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Journal/Book Title/Conference

Utah State University Cooperative Extension Service


Utah State University Cooperative Extension Service

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The use of pesticides is an integral part of today's agriculture. Pesticides contribute significantly to improved crop productivity and to public health. Some pesticides, even in extremely low concentrations, can pose a risk to human health and to the environment. Applied to plants or soil, pesticides can leach to the groundwater or may be washed off by surface water. A portion of water that has fallen on the earth, either from precipitation or irrigation, infiltrates the soil through pore spaces. As water moves downward under the influence of gravity, it dissolves materials, including pesticides and other chemicals. Once this contaminated water reaches the groundwater aquifer, horizontal and vertical movement of the pesticide will occur.