The joint fact finding group looking for evidence of harmful effects from pesticides used by large farms on Kauai gave a presentation in Lihue on Monday evening, which drew a sparse-to-moderate attendance and was a very mild affair. Perhaps this was because the facts had already been published in their draft report, and the finding of no significant impact is just not exciting enough to get folks out to hear it repeated in person. Science came through and made the whole affair good and boring.
The long winded draft report, patched together in a classic committee style that would even make university faculty envious, found no evidence of harm to people or the environment. As boring as this is, perhaps the quietest moment of the meeting came with the announcement that results were in from the Kauai Department of Water regarding tests for the much maligned insecticide chlorpyrifos – it was not detected in any of the samples from the four water sources tested, even with a detection limit of 0.05 parts per billion. Good, even great, but pretty boring, apparently, given the lack of cheering, applause and fist pumps.
And it got even more boring, as all 340 sample analyses of legacy and current pesticides and other chemicals in EPA’s protocol for determining organic compounds in drinking water were negative for the 85 listed compounds. Kauai’s drinking water is apparently quite safe. But not headline news.
One overlooked (but still boring) fact from the report is that agriculture on Kauai uses less than 25% of the restricted use pesticides sold there. Some 75% is used for fumigation of buildings and homes, and for disinfection of drinking water and wastewater. Exposure to any residues from structural fumigation for most folks would occur quite infrequently. Drinking water treated with chlorine and related products, however, is likely the most ubiquitous and frequent exposure to restricted use pesticides for the majority of people on Kauai, the state and in the nation, and chlorine is probably the only RUP that we intentionally swallow on a daily basis. While chlorination is not completely without risks, it is a lot more boring and much less risky than having nasty microbes in your water.
Boring really is good. It can help guide us to focus our energies on other real challenges that require creative solutions. However, if you are tired of all this and need to be excited again, do a search using the terms water chlorination Mercola and dive in. Bottoms up!