?

    1. Lucky We Live Kauai March 21, 2018 9:15 am Reply

      What people need to be aware of is the cumulative effects of these pesticides. A little arsenic won’t kill you. But a little arsenic over time will!

  5. Maluhia Group March 15, 2018 1:08 pm Reply

    The proverbial question: “Is the glass half empty or half full?” Since this is in effect a press release for Scott Enright, it’s half full. To the people living in the vicinity of locations where even the slightest detections were found, it’s half empty. Recent studies have proven that the physiological impact of pesticides in our environment is dependent upon an individual’s physiology, metabolism and exposure over time. An authentic safe level of exposure cannot be determined.

  6. Amused March 16, 2018 5:58 am Reply

    It’s obvious that people/groups like Maluhia and Lucky We Live Kauai will never be satisfied no matter how much taxpayer $ is spent on testing. They are so ignorant and dogmatic that they have no comprehension of safety levels, which are scientifically set after extensive studies. Trace detections DO NOT equal harm! Please, get an education and quit spreading fear where there is no harm!

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