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Agricultural Pesticide Issues Australia Snapshot

"It was also noted that the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry have directed APVMA (Australian Pesticides Veterinary Medicines Authority) not to include the Precautionary Principle..." Meeting Notes for CCC32 - August 26th 2004.

For more information see here: http://pesticides.australianmap.net/

July 2015 Coonawarra South Australia: Vineyard Spraydrift

Bees and Neonicotinoids in Australia

"Bee deaths were reported in the Yarra Valley Victoria in 2008/9 due to Clothianidin"

"A recently 'heavily censored' Freedom of Information request by Friends of the Earth, has revealed that in September 2008, several apiarists in the Yarra Valley, particularly in the Wandin-Seville area, reported on the death of their bees. It is unlikely that this information made its way to the APVMA due to legal issues surrounding the incidents. The deaths were linked to the use of Clothiandin, supplied in Australia by the multinational company Sumitomo. The product linked to the deaths was Sumitomo Samurai Systemic Insecticide. Fruit growers, particularly cherry growers, rely on apiarists for pollination services during Spring each year. After an investigation was carried out by the Department of Primary Industries, the bee deaths were linked to an apple grower who had applied Clothiandin to control Oriental Fruit Moth in an apple orchard. The pesticide label had stated that the product should only be used only after petal fall, which supposedly limits the period of use when bees are likely to be attracted to the orchard. However this is almost impossible to implement in mixed orchards when there is a staggering of blossoming across a variety of fruits and varities. It is also interesting to note that Clothiandin was applied in an off-label capacity. Off-label use of pesticides is not illegal in Victoria, providing that the rates of use do not exceed label rates and that label infrequency are not exceeded. Clothiandin was registered for use against a number of insects, but not Oriental Fruit Moth."

May 20 2013: Beekeepers Call For Pesticides Withdrawal (Melbourne Age).

The issue was reported by DPI who apparently organised a series of meetings with agronomists, pesticide sellers, beekeepers and orchardists. The APVMA was also informed.

For Victorian Issues see here

The Australian Beekeeper Website

Buzz About Bees Website

August 20 2007. 0.8 mg/L is 800ug/L, which is 8 times Australian Drinking Water Guidelines Health Limit) at inflow to Wingecarribee Water Filtration Plant. Triclopyr is used in melon farms and for blackberry control. Water from Wingecarribee is used to supply local communities (eg Picton, Bargo) and to supplement other Sydney catchments in times of drought (Sydney, Penrith and lower Blue Mountains, Warrangamba, Campbelltown). Source: Sydney Catchment Authority. Appendix D Water Quality Incidents and Exceptions 2007-08 [2007-2008 Annual Water Quality Monitoring Report].

The herbicide triclopyr was detected in 28 raw water samples in the Shoalhaven, Nepean and Warragamba delivery systems. All detections were well below drinking water guideline levels, with Wingecarribee Reservoir recording the highest detection a 0.3ug/L [Sydney Catchment Authority 2007/8].

This event (if true) remains one of the highest recordings of herbicides in a domestic water supply in New South Wales. Dieldrin taken from tank samples from Coffs Harbour during 1986/7 were higher- in relation to Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

Wingecarribee Reservoir - polluted with Triclopyr in August 2007 at possibly the highest herbicide level in an Australian domestic water supply over the past 20 years. Eight times over the then Australian Drinking Water Health Guideline.


Poor Sleepy Lizard Health Linked to Exposure to Agricultural Chemicals in South Australia (December 24 2014)

Million Dollar Crop Loss Warning for Herbicide Users (December 11 2014)

Cairns Fish Kill Early Tests Reveal Pesticides (December 5 2014)

Fenthion to be Banned in October 2015 (October 26 2014)

Market Gardener Fined $15,000 for Pesticide Pollution (October 20 2014)

Some stone fruit growers to leave industry due to fenthion ban (October 17 2014)

Kojanup Organic Farmer Steve Marsh Faces $800,000 Legal Bill After Losing Landmark GM Canola Case (September 19 2014)

Bifenthrin Pesticide Causes Catastrophic Crayfish Mass Mortality Event in Blue Mountains (September 9 2014)

Growers Have to Adapt Their Thinking to Tackle the Costly Fruit Fly (August 27 2014)

Glyphosate Poisoning in SA Canola (July 3 2014)

Why the OFA Supprts the Steve Marsh Appeal (June 30 2014)

Biosecurity Group Call for Fenthion Ban (June 21 2014)

NT growers warned to 'bee' careful when spraying (June 12 2014)

Wimmera farmer wants stricter GM crop laws (May 30 2014)

Steve Marsh Case in WA Detrimental To Future of Australian Organics (May 29 2014)

Steve Marsh GM Contamination Case Fails Australian Supreme Court (May 28 2014)

Orica's Remediation of Contaminated Soil and Groundwater (May 16 2014)

Pesticide Limits Breached By Rogue WA Fruit Growers (May 7 2014)

Eating Organic Food Significantly Lowers Pesticide Exposure (April 30 2014)

Surviving Birds Released After Mass Dubbo Poisoning (March 20 2014)

Reduction in urinary organophosphate pesticide metabolites in adults after a week-long organic diet (March 18 2014)

Bird Killing Poison Sprayed on WA Fruit (March 14 2014)

Pesticides Kill Birds (March 12 2014)

Pesticide Blamed for Deaths of Hundreds of Wild Birds (March 11 2014)

Pesticide Caused Mass Bird Deaths Near Dubbo (March 11 2014)

Farmer Genetically Modified Canola Recklessly Tainted Neighbours Crop (February 11 2014)


Spray Drift Threat To Cotton (December 31 2013)

Insect teeth indicate DDT pollution in rivers (November 11 2013)

Spray Drift Warnings Issued for Cotton Growers (October 31 2013)

Cotton Spray Drift Alert (October 28 2013)

Pest Company Fined Over Jamison Creek Damage (September 11 2013)

Cotton Pesticide Impacting Peoples Health (August 26 2013)

Banded applications are highly effective in minimising herbicide migration from furrow-irrigated sugar cane (July 2013)

Vineyards Concerned About Spray Drift (August 6 2013)

Ecological risk assessment of glyphosate, 2,4 - D and acrolein used in Goulburn - Murray irrigation system (June 28 2013)

Spray Drift Court Case - Western Australia (June 14 2013)

Off - site transport of pesticides in the Mt. Lofty Ranges, South Australia, Australia: The importance of partitioning processes (June 2013)

Seeing Through the Mist Dealing with Spray Drift Claims (June 2013)

Chemical Safety Questioned (May 21 2013)

Beekeepers Call for Pesticides Withdrawal (May 20 2013)

Gippsland Environment Suffering from Pesticide Spray Drift (May 10 2013)

Water Supply Concerns (May 6 2013)

The origin, fate and dispersion of toxicants in the lower sections of the Yarra River (May 2013)

In terms of organic toxicants such as PAHs, TPHs, PCBs and pesticides, there is a very large disparity in reporting and analysis methods worldwide, requiring caution when making comparisons. However, both DDT and PCBs have been recorded in the Yarra sediments above guideline levels and acomparison with data from elsewhere is provided in Table 8. This comparison indicates that concentrations of DDT in sediments in the Yarra River may be very high on global scales, withthe maximum concentration from the port area significantly higher than most comparable estuaries and bays globally. It is worth noting that the 80h percentile of available DDT data from the port area (20.6?g/kg, URS 2007) is significantly lower than the maximum, although this is still relatively high. g/kg) and the Mersey Estuary in the United Kingdom (maximum > 1400?g/kg) (Gelderen and Pettigrove 2011).

A snapshot of pesticides in South Australian aquatic sediments (May 2013)

Tomatoes to be Zapped with Radiation to Destroy Insects after new Food Standards Declared (April 17 2013)

Child Cancer Link to Pesticides (April 11 2013)

New Study Exposes Link Between Pesticides and Childhood Brain Tumours (April 10 2013)

Council Solicitors Review Creek Catastrophe (April 3 2013)

Impacts of intensive agriculture and plantation forestry on water quality in the Latrobe catchment, Victoria (April 2013)

“Reducing Spray Drift – A discussion paper on reducing off - target drift of Group I herbicides” (March 3 2013)

Mysterious Case of the Newhaven Poisoning (February 16 2013)

Great Barrier Reef Water Quality Factsheet (February 2013)


Lifelong Farmer Dies From Toxic Weed Killer (November 16 2012)

Trial monitoring for pesticides and PAHs in the Katherine River using passive samplers (November 2012)

Environmental exposure to organophosphorus and pyrethroid pesticides in South Australian preschool children: A cross sectional study (November 1 2012)

$10,000 fine for aerial damage (September 26 2012)

AN AERIAL spray con- tractor has been fined $10,000 for allowing herbicide to cause damage in the Kinglake National Park and Black Ranges State Forest. The spray drift incident occurred over 10 days in April 2010 while Forest Air Helicopters, of Albury, was spraying a mixture of glyphosate and metsulfuron-methyl to control weeds in a forestry pine plantation that was re- covering from the Black Saturday bushfires. It resulted in damage to more than 200 hectares of bushland near a number of forestry coupes at Kinglake West, Buxton and Narbethong. A Forest Air Helicopters spokesman said the com- pany ran the usual compu- ter modelling and risk as- sessments beforehand and had boundary riders in radio contact with the pilot and buffer zones in place. Forest Air Helicopters pleaded guilty in the Wodonga Magistrates’ Court earlier this month and was fined on three charges; another seven were struck out. As well as the fine, the company was ordered to pay court and other costs totalling $27,024.61. No conviction was recorded. Department of Primary Industries chemical stan- dards officer Jane Rhodes said the matter was a timely reminder for all spray contractors.

Environmental/Ecological Risk Assessment (ERA) Model for Assessing Risks in Irrigation Areas (River, Creeks, Channels, Drains) of Toxicants (Pesticides, Herbicides and Trace Metals) to Various Receptors - Goulburn Murray Water (September 2012)

Hancock Victorian Plantations Central Victoria (September 2012)

In September 2012, a contractor aerially spraying over Hancock pine plantations in central Victoria was fined $10,000 for spray drift which spread over 200 hectares of neighbouring King Lake National Park and Black Ranges State Forest. The spray event occurred over a 10 day period in April 2010 over lands adjoining several plantations. The vegetation that suffered from the spray drift was recovering from the 2009 bushfires which devastated much of the region. It has since been determined that eucalypts that regenerate after bushfires are far more sensitive to the herbicide glyphosate than previously realised.

Pesticide Likely Cause of Creek Pollution (August 8 2012)

Study Reveals Pesticide Approval Processes Don't Protect River Biodiversity (June 2 2012)

Trials to Counter Spray Drift (South Australia) (April 23 2012)

Farmers Warned on Spray Drift (South Australia) (April 5 2012)

Electricity Agency Admits Using Herbicide In National Park (March 30 2012)

Pesticides In Groundwater Burdekin Region Queensland (March 2012)

Gone with the Wind - A Crop Dusting Case Study (January 2012)


WWF Says Pesticide Restriction Won't Protect Reef (November 30 2011)

Wet Season Ban On Reef Chemical (Diuron) (November 29 2011)

Unsafe Toxin Levels Found In Great Barrier Reef (September 22 2011)

Farm chemical diuron found in Great Barrier Reef catchment at levels 50 times higher than those considered safe (September 22 2011)

Bayer Finally Withdraws Class 1 Pesticides (September 19 2011)

Cheap Chemicals Require Caution (September 15 2011)

Warnings For Glyphosate (September 13 2011)

Glyphosate Friend or Foe (September 5 2011)

Dimethoate Suspensions Within Two Weeks (September 2011)

Pesticide Implicated In Great Barrier Reef Degradation (August 18 2011)

Pesticide Punished Reef Gets 'Moderate' Health Report (August 12 2011)

Pesticides Hurting Great Barrier Reef Report (August 11 2011)

Offlabel Pesticide Use Slammed (August 3 2011)

Steve Marsh launches test case (July 28 2011)

Unsold GM Canola (July 18 2011)

Queensland fruit fly scientists in race against time to protect Australia's fruit and vegetable industry (June 23 2011)

Government Urged To Review Pesticide Laws (June 15 2011)

Noosa fish health final investigation report released (June 8 2011)

Prosecute Me: Vet's Dare Over Poison (April 19 2011)

(The Australian Leigh Dayton)

A LEADING veterinarian has called on authorities to prosecute him for deliberately violating animal welfare regulations in Queensland. Fisheries veterinarian Matt Landos is attempting to highlight what he claims are long-running inadequacies in the regulation and monitoring of agricultural chemicals near waterways and sensitive animal industries.

His case in point: the Sunland Fish Hatchery, near Noosa, where reports of mass deaths, double-headed embryos and other fish deformities triggered media coverage in 2009. Dr Landos - director of Future Fisheries Veterinary Service in NSW and Sydney University research associate - was called in by hatchery owner Gwen Gilson to conduct trials to assess the impact of spray drift. Along with Queensland government veterinary pathologist Roger Chong, he linked the problems to agrichemical spray drift from a nearby macadamia farm, "but nothing has been done," Dr Landos said.

"I'm very concerned about the welfare of the animals on this property and the welfare of animals wherever these (chemical) products are used."

In email correspondence sighted by The Australian, Dr Landos last month urged Biosecurity Queensland's director of Animal Biosecurity and Welfare, Allison Crook, to prosecute him under the Animal Care & Protection Act 2001. A Biosecurity Queensland spokesperson said: "As we've only just received this material, much of which is quite technical, all we can say is that we are assessing the information received." Dr Landos argued that he should be charged as he requested Ms Gilson conduct a series of trials -- on and off the hatchery grounds -- to assess the impact of spray drift on fish and chickens. "

Cancer Cause or Crop Aid Herbicide Faces Big Test - Glyphosate (April 18 2011)

Growers Fear Fly Pesticide Ban (March 24 2011)

Large-scale pesticide monitoring across Great Barrier Reef catchments – Paddock to Reef Integrated Monitoring, Modelling and Reporting Program (2011)


Utilities Fear The Costs of New Pesticide Testing (November 11 2010)

(The Australian Natasha Bita)

Water utilities are fighting plans to test for 140 pesticides in the nation's drinking supplies.

A National Health and Medical Research Council committee has set out new pesticide limits in draft drinking water guidelines to be considered by federal, state and territory governments early next year.

Even though testing is not obligatory under the guidelines, utilities are worried about the cost.

Water Quality Research Australia - a national oganisation of water utilities and universities - has complained the draft guidelines include 140 new pesticide values "without any guidance on what to monitor or what pesticides are of concern".

"It would be cost-prohibitive for utilities to monitor all of these," the WQRA says in a submission to the NHMRC's water quality committee.

"If assessment was through evaluating land use, it would be useful/necessary to include pesticides that are for ... specific land uses (and) management practices in each climate zone."

The utilities also object to the cost of providing clearer drinking water, under the NHMRC committee's plan to tighten controls on water turbidity. "There is justfied concern that in order to meet this revised target many water authorities would require substantial capital and operational changes," the WQRA says.

"This significant expenditure would only result in marginal reductions in the risk to public health."

WQRA chairman Michael Moore said yesterday the draft guidelines included new pesticides, and reduced the allowable limits on others.

But he said water authorities in Victoria should not be required to test for pesticides used on banana farms in North Queensland.

"If there's no evidence the pesticide has been used in a particular area, there is no need for a utility to test for it," Professor Moore said.

"We're asking for a rational justification of these (pesticide) measurements."

The Australian revealed yesterday that the NHMRC water quality committee had ditched a new "zero tolerance" plan to prevent faecal contamination of the nation's drinking supplies, after utilities complained that 100 per cent purity would be unrealistic.

The committee had wanted to define water quality as "satisfactory" only if all samples taken had been totally free of E.coli, a bacteria that can indicate sewage in the water.

Some Mite Miss Endosulfan Others Not So Much (October 26 2010)

Esperance May Reverse Summer 2,4-D Decision (October 25 2010)

Urgent Search for Endosulfan Replacement (October 24 2010)

Australia Joins Other Countries in Banning Endosulfan (October 13 2010)

Chemical Find In Creek Prompts Drinking Water Tests (September 30 2010)

Calls For Nufarm Chiefs Head As Profit Tumbles (September 28 2010)

Locusts Seen In Massively High Densities (September 28 2010)

Pesticides Linked to ADHD (Sep 1 2010)

Locust Plague Brings Need For Responsible Chemical Use (Aug 25 2010)

Labor To Overhaul APVMA (Aug 20 2010)

Study Links Pesticides to ADHD (Aug 20 2010)

ADHD Pesticide Link Confirmed (Aug 20 2010)

Don't Let Bees Get Caught in Locust Crossfire (Aug 13 2010)

Australia Is Lagging Behind When It Comes To Chemical Regulation (August 11 2010)

Victoria Braces For Early Days Of The Locust (August 10 2010)

Nufarm's Toxic Dilemma (July 23 2010)

WA Farmers Using EU Banned Pesticides (July 19 2010)

Toxic Hit List Shows Australians Exposed to Dangerous Pesticides (July 18 2010)

Protected Tomato Crop Wiped Out (July 7 2010)

More Veges Down For The Count in Bowen Poisoning (July 7 2010)

Bowen Tomato Sabotage (July 6 2010)

Cotton Farmer Wins Damages For Spray Drift (July 6 2010)

Chemical Red Tape Cut (July 4 2010)

Mystery Poisoning Threatens North Queensland Tomato Crop (July 2 2010)

Noosa Fish Deformities (July 1 2010)

US Bans Health Risk Pesticide Endosulfan (June 26 2010)

Resellers Can Help Dispose of Quintozene Products (June 18 2010)

Outcry As More Fish Die At Noosa River Hatchery (June 18 2010)

Broadly Used Chemicals Face The Axe [Dimethoate, Fenthion] (June 16 2010)

Insecticide Ban Spurs Local Review - Endosulfan (June 11 2010)

Victorian Government Declares War On Locusts (June 11 2010)

"Farmers Can Manage Glyphosate"? (June 8 2010)

2,4-D Spray Drift Hazard (May 31 2010)

Letters to the Age Newspaper on GE Crops and Glyphosate (May 14 2010)

Seeds of GM Discontent (May 12 2010)

'But the real problem with Roundup Ready is the very limited window allowed for weed spraying. You can only spray the plants when they have between two and six leaves … There are times when you might need to spray if weeds develop when the plants have 12 leaves, but if you do that you really knock them around. This [limitation] has really taken the gloss off GM.''

Box Hill Pool Herbicide Shock (May 6 2010)

Crucial Doubleheaded Fish Report Delayed (April 27 2010)

Hatchery Suit Fungicide (April 23 2010)

Chemicals Regulator Dysfunctional WWF (April 21 2010)

Two Headed Fish Raise Chemical Concerns (April 20 2010)

States May Fight National Farm Chemical Control (April 19 2010)

More Research Needed to Keep GM Crops Effective (April 14 2010)

Quintozene (Dioxins) Suspended by Federal Regulator (April 12 2010)

Vignerons Anxious Wait After Spray Drift (ACT)(April 8 2010)

Indian Grain Quality Shame (April 8 2010)

Spray Drift Compo Gympie Farmer Dudded (April 8 2010)

Pesticides May Double Risk of Skin Cancer (April 8 2010)

Poisoned (Sixty Minutes) Endosulfan/Carbendazim (March 18 2010)

Chemical Cocktail Mutated Farm Fish (March 15 2010)

Fears Linger In Rural Paradise (March 13 2010)

APVMA To Examine New Atrazine Claims (March 8 2010)

Perth's Pesticide Peril 9Chipco Spearhead) (March 1 2010)

The High Cost of Spray Drift (Feb 22 2010)

Something in the Water Part Two (Australian Story - ABC TV) (Feb 22 2010)

Chemical Concerns (Noosa Carbendazim) (Feb 19 2010)

Claims Pesticides Threaten Great Barrier Reef (Feb 17 2010)

Something in the Water Part One (Australian Story - ABC TV) (Feb 15 2010)

Poison Reservoir on Eyre Peninsula (Feb 5 2010)

Wowan (Qld) in Spray Drift Limelight (Feb 10 2010)

Polluter Pays Myth Legend (2000?)

Spray Drift Clouds Kingaroy (Qld) (Jan 15 2010)


Sumitomo To Nufarm Rescue With Tender Offer (Dec 30 2009)

River Experts Investigating Fishy Business (Dec 15 2009)

Chemicals Put Farmers At Risk (Dec 11 2009)

Cancer Rates On The Rise For Farmers (Dec 11 2009)

Fear Pesticides Led To Double Headed Fish (Dec 11 2009)

Mapping A Cotton Spray Drift Solution (Dec 3 2009)

Pesticide Residues in the Great Barrier Reef (December 2009)

Sunland Fisheries Update (November-December 2009)

Cape Mentelle Spray Drift (Nov 26 2009)

Early Spray Drift Damage in CQ Cotton (Nov 26 2009)

Watch For Spray Drift (Victoria) (Nov 26 2009)

Toxic Shock - Western Australia (Nov 25 2009)

Old Dumps Blamed for Killing Swan River Dolphins (November 23 2009)

Pesticide Suspected in Dolphin Deaths (Nov 19 2009)

Spray Drift Fine for Emerald Farmer (November 16 2009)

Banned Pesticides Linked to Death of Swan River's Dolphins (November 13 2009)

Herbicide Pollution Shocker (Oct 26 2009)

Spray for Widely Banned Pesticide (Endosulfan) (October 25 2009)

Pesticide Spray Drift Costing Cotton Industry $10m (October 13 2009)

Scientists Back Law to Limit Farm Run Off to Great Barrier Reef (October 12 2009)

'Putrid' Barrier Reef Run Off Laws Approved (October 9 2009)

Uproar as GM Canola Contaminates Beehive (October 2 2009)

Phenoxy Herbicide Spray Drift (October 2009)

Study Puts Pesticides Safety in Spotlight Once Again (September 21 2009)

Nufarm Defends Downgrade Timing (September 5 2009)

Barrier Reef Woes To Prompt Tough Laws on Land Clearing (September 3 2009)

Millions Pledged to Help Save Reef (September 3 2009)

Nufarm Says Takeover Talks With Sinochem Are Continuing (September 2 2009)

Nufarm Surges On Chinese Takeover Approach (July 24 2009)

Pesticide Safe Says Industry Funded Body (July 17 2009)

Three Headed Fish Found on Sunshine Coast (July 13 2009)

Mutant Fish Spawn Cry For Chemical Ban (July 13 2009)

Fish Deaths Linked to Agrisprays (June 20 2009)

Chemicals May Be Behind Twoheaded Fish (June 16 2009)

Gordonvale fed up with spray drift (Nth Queensland) (11/06/2009)

Gordonvale North Queensland surrounded by Sugar Cane plantations.

CHEMICAL spray drift complaints in the Gordonvale area have prompted a warning to canegrowers to ensure the correct use of spray nozzles and spray pressure.Biosecurity Queensland senior inspector Aaron Russell said the complaints were associated with the use of boom jets or moonless spray nozzles to apply selective herbicides to sugarcane. "Spray drift prevention is an essential aspect of using agricultural chemicals responsibly," Mr Russell said. "The boom jet is a combination of fan and offset fan nozzles based around a central brass housing." Mr Russell said it was important to read the herbicide label, in particular sections on critical comments, directions for use and application. "These sections will indicate the type of equipment to be used as well as pressures and application rates," he said. "Growers can be prosecuted for not applying chemicals in accordance with label directions. "Prolific weed growth after the wet season has meant a spike in spraying and an increase in spray drift events and complaints. "Queensland's agricultural chemical laws aim to reduce the potential impact on human and animal health, trade and the environment." Tips to minimise chemical drift risks include: * Avoid spraying in still or windy conditions, thermal inversions or when wind is blowing towards crops that can be damaged by chemicals. * Reduce spray pressure to the minimum required. * Ensure spray equipment (including nozzles) is appropriate, well maintained and calibrated. * Drop the height of the spray release as low as possible without interfering with the spray pattern. Canegrowers are asked to inform neighbours of intended spray days. Mr Russell said growers needed to identify any sensitive situations, such as other crops, wetlands, watercourses and residential housing within 3km and be aware of susceptible crops or sensitive areas. * Call 13 25 23 or visit www.dpi.qld.gov.au

Minimizing off-site transport of pesticides in the Ord River Irrigation Area, Western Australia (May 2009)


Hazardous Pesticides Must Be Safe Right? Choice Magazine (April 24 2009)

Swan River Pollution Shock (March 30 2009)

A baseline study of contaminants in the Swan and Canning catchment drainage system (February 2009)

24D spray drift investigations By Amy Phillips (20/01/2009)

Cotton growers say they're experiencing serious crop damage from spray drift and their complaints about grain farms may lead to restrictions on a widely used herbicide. Cotton Australia's chief executive Adam Kay says the bill for the damage could be as high as $5 million. The culprit is 24D, used by grain growers to control broad leaf weeds. Its reportedly drifting up to 10 kilometres from its target paddocks into cotton crops, killing the plants. Mr Kay says Cotton Australia is encouraging farmers to report any cases of spray drift to the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority. "So far this year we have had over 70 incidences of herbicide drift onto cotton reported to us and it's causing great concern to alot of growers." "The next stage that we're moving to is talking with the APVMA and talk to them about label changes that will protect growers into the future." The APVMA confirms its had many reports of 24D spray drift. Its principal scientist for agricultural chemicals, Doctor David Loschki, says the APVMA imposed more strict labelling requirements about three years ago. "We have been receiving substantial reports of the herbicides misuse ... without compliance we will move to stricter labelling systems." Agforce grains director, Wayne Newton says banning 24D or phenoxy herbicide would be devastating to both cereal and cotton growers. He grows both crops on his Dalby property and uses the product to kill weeds on all of his paddocks. "For a few years I've been spraying 24D right alongside my cotton crops without any problems because I abide by the products labels." "We are continuing to have these problems because farmers are not abiding by the labels and they are going to wreck it for everybody." "It would be devastating to see the product be pulled from the market," he said.

Weed growth prompts spray drift alert (15 January 2009)

Herbicide spray drift damage to a number of Central Queensland cotton crops has been reported this summer as broadacre farmers battle prolific weed growth. Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries Central Queensland cotton extension officer Susan Maas said spray drift prevention was an essential aspect of using agricultural chemicals responsibly. Ms Maas, who works in cooperation with the Cotton Catchment Communities CRC and Research Development Corporation, said crop damage caused by spray drift of agricultural herbicide or pesticide was a significant concern for all growers and livestock producers. "Herbicide spray drift damage to cotton has again been reported on the Central Highlands, Dawson Valley and on the Mackenzie River," Ms Maas said. The 2008-09 predominantly irrigated cotton planting in Central Queensland amounts to 12,000 hectares on the Central Highlands and 4800 ha in the Dawson-Callide. Ms Maas said it was vital to communicate with neighbours and spray contractors to initially identify any sensitive crops in the area and then use well setup, calibrated equipment to improve spray efficacy as well as minimise the risk of drift. "The bulk of the damage has been attributed to phenoxy-type chemicals such as 2,4-D and Starane moving off target trapped in meteorological inversion layer air movements," Ms Maas said. "Despite some excellent summer planting rains, some grain growers are opting to hold over fallow cultivation country to plant early winter wheat or chickpeas due to low sorghum grain market values. "To control grass and broadleaf weed growth and to conserve soil moisture, growers should be selecting spray nozzles to apply coarse droplets that are too heavy to remain suspended in thermal air movement." Biosecurity Queensland district inspector Tim Fischer said spray applicators had a moral and legal obligation to ensure spray applications did not impact on neighbouring situations or landholders. Mr Fischer said it was vital that spray operators always refer to label requirements and monitor and record meteorological conditions throughout the spray job. Agricultural chemicals should always be used strictly in accordance with label instructions especially taking into account drift warnings, wind speed and droplet-size limitations. Wind speed should be a steady 3 km per hour to 15 km per hour. Use visual indicators such as smoke, moisture or dust to monitor for still or low level inversions that tend to form in the late evening, strengthen overnight and are usually strongest near sunrise. For optimum Delta t conditions and further tips on spraying refer to the DPI&F technical publication "Spray drift fact sheet" available as a link from the DPI&F website´s spray drift page. Landholders who wish to lodge complaints of chemical misuse or spray drift incidents relating to crop or stock damage can notify the department by contacting the DPI&F Business Information Centre on 13 25 23. "Our investigations are focussed on determining whether the operator may have breached provisions of Queensland´s agricultural and veterinary chemical control or use legislation," Mr Fischer said.

Australia Refuses to Join Ban on Pesticide (Endosulfan) (8 January 2009)


How Can We Get Better Management of Pesticides in Our Catchments, When Authorities Let Children Swim in Gender Bender Pesticides?

Pesticide in Pools Far Above Safe Limit (May 18 2009)

Cancer Chemicals: Pool Herbicides Put Kids At Risk (May 18 2009)

"simazine works by disrupting hormone and enzyme systems, the immune system, the allergy system and altering the functioning of our genes. Simazine allows other chemicals to act and preset our bodies for illnesses (allergies, asthma, auto-immune diseases, neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's) and cancers. The type and severity of the effects depends on the time that they affect us, and the mixture of toxins that we are exposed to, but the effects are maximal to unborn babies and children. Hormone disruptors work at extremely low concentrations. The total biological effects of these and other toxic pesticides on all the animals in our ecosystems, including humans, have not been fully investigated, let alone qualified." Letter to Sunday Age 18/1/09.

APVMA's Slight Change of Position May 18 2009: Simazine Pool Concerns Being Assessed 18 May 2009 Community concerns about the use of simazine as an algicide in swimming pools will be addressed in a review of simazine scheduled to commence in the next six months. This review will enable all available scientific evidence to be properly assessed and for a regulatory decision to be made if an identified risk to children’s health in particular, or human health in general, is substantiated. Information currently available, however, does not suggest that the risk to human health from simazine in swimming pools is likely to be great. There are some 92 chemical products available on the Australian market to treat algae in swimming pools. Only two of these contain simazine. Advice from the pool and industry suggests that simazine products have around five percent of the market and are typically used to treat pools over winter when they are not being used. Information is currently being gathered for assessment prior to the commencement of the review. Should that information suggest a risk that cannot be managed, the APVMA is able to take immediate regulatory action.

Age Article Resurrects Simazine Controversy (Feb 16, 2009 - Industry Newsletter)

2,4-D spray drift investigations (January 20 2009)

Endosulfan Carbendazim Fingered for Fish Mutations (Jan 14 2009)

Simazine in Swimming Pools (Jan 11 2009)

APVMA's Response: Hot Topic - Simazine January 2009 The continued registration of simazine products as algaecides in swimming pools in Australia has attracted media interest over the past week or so. Environmental group Friends of the Earth (FOE) has raised concerns about the potential of simazine to be an endocrine disruptor and to present a risk to children and pregnant women through accidental ingestion of pool water or absorption via the skin. FOE claims that the Environmental Protection Authority in the United States deregistered simazine for pool use in the United States in 1994 and argues that it should be similarly deregistered in Australia. Simazine is a triazine herbicide and algaecide used in agriculture and in the home and garden. Simazine products are used for the control of a large variety of weed species in fruits, vegetables, lentils, vineyards, home garden and non-agricultural situations. They are also used to control algae in pools, aquariums and ponds. The issues raised by FOE are not new. The APVMA has had concerns about potential environmental and human health impacts of the triazine herbicides, which include simazine and atrazine, for some time. In early 2008 it concluded a review of atrazine which led to a tightening of controls. Contrary to some media reporting, simazine itself has been a candidate for review for some time. Further, in 2007 the APVMA initiated a project, based on ongoing research, to re-examine the possibility that the triazines (including simazine and atrazine) may have some previously unreported biological effects. The project and associated assessment is evidence-based. If research outcomes point to new risks, the APVMA will consider appropriate regulatory measures. However at present, there is no clear evidence to justify raising the current priority for the review of simazine.


Chemical Castrating Herbicide Used in Swimming Pools (Dec 18 2008)

Assessment of pesticides in aquatic organisms – Ord River WA (October 2008)

Pesticide Residues in Waterways of the Lower Burdekin Region: Challenges in Ecotoxicological Interpretation of Monitoring Data (May/September 2008)

New Study Predicts Climate Change Will Make Pesticides More Lethal To Fish (May 30 2008)

Drift Damage Rife on Cotton Crops (February 27 2008)

Banned Pesticides on Strawberries (January 30 2008)

Pesticides Still Pouring Into Reef Waters (August 13 2007)

Dissipation of Cotton Pesticides from Runoff Water in Glasshouse Columns (July 12 2006)

Australia's Best Practice on Poisonous Pesticide Ain't So Good (June 15 2006)

Effect of GM Cotton in Reducing Pollution in Namoi River (March 22 2006)

The Worst Groundwater Contamination Incident in the Southern Hemisphere - A Case Study of Orica’s Botany Industrial Park (January 22-25 2006)

Yellow Flag on Spray Drift (January 2006)

Pesticides Linked to Breast Cancer in Victoria (January 31 2005)

Australian Wine Exports at Spray Drift Risk (2005)

Spray Drift A Costly Problem (November 25 2004)

Timber Spraying Contaminated Drinking Water (September 28 2004)

NSW Land Environment Court Fines Warringah Golf Club (April 10 2004)

A cautionary tale for chemical users

Warringah Golf Club’s pesticide spill transformed it from criminally negligent to a chemical safety expert. Educating chemical users is essential, writes Kellie Morle. A major environmental incident is one way to spread the word about the importance of storing and handling chemicals in a safe way. Other less shocking ways include education campaigns and resources. It was a catastrophic spill at Warringah Golf Club in 2001 that led to direct action from the golfing industry, for example. The club was found guilty of criminal negligence in the Land and Environment Court after a pesticide spill killed more than 10,000 fish in Brookvale Creek and Manly Lagoon. Poisonous chemicals, including the pesticide Gusathion, were frequently handled and mixed on a concrete slab in the greenkeepers’ workshop area adjacent to stormwater pits that led to the creek. The slab was not surrounded by a bund or any other protective devices. The court found that the leak and the harm caused were foreseeable, labelling it an “accident waiting to happen”. The club was fined a NSW record of $250,000, ordered to pay Manly and Warringah Council’s clean-up costs and carry out preventative works. Course superintendent Craig Coggins was tried separately and found guilty. He had $220,000 to pay in personal legal costs, lost his job, was reinstated and then resigned, had to pay the EPA’s legal bill and undertook 250 hours of community service. A cautionary tale indeed. Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) manager of business relationships David Trewin says the incident reverberated around the industry immediately. “We were able to follow up that prosecution with some very effective resources and training for industry... Golf courses have now become more systematic in the way they plan and respond to risks,” he says. Trewin is busy promoting a new educational CD, Storing and Handling Liquids, based on a large audit by the DECC that looked at how industry was complying with the Protection of the Environment Operations Act. Out of the 52 licence holders audited, 14 required further action, as did four out of 10 non-licensed premises and two out of nine non-licensed, council-regulated premises. The main issues included inappropriate storage of chemicals outside, poor maintenance of bunds (cracks, drainage valves left open) and inappropriate location of storage, most often near stormwater drains. Bulk tanks inside secondary containment facilities had cracked walls and liners, open expansion joints and peeling sealant. A number of businesses were without spill kits or trained staff and had no Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) on site. The decanting of chemicals and their delivery were also common procedural problems.

Copping a Spray (Jan 18-19 2003)

Herbicide causes frog sex change (April 16 2002)

The Case of Sydney’s Tainted Food Scandal: Background and Consequences (March 2002)



The Transport, Fate and Effects of Endosulfan in the Australian Freshwater Environment (March 21 2001)

Fish Kill Manly Lagoon (February 2001)

Inland Waters Theme Report (2001)

Spray Drift Under the Microscope (September 10 2000)

Pesticides in Sediments from Queensland Irrigation Channels and Drains (2000)

Agrochemical Pollution of Water Resources (Western Australia) (February 16-18 2000)

Geomorphology, Soils and Landuse in the Swan Coastal Plain in relation to Contaminant Leaching (2000?)

Applications of Solvent Filled Polyethylene Bags as Passive Samplers of Pesticides in Rivers (December 12 1999)

Riverine endosulfan concentrations in the Namoi River, Australia: Link to cotton field runoff and macroinvertebrate population densities (November 2 1999)

'Curtain' of bacteria to purify pollution Perth Groundwater Atrazine (September 29 1999)

Australian Golf Course Superintendant's Association (September 1999)

Consequences of poor management? case studies

The importance of correct management cannot be understated. In November 1997, a spill of 600 litres of insecticide occurred at Belmont Park racecourse, situated on the banks of the Swan River. The spill was not immediately reported and was only discovered after over 4000 black bream fish were killed, representing approximately 30% of the rivers fish stock. This repeatable tragedy was due to the lack of preparedness or emergency response of racecourse staff who could have prevented the spill or at least reduced its effects. The lever to prevent the valve leaking on the 600 litre mobile tank was inadvertently left open and slowly drained into a stormwater drain near where the tank was parked. No emergency authorities were alerted and the insecticide was transported straight to the river via the drain. Similar events happen every day, fortunately of a smaller scale.

A pesticide contamination problem was detected in the Perth suburb of Dianella in 1992 when a resident reported that his garden was dying when irrigated with groundwater from his domestic bore. The groundwater was found to contain 2000 ug/L (equivalent to parts per billion) of atrazine which was killing plants in the garden (Appleyard, 1995). The groundwater also contained fenamiphos at a concentration of 1000 ug/L. At this concentration, fenamiphos could be toxic on skin contact and cause health problems.

The source of contamination was found to be pest control operator who washed down vehicles at his residence across the road from the contaminated bore. Washdown water was drained into filtration basins on the property. A groundwater remediation program was undertaken at the site, but thus was not successful, as indicated by further contamination being detected in domestic more than 300 metres downgradient of the source.

Additional investigations were carried out by the Water and Rivers Commission to determine whether the Dianella contamination problem was an isolated occurrence or a more widespread contamination problem. Investigations were carried out around five pest control depots in the Perth metropolitan area in 1995 and 1996 (Appleyard et al., 1997). A number of pesticides were detected in groundwater near washdown areas, with concentration of some pesticides exceeding ANZECC criteria for drinking water and the protection of aquatic ecosystems. Persistent organochlorine pesticides such as dieldrin, which have not been used for many years, are still being detected in groundwater. The most widely detected pesticide in groundwater was diazinon. This pesticide is not normally considered to have a high mobility in water, but its mobility is being enhanced by washdown water being discarded to infiltration basins and soakwells.

Drift: A Major Cause of River Contamination (April 1999)

Effect of endosulfan runoff from cotton fields on macroinvertebrates in the Namoi river (February 1999)

Critics of Pesticides: Whistleblowing or Suppression of Dissent? (July - September 1996)

Qld fruit fly treatment poisoning workers (December 2005)

Investigation of Ground Water Contamination by Fenamiphos and Atrazine in a Residential Area (Perth): Source and Distribution of Contamination (Fall 1995)

Hydrocarbons, pesticides, PCB and PAH in Port Phillip Bay (Victoria) sand flathead (1994)

Deformities in chironomid larvae as indicators of pollution (pesticide) stress South Australia (1992)

Pesticide losses in runoff from a horticultural catchment in South Australia and their relevance to stream and reservoir water quality (1989)

Pesticides Use in Western Australia (1987)

Herbicide Spray Drift Damage in the Merredin District, Western Australia 1984

Water Pollution and the Yass Shire Council (1982)

Among the many functions performed by local government agencies in Australia is the control of noxious weeds. For many years, one of the substances used by the Yass Shire Council for this purpose was 245T, a highly toxic chemical containing dioxin. Dioxin, it will be remembered, was used extensively as a defoliant in Vietnam under the name of 'Agent Orange'. The Council's Inspector of Noxious Weeds, a Mr Bush, advised the Council that he used over 2,000 litres of the substance over the previous year (Yass Post 5 March 1980, p. 23). In July 1982 it was disclosed that council workers had been using a mixture of diesel oil and 245T to spray stumps along the banks of the Yass River, and that an estimated two gallons had found its way into the river. The ecological impact of this herbicide was not great; tests carried out by the NSW Health Department indicated insignificant levels of pesticide in the water. Nevertheless, the resulting oil slick further offended the sensibilities of residents already uneasy about water quality; the Secretary of the Yass Acclimitisation Society expressed his concern to state government authorities (Yass Post 7 July 1982, P. 1).


Aug 08: Duck River Catchment North Western Tasmania has recently had the insecticide fenitrothion detected in it as well as the herbicide MCPA which has continually been detected for some time. Grazing properties are implicated.

Problems with Atrazine

atrazine lovers website

Also check out this amazing video about Atrazine

Briefing Note: Ciba-Geigy Meeting on Atrazine - Melbourne 16 August 1994

Pesticides Still Pouring Into Reef Waters Aug 13, 2007

Herbicide review 'fails' the environment 15 May 2008 Anna Salleh ABC

A review of the widely-used herbicide atrazine fails to recommend studies on its effects on the Australian environment, says one expert.

The response follows an Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) review, which approves continued use of the herbicide, despite international debate over its health and environmental effects.

Atrazine is used in Australia to control grass and weeds in crops like sorghum, maize, sugar cane, lupins, pine, eucalypt plantations and triazine-tolerant canola.

The long-running review found no major concerns with the herbicide, dismissing concerns about its potential to cause human cancer and sex changes in frogs at existing exposure levels.

But an expert on the impact of herbicides on frogs, Associate Professor Mike Tyler of the University of Adelaide, says the review gives "superficial treatment" to the question of atrazine's environmental effects, specifically evidence that it causes abnormalities in frogs. And he says the APVMA relied too much on US evidence and should have called for local studies to be carried out.

"Work should be done immediately in Australia on Australian species," says Tyler. He says investigating the role of chemicals in the decline of frog species is important. "Frogs are extremely sensitive to a wide range of pollutants and they give us an indication that there's something wrong with the environment when they begin to disappear."

Findings defended: Dr Simon Cubit of the APVMA defends the review, saying it relied on a database of thousands of scientific papers as evidence. He could not say how many studies in the database are Australian, but says the data is extensive enough to reflect the risk of atrazine in the Australian environment. "At present we don't believe it's a significant issue," he says.

Cubit says the APVMA will re-open the atrazine review if new credible evidence of impact emerges. Meanwhile it recommends changes on labels to reduce the risk of the herbicide contaminating waterways. "Atrazine should not be in waterways," he says. "If it is then it's the responsibility of state authorities to identify its source and take relevant action."

Atrazine in waterways: Tasmanian Greens MP Tim Morris says recent Freedom of Information requests have revealed atrazine levels in the state's waterways as high as 7.42 parts per billion. Previous research suggests problems can occur in frogs as low as 0.1 parts per billion. While the APVMA review concludes the weight of evidence does not support this concern, it says state authorities are required to take action to prevent further contamination when water levels reach 0.1 parts per billion.

Morris says there is currently a proposal before the state government to reduce the legal limit of atrazine in waterways to 0.1 parts per billion. Environmentalists are also concerned over the adequacy of testing of Australian waterways for chemicals such as atrazine.

Human hormone effects: The APVMA says it is investigating in vitro evidence available since the completion of its review that atrazine can disrupt the human hormone system at levels of 20 parts per billion. These latest findings raise questions on the adequacy of the allowed levels of the herbicide in drinking water, currently 40 parts per billion. The National Health and Medical Research Council is also currently reassessing drinking water guidelines, which includes acceptable levels of agricultural chemicals such as atrazine. Atrazine is no longer approved for use in the European Union.

http: www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2008/05/15/2246019.htm?site=science&topic=latest

Alarm at weed-kill chemical in water Matthew Denholm

May 15, 2008 AUSTRALIAN regulators have allowed a widely used weed killer to be present in drinking water at levels twice those now shown to cause damaging genetic changes in human cells.

A new study by the University of California, San Francisco, has found atrazine increases activity of human genes linked to fetal growth retardation and infertility. Atrazine is used to control weeds in forest plantations and crops such as canola, sugarcane, maize, sorghum and lupins across Australia.

Holly Ingraham, study senior author and UCSF professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology, told The Australian significant effects on human placental cells were seen when exposed to as little as 20 parts per billion of atrazine. This is half the 40ppb atrazine health value limit under the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.

The US has a drinking water maximum of 3ppb for atrazine, while Europe has refused to approve it for use. Professor Ingraham said as a scientist she had "no agenda" in terms of regulation, but she believed Australia's health value of 40ppb was "worrying". "If it were me drinking water, I would want it as low as possible," she said. The study also exposed zebrafish to the chemical, finding significant effects at 2ppb and changes to sex ratios at 20ppb.

Earlier this month, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority announced its review of atrazine had concluded "no changes to the existing health standards" were needed. This was because while atrazine had been shown to disrupt the nervous, hormone and reproductive systems of rats, it was "unlikely that atrazine is an endocrine (hormonal) disruptor in humans".

However, the UCSF study drew the opposite conclusion. "Our results strongly suggest that atrazine is an endocrine disruptor - it is indirectly estrogenic, and it most certainly has the potential to influence reproduction, as well as other endocrine functions," Professor Ingraham said.

Endocrine disruptors affect the body's hormonal system, potentially affecting growth, development and reproduction. "Would a fetus or child be especially sensitive to this herbicide? Probably. Our study shows that some of the genes targeted by atrazine have already been linked to intrauterine growth retardation and infertility."

APVMA public affairs manager Simon Cubit said the regulator's decision not to toughen atrazine restrictions was based on "weight-of-evidence" from many studies. However, APVMA had sought expert advice from Australia's Office of Chemical Safety and drawn its attention to Professor Ingraham's study. The Health and Medical Research Council said it would consider "all the latest evidence" as part of its review of drinking water guidelines.

Atrazine producer Syngenta did not comment but has insisted the product poses no risk to human health. Tasmanian GP Alison Bleaney, who believes atrazine may be linked to high rates of cancer and auto-immune disease, demanded an urgent regulatory rethink. "One would hope that our regulators would be protecting us and protection means occasionally that you have to take a stand on the balance of probabilities," she said. "And the balance of probabilities has shown for some years that atrazine is not a safe chemical to have in our environment."


Surface Tensions Shatter Valley Calm (Feb 24 2008)

Pesticides Found In Penguin Colonies (Nov 16 2007)

Triclopyr Detected at 8 times Australian Drinking Water Guideline Limit in Sydney's Water Supply (20/8/07)

DDT Water Pollution a Distraction from New Herbicides: Scientist (Aug 15 2007)

Pesticides Compound Climate Risk to Reef (Feb 6 2007)



Triazines Background

The triazine herbicides act by interfering with plant photosynthesis. Triazines exhibit a wide range of toxicities to aquatic organisms, depending on the compound and the species. Atrazine concentrations as low as 10ug/L have been reported to inhibit algal growth but some algal species may establish resistant communities. Species richness and total abundance of emerging benthic macroinvertebrates were significantly reduced by atrazine concentrations of 20 ug/L and above (Boey & Cooper 1996; NRA 1997) ... The half-life for atrazine in estuarine sediment is 15-20 days, but in soil, 30% of the original atrazine may still exist after 3 years (Boey & Cooper 1996). p17 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Atrazine and simazine are relatively stable in water and have been detected in ground and surface waters in the USA and Australia (Kookana et al. 1998b). p17 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

The most widely used pesticide in Australia today is glyphosate...Annual average use approaches 15,000 tonnes. The next most widely used herbicides are atrazine and simazine. These are selective systematic herbicides which provide knockdown and residual action for control of many broad-leafed weeds and some grasses in forestry and agricultural crops. About 3000 tonnes of each of these are used annually, much of them industrial rather than agricultural uses for seasonal weed control. p27 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

A water quality program is being undertaken by the NSW Department of Land and Water Conservation that includes monitoring the rivers and streams of northwest NSW. No sample even approached the drinking water health values, but endosulfan, atrazine and chlorpyrifos in some samples exceeded the Action Guideline Value established by the NHMRC/ARMCANZ Guideline.. p90 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Pesticides with intermediate persistence included atrazine...p126 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.



MacIntyre River near Moree NSW

Irrigation runoff waters in north-west cotton growing areas of NSW are retained within the farming boundaries in normal operations. Any direct escape of farm runoff water to the river or wetlands within months after spraying will lead to significant environmental contamination (Kennedy 1999). Muschal and Warne (2001) determined the hazard and risk posed to riverine organisms from pesticides. They used montioring data from the Central and North Western Regional Water Quality Program, which is run by Department of Land and Water Conservation, NSW... Data from the Macintyre, Gwydir and Namoi rivers were compared against ecotoxicological date from ANZECC and ARMCANZ (2001)... Sites at the bottom end of each catchment had the greatest agrochemical contamination with high levels of endosulfan, atrazine and other pesticides. p128 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

In 1999-2000 atrazine exceeded the guideline level of 99% ecosystem protection (0.07ug/l) in 8% of samples (Muschal 2001). Overall concentrations of atrazine in north-western NSW surface waters ranged from below the analytical detection limit to 10ug/l, with some isolated peaks up to 20ug/l during storm events. These were low compared to overseas results (Boey & Cooper 1996)... p128 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

[cotton NSW] In total, six insecticides and nine herbicides (including breakdown products of atrazine) have been detected in surface water samples since 1991. The insecticides are amitraz, chlorpyrifos, parathion methyl, dimethoate, profenofos and propargite;p the herbicides are desethyl atrazine, diuron, fluometuron, hydroxy atrazine, metolachlor, pendimethalin, prometryn, simazne and trifluralin... The herbicides desethyl atrazine, diuron, fluometuron and metolachlor appear to be on a continuing upward trend... p128/9 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Storm events can substantially increase both the concentration and load of pesticides in storm surface waters. Significant loads of atrazine were transported off dryland cotton farms in the Namoi catchment during a 24-hour storm event in July 1993 (preeces et al. 1993). Cooper and Riley (1996) measured the storm transport of pesticides from dryland cotton production into Cox's Creek in the Liverpool Plains of NSW in January 1995. The high stream flow lasted for over three days and was associated with high turbidity. The loads of atrazine and endosulfan exported in the storm were relatively low, reflecting the lower usage due to drought, but peak concentrations were 2.25ug/L of atrazine and 0.045ug/L of endosulfan. It is significant that atrazine had not been used for around 12 months. In another storm monitored in January 1997 on the Gwydir River, Muschal (1997) detected alpha-and beta endosulfan, endosulfan sulfate, atrazine, diuron, fluometuron and prometryn...p129 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Large quantities of herbicides are applied to the irrigation areas of south-western NSW for the growing of rice. The total quantities of molinate applied each season (>100,000 kg in Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area alone) far exceed any other herbicides mostly in spring and early summer. Bensulfuron-methyl is also commonly used on most rice crops, while other herbicides used for general weed control and seedbed preparation include glyphosate, diquat, paraquat, atrazine and diuron (Bowmer et al. 1995).p129 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Murrumbidgee Irrigation Region south of Griffith NSW

Bowmer et al. (1995) reviewed and reported on the pesticide monitoring that has been carried out in these irrigation areas. Supply water from the rivers was of high quality and generally few pesticides were detected. Just a few channels contained low levels of atrazine (0.08ug/L & 0.2 ug/L); endosulfan sulphate (0.02ug/L); molinate (7.2 ug/L & 0.5 ug/L); and 2,4-D (0.5 ug/L). Water supplying farms in the Willbriggie district, which had been mixed with MIA drainage water, contained higher concentrations of some pesticides and more frequent detections. Molinate was detected in 90% of samples over 55-days in spring and early summer, up to a maximum concentration of 3.6ug/L and atrazine in 20% of samples, up to 0.35ug/L...p129/130 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

{SW NSW}Pesticide residues were detected in water from the large drainage channels that received runoff from a variety of crops, particularly in spring and summer (Bowmer et al. 1995; Korth et al. 1995). Molinate was detected in most drains during its application season, and levels often exceeded guidelines both for drinking water and protection of the aquatic environment. Other pesticides commonly found to exceed guidelines current at the time included diuron, atrazine, endosulfan, chlorpyrifos and malathion...p130 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Chapman and Stranger (1995) found that water quality was generally good in horticultural areas in the Gippsland area of Victoria in 1994...Triazine and urea herbicides were common in drains; atrazine was found up to 4.9ug/L (Orbost), simazine up to 1.4ug/L and diuron up to 4.8ug/L (both at Koo-wee-rup). However some herbicides were found in a few stream samples: atrazine was found at Rosebud and Bairnsdale (0.14-3.2ug/L); metribuzin (0.15 - 0.28ug/L) at two locations; simazine at Bairnsdale (0.61ug/L). Endosulfan (up to 0.04ug/L) and chlorpyrifos (0.002ug/L) were also detected in streams at Bairnsdale...p130 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

In Tasmania, Daves et al. (1994) detected residues of triazine herbicides, atrazine and simazine in 20 out of 29 streams sampled that drained forestry and agricultural catchments in Tasmania between 1989 and 1992. The forestry spraying was carried out by helicopter with relatively high application rates. Concentrations of herbicides ranged over several orders of magnitude; the highest concentration of atrazine was 53mg/L (53 000ug/L) and of simazine 478 ug/L. Atrazine residues decreased with time after spraying; from a median of 8.1ug/L on the day of spraying to a median of 0.3ug/L around 13-15 months later. However, rainfall runoff caused significant but transient atrazine concentrations in streams, even after 13-15 months, with median values up to 2.0ug/L. The lower water solubilities of atrazine and simazine, compared to the other triazine herbicides, contribute to their greater persistence in water. A typical half-life of atrazine in these Tasmanian streams was around 3 months. Streams draining forestry land generally contained more pesticides than agricultural streams due to differences in methods of pesticide application, time of application and the nature of the chemicals...p131 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Namoi River near Walgett NSW

Turner (1996) reported that Atrazine has been frequently detected in the Condamine-Balonne River system in Queensland, from trace levels up to 2.4mg/L...In North Queensland, Russell et al. (1996) reported that diedrin, DDE, 2,4-D and atrazine were detected in between 9 and 27% of samples from the Johnstone and Daintree Rivers. Atrazine, between 0.4 and 14.4ug/L was found in farm dams on the Darling Downs in Queensland, probably associated with suspended soil particles (BW Simpson; cited in Hunter 1992). p132 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Muller et al. (2000) analysed 103 sediment samples collected from irrigation channels and drains in 11 agricultural areas of Queensland for a range of past and presently used pesticides, including organochlorines, pyrethroids, ureas, triazines and organophosphorus pesticides. The most commonly detected residues were of endosulfan...and DDT residues...In contrast, the herbicides diuron, atrazine and ametryn were most commonly detected in sediments from drains in sugarcane areas, with maximum concentrations of 120, 70 and 130ug/kg dw, respectively. p132 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Helicopter applications of granulated formulations of atrazine in forestry operations in Western Australia resulted in concentratins in streams between 0.8 and 38ug/L (McAlpine & Van der Weile 1990).p132 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Triazine herbicides have a low ability to bind to soils and are therefore relatively mobile. Hence they have often been found in groundwater in rural regions of Australia (Bauld 1994). The National Registration Authority (NRA 1997) described atrazine as one of the most widely used herbicides in Australian agriculture, with high potential to contaminate ground and surface water, and narrow safety margins for aquatic organisms. The NRA (1997) proposed measures to monitor and reduce atrazine contamination of aquatic systems, particularly to eliminate poor agricultural practices. Simazine may also occur in groundwater but it is not as mobile as atrazine.p132/3 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

The then Land and Water Sciences Division of the Australian Geological Survey Organisation (now in the Bureau of Resource Sciences) has conducted most of the groundwater surveys throughout Australia. Bauld (1994) analysed groundwaters from four irrigation areas in South Australia, Victoria, NSW and Queensland. Triazine herbicides, most commonly atrazine, were most often detected. In some areas as many as 50 - 80% of bores contained detectable residues of atrazine and/or simazine and their degradation products but drinking water guidelines were exceeded in only 7 - 15% of samples. Atrazine levels were low compared to a median of 0.05ug/L and maximum of 40ug/L in the USA (Simpson et al. 1992). p134 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

"Groundwater surveys of irrigation areas in the Wakool-Cadell (sampled in 1995) and Denimein-Berriquin (sampled in 1996) districts of NSW detected atrazine, desethylatrazine (DEA; a metabolite of atrazine), terbutryn and 2,4,5-T, at concentrations of up to 0.3ug/L, although most concentrations were much lower (Watkins et al. 1998)". p134 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

"Jiwan and Riley (1993) detected atrazine in around 6% of groundwater samples at five sites in alluvial aquifers under the Liverpool Plains in the north-west of NSW. In the lower Namoi Valley, atrazine concentrations from less than 0.1 to 5.8ug/L were found in groundwater (Boey & Cooper 1996). The most vulnerable sites for ground water contamination by atrazine are often in floodplain areas where shallow perched water tables exist (Boey & Cooper 1996)". p134 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

"…Bauld (1996) reported that almost half of the 51 groundwater samples (49%) from the Shepparton East area of Victoria contained detectable pesticide residues and 43% contained triazines (atrazine and simazine). In contrast, there were very few pesticides found in groundwater in 1994 from a predominantly dryland agriculture region, the Goulburn River Catchment in the Nagambie-Mangalore area of Victoria (Watkins et al 1999a). They detected simazine and atrazine in only one ground (5%) and one surface water at concentrations between 0.06-0.96ug/L, and only in waters less than 25 years old…Ivkovic et al (2001) found atrazine (0.02 & 0.04ug/L), simazine (up to 0.45ug/L in 10 bores) and bromacil (2.5ug/L, 1 bore) in the Cobram area of northern Victoria. P134/5 Traces of herbicides were found in groundwater in horticultural areas of the Gippsland district of Victoria in 1994 (Chapman & Stranger 1995)… and atrazine (0.06ug/L) at Orbost…" p134/5 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

"…Keating et al. (1996) reported traces of atrazine and hexazinone in the Callide Valley, and chlorfenvinphos and 2,4-D in 3 of 52 samples from the Bundaberg region…In a survey of the Lower Burdekin basin in Queensland in 1992 and 1993, atrazine was detected frequently, mostly less than 0.1ug/L but one site had between 1.3 and 1.4 ug/L (Keating et al 1996)…Pesticide levels in groundwaters of the Border Rivers catchment of southern Queensland and northern NSW sampled in 1994 and 1995 were all <0.1 ug/L (Please et al. 2000). Only atrazine, DEA and metolachlor in four surface water samples…" p134/5 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

"Western Australia The Water Authority of Western Australia (WAWA) has monitored pesticides at various sites over the past 25 years. Sheridan reported that atrazine was detected in 14 out of 44 unconfined groundwater samples…" p136 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

"Thomas et al(1998) tested the acute toxicity of ten pesticides used in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area (MIA), NSW to the Australian cladoceran Ceriodaphnia dubia. The pesticides atrazine, bensulfuron-methyl, bromacil. Chlorpyrifos, diuron, malathion, metolachlor, molinate, simazine and thiobencarb had been detected at elevated levels in drainage channels in previous irrigation seasons (Korth et al. 1995). With the exceptions of molinate and diuron, the acute toxicity decreased when tests were performed in irrigation supply water, in comparison to laboratory water…" p141 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

"…Forestry spraying operations with atrazine significantly increased the daytime in-stream invertebrate drift (Davies et al. 1994). The initial spraying disturbed trout but this disturbance did not seem to affect their growth rate. The long-term effect on stream plant functioning was not studied. The authors suggested that atrazine concentrations between 1 and 20ug/L for several weeks were unlikely to cause major changes in aquatic fauna, although sublethal effects may occur above 10-20ug/L. Concentrations above 100ug/L, which occurred in about 8% of cases, may have short-term lethal effects on organisms. This resulted in Forestry Tasmania suspending the use of atrazine". p142 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

"With increasing land area being converted to agricultural production, particularly sugarcane, inputs of pesticides into the Great Barrier Reef area have increased with time… The quantities of the insecticide chlorpyrifos, and herbicides atrazine, diuron and 2,4-D applied in the Herbert catchment have increased in the last 15 years…The fate of these pesticides in river and Reef ecosystems is largely unknown (Johnson & Ebert 2000). In the analyses of sediment and intertidal seagrass samples from along the Queensland coast in 1997 and 1998, Haynes et al (2000a) found atrazine between 0.1 and 0.3ug/kg, and diuron from 0.2 to 10.1ug/kg (up to 1.7ug/kg in seagrass). The highest levels were mainly in samples collected along the high rainfall, tropical coast between Townsville and Port Douglas and in Moreton Bay. Some herbicide residues were found in only 13% of aquatic fauna samples from Northern Queensland rivers between 1990 and 1993 (Hunter et al. 1996); atrazine and low levels of 2,4,5-T were found in a few samples from the Johnstone River, and 2,4-D was found in both Johnstone and Daintree Rivers (Hunter et al 1996)." p145/6 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

"Muller et al. (2000) suggested that photosynthesis-inhibiting herbicides such as diuron and atrazine transported to the Reef environment by flood events might cause additional stress to marine plants…" p146 Pesticide Use in Australia A Review Undertaken by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.

Groundwater Pollution (Getting to Know Groundwater - Volume 1 Notes Edition 2 July 2001 CGS)

p157 "Groundwater is thought to be protected from OC pesticides, because generally these are strongly adsorbed and accumulate in soils. There is little data on pesticides in groundwater in Australia, but where these have been identified, in all cases they are well below the health guidelines, although these could be of concern where groundwater discharges into the environment. Incidences of reported pesticide contamination of groundwater are shown in Table 11.

Table 11: Summary of reported pesticide detections in Australian groundwaters, after Kookana et al (1998)

Region Pesticide(s) Use Reference
Shepparton, East Victoria Atrazine, desisopropylatrazine, simazine Irrigated agriculture, dominated by fruit Bauld et al, 1992
-do- Atrazine, deisopropylatrazine, simazine, chlorpyrifos, endosulphan, DDE, heptachlor epoxide Irrigated agriculture, dominated by apple, pear, stone fruit orchards Bauld, 1996
Burdekin River Delta, Queensland Atrazine Domestic/town use, sugarcane Bauld 1996

Bundaberg, Queensland

2,4-D, atrazine, chlorphenvinphos   In Keeting et al, 1996
Caboolture/Beerwah, Queensland EDB   Simpson et al, 1993
Lower Namoi Valley, NSW Atrazine Weed control, drainage/irrigation channels Jiwan and Riley, 1993
Southeast of South Australia Atrazine, deethylatrazine, simazine Irrigation channels, forest reserve, urban Stadter et al, 1992
Padthaway, South Australia Atrazine Irrigation Fennell and Stadter, 1991
Southeast of South Australia Dieldrin, lindane, chlorpyrifos, alachlor Dairying, potato cropping, horticulture, viticulture, grazing, pines Schmidt et al, 1996
Perth, Esperance, Ord River, Western Australia Atrazine Urban, irrigation Sheridan, 1991
Perth, Western Australia Atrazine, fenamiphos Urban Appleyard 1995b
Perth, Western Australia DDT, aldrin, dieldrin, chlordane, heptachlor, lindane, chlorpyrifos Urban Gerritse et al, 1988

Pesticides are affected by sorption/desorption processes, by volatilisation, and chemical and microbiological degradation. In the latter case, decay can transform pesticides into more problematic daughter products, which are either more persistent ot more toxic than the parent compound.


Plantations in Adelaide's drinking water supply.

Losses as chemical drift hits vineyards Advertiser 3/12/07 LECHELLE EARL MT GAMBIER

MORE than 50 hectares of Limestone Coast vines have been damaged by a land-owner allegedly spraying chemicals.

At least five properties in the Wrattonbully wine region have been affected by the vapour drift, which is being investigated by Department of Primary Industry

Resources SA in conjunction with the Limestone Coast ChemCare Committee. Committee chairman Andrew Kennedy said it was believed Phenoxy Herbicide, which may have been applied to a property in the first week of November, was responsible for the wide-spread damage.

"Vapour drift has thee potential to travel up to 20km and it appears that a chemical user has disregarded the need to be aware of the key roles played by wind speed, wind direction, humidity and temperature," he said.

Naradin Vineyard manager Rex Hutchison estimated up to 14ha of his vines had been affected, with the Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling vine leaves showing deformities.

"We're still not clear about the degree of damage but it's definitely going to affect trade," he said.

The Wrattonbully Wine Industry Association has also condemned the damage, describing it as a major setback for the local industry.Chairman Neil Ottoson estimated one affected vineyard could face losses of more than $200,000.

The Limestone Coast ChemCare Committee has inspected the damaged vines and has con-firmed that crop losses are likely."We also believe that the problem is more widespread than we are able to confirm, as many grapegrowers may be yet to discover the damage to their crops," Mr kennedy said.