ABSTRACT In common with most other agricultural products, wool contains residues of pesticidal substances. Until about 1985, the use of organochlorine pesticides for the treatment of sheep was common practice in some countries (including the UK), but the pesticides used now are usually organophosphates or synthetic pyrethroids. The pesticides appear in the effluent from the wool‐scouring (washing) process, which is normally discharged to sewer, with or without partial treatment to remove wool grease. It is shown that the concentrations of organochlorine pesticides in rivers draining the regions of the UK where wool‐scouring activity is highest, have fallen substantially since 1985. Environmental quality standards have recently been proposed for the organophosphates most commonly used for sheep treatments. Even if wool sources apply the best available techniques for treating their effluent before discharge to sewer, these standards may be unachievable unless means can be found of reducing the average concentrations of organophosphates present in raw wool.
Water and Environment Journal – Wiley
Published: Jun 1, 1994
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