The state of Oregon has identified seven pesticides for which it will establish benchmarks for safe levels in Oregon’s waterways, the Statesman Journal of Salem, Ore. reported last month. All seven were selected because they have been found in Oregon streams and could have risks to the health of humans and/or salmon and other fish. The chemicals include Diazinon, which is used on nursery crops and grass seed; Simazine, which is used on Christmas trees; and Chlorpyrifos, which is used on Christmas trees. These three are also used on various food crops, as are the other four, which include Azinphos-methyl, Dacthal, Endosulfan, and Ethoprop. “Oregon is one of many states turning to its own experts to set benchmarks based on existing research rather than waiting for EPA standards, which haven’t kept up with current-use pesticides,” the newspaper reported. Once the benchmarks are established, the state will begin working with agricultural users, including nursery growers, to reduce pesticide runoff into streams. Such efforts will begin with a pilot project in the Clackamas River sub-basin.
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