Title: Iowans See Pesticide Threat
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00000753/00001
 Material Information
Title: Iowans See Pesticide Threat
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: U.S. Water News
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
Abstract: U.S. Water News Article January, 1987
General Note: Box 7, Folder 2 ( Vail Conference 1987 - 1987 ), Item 29
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00000753
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text


Iowans see pesticide threat

DES MOINES, Iowa Increasing
numbers of citizens of the state of
Iowa believe that agricultural
chemicals, both pesticides and
chemical fertilizers, are the greatest
threat to their water supply.
In two recent polls, One conducted
by the Des Moines Register and the
other by an independent Ohio firm,
the people of this predominantly
agricultural state showed a strong
and perhaps somewhat surprising
disfavor for continued high level use
of any agricultural chemicals, even
among the farmers who have become
financially dependent upon them.
The result of this public concern has
been the development of preliminary
groundwater protection strategies.
One of the most telling statistics of
both polls is that almost half of all
Iowans, 44 percent in one poll and 42
percent in the other, believe that
groundwater contamination is a seri-
ous concern. The Des Moines Regis-
ter poll found that 25 percent believe
that groundwater problems are the
most serious problems facing Iowa
Other results of the two polls indi-
cated the following opinion on the
following questions:
Tighter restrictions on the use
of all agricultural chemicals: In
both polls, 84 percent of the general
public favored it and 64 to 65 percent
of farmers and retired farmers
favored it.
Tighter restrictions on farm fer-
tilizers: In both polls, 75 to 77 per-
cent of the general public favored it
and 52 to 54 percent of farmers and
retired farmers favored it. In the Des
Moines Register poll only 21 percent
of those contacted favored maintain-
ing the status quo.

More attention to a consolidated
effort to protect groundwater: Al-
though most Iowans believe their
water.is presently safe, on the other
hand 82 percent in one poll favored
more stringent action to protect
groundwater, fearing problems in
the future.
Another 57 percent sampled in the
independent poll said taxes should
be levied to discourage excessive pes-
ticide and fertilizer use. Only 37 per-
cent opposed such taxes.
City dwellers in Iowa were not as
deeply concerned as those who live
in rural areas. Residents of Des
Moines tended to show more concern
about industrial contamination, be-
cause harmful levels of trichlorethy-
lene were found in the city's water
supply in 1984. Nevertheless the poll
is a good barometer of what is becom-
ing a greater concern about water
contamination from agriculture
chemicals, not only in Iowa but also
in such surrounding states of Mis-
souri, Nebraska, Kansas, and Min-
Concern about groundwater con-
tamination by such agricultural
chemicals was the subject discussed
by scientists, regulators, and en-
vironmental groups in meeting after
meeting. Part of the problem is pesti-
cides, but perhaps an even greater
part of the problem is nitrogen con-
tamination from fertilizers.
Nationwide, 17 pesticides, some
now outlawed, have been found in
the groundwater of 23 states. Pesti-
cides such as atrazine, alachlor, and
cyanazine, have been found in trace
amounts in many Nebraska wells ac-
cording to University of Nebraska
hydrochemist Roy Spaulding.

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