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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Carbofuran' Category


25
Jan

Study Links Carbamate Insecticides to Diabetes and other Metabolic Diseases

(Beyond Pesticides, January 25, 2017) A study conducted at the University of Buffalo recently revealed a connection between two common insecticides and an increased risk for certain metabolic diseases, including diabetes. Researchers found that by binding to and disrupting melatonin receptors that control numerous physiological functions, chemicals such as insecticides can affect melatonin levels, creating a higher risk for metabolic diseases to develop. The study, Carbamate Insecticides Target Human Melatonin Receptors, was published in Chemical Research in Toxicology and was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. The implicated chemicals in this research, carbaryl and carbofuran, are notoriously dangerous carbamate insecticides. Carbamates share structural characteristics and an ability to inhibit acetylcholinesterase (AChE), an enzyme important for the transmission of nerve impulses. When AChE is inhibited, acetylcholine accumulates leading to overstimulation of neurotransmitters, resulting in muscle weakness, confusion, and paralysis, among other symptoms. Carbaryl is said by EPA to be “one of the most widely applied insecticides in the U.S.,” since use began in 1959, with 10-15 million pounds used annually. It is a broad-spectrum insecticide used on a variety of crops, in forestry and on ornamentals, in […]

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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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01
Dec

EPA Sued to Enforce Endangered Salmon Protections

(Beyond Pesticides, December 1, 2010) Several fishing and environmental conservation groups are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to limit the use of six agricultural pesticides to protect salmon. Restrictions on the use of six pesticides in Oregon, Washington and California shown to harm endangered salmon and steelhead, were ordered after a court found that EPA violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to restrict the pesticides from entering salmon habitat. However EPA has failed to act to restrict the pesticides. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington is the fourth lawsuit the plainstiffs -Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations; Institute for Fisheries Resources and Defenders of Wildlife- brought against the EPA to restrict the pesticides diazinon, malathion, chlorpyrifos, carbaryl, carbofuran and methomyl in streams of endangered salmon and steelhead. The plaintiffs seek a judgment declaring that EPA’s failure to implement the organophosphate (OP) and carbamate biological opinions issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) violates the ESA, and a judgment declaring that EPA is taking listed salmonids in violation of the ESA. The lawsuit seeks an order vacating and enjoining EPA’s authorization of the uses of […]

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08
Sep

Third Biological Opinion Finds Pesticides Jeopardize Endangered Species

(Beyond Pesticides, September 8, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has received a new Biological Opinion from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) with a finding that the application of products containing any of 12 organophosphate (OP) pesticides are likely to jeopardize federally listed threatened or endangered Pacific salmon and steelhead and their designated critical habitat. The 12 OPs addressed in this Biological Opinion, issued under the Endangered Species Act, are azinphos-methyl, bensulide, dimethoate, disulfoton, ethoprop, fenamiphos, methamidophos, methidathion, methyl parathion, naled, phorate, and phosmet. This opinion concludes that EPA’s registration of pesticides containing bensulide, dimethoate, ethoprop, methidathion, naled, phorate, and phosmet are each likely to jeopardize the continued existence of one or more of the 28 endangered and threatened Pacific salmonids and are each likely to destroy or adversely modify designated critical habitat for one or more of the 28 threatened and endangered salmonids. NMFS reached this conclusion because predicted concentrations of these seven pesticides in salmonid habitats, particularly in floodplain habitats, are likely to cause adverse effects to at least one listed Pacific salmonids including significant reductions in growth or survival. EPA’s registration of bensulide, dimethoate, ethoprop, methidathion, naled, phorate, and phosmet is also likely to result […]

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19
May

EPA Imposes Pesticide Limits to Protect Salmon in Spite of Industry Refusal to Comply

(Beyond Pesticides, May 19, 2010) EPA has announced plans to place additional limitations on the use of three N-methyl carbamate pesticides — carbaryl, carbofuran and methomyl — to protect endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, in compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The decision comes after manufacturers of the chemicals diazinon, malathion and chlorpyrifos refused to adopt the limits voluntarily. The new protections are based on recommendations by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in their April 2009 Biological Opinion relative to use of the three pesticides to ensure no likely jeopardy to 28 threatened or endangered Pacific salmon and steelhead species. In a May 14, 2010 letter to NMFS, EPA explains how the Agency plans to achieve protection goals through the methods outlined by NMFS in the Biological Opinion or by alternative methods that EPA’s scientific analyses determined will achieve the same purpose. For example, EPA will require pesticide drift buffers adjacent to salmon and steelhead habitat but will impose different width buffers, some wider and others narrower than those recommended by NMFS, depending on factors that affect how far the pesticide might drift from the application site. In correspondence to the EPA […]

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11
Mar

Canceled Pesticide Kills Bald Eagles; Farmer Fined

(Beyond Pesticides, March 11, 2010) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) determined that a pair of bald eagles were killed and a host of other wildlife were injured after an Allegany County farmer applied a highly toxic pesticide that has been canceled for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Following an investigation, the state DEC determined that the two bald eagles were poisoned after ingesting the improperly applied pesticide Furadan, or carbofuran, on his farm. The farmer and landowner, Richard Sekoll, was charged with and pleaded guilty to violating state pesticide laws and fish and wildlife laws and paid $3,000 in fines. After receiving a call that two dead bald eagles were found near the Genesee River last fall, DEC began an investigation and sent the eagles to the department’s Wildlife Pathology Unit. Lab results showed that the birds died of poisoning from consumption of carbofuran, which occurred after the eagles consumed prey that had ingested the pesticide. State officials with the DEC’s Division of Pesticides and the Division of Wildlife, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assisted in the investigation, which found that a farm within 500 yards of where the […]

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04
Dec

25 Years After Plant Explosion Bhopal Residents Still Suffer

(Beyond Pesticides, December 4, 2009) Twenty-five years ago, a toxic cloud of gas from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, enveloped the surrounding city, leaving thousands dead. Anywhere between 50,000 to 90,000 lbs of the chemical methyl isocyanate (MIC) are estimated to have leaked into the air, killing approximately 8,000-10,000 people within the first three days, according to data by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Advocacy groups working with victims say that more than 25,000 have died to date, and more than 120,000 people still suffer from severe health problems as a result of their exposure. According to a Reuters piece on the anniversary of Bhopal, “India’s “death factory” leaves toxic legacy 25 years on,” there are still 40 metric tonnes of chemical waste stored in a warehouse inside the plant that still needs disposal. Dow Chemical, which now owns Union Carbide, denies any responsibility saying it bought the company a decade after Union Carbide had settled its liabilities to the Indian government in 1989 by paying $470 million for the victims. “After the disaster, Union Carbide did this botched site remediation and created a massive landfill,” said Rajan Sharma, a New York-based lawyer demanding that Dow […]

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19
Nov

Canceled U.S. Pesticide Reported To Be Cause of Child’s Death Abroad

(Beyond Pesticides, November 19, 2009) A three-year old child in Kenya died after eating the highly toxic pesticide carbofuran, according to a report attributed to the boy’s father, Nahashon Kigai. He said in an interview that, while he knew Furadan was toxic for pests, he had no idea it was so harmful to humans. Mr. Kigai said he had purchased Furadan a few months ago in preparation for planting vegetables at his small farm. Carbofuran is sold in Kenya in both a liquid form and a more widely available granular form, which farmers sprinkle around their seeds when planting crops. “I am sure he ate it, because he had [the pesticide] in his hand and in his mouth,” Mr. Kigai said. Mr. Kigai had put the Furadan into a small container, which his son later found. Soon after Kimutai apparently ate the Furadan, the boy began to show signs of paralysis and later became unconscious. Carbofuran is a toxic insecticide that does not meet current U.S. food safety standards, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving forward to implement the agency’s May 2009 final rule revoking tolerances, or residue limits, for the pesticide carbofuran. EPA says that it […]

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01
Sep

After Deadly Explosion Bayer Reduces Chemical Stockpile to Still Hazardous Levels

(Beyond Pesticides, September 1, 2009) On August 26, 2009, Bayer CropScience announced plans to reduce by 80 percent the storage of methyl isocyanate (MIC), the chemical used in pesticide production that caused the explosion in Bhopal, India and Institute, West Virgina. Two workers were killed in August 2008 when the chemical, an intermediate chemical used in the production of aldicarb, carbaryl, carbofuran, methomyl and other carbamate pesticides, exploded at a Bayer facility in Institute, WV. Thousands died in a Bhopal in 1984. Advocates point out that even if Bayer follows through with its 80% reduction promise, it would still allow up to 50,000 pounds of MIC to be stored on site. This would be similar to the amount of the chemical present in the 1984 Union Carbide (now owned by Dow Chemical) explosion in Bhopal, India. Last summer, when a pesticide tank exploded in West Virginia, comparisons between the site’s potential risk and the Bhopal disaster, in which an explosion and leak killed thousands, were drawn. Currently, the U.S. plant has the capacity to store more up to 40,000 pounds of MIC above ground and 200,000 pounds below ground. Bayer says it will eliminate all above ground storage. Bayer Cropscience […]

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04
Jun

Oregon Levies New Higher Penalties for Pesticide Use Violations

(Beyond Pesticides, June 4, 2009) Five onion growers in the state of Oregon have been issued civil penalties totaling $180,000 by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) for using pesticide products not approved for onions. According to the department, the violations resulted from gross negligence and willful misconduct by the pesticide users, who were fined the maximum penalty. The penalties reflect the new broader authority to impose higher penalties for pesticide violations. The sanctions levied in this case are as a result of the use of the new authority granted to the ODA by the 2007 Legislature in fining Oregon growers $10,000 per violation. The department must determine a violation was willful and negligent to issue the $10,000 maximum fine. The previous maximum fine in Oregon was $1,000 for a first violation and $2,000 for a repeat violation. The Oregon growers were fined the maximum in 18 infractions. ODA tested 86 samples of soil, weeds, onion foliage and bulbs from 60 fields in uncovering 18 positive tests. The investigations were initiated based on a tip. The pesticides, bentazon (trade name Basagran) and carbofuran (trade name Furadan), were illegally used on 18 fields during the 2008 growing season, and were found […]

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19
May

Take Action: Tell EPA to Protect Endangered Salmon from Toxic Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, May 19, 2009) Nearly six months after federal scientists began issuing restrictions to protect salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest and California, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has yet to take even the first step toward implementing these protections. This delay follows almost a decade of legal wrangling in which a coalition of environmental and fishing groups, led by the non-profit public interest law firm Earthjustice, won a court order. Tell EPA to stop its foot-dragging and protect salmon and steelhead from toxic pesticides. The six pesticides that scientists have reviewed so far are some of the most dangerous chemicals used today. All six””chlorpyrifos, diazinon, malathion, carbaryl, carbofuran, and methomyl””are neurotoxic and pose serious risks to both humans and wildlife. While many of these pesticides have been phased out for residential use, they continue to expose wildlife and farmworkers through their use in agriculture. Thirty-one more chemicals will undergo review by scientists at the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in the next three years. The new restrictions require EPA to prohibit application of the six pesticides in or near salmon and steelhead habitat. They also require EPA to prohibit application when the weather may cause the […]

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12
May

EPA Sets Year End Phase-Out of Carbofuran Tolerances

(Beyond Pesticides, May 12, 2009) The Environmental Protection Agency has revoked regulations that permit residues of the pesticide carbofuran in food. This follows a voluntary withdrawl of 22 uses by the chemical’s manufacturer FMC Corporation in Sepember 2008. Carbofuran is a toxic insecticide that does not meet current U.S. food safety standards. EPA’s action will eliminate residues of carbofuran in food, including all imports, in a move to protect people, especially children, from dietary hazards. The action will also force the removal this pesticide from the market. The final carbofuran tolerance rule becomes effective December 31, 2009, a time frame that EPA says growers need to use up existing stocks and transition to alternatives. Phase out periods of known hazards (without notice to the public at point of sale) have long been criticized by adocates who argue that recalls be adopted in similar fashion to other consumer products that are pulled off the market at the time a danger is defined. EPA is proceeding to cancel the remaining carbofuran registrations, or licenses, which will address risks to pesticide applicators and birds in treated fields. In 2006, EPA identified significant dietary, ecological and worker risks from the use of carbofuran and […]

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30
Apr

Three Additional Pesticides Found to Harm Salmon

(Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2009) On April 20, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released a Biological Opinion (BiOp) finding that three additional pesticides, carbaryl, carbofuran, and methomyl, harm salmon and steelhead protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The BiOp prescribes measures necessary to keep these pesticides out of salmon waters in Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho. It is the second such plan issued in the last six months under a court settlement with fishermen and conservationists, filed by the non-profit law firm Earthjustice. The previous BiOp identified three organophosphate insecticides: chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. “These pesticides are designed to kill insects on agricultural crops, but when they get into the water system, they also kill aquatic insects that salmon feed on.” said Angela Somma, who heads the NMFS endangered species division. Under the terms of settlement, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must implement measures within a year-long timeframe to prevent further exposure of the pesticides to the water that cultivate these species. The measures recommended by NMFS include: a ban on application of the three pesticides in windy conditions and buffer zones near water resources and require that land applications must be at least 50-600 feet from the […]

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28
Jul

After Years of Grassroots Pressure, EPA Moves to Revoke Carbofuran Tolerances

(Beyond Pesticides, July 28, 2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a proposed decision that residues of carbofuran, a toxic pesticide that is used on a variety of crops, will no longer be allowed on food. This effectively means that carbofuran will have to be removed from the U.S. market, benefiting consumers and farmworkers, as well as birds, which are frequently poisoned by the deadly chemical. EPA has concluded that dietary, worker, and ecological risks are of concern for all uses of carbofuran. According to EPA’s website, all products containing carbofuran generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on humans and the environment and do not meet safety standards, and therefore are ineligible for reregistration. The agency says the notice, which is available now online, will be published in the Federal Register for a 60-day public comment period on July 30, 2008. “This is a huge victory for the environment. EPA is to be congratulated for taking such decisive action to eliminate the dangers posed by carbofuran,” said Dr. Michael Fry, American Bird Conservancy’s Director of Conservation Advocacy. “This decision is based on overwhelming scientific evidence and sends a clear signal to manufacturers that it doesn’t pay to fight the […]

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06
Feb

EPA Calls for Cancellation of Deadly Insecticide

(Beyond Pesticides, February 6, 2008) EPA has submitted a draft Notice of Intent to Cancel (NOIC) for all carbofuran registrations to EPA’s Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP). Carbofuran is a highly toxic insecticide used on field, fruit and vegetable crops and has long been the subject of controversy and a series of use restrictions that environmentalists have decried as too limited. EPA has opened a docket containing the materials provided to the SAP that is convening on February 5-8. The SAP will review the scientific assessment underlying EPA’s NOIC for carbofuran and respond to questions posed by the agency related to the impact on health and the environment of the proposal. The docket number is EPA-HQ-OPP-2007-1088; view docket information.This action is the result of an interim reregistration eligibility decision reached by EPA in August 2006, in which the agency found all products containing carbofuran ineligible for reregistration. FIFRA requires that EPA consult the SAP before issuing an NOIC. The SAP meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at an EPA Office of Pesticide Programs conference room at One Potomac Yard in Arlington, Virginia.Carbofuran was first registered in the United States in 1969 and is classified as a restricted […]

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