EU considers research on buffer zones
Recent research has concluded that, while spray drift of pesticides can have short-term effects on individual aquatic invertebrates, there is no evidence to suggest that there is an impact on populations as a whole, says the European Commission's Environment Directorate General. No-spray buffer zones were shown to be a simple and effective measure to reduce the impact of pesticides on these organisms, it adds. The UK researchers studied pesticide applications to wheat fields alongside a stream. Three sections of the stream were surveyed: one with a 6 m buffer zone; one with no buffer zone; and a control section with no pesticide use. The study suggests that any adverse effect was temporary because the pesticides were only applied occasionally.