Environmental Management

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 21–31 | Cite as

German drinking water regulations, pesticides, and axiom of concern

  • Hermann H. Dieter
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Abstract

The limit value of 0.1 µg/liter for “substances used in plant treatment and pest control including their main toxic degradation products” (PBSM) established in the German Drinking Water Regulations (Trinkwasserverordnung) serves comprehensively to protect drinking water from unexpected toxicological risks and thus corresponds to theaxiom of concern (Besorgnisgrundsatz) contained in §11,2 of the Federal Communicable Disease Control Act (Bundesseuchengesetz), which is an essential cornerstone of the Drinking Water Regulations. Furthermore, precautionary values that are specific to the particular substance and near the valid limit can be found for about 10% of all registered active substances. The goal of the PBSM Recommendations of the Federal Health Office (BGA) issued in July 1989 is to preserve and restore groundwater and drinking water through measures to be taken by the causal party, while reducing consumer health risks to the greatest extent possible. The EC commission's drawbacks on these recommendations and the imminent EC-wide directive for the uniform registration of pesticides being based solely on Article 43 of the European Treaty would seriously endanger this goal. Therefore, a situation threatens in Europe similar to that in the United States, where at least 18 active ingredients have been detected in groundwater in concentrations of up to 1000 times the toxicologically established limits for drinking water.

Key words

Drinking water regulations Pesticides Germany Axiom of concern 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hermann H. Dieter
    • 1
  1. 1.Federal Health Office (BGA)Institute for Water, Soil and Air HygieneBerlin 33Germany

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