Gregory LeFevre, a study author and U of Iowa environmental engineer, [said] that the find was important but not immediate cause for alarm.
“Having these types of compounds present in water does have the potential to be concerning,” he said, “but we don’t really know, at this point, what these levels might be.”
If the dose makes the poison, the doses of insect neurotoxin reported in the new study were quite small. The scientists collected samples last year from taps in Iowa City as well as on the university campus and found neonicotinoid concentrations ranging from 0.24 to 57.3 nanograms per liter — that is, on a scale of parts per trillion. “Parts per trillion is a really, really small concentration,” LeFevre said, roughly equal to a single drop of water plopped into 20 Olympic-size swimming pools.
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