Setting The Pace For Environmental Herbicide Testing
Pace® offers comprehensive environmental herbicide testing services to help our customers evaluate the potential impact of herbicides on drinking water, groundwater, surface water, soil, and certain waste. With a team of experienced professionals and a network of state-of-the-art testing laboratories, Pace® provides defensible results for regulatory compliance and in support of sustainable business practices across a wide range of industries.
Pace® ezHerbicide® lab service takes herbicide residue testing to new levels of innovation. A low-volume technology, ezHerbicide® requires fewer samples for testing and analysis and sample prep is easier and less time-consuming. Consequently, ezHerbicide® can provide results up to 50% faster than other lab methods.
ezHerbicide® is an example of how Pace® is delivering science better. Continually investing in infrastructure, processes, and technologies allows us to deliver better results faster for clients.
What Is An Herbicide?
Herbicides are a type of pesticide used to control weeds and manipulate or control undesirable vegetation so that crops can prosper.
Where Are Herbicides Used?
Herbicides are widely used in various sectors, such as agriculture, forestry, and urban/suburban areas, to manage and suppress the growth of undesirable vegetation. This includes the control of aquatic weeds in water bodies.
What Impact Do Herbicides Have On The Environment?
Agricultural herbicides are widely used worldwide. The excessive use of these chemicals and their persistence in the environment have caused serious and long-lasting environmental contamination of soil, water, and air and harmful effects to the ecosystem and food chain.
What Are The Dangers Of Herbicides To Human Health?
Herbicides can cause both short-term and long-term adverse health effects. Short-term effects include stinging eyes, rashes, blisters, nausea, dizziness, and diarrhea. Long-term effects include cancers, birth defects, parkinsonism, kidney damage, neurological and developmental toxicity, and disruption of the endocrine system. The severity of the health risk depends on the toxicity and amount of exposure to the pesticide.
What Will An Herbicide Test Show?
There are many reasons to test for herbicides in your soil, water, or products. Testing can determine if the land is safe for building or growing crops, and if remediation is necessary. It can also identify issues with drinking water or stormwater runoff. In some cases, it is important to know if products grown in your soil contain dangerous levels of chemicals that can harm people, livestock, or the environment.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating herbicides in the United States to protect human health and the environment. The EPA Office of Pesticide Programs handles most of the regulatory issues pertaining to herbicides. The EPA also enforces pesticide and herbicide regulations and supports state and regional EPA programs to protect and certify pesticide applicators.
FIFRA governs the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides (inclusive of herbicides) in the United States until they are disposed. All pesticides and herbicides distributed or sold in the United States must be registered (licensed) by the EPA. Before the EPA registers a product under FIFRA, the applicant must show, among other things, that using the compound according to specifications "will not generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.”
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is a proactive program that regulates municipal and hazardous waste disposal. Upon disposal, pesticides and herbicides are regulated under RCRA, which ensures responsible management of hazardous waste and non-hazardous solid waste.
Created in 1972 by the Clean Water Act (CWA), the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) is a permitting program designed to control and manage the discharge of pollutants, such as pesticides and herbicides, into the Waters of the United States to protect water quality and aquatic life. States can petition the EPA to administer their own NPDES program, and most states have received partial or full approval. Without a permit, any discharge into a receiving body of water is considered unlawful.
Herbicides have the potential to contaminate drinking water supplies in both agricultural and urban settings. The Safe Drinking Water Act gives the EPA authority to administer several programs related to contaminants in drinking water. The EPA’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Program (UCMR) monitors emerging contaminants that may impact the nation’s public water systems and human health. The SDWA also gives the EPA the authority to set National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) and enforce limits on contaminants in drinking water. States may also set limits, but they may not exceed EPA’s NPDWR limits.
Many states run pesticide disposal programs, often referred to as “Clean Sweep” programs, for farmers and commercial pesticide and herbicide users. The details of the programs vary by state, including the participants, the materials collected, how the materials are collected and the dates of the collection.
Pace® Supports Your Environmental Project Needs
Pace® provides end-to-end support for a wide range of projects that call for herbicide testing, such as:
Large commercial operations may also want to test their water influent and effluent for pesticide and herbicide contamination as well as the soil around their production facilities.
NPDES permits are used to monitor and manage the discharge of toxic pollutants in wastewater, and NPDES permitting may include pesticide and herbicide testing requirements.
Pesticide and herbicide identification is often required to develop a remedial plan for addressing environmental contamination. Pace® supports lab testing needs required to support herbicide soil remediation.
Stormwater runoff is another type of wastewater discharge that may be covered by NPDES permitting requirements.
The EPA’s rules that protect public drinking water systems do not apply to individual water systems, such as privately owned wells. Herbicides in well water can come from private septic systems, wastewater, flooded sewers, polluted stormwater runoff, fertilizers, agricultural runoff, and decaying plants.
The Safe Drinking Water Act gives the EPA authority to administer several programs related to contaminants in drinking water and places regulatory limits on several herbicides. Pace® is an EPA-approved lab for drinking water and credentialed in every state.
Groundwater contamination from chemical dumpsites tends to attract the most public attention, but other sources including landfills, septic systems, agriculture, and underground storage tanks also can be significant sources of herbicide contamination.
Herbicides can become airborne in multiple ways, such as the application of herbicides in or around homes, buildings or on farms, during the manufacture of herbicides and their ingredients, or because of spills, accidents, and natural disasters. Once airborne, herbicides can contaminate surrounding communities, impacting soil, groundwater, surface water, and private drinking water wells.