Pesticide found in Danish drinking water is less dangerous than previously thought

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Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Pesticide found in Danish drinking water is less dangerous than previously thought
File photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

A pesticide-degrading chemical discovered in Danish tapwater earlier this year is a smaller risk to health than initially feared, according to the Danish Environmental Protection Agency (Miljøstyrelsen).


The agency announced via its website that an independent study of chlorothalonil amidosulfonic acid found no specific health risks associated with the chemical.

The pesticide, which has previously been used in agriculture and to make paint, was discovered in two drinking water wells, the Ministry of the Environment and Food confirmed earlier this year.

Following that discovery, the Danish Patient Safety Authority (Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed) said that the substance was a potential health hazard. Subsequently, residents in the village of Ledøje in northeastern Zealand had to collect water from a temporary tank in the village square.

Traces of the pesticide were found in surface water across Denmark as well as in drinking water in Ledøje.

The National Audit Office (Rigsrevisionen) later said it would investigate the Ministry of Environment and Food over whether it did enough to monitor the quality of drinking water.

The environment ministry in April advised all Danish municipalities to test drinking water for presence of the pesticide. An assessment of potential health risks stated that a level of 0.01 micrograms per litre was enough to be considered a possible hazard to people who had drunk the water.

But results from the new study have found it to be less dangerous than this initial assessment. As such, the maximum level before a potential health risk is considered has been raised to 0.1 micrograms per litre.

The Technical University of Denmark’s National Food Institute has also updated its health risk evaluation of the substance.

READ ALSO: Danish environment ministry to be probed over polluted water



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