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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Dieldrin' Category


28
May

Report Finds Pesticide Residues in Hawaii’s Waterways

(Beyond Pesticides, May 28, 2014) A statewide pilot pesticide sampling project has found over 20 different types of pesticides in Hawaiian waterways, some of which are no longer registered for use in Hawaii. State officials believe the pesticides, many detected in urban areas, are from residential and golf course applications. These preliminary findings help highlight the need for local oversight of pesticide use, currently a controversial issue in the state. Conducted in partnership with the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Hawaiian Department of Health, the survey-study finds herbicides like glyphosate (Roundup) and atrazine, as well as a fungicide that is no longer registered for use in the state, contaminating the state’s waterways. The study measured pesticides in surface waters and in sediment at multiple locations in Hawaii. 25 herbicides, 11 insecticides and 6 fungicides were detected, with atrazine the most commonly found. This pilot survey responds to growing community concerns about the impacts of pesticides on local communities and ecosystems, and provides preliminary information on pesticide residues in state waterways. Recently, Kauai County passed an ordinance —Ordinance 960—  that requires public disclosure of pesticides used and the location of genetically engineered (GE) crops, as […]

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16
Oct

Banned Pesticides Threaten Illinois River Otters

(Beyond Pesticides, October, 16 2013)   Researchers at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the University of Illinois Urbana—Champaign have found that organochlorine pesticides and other organochlorine compounds like polychlorinated biphenyls (PBCs) are still contaminating river otters in the state, even though these chemicals have been banned for decades. Surprisingly, the levels detected are the same or higher than those detected in otters 20 years ago, highlighting the need to understand the exposure of wildlife and humans to organochlorine compounds despite their ban. In order to see what chemicals might be affecting otters, if any, the researchers examined the bodies of 23 river otters collected between 2009 and 2011. In the published study, River otters as biomonitors for organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, and PBDEs in Illinois,  scientists looked at liver concentrations of 20 organohalogenated compounds once used in agriculture and industry. The average concentrations of dieldrin, an insecticide that was used across the Midwest before being banned in 1987, actually exceeded those measured in river otters collected from 1984 to 1989. Liver concentrations of PCBs and DDE -a breakdown product of the banned DDT – were also similar to those in an earlier study showing that contamination has not decreased […]

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09
Jul

Banned Pesticides Found in Connecticut Wells

(Beyond Pesticides, July 9, 2012) Health officials in Connecticut are telling residents who drink from private wells to test their water for the banned pesticides chlordane and dieldrin, after a study from the town of Stamford, CT found at least one of the toxic chemicals in 195 out of 628 wells tested. Over half of the wells that tested positive for one of the pesticides were found to contain concentrations at levels above what the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers acceptable. Both of these chemicals, discussed at length in Rachael Carson’s seminal book Silent Spring, were widely used throughout the country before their ban in the late 1980s. Since then, these chemicals have revealed themselves to be pervasive in our environment. In 2007, Beyond Pesticides wrote on the discovery of chlordane on the grounds of a New Jersey middle school at levels above EPA limits. In 2009, the U.S Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and EPA conducted a survey that found chlordane in 64% of U.S households sampled. In 2010, we reported on the occurrence of these two historic-use chemicals in what are considered “pristine” National Parks. Unfortunately, if the water contamination residents are finding turns out to be […]

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05
Oct

Report Reviews Links between Breast Cancer and Environmental Exposures

(Beyond Pesticides, October 5, 2010) A new report by the Breast Cancer Fund, a national organization working to eliminate the environmental causes of breast cancer, presents a summary of the scientific data on the environmental causes of the disease. The report catalogs the growing evidence linking breast cancer to, among other factors: synthetic hormones in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and meat; pesticides in food; solvents in household cleaning products; BPA in food containers; flame retardants in furniture; and radiation from medical treatments. The report also highlights impacts on the most vulnerable populations (including infants, pregnant women, African-American women and workers), and outlines the policy initiatives required to develop a national breast cancer prevention plan. The report, State of the Evidence: The Connection Between Breast Cancer and the Environment, is the sixth edition published by the Breast Cancer Fund. “With each new edition of the report, the growing scientific evidence compels us to act to prevent breast cancer,” said Jeanne Rizzo, RN, president of the Breast Cancer Fund. “This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, our message is clear: we must move beyond awareness to prevention.” The report states that a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer is 1 in 8””representing a dramatic increase since […]

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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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16
Jun

Pesticide Exposure Increases Risk to Multiple Myeloma

(Beyond Pesticides, June 16, 2009) A study involving 678 individuals who apply pesticides, culled from a U.S. Agricultural Health Study of over 50,000 farmers, recently found that exposure to certain pesticides doubles one’s risk of developing an abnormal blood condition called MGUS (monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance) compared with individuals in the general population. The disorder, characterized by an abnormal level of a plasma protein, requires lifelong monitoring as it is a pre-cancerous condition that can lead to multiple myeloma, a painful cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow. The study will appear in the June 18 issue of Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology. “Our study is the first to show an association between pesticide exposure and an excess prevalence of MGUS,” said lead author Ola Landgren, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is part of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “This finding is particularly important given that we recently found in a large prospective cancer screening study that virtually all multiple myeloma patients experienced a MGUS state prior to developing myeloma.” “As several million Americans use pesticides, it’s important that the risks […]

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29
Feb

National Park Service Study Documents Pesticide Contamination

(Beyond Pesticides, February 29, 2008) The National Park Service (NPS) recently released a report documenting airborne pesticides.  The report of the  Western Airborne Contaminants Assessment Project (WACAP), with data collected from 2002 to 2007, found high concentrations of “numerous” airborne contaminants, including current and former use pesticides. Contamination is widespread throughout twenty parks throughout the western United States and Alaska, exceeding consumption levels for humans and wildlife in some areas. According to the report, the contaminants of second and third “highest concern” are “Dieldrin – an acutely toxic insecticide banned from use in the U.S. since 1987 that decreases the effectiveness of the immune system” and “DDT – an insecticide banned in the U.S. since 1972 that reduces reproductive success.” NPS also reported that Dieldrin and DDT levels exceeded the threshold for recreational fishermen in several parks, and Dieldrin levels exceeded that for subsistence fishermen in all but Olympic National Park. Fish-eating birds are also at risk in some parks. While NPS could not establish a correlation between contaminant levels and fish reproductive effects due to small sample size, two parks produced individual “intersex” fish. However, NPS stated, “This condition is commonly associated with exposure to certain contaminants (e.g., dieldrin […]

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17
Aug

Great Barrier Reef Damaged By Pesticide Runoff

(Beyond Pesticides, August 17, 2007) The widespread presence of pesticides and other agricultural runoff has been confirmed in the world’s largest coral reef system. Degradation of the system threatens not only a natural treasure but also the region’s economy. Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the subject of a recent report by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Entitled the “Annual Marine Monitoring Report 2006,” the study confirms extensive contamination in eight of the ten major tributaries into the marine park, much of which is fertilizer and pesticide runoff from the area’s farmland. Local environmental groups are calling for government protection of the reef from these pollutants, and tourism interests worry that damage to the reef will reduce the number of visitors to Australia. According to World Wildlife Foundation-Australia program leader Nick Heath, “Reducing pollution load is possible and will help us save the Reef, as well as the 60,000 tourism jobs based around the Reef.” According to the report, “Water quality in the Great Barrier Reef is principally affected by land-based activities in its adjacent catchments, including vegetation modification, grazing, agriculture, urban development, industrial development and aquaculture. Nutrients, sediments and pesticides are the pollutants of most concern for the […]

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22
May

Seafood From Southern China Contaminated by Organochlorine Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, May 22, 2007) In a study published in the latest issue of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, scientists found that seafood products from southern China contain high concentrations of DDT and hexachlorocylohexane (HCH). While banned in China since 1983, humans are being exposed to organochlorine pesticides (OCP) at rates high enough to pose health threats. The study responded to high rates of DDT and HCH found in sediment, water and biota in the Pearl River delta and neighboring coast, where land is being rapidly industrialized, urbanized, and transferred from agriculture to commercial development. Researchers tested 212 seafood products, including shrimp, crabs, and mollusks, from 11 coastal cities for 21 OCPs, including DDT, HCH, heptachlor, dieldrin, and endosulfan. The highest concentrations of DDT were found in four species of shellfish, although concentrations varied widely depending on sampling location. The study reported, “These results suggest that bioaccumulation of DDTs in seafood products was highly species-specific, probably due to different feeding habits and habitats.” By taking a large sample of one indicator species, it also concluded “the coastal region of southern China is probably one of the most DDT-polluted areas in the world.” Researchers also found HCH to be more widely prevalent […]

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24
Apr

Studies Strengthen Link Between Pesticides and Parkinson’s

(Beyond Pesticides, April 24, 2007) Three recent studies were presented earlier this month at the Parkinson’s Disease Environmental Research meeting in California strengthening the theory that pesticides increase risk of the disease. The studies clarify how pesticide exposure can lead to the development of Parkinson’s. Two pesticides named in the studies are paraquat and dieldrin, both of which have been linked to Parkinson’s in the past. The three new studies, however, combine information from human and animal studies to show how exposure can lead to onset of the disease. As William Langston, M.D., founder of the Parkinson’s Institute, told Reuters, “All of these pieces really look like they are coming together now.” The first study examined a cohort of 80,000 licensed private pesticide applicators and spouses. Researchers found farm workers exposed to paraquat had twice the expected risk of Parkinson’s. The second and third studies address a protein called alpha-synuclein. The second study shows the protein builds up in rodents exposed to paraquat. The third study connects this protein to Parkinson’s by finding that the protein kills the dopamine-producing brain cells affected by the disease. One common difficulty in tracking pesticide-induced diseases is the amount of time that passes between […]

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08
Feb

Study Sheds Light on Pesticides’ Link to Parkinson’s Disease

(Beyond Pesticides, February 8, 2007) Investigators at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have shed new light on the suspected role of pesticides in the development of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The study, “GST expression mediates dopaminergic neuron sensitivity in experimental parkinsonism” appearing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (January 31, 2007), illustrates the mechanism of nerve cell damage by pesticide exposure. The enzyme that prevents damage to the substantia nigra, the part of the brain where nerve cell damage associated with PD occurs, is called GST pi (“pie”). This enzyme stands like a sentry at the crossroads of several biochemical pathways, any one of which can lead to PD. GST pi protects the nerve cell from death caused by either environmental toxics, such as pesticides, or a self-destruction process called apoptosis (cell suicide), triggered by certain stressful conditions in the cell. If GST pi levels are reduced or this enzyme is overwhelmed by toxics, these nerves are at increased risk of death, according to studies in mouse models. GST pi is one of a family of similar enzymes that eliminate free radicals generated by pesticides and other chemicals. Two members of this family are present in the brain, […]

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30
Jan

Study Links Breast Cancer with Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, January 30, 2007) Breast cancer groups across the country have a new issue to add to the repertoire of risk factors: Pesticide use. A study published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology has found a strong link between residential pesticide use and breast cancer risk in women. Responding to the study, Susan Teitelbaum, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of community medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, says the options are simple”” “Stop using pesticides.” The study, published December 13, is the first to examine the relation between breast cancer and pesticides through self-reported residential pesticide use. Using women from New York, the study looks not at one or two incidents of pesticide contact, but at the impact of lifelong pesticide use in the home, lawn and garden. Using a sample of 1,508 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 1996 and 1997, the study compares these women to 1,556 control subjects who were randomly selected. The results show that those women whose blood samples had higher levels of organochlorines are at an increased risk of breast cancer. Organochlorines are a broad class of chemicals, including DDT, dieldrin, and chlordane, and […]

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