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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Chlorpyrifos' Category


28
Aug

Bats at High Risk from Pesticide Exposure

(Beyond Pesticides, August 28, 2012) New research reveals that bats may be at greater risk from pesticide exposure than previously suspected. When foraging at dusk, bats can be exposed to agricultural chemicals by eating insects recently sprayed with pesticides. A study from the University of Koblenz-Landau in Germany reveals that bats, due to their long life span and tendency to only have one offspring at a time, are particularly sensitive to reproductive effects from pesticides. The study, “Bats at risk? Bat activity and insecticide residue analysis of food items in an apple orchard,” published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, details the health effects of bats foraging on insects in an apple orchard after it was sprayed with the insecticides fenoxycarb and chlorpyrifos. After field applications of the pesticides, scientists measured the remaining chemical residues on flies, moths and spiders for two weeks. The highest residues were recorded on leaf dwelling insects and spiders, while lower contamination was found for flying insects. Based on this data scientists calculated exposure scenarios for different bat species, each with different feeding habits, and found that those which fed off insects from the leaves of fruit trees to be most affected. Researchers indicated that current […]

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10
Aug

New Research Suggests Boys More Vulnerable to Effects of Chlorpyrifos Than Girls

(Beyond Pesticides, August 10, 2012) A new study is the first to find a difference between how boys and girls respond to prenatal exposure to the insecticide chlorpyrifos. Researchers at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH) at the Mailman School of Public Health found that, at age 7, boys had greater difficulty with working memory, a key component of IQ, than girls with similar exposures. On the plus side, having nurturing parents improved working memory, especially in boys, although it did not lessen the negative cognitive effects of exposure to the chemical. Results are published online in the journal Neurotoxicology and Teratology. In 2011, research led by Virginia Rauh, ScD, Co-Deputy Director of CCCEH, established a connection between prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos and deficits in working memory and IQ at age 7. Earlier this year, a follow-up study showed evidence in MRI scans that even low to moderate levels of exposure during pregnancy may lead to long-term, potentially irreversible changes in the brain. The latest study, led by Megan Horton, PhD, explored the impact of sex differences and the home environment on these health outcomes. Dr. Horton and colleagues looked at a subset of 335 mother-child pairs enrolled […]

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25
Jul

Pesticides in Air a Risk To Pregnant Women, Unborn Children

(Beyond Pesticides, July 25, 2012) A Texas border study has found that air samples in the homes of pregnant Hispanic women contain multiple household pesticides that could harm fetuses and young children. The first study of its kind conducted by the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, finds traces of both household and agricultural pesticides that have been linked to disorders such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The researchers sampled air in 25 households, finding at least five pesticides in 60 percent of the dwellings. Nine other pesticides were identified in less than one-third of the homes. All the women were in the third trimester of pregnancy, when the fetal brain undergoes a growth spurt. Numerous studies have reported birth defects and developmental problems when fetuses and infants are exposed to pesticides, especially exposures that adversely affect mental and motor development during infancy and childhood. This new report is in the summer issue of the Texas Public Health Journal sent to members this week. The study found 92 percent of air samples contained o-phenylphenol, which is used as a fungicide, germicide and household disinfectant, while 80 percent of samples contained chlorpyrifos, […]

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23
Jul

EPA Wants Further Risk Mitigation Measures for Chlorpyrifos, Groups Want it Banned

(Beyond Pesticides, July 23, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement last week of new agricultural risk mitigation measures for the neurotoxic insecticide chlorpyrifos continues to ignore farmworker health and that of their families, as well as the viability of organic farming systems in providing not only safer food, but safer working environments for farmworkers. The new measures, while a step in the right direction to protect vulnerable populations, do not go far enough to address the unreasonable risks associated with the chemical’s widespread continued use. The national pesticide law, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), requires protection against “unreasonable adverse effects to man or the environment.” In its latest decision, EPA seeks to reduce exposure to “acceptable” risk levels. In this case, the agency is seeking to reduce exposure of bystanders to spray applications. The measures include reductions in aerial application rates of the insecticide and the establishment of mandatory buffers around sensitive sites where bystanders including children are known to suffer exposure. The new mitigation practices include reducing the maximum amount of chlorpyrifos that can be applied per acre using spray applications from 6 pounds/acre to 2 pounds/acre. The new measures also include no-spray buffer […]

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21
Jun

Study Shows Harmful Effects of Long-Term Pesticide Exposure

(Beyond Pesticides, June 21st, 2012) A new study details the toxic effects of long-term exposure to commonly used agricultural pesticides. Results indicate an increased likelihood of moderate to severe blood toxicity and a reduced total number of bone marrow cells, which can lead to degenerative diseases like aplastic anemia. The study, entitled “Pesticide Induced Alterations in Marrow Physiology and Depletion of Stem and Stromal Progenitor Population: An Experimental Model to Study the Toxic Effects of Pesticide” is published in the online version of the Journal of Environmental Toxicology . The experiment, led by researchers at the Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine’s Department of Biochemistry and Medical Biotechnology, exposed a group of mice to a mixture of organochlorine, organophosphate and pyrethriod pesticides, including a preponderance of the chemicals cypermethrin, and chloropyrofos. The exposed mice showed an overall reduction in the ability of their bodies to produce bone marrow cells. Bone marrow, the soft flexible tissue found in the interior of bones, is a storehouse for stem cells. While the exact mechanism is unknown to researchers, the study reveals that the microenvironment in which stem cells develop is somehow deranged by pesticides. This derangement prevents the maturation of stem cells into every […]

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22
May

Toxic Pesticide-Encapsulated Paint Introduced to Combat Malaria

(Beyond Pesticides, May 22, 2012) The Spanish-based Inesfly company announced recently its plans to release commercially pesticide encapsulated paint, Inesfly 5A IGR, containing two neurotoxic organophosphates (OPs), chlorpyrifos and diazinon, and the insect growth regulator (IGR), pyriproxyfen, which it hopes will combat malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. The company’s owner Pilar Mateo, PhD, calls her product “a vaccine for houses and buildings” and explains that because the insecticides are released slowly from the paint, it remains effective for two to four years. This formulation of Dr. Mateo’s paint could not be registered for use in the U.S. because both indoor residential uses of chlorpyrifos and diazinon have been banned because of risks posed to children’s health, although the company has another formulation that substitutes pyrethroids for the organophosphates. Though probably well-intentioned —Dr. Mateo has already invested $6 million of her family’s money and $12 million in grants from nonprofits, on research, creating educational programs about hygiene, and donating paint to more than 8,000 homes in Latin America and Africa””the product puts the people it is supposed to protect from disease at risk for other health problems. Organophosphate insecticides have been linked to a host of neurodevelopmental problems, especially in children. Because […]

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02
May

In-Utero Pesticide Exposures Linked to Brain Abnormalities

(Beyond Pesticides, May 2, 1012) New research published online at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that babies exposed in the womb to a commonly used insecticide have brain abnormalities after birth. The insecticide, chlorpyrifos (used in agriculture, mosquito control, and golf course management) , is well documented as inducing neurodevelopmental abnormalities in infants exposed in their mother’s womb, including ADHD, cognitive deficits, and serious learning, behavioral or emotional disorders. Entitled, “Brain anomalies in children exposed prenatally to a common organophosphate pesticide,” the study investigated associations between chlorpyrifos exposure and brain morphology using magnetic resonance imaging in 40 New York City children. It found significant associations of prenatal exposure, at standard use levels, with structural changes in the developing human brain, including enlargement of superior temporal, posterior middle temporal, and enlarged superior frontal gyrus, gyrus rectus, cuneus, and precuneus along the mesial wall of the right hemisphere. These areas of the brain impacted are related to attention, language, reward systems, emotions and control may be affected by the chemical. Twenty high-exposure children (upper third of chlorpyrifos concentrations in umbilical cord blood) were compared with 20 low-exposure children. The children, ages 6-11 years, considered to have a high […]

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13
Apr

Children of Flower Workers Show Effects of Secondary Pesticide Exposures

(Beyond Pesticides, April 13, 2012) A study has found that the children of flower plantation workers in Ecuador are neurologically affected by the pesticide residues that their parents unwittingly carry home on their clothes, tools, and skin. The study documents significantly reduced activity for the essential enzyme acetycholinesterase (AChE) in children whose parents work on flower plantations compared to others whose parents do not. The two main classes of pesticides that the researchers identify as used in the region’s flower production, organophosphates and carbamates, are known to suppress the enzyme’s activity. AChE activity is crucial to healthy neurological functioning in humans and its suppression during childhood can hinder nervous system and cognitive development causing immediate and long-term impairment. In the study, Lower acetylcholinesterase activity among children living with flower plantation workers (Environ Res. 2012 Apr;114:53-9. Epub 2012 Mar 10), children whose parents work on a flower plantation are more than three times more likely to be in the group of lowest AChE activity. Additionally, the children who live the longest with a flower plantation worker are four times more likely to have lower enzyme activity than children who never live with a plantation worker. The researchers obtained their results by […]

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09
Apr

Study Finds Common Pesticides Linked to Lower Birth Weight

(Beyond Pesticides, April 9, 2012) A new study finds that exposure of pregnant women to organophosphate (OP) pesticides —a widely used class of pesticides in North American agriculture— may affect both length of pregnancy and birth weight. Environmental Health Perspectives published the paper, “Associations of Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphate Pesticide Metabolites,” last Thursday, April 5, 2012. The study, by a Simon Fraser University researcher, finds that the population of 306 women in Cincinnati, Ohio, is representative of the type of exposures most North American women and their children experience. Although the use of OPs in Canada and the U.S. has declined in recent years, exposures remain widespread, and these findings add to growing evidence about the harmful effects of low-level exposures to environmental toxicants. The researchers collected urine from each of the women in Cincinnati twice during their pregnancies for organophosphate metabolites as well as other factors that could influence the fetus’ health, including exposure to second hand smoke, race, and poverty. Women with higher levels of organophosphates were found to have pregnancies that were three to four days shorter and babies that were about â…“ pound lighter on average than women with lower levels of pesticides. “For an individual […]

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02
Nov

Court Upholds Protection for Salmon Protections

(Beyond Pesticides, November 2, 2011) On Monday, a federal judge rejected a lawsuit brought by Dow AgroSciences challenging pesticide application restrictions to protect salmon and upheld the measures recommended by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to protect endangered salmon and steelhead from three highly toxic pesticides: chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. The restrictions, recommended by NMFS’s Biological Opinion in 2008, ban the ground spraying of the three commonly used organophosphate agricultural insecticides within 500 feet of any salmon-bearing waterway, and aerial spraying within 1,000 feet. NMFS has issued four Biological Opinions, the latest on June 2011, which call for several limitations on aerial spraying and ground application of the pesticides near salmon waters, as well as buffer zones around salmon waters and ditches that drain to salmon habitat, among others. EPA was court ordered to consult with NMFS to identify measures needed to protect salmon and steelhead from the pesticides as a result of a 2002 and 2007 lawsuit. Pesticide manufacturers have been willfully ignoring and challenging NMFS’s findings. Dow AgroSciences alleged that NMFS used bad data and modeling and that the proposed buffers are far too large. Earthjustice, representing Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP), Pacific Coast Federation […]

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20
Oct

Group Files Lawsuit for Failure to Protect Red-Legged Frogs

(Beyond Pesticides, October 20, 2011) The Center for Biological Diversity filed a lawsuit yesterday against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for failing to evaluate and act on threats to the threatened California red-legged frog posed by more than 60 toxic pesticides used in and near its habitats. The Center had announced its intent to sue the two agencies back in December 2010. A 2006 legal settlement secured by the Center requires EPA to assess the impacts of harmful pesticides on red-legged frogs and formally consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service to address those impacts. EPA determined that widespread use of more than 60 pesticides is likely harming red-legged frogs, but since the agency and the Fish and Wildlife Service have failed to complete the required evaluations, no permanent protections for frogs have been put in place. “Federal agencies acknowledge that scores of pesticides may harm California’s rare red-legged frogs, but for years now they’ve neglected to complete biological evaluations of the effects of these chemicals,” said Jeff Miller, a conservation advocate with the Center. “California’s imperiled frogs are suffering as a result.” “Biological opinions,” the evaluations required by the Endangered Species Act, […]

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12
Jan

Ruling Strengthens Case for Organic Farmers Impacted by Pesticide Drift

(Beyond Pesticides, January 12, 2011) A Santa Cruz, California, organic herb grower has the right to sue neighboring farm for ‘pesticide drift’. This according to a California’s 6th District Court of Appeal in San Jose which upheld Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo’s right to sue the pesticide applicator, Western Farm Service, and let stand the $1 million damage award a jury handed Jacobs Farm two years ago. The ruling makes it clear that pesticide users can be held liable for pesticide drift. The decision is significant, agriculture and law experts say, because it strengthens the case for organic farmers or anyone else harmed by pesticides to seek legal recourse – even if the pesticide is legally applied. The county’s deputy agricultural commissioner, Lisa LeCoump, said the court decision against Western Farm Services changes the ground rules, making it clear that a sprayer can now be held liable even if no law is broken. While California state law restricts pesticides from being sprayed on neighboring properties, the law doesn’t deal specifically with pesticides that disperse into the air after application and end up someplace else. Attorneys for Western Farm Service argued that since the company had not run afoul of state law, Jacobs […]

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20
Dec

Scientists Examine Chlorpyrifos Levels in Potatoes

(Beyond Pesticides, December 20, 2010) A new study examines the residue levels of the organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos in Colombian potatoes, finding that residual levels of the pesticide are still present even after being cooked. According to researchers, the pesticide has a tendency to build up in the raw potatoes, but once they were cooked, the levels dropped by 14%, leaving a fraction of the allowable levels of chlorpyrifos in the potato, under European Union (EU) daily intake limits. While it may be true that there are relatively low residual levels of the pesticide found in the potato once it has been cooked, many adocates are concerned about the remaining residues. The study, entitled “Pesticide Uptake in Potatoes: Model and Field Experiments,” was published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The fact that there remains some residual chlorpyrifos in the cooked potatoes is a concern because studies show that even at low doses, in utero exposure can cause changes in brain function and altered thyroid levels that last into adulthood. Young children are particularly susceptible to the effects of exposure. Because children’s diets often include significant quantities of potatoes, this is particularly alarming in light of a recent study that […]

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02
Dec

Public Comments Sought by EPA on Chlorpyrifos Decision

(Beyond Pesticides, December 2, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just announced that it is seeking public comment until December 15 on a draft stipulation in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that will suspend further litigation with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) on the claim that EPA has unreasonably delayed its response to their 2007 petition to cancel all uses and revoke all tolerances for the pesticide chlorpyrifos. Under the draft Stipulation and Order, the case will be suspended, provided (1) EPA issues a preliminary human health risk assessment for chlorpyrifos by June 1, 2011, and requests comment on that assessment; and (2) EPA sends NRDC and PANNA a written response to their petition by November 23, 2011. If the lawsuit is not reactivated by January 23, 2012, it will be dismissed. In September 2007, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) filed a petition with EPA asking the agency to ban chlorpyrifos. In the nearly three years since, the agency has not responded. This spurred the groups to file a lawsuit in federal court to force EPA to decide […]

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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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14
Oct

Groups Call for Full Ban of Pesticide, Once Widely Used in Homes

(Beyond Pesticides, October 14, 2010) Over 13,000 organizations and individuals -consumers, parents, health advocates, farmworkers and others- from across the U.S. sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday calling for a ban on the insecticide chlorpyrifos and a phase out of other organophosphate (OP) pesticides. Chlorpyrifos was phased out for residential use under a 2000 agreement between EPA and Dow Agrosciences, but continues to expose farmworkers and consumers through its use in agriculture. Also on October 13, the Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX), led by renowned scientist Theo Colborn, PhD, announced the addition of chlorpyrifos to its online database, Critical Windows of Development, spotlighting research that links prenatal, low dose chlorpyrifos exposure to altered health outcomes in the brain and other organs. “Human studies have now linked prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos with mental and developmental delays emphasizing even more the urgency to remove the product from the market,” said Dr. Colborn, President of TEDX and a signatory on the letter. “Chlorpyrifos illustrates the urgent need to be cautious, prevent further exposure and protect our children from the time they are conceived onward.” Beyond Pesticides calls EPA’s 2000 chlorpyrifos settlement with Dow a classic failure of the risk assessment […]

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25
Aug

Pesticide Exposure in the Womb Increases ADHD Risk

(Beyond Pesticides, August 25, 2010) Exposure to pesticides while in the womb may increase the odds that a child will have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to researchers at the University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health. Maternal metabolites of organophosphate pesticides have previously been associated with neurobehavioral deficits in children. The California researchers are studying the impact of environmental exposures on the health of women and children who live in the Salinas Valley, an agricultural region with heavy pesticide use. They tested the urine of pregnant women for pesticide residue, and then tested the behavior of their children at ages 3 ½ and 5. The 5-year-olds who had been exposed to organophosphate pesticides while in the womb have more problems with attention and behavior than did children who were not exposed. Results are published online in the study entitled, “Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure and Attention in Young Mexican-American Children,” in the journal, Environmental Health and Perspectives. Previous studies have shown that exposure to some organophosphate compounds cause hyperactivity and cognitive deficits in animals. One study published in Pediatrics earlier this year found that exposure to organophosphates in developing children might have effects on neural systems and could contribute to […]

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27
Jul

Groups Seeking Ban on Chlorpyrifos Go to Federal Court

(Beyond Pesticides, July 27, 2010) Groups filed a lawsuit in federal court to force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to decide whether or not it will cancel all remaining uses and tolerances for the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which has been banned for residential use, but continues to expose farmworkers and consumers through its use in agriculture. In September 2007, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA) filed a petition with EPA asking the agency to ban chlorpyrifos. In the nearly three years since, the agency has not responded. NRDC and PANNA v. EPA, filed by the nonprofit environmental law firm Earthjustice on July 22, 2010, would force EPA to make a decision on the pesticide’s ban. “This dangerous pesticide has no place in our fields, near our children, or on our food,” said Earthjustice attorney Kevin Regan. “We’re asking a court to rule so that EPA will finish the job and ban this poison.” According to Beyond Pesticides, EPA’s 2000 negotiated settlement with Dow AgroSciences, which allows the highest volume chlorpyrifos uses to continue, represents a classic failure of the risk assessment process (including the so-called cumulative risk assessment which accounts for all chemicals with […]

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25
Jun

Studies Find “Pristine” National Parks Tainted by Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, June 25, 2010) Two new studies published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology confirm that the majority of toxic contamination threatening national parks originates from agricultural pesticides and industrial operations. In one study an international group of scientists conducted research from 2003-2005 and detected elevated concentrations of various dangerous pesticides in all eight of the national parks and preserves. The other study collected samples of air, water, snow, sediment, lichens, conifer needles, and fish at remote alpine, subarctic, and arctic sites. Researchers found that these samples contained four current-use pesticides including dacthal (DCPA), chlorpyrifos, endosulfans, and y-hexachlorocyclohexane (HGH) as well as four historic-use pesticides including dieldrin, a-HCH, chlordanes, and hexachlorobenzene (HCB). Pesticide concentrations in snow are highest in Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Rocky Mountain and Glacier National Parks. Concentrations in vegetation are mostly dominated by endosulfan and dacthal, and are highest in Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Glacier, and Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Fish samples also show elevated concentrations of dieldrin and DDT (one of the first pesticides to be banned in 1972 because of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring). Cold temperatures in alpine or arctic ecosystems tend to concentrate pesticides, which can also bioaccumulate in the local […]

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28
May

New Study Links Occupational Pesticide Exposure to Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia

(Beyond Pesticides, May 28, 2010) The repeated exposure to organophosphate and organochlorine insecticides can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) or dementia later in life according to a new study published in the May issue of Neurology. The observational study entitled “Occupational exposure to pesticides increases the risk of incident AD” is one of very few studies to examine a link between pesticides and AD. Researchers lead by Kathleen M. Hayden, PhD of Duke University Medical Center examined residents 65 years and older from an agricultural community in Cache County Utah. Participants were assessed for cognitive ability at the inception of the study and again after 3, 7, and 10 years. Data showed that those repeatedly exposed to any pesticides were more likely to develop AD or dementia. Researchers found a higher incidence of AD among those exposed to organophosphates and organochlorines. The risk of AD associated with organophosphate exposure was slightly higher than the risk associated with organochlorines. Researchers also found an increase in dementia among those exposed to organophosphates or organochlorines; however this increase was not statistically significant. Dr. Hayden said that more research was necessary to determine a causal link. Organophosphates are known to reduce […]

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18
May

Everyday Exposure to Pesticides Linked to Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

(Beyond Pesticides, May 18, 2010) A team of scientists from the University of Montreal and Harvard University have discovered that exposure to organophosphate pesticides is associated with increased risk of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children. Using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the study focused on 1,139 children from the general U.S. population and measured pesticide breakdown product levels in their urine. The authors conclude that exposure to organophosphate (OP) pesticides, at levels common among U.S. children, may contribute to a diagnosis of ADHD. “Previous studies have shown that exposure to some organophosphate compounds cause hyperactivity and cognitive deficits in animals,” says lead author Maryse F. Bouchard, a professor at the University of Montreal Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and scientist at the Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center. “Our study found that exposure to organophosphates in developing children might have effects on neural systems and could contribute to ADHD behaviors, such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.” Marc Weisskopf, PhD, ScD, another study author told Reuters, “What this paper specifically highlights is that this may be true even at low concentrations.” For children with a 10-fold increase in the concentration of the most common dialkyl phosphate metabolites […]

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30
Mar

Unprecedented Pesticide Contamination Found in Beehives

(Beyond Pesticides, March 30, 2010) Searching for clues to the mysterious disappearance of bees, known as “colony collapse disorder”(CCD), Penn State University researchers have identified widespread pesticide contamination of beehives. The study, “High Levels of Miticides and Agrochemicals in North American Apiaries: Implications for Honey Bee Health,” was published March 19, 2010 in the scientific journal Public Library of Science (PLOS). The study finds 121 different types of pesticides within 887 wax, pollen, bee and hive samples from 23 states. The top 10 most frequently detected pesticides are fluvalinate, coumaphos, chlorpyrifos, chlorothalonil, amitraz, pendamethalin, endosulfan, fenpropathrin, esfenvalerate and atrazine. Miticides are the most common contaminant in the wax and bees, and fungicides are the most common contaminant of pollen. For the full results of the study, including several tables of wax, pollen and bee sample data, download the study from the PLOS website. “The pollen is not in good shape,” Chris Mullin, PhD, lead author of the study, told Discovery News. The authors state that the 98 pesticides and metabolites detected in mixtures up to 214 parts per million (ppm) in bee pollen alone represents a remarkably high level for toxicants in the brood and adult food of this primary […]

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26
Mar

Chlorpyrifos Linked to Developmental Delays in Children

(Beyond Pesticides, March 26, 2010) A new study by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health has linked exposure to the insecticide chlorpyrifos to early childhood developmental delays. Chlorpyrifos is a broad spectrum organophosphate insecticide that was banned for household use in 2001, but is still widely used in agriculture. The study, entitled “Chlorpyrifos Exposure and Urban Residential Environment Characteristics as Determinants of Early Childhood Neurodevelopment,” was published online and will be published in print in the may issue of the American Journal of Public Health. The study examined 266 children born between 1998 and 2002 living in low income neighborhoods of the South Bronx and Northern Manhattan in New York City. Before being banned chlorpyrifos was widely used in these areas. Of the children studied, 47% were male, 59% were Dominican and 41% were African American. Researchers compared motor and mental development to levels of exposure to the pesticide at birth. They found that high concentrations of chlorpyrifos in umbilical cord blood (>6.17 pg/g) corresponds to a 6.5 point decrease in the Psychomotor Development Index, and a 3.3 point decrease in the Mental development index in 3 year olds. Previous research published in 2006 on the same […]

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