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Drinking Water Fact Sheet: Pesticides
Pesticides pose a health threat not only because of their toxicity, but also because of their widespread use in the U.S. There are now about 21,000 registered pesticide products, with almost 900 active ingredients. In a typical year, about 1.2 billion pounds of conventional pesticides and other chemicals are used in the U.S. for pest control in agriculture, residences, industrial, and commercial settings. As a result of their extensive use over the last half-century, pesticides are ubiquitous in our environment, and human exposure is virtually inevitable. Drinking water can be a significant source of chronic pesticide exposure, especially in agricultural regions where large quantities of pesticides are used.