July 31, 2009

Pesticides damaging Chesapeake Bay

Pesticides from homes and farms contribute significantly to the deterioration of the Chesapeake Bay, U.S. scientists and public health experts said.

More than 16 million people live around the Chesapeake Bay, the largest and most biologically diverse estuary in the United States, the Maryland Pesticide Network and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future said Friday in a release.

The Unaddressed Bay Polluter, a study sponsored by the groups, urges government agencies at all levels to making pesticide runoff reduction a priority and to expand and accelerate research on the pesticide threat to the Bay.

Several pesticides in the Potomac River are suspected of causing intersex fish "“- male fish with testicular oocytes, the report said.

Pesticide runoff could equal the damage done to the Bay from agricultural nutrient runoff, project director Robert SanGeorge said.

The pesticide comes from farms, residential lawn care, golf course maintenance and everyday consumer products such as household cleansers and personal antibacterial products," SanGeorge said.