Target: Scott Pruitt, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Goal: Urge government regulators to impose limits on pesticides such as harmful neonics occurring in drinking water.
A potent class of pesticides which have been blamed for the mass deaths of bees worldwide has been found in tap water in the United States for the first time since testing began. Potentially harmful neonicotinoids, also known as neonics, were discovered in samples at two water treatment plants in Iowa, raising concerns that the chemicals were now entering the public’s water supplies.
The long-term health effects of neonics are uncertain in humans. This class of pesticides largely became available in the mid-1990s, when they were sold as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to standard chemical treatments. Neonics require fewer applications than most conventional pesticides, yet they have wreaked havoc on the ecosystem in ravaging bee populations.
There are currently no regulations mandating limits of neonics in tap water, meaning that even though the researchers’ findings are troubling, the EPA is not likely to intervene unless such limits are put in place.
In bees and other insects, neonics cause the central and peripheral nervous systems to shut down, resulting in paralysis and eventual death. Regardless of whether or not neonics pose similar risks for people, it is certain that they do not belong in the public’s drinking water. Sign this petition to urge Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA, to make public safety a priority and ensure that these powerful pesticides are not allowed to contaminate our drinking water.
Dear Mr. Pruitt,
Researchers from the University of Iowa discovered traces of neonicotinoid pesticides in drinking water at two water treatment plants in Iowa. These findings are troubling, as they signal that the public is likely being exposed to chemicals which are not currently regulated by your agency, which could have potentially harmful effects.
Neonics have decimated bee populations across the United States and worldwide. Their unrestricted use has resulted in hive collapses and damaging effects throughout ecosystems which rely on bees as pollinators. The fact that countless people could now be exposed to low levels of a toxin without regulation is a horrifying prospect, and must be immediately addressed.
I urge you to make public safety a priority, and to ensure that every American has a right to clean drinking water not contaminated with harmful pesticide residue.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Darwin Bell