Pesticides in Netherlands ground water revealed; Minister "concerned"

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A quarter of ground water in the Netherlands, from which drinking water is extracted, contains too high or nearly too high levels of pesticides, according to the RIVM. Minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen of Infrastructure and Environment calls it "cause for concern", NOS reports. 

In a letter to the Tweede Kamer - the lower house of Dutch parliament - she adds that much has already been done to lessen the burden on the environment caused by these substances. The use of pesticides were reduced and further measures are being taken. Ground water will be better monitored and rules will be better enforced.

The national health authority investigated 192 ground water sources. 26 of them contained more pesticides than the standard allowed. Another 26 were nearly over the limit. So according to the Minister, there are 52 potential problems.  The RIVM found no pesticides in the actual drinking water.

The substances found in the ground water mostly involved herbicides and breakdown products. Some of that has already been banned. And their discovery in the ground water does not necessarily mean they are still being used, according to Schultz. "Especially in ground water contamination can take a long time and may manifest for many years after use."