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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Bifenthrin' Category


07
Mar

Common Household Pesticides Again Linked to Behavioral Problems in Children

(Beyond Pesticides, March 7, 2017) Another study, published by a team of French scientists in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, links childhood behavioral problems to pyrethroid insecticide exposure. Synthetic pyrethroids are a class of insecticides that have increased in use over the past decade due to assumptions that they pose fewer risks to human health than older pesticide chemistries, such as organophosphates. However, this latest study is part of a growing body of research showing that pyrethroids share similar neurocognitive health concerns as these older pesticides. .   In this research, scientists investigate the interplay between pyrethroid exposure and behavioral problems through a longitudinal cohort study, which tracks levels of pyrethroid metabolites, or breakdown products, in the urine of mothers beginning between six and 19 gestational weeks and then in their children up through six years of age. Children’s behavior is measured through a screening questionnaire known as the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). SDQ measures how social a child is (altruism), whether the child has difficulty sharing problems or asking for help (internalizing disorders), as well as how defiant or disruptive a child is (externalizing disorders). The study controls for a number of confounding factors, such as weight, education, location (rural or […]

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17
Jul

Virginia County Stops Pesticide Spraying in Favor of Alternatives to Combat Lyme Disease

(Beyond Pesticides, July 18, 2014) After years of struggling to combat the rise of Lyme disease in the region, Loudoun County, Virginia has decided to forgo the spraying of a hazardous pesticide in public parks in favor of public education and continued surveillance of park lands. Controversy over spraying arose back in 2012 when Loudoun began ramping its spray program to manage ticks, often the carrier of the disease. Loudon County used the pesticide Talstar, which contains the active ingredient bifenthrin, a neurotoxic chemical whose use raises public health and product efficacy concerns, as documented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Beekeepers expressed concern that spraying would greatly damage their bee colonies, as bifenthrin is highly toxic to bees, while conservationists were concerned with the chemicals leaching into waterways and killing aquatic life. At the same time, some researchers point out that there was no evidence that spraying the chemical would reduce the number of Lyme disease infections. After years of debate and data analysis,  David Goodfriend, M.D., M.P.H, director of the Loudoun County Health Department, said that the county’s Lyme Disease Commission’s recommendation was to not spray any of the properties. The recommendation was based on two […]

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09
Jun

Scientist Warns of Ecological Effects Associated with Lawn Care Pesticide Runoff

(Beyond Pesticides, June 9, 2014) A recent talk given by Donald Weston, PhD, a professor emeritus in UC Berkeley’s Department of Integrative Biology, to a community group in San Jose, California warned residents about the dangers that  lawn care insecticides present to  local aquatic life. The talk focused on the problems synthetic pyrethroids and fipronil can have on Hyalella azteca and Chironomus dilutes. Increasing levels of pesticide runoff in local stream systems have not only led to decreased populations of these aquatic crustaceans, but also populations that have become resistant to pesticides. Aquatic invertebrates are extremely sensitive to pesticide runoff and different states around the country have struggled with creating pesticide regulations that foster a healthy aquatic ecosystem. A good way to reduce pesticide runoff is to transition away from toxic land care methods and adopt organic practices. Hyalella crustaceans, a tiny shrimp-like animal, are hypersensitive to pyrethroids, which are a class of insecticides used by professional lawn care companies and found in common products like Raid and mixed with fertilizer products like Scotts Turf Builder under the name SummerGuard. Chironomus dilutes, a red worm-like invertebrate, is sensitive to fipronil, which is used to kill fleas on dogs and cats […]

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26
Aug

CDC Study Finds Pesticide Ineffective at Stopping the Spread of Lyme Disease

(Beyond Pesticides, August 26, 2013) A recent study presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)   at the International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and other Tick-Borne Diseases in Boston finds that spraying lawns with the insecticide bifenthrin does not reduce the incidence of tick-borne diseases. The study could have important policy implications for towns and communities that are feeling pressure to spray as prevalence of tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme disease, continue to rise.  There are least-toxic alternative management strategies that are effective and safer than chemical controls. The recently released study by CDC included 2,500 households in Fairfield, Litchfield, and New Haven Counties in Connecticut; Dutchess County in New York; and four counties in Maryland. Half of the households’ lawns were sprayed with bifenthrin and the other half was sprayed with water as a control. The study, conducted over two years, found that the households that were sprayed with bifentrhin saw a 60 percent reduction in ticks on their propriety but still had similar levels of tick encounters and tick-borne illnesses. These final results are similar to the results the study found after its first year.   This research reveals that using pesticides is not an […]

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25
Jun

Chinese Herbs Found To Be Tainted With Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, June 25, 2013) Traditional Chinese herbs, widely regarded for their medicinal properties, may not be as therapeutic as they seem. In fact, according to a new report released by Greenpeace East Asia, they may be toxic to your health. This news isn’t just disturbing for the Chinese people who live and work around where these toxic herbs are produced, but also for the entire global export market for Chinese alternative medicines, valued at $1.46 billion in 2010. The Greenpeace report found pesticides in 48 out of their 65 samples of traditional Chinese herbs, which included plants such as wolfberries, honeysuckle, the San Qi flower and chrysanthemum. Of these samples, the researchers discovered 51 different kinds of pesticide residues, with 32 of the samples tested containing traces of three or more different pesticides. In 26 samples, residues from pesticides that have been banned for use in agriculture in China were found, including phorate, carbofuran, fipronil, methamidophos, aldicarb and ethoprophos. This report isn’t the first where Chinese exports have been singled out for presence of pesticide contamination. In April 2012, Greenpeace released a report found that Unilever’s Lipton tea bags made in China contain pesticide residues that exceed the  European […]

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26
Mar

Bed Bugs Display Multiple Layers of Resistance to Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, March 26, 2013) Scientists are learning more about the mechanisms bed bugs have developed to increase their resistance to the increasingly common class of pyrethriod pesticides. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports in early March, adds further weight to calls from consumer health and environmental groups to adopt proven, non-toxic strategies to manage bed bugs and other household pest problems. After all, if alternatives exist, why put your family at risk with unsustainable, ineffective control methods? This latest research reveals something scientists had not suspected. Bed bugs are developing most of their resistance-associated genes on the outer layer of their shell. These genes either neutralize the insecticides before they can take effect, or slow down the toxins’ move towards the insects’ nerve cells. In addition, bed bugs in the study also show resistance developing within their nerve cells, the target site for the pesticides. This multilayered resistance is unique, scientists say, but, as Beyond Pesticides has long documented, pest resistance to pesticides is not. A 2011 study from Ohio State University reveals bed bugs’ ability to evolve hereditary changes in their production of certain enzymes, allowing them to excrete the toxins without being harmed. A study […]

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31
May

Maryland Continues Pesticide Study Despite Warnings from Environmental Groups

(Beyond Pesticides, May 31, 2012) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have enrolled Maryland households in a study that involves spraying the controversial pesticide bifenthrinon their property to determine the efficacy of this approach in controlling Lyme disease. Now in the beginning of its second year, the study found no evidence in the first year that the spraying works to reduce the transmission of Lyme disease. Beyond Pesticides is concerned that study participants have not been provided complete information about bifenthrin’s potential health risks to people. According to the Baltimore Sun, the study is an effort to find new ways to combat the disease, which infected 1,600 people in Maryland in 2010. Half of the 185 families that have volunteered for the study will have water sprayed on their lawns to serve as a control group, while the other half will receive the bifenthrin treatment. The 185 families that have signed up so far this year get a $25 gift card, lowered from $40 given to the 440 participants last year. Last year, while the pesticide reduced the amount of ticks on treated lawns compared to the control group, […]

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31
Jan

Take Action: EPA Proposes Expansion of Neurotoxic Pyrethroid Uses

(Beyond Pesticides, January 31, 2012) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed an expansion in pyrethrins/pyrethroid insecticide uses as part of its cumulative risk assessment for this neurotoxic class of chemicals. In the cumulative risk assessment, EPA concludes that pyrethroids “do not pose risk concerns for children or adults,” ignoring a wealth of independent data that links this class of chemicals to certain cancers, respiratory and reproductive problems, and the onset of insect resistance. It went as far as to state that its cumulative assessment supports consideration of registering additional new uses of these pesticides, potentially opening the flood gates for manufacturers to bombard the market with more pyrethroid pesticides, endangering the health of the public. The agency is accepting public comments through February 8, 2012. Tell EPA that it has ignored numerous health effects and that these pesticides do pose unacceptable risks to human health given the availability of alternatives. Submit comments directly to the EPA docket or sign-on to Beyond Pesticides’ comments. In its comments to EPA, Beyond Pesticides states: There are several major concerns and flaws plaguing this cumulative assessment, which therefore does not meet the regulatory burden in fully evaluating synthetic pyrethroids’ effect on public and […]

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07
Dec

Aspen City Council Considers Pesticides Pre-Notification Law

(Beyond Pesticides, December 7, 2011) Aspen City, Colorado, is considering mandating pre-notification of pesticide use so that neighbors and passersby can avoid being exposed to possible toxic chemicals. The notification provides for a 48-hour notice before application, as well as information on the pesticide to be used and its potential health effects. However, the Council stopped short of banning pesticide use outright throughout the city until it could gather additional information on the legal ramification of challenging state preemption law. City Council staff last week requested direction from the Council on whether notification should be required before spraying pesticides, whether minimal restrictions should be imposed on homeowners who spray and whether the city should draft an ordinance that would challenge state preemption laws. Council members are in consensus that the city should move toward mandating pre-notification, and in the meantime continue educational outreach regarding land management practices, which can be more effective than pesticide use. Currently, state law requires pesticide applicators to post notices on properties after they have been sprayed, but not before. While an outright ban would challenge state law, mandating pre-notification would sidestep it. Local governments cannot directly regulate commercial pesticide applicators, but they can regulate homeowners’ […]

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16
Nov

EPA Releases Pyrethroid Risk Assessment, Ignores Numerous Health Effects

(Beyond Pesticides, November 16, 2011) On November 9, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its cumulative risk assessment for the pyrethroid class of insecticides, concluding that these pesticides “do not pose risk concerns for children or adults,” ignoring a wealth of independent data that links this class of chemicals to certain cancers, respiratory and reproductive problems, and the onset of insect resistance. The agency went as far to state that its cumulative assessment supports consideration of registering additional new uses of these pesticides, potentially opening the flood gates for manufacturers to bombard the market with more pyrethroid pesticides, endangering the health of the public. EPA issued the final pyrethins/pyrethroid cumulative risk assessment in the Federal Register and is requesting comment until January 9, 2011, including information that may be used to further refine the assessment. Pyrethroids are a widely used class of insecticides used for mosquito control and various insects in residential and agricultural settings. However pyrethroids are highly neurotoxic and have been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, suppression of the immune system, and various reproductive effects. This class of chemicals includes permethrin, bifenthrin, resmethrin, cyfluthrin and scores of others. Read Beyond Pesticides’ factsheet “Syntethic Pyrethroids.” Once the […]

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11
Aug

Research Shows Commonly Used Pesticides Produce Greater Toxic Effect When Mixed

(Beyond Pesticides, August 11, 2011) A combination of eleven different kinds of commonly used pyrethroids were tested on mice in a new study which found that, at real-world exposure levels, the insecticides can produce heightened toxicity that is equal to the sum of each insecticide’s individual effect. The mixture of similar-acting insecticides works by over-stimulating electronic channels in the mouse’s brain cells and eventually causing death. This study adds to the growing body of research on the toxicity of pesticide combinations in nature and showcases the need for policy change because the current risk assessment approach to regulating pesticides fails to look at chemical mixtures and synergistic effects. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently regulates on a chemical-by-chemical basis, but as this study demonstrates, interacting chemicals can have synergistic effects at very low levels, where a “chemical cocktail” of multiple interacting chemicals combine to have greater effects than expected. Pesticides can also have a cumulative “toxic loading” effect both in the immediate and long term. Researchers exposed mice brain cells to eleven different food-use pyrethroid insecticides either singly or in a mixture in the study entitled ”Additivity of pyrethroid actions on sodium influx in cerebrocortical neurons in primary culture.” […]

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10
Mar

Pyrethroids Found to Impair Bee Reproduction

(Beyond Pesticides, March 10, 2010) A study investigating the sublethal effects of pyrethroids, bifenthrin and deltamethrin on honeybees finds that the chemicals significantly impair the pollinators’ reproduction. The researchers also point out that the concentration of each pesticide that produced adverse effects in the experiments was at or below those that bees could encounter while pollinating treated crop fields. “Effects of sublethal concentrations of bifenthrin and deltamethrin on fecundity, growth, and development of the honeybee Apis mellifera ligustica” published in the March issue of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, investigated the effects of the two pesticides at sublethal concentrations on fecundity, growth, and development of honeybees were examined with the feeding method for a three-year period (2006-2008). It was shown that both bifenthrin and deltamethrin significantly reduced bee fecundity, decreased the rate at which bees develop to adulthood, and increased their immature periods. Queens in the control group in 2006 laid a little more than 1,200 eggs each day, compared to not quite 900 a day in the bifenthrin group and roughly 600 per day in the deltamethrin group. In general, the hatch rate of pyrethroid-exposed eggs was also significantly depressed. The success rate of hatchlings, that is the share that […]

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16
Feb

Pyrethroid Pesticides in Streams Found Toxic to Indicator Species

(Beyond Pesticides, February 16, 2010) Pyrethroids, among the most widely-used home pesticides, are winding up in California rivers at levels toxic to some stream-dwellers, possibly endangering the food supply of fish and other aquatic animals, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Southern Illinois University (SIU). The study, “Urban and Agricultural Sources of Pyrethroid Insecticides to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta of California,” in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, is the first published work to document toxic levels in the water column as well as in the sediments at the bottom of streams. Pyrethroid insecticides, commonly used to kill ants and other insects around the home, have been found in street runoff and in the outflow from sewage treatment plants in the Sacramento, California area. The insecticide ended up in two urban creeks, the San Joaquin River and a 20-mile stretch of the American River, traditionally considered to be one of the cleanest rivers in the region. Although the pyrethroid levels were low, around 10-20 parts per trillion, they were high enough to kill a test organism similar to a small shrimp that is used to assess water safety. “These indicator organisms are ‘lab […]

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17
Jul

Urban Insecticide Use Linked to Decline of Delta Ecosystem

(Beyond Pesticides, July 17, 2009) High levels of pyrethroid pesticides in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the number one river system on America’s Most Endangered Rivers List of 2009, has been linked to heavy urbanization in the region. Leading a study to understand the collapse of the delta’s ecosystem, University of California-Berkeley toxicologist Donald Weston, Ph.D. found that these pesticides most likely reached the river from urban storm drains, collecting household pesticide disposal and runoff from lawns of 1.4 million residents in the Sacramento region. Five years ago, a study by Dr. Weston and his colleague Michael J. Lydy, Ph.D of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale found that synthetic phyrethroids were collecting in river and creek sediments at levels that are toxic to bottom dwelling fish. Current research holds that there are enough pyrethroids to kill tiny shrimp, which are said to be the first link in the aquatic food chain. Pyrethroids are synthetic versions of pyrethrin, a natural insecticide found in certain species of chrysanthemum. It initially came on the market as a ”˜safer’ alternative to the heavily regulated and highly toxic organophosphates, such as diazinon and chlorypyrifos. Despite the fact that there are plenty of effective pest control […]

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10
Dec

Avoid Hazardous Pesticides, Buy An Organic Christmas Tree

(Beyond Pesticides, December 10, 2008) Most families don’t realize that they might be bringing more than holiday cheer into their homes this Christmas season. Families celebrating this holiday season with the time-honored tradition of a Christmas tree can choose to go green and avoid the toxic chemicals that are typically used to grow it. Beyond Pesticides recently launched a Christmas Trees and Pesticides web page to help inform consumers this holiday season. Of the pesticides that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered for use on Christmas trees, most are linked to one or more adverse effects, including cancer, hormonal disruption, neurotoxicity, organ damage, reproductive/birth defects, asthma, environmental effects and more. Their use results in exposure to workers, wildlife, and waterways. Beyond Pesticides has compiled a list of 25 pesticides commonly used or recommended for use by state agricultural extension services, including: 2,4-D, bifenthrin, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, esfenvalerate, glyphosate, simazine and more. Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Washington, New York, and Virginia are the nation’s top Christmas tree producing states, and together account for more than half of the trees grown in the U.S. The Cooperative Extension Service of North Carolina reports that glyphosate -a pesticide linked to increased risk […]

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17
Oct

Pyrethroids Ubiquitous in California’s Urban Streams

(Beyond Pesticides, October 17, 2008) A study published in the September 15 issue of Environmental Science & Technology has found pyrethroid contamination in 100 percent of urban streams sampled. Synthetic Pyrethroids are one of the most widely used consumer pesticides, but recently they have been scrutinized for their resultant health and environmental effects. California is currently reevaluating certain pyrethroid-containing pesticides as a result of increasingly conclusive research. Entitled “Statewide Investigation of the Role of Pyrethroid Pesticides in Sediment Toxicity in California’s Urban Waterways,” the research included California’s most urbanized regions, as well as the less developed North Coast and Lake Tahoe areas. Thirty creeks in eight regions were selected from 90 screened sites, and bioassays were conducted at two temperatures, 23 and 15 degrees Celsius. Researchers found 25 samples to be toxic at the higher temperature and all 30 at the lower, which is where pyrethroids are more toxic. “Bifenthrin was the pyrethroid of greatest toxicological concern, occurring in all 30 samples,” wrote the team, and the Los Angeles, Central Valley, and San Diego regions showed the most severe contamination. The sampling included analysis for 8 pyrethroids, 30 organochlorine pesticides, and piperonyl butoxide, which helps to make pyrethroids toxic at […]

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01
Aug

Oregon Releases First Pesticide Use Report

(Beyond Pesticides, August 1, 2008) The Oregon Department of Agriculture has released the 2007 Pesticide Use Reporting System (PURS) annual report, summarizing data collected last year -making it the first report to include information from a mandatory electronic reporting of pesticide use statewide. The requirement to report online applies to anyone using a registered pesticide or pest control product in the course of business, for a government entity, or in a public place. The 2007 annual report also includes data from a household pesticide use survey. The release comes nine years after being authorized by the state legislature, due to debate over funding and scope of the report. The required reporting is also set to expire in 2009, requiring activists to lobby for continuation of the program. For 2007, there were 5,732 reporters who filed 284,984 reports of pesticide use into PURS. The reports identified 551 active ingredients used statewide last year. The most used active ingredient, by pounds, was the soil fumigant metam-sodium (42 percent of total pounds reported), which is often used before planting potatoes to kill most soil life. The next two most commonly used active ingredients were the herbicide glyphosate (9 percent), and copper naphthenate (7 […]

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01
Mar

Honeybees Vanish, Threatening Crops and Livelihoods

(Beyond Pesticides, March 1, 2007) In 24 states throughout the country, beekeepers have been shocked to find that bees have been inexplicably disappearing at an alarming rate, according to an article in the New York Times last week. This loss of honeybees threatens not only beekeeper livelihoods but also the production of numerous crops, including California almonds, one of the nation’s most profitable crops. Although the reasons for the honeybee disappearances are unknown, pesticides may be one of the culprits. “I have never seen anything like it,” David Bradshaw, a California beekeeper, said. “Box after box after box are just empty. There’s nobody home.” Last month he discovered that half of his 100 million bees were missing. Beekeepers have fought regional bee crises before, but this is the first national affliction. Bees are flying off in search of pollen and nectar and simply never returning to their colonies. And nobody knows why. Researchers say the bees are presumably dying in the fields, perhaps becoming exhausted or simply disoriented and eventually falling victim to the cold. As researchers scramble to find answers to the syndrome they have decided to call “colony collapse disorder,” growers are becoming openly nervous about the capability […]

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