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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Inerts' Category


06
Mar

Groups Sue EPA for Disclosure of Pesticide Inert Ingredients on Product Labels

(Beyond Pesticides, March 6, 2014)  Yesterday, Center for Environmental Health, Beyond Pesticides, and Physicians for  Social Responsibility, represented by Earthjustice, filed a complaint against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to complete rulemaking that would require pesticide manufacturers to disclose  the inert ingredients on  their pesticide product labels. An inert ingredient is any ingredient that is “not active,” or not targeted to killing a pest. “Consumers and users of pesticide products have a right to know all the ingredients that are in products they purchase so that they can make more informed choices in the marketplace,” said Jay Feldman, Executive Director of Beyond Pesticides. EPA’s 2010 proposal noted public disclosure “may lead to less exposure to”¦ hazardous inert ingredient[s] because consumers will likely choose products informed by the label.” In turn, “pesticide producers will likely respond by producing products with less hazardous inert ingredients.” Billions of pounds of pesticides are dispersed throughout the U.S. and enter our food supply, homes, schools, public lands and waterways. The public knows very little about the chemicals contained in most of these pesticides because under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), pesticide manufacturers are only required to list “active” ingredients […]

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13
Feb

Study Elevates Need for Testing of “Inert” Ingredients in Pesticide Products

(Beyond Pesticides, February 13, 2014) French scientists from the University of Caen have revealed one more layer of the myth behind so-called “inert” ingredients in pesticides, concluding that pesticide risk assessments that focus exclusively on active ingredients substantially underestimate the potential hazards of the product as a whole. The findings in Major pesticides are more toxic to human cells than their declared active principles indicate that inert ingredients in pesticides can magnify the effects of active ingredients, sometimes as much as 1,000-fold. In conducting their study, Robin Mesnage,  Ph.D.  and  his team of scientists, including Gilles-Eric Seralini,  exposed three human cell lines to the active ingredients of three herbicides, three insecticides, and three fungicides. The team then exposed the cell lines to the well-known commercial formulations that include these active ingredients which also contained “inerts,” and compared the results. Overall the study concluded that the commercial combinations had a magnifying effect on the toxicity of the active ingredients. While many might assume  that three insecticides tested ranked highest in toxicity, the study actually ranked fungicides as having the highest on-average toxicity, followed by herbicides, then insecticides. Leading the pack for on-average toxicity in the herbicides was the well-known Monsanto product, […]

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04
Jan

EPA Proposes to Clarify Exempt Minimum Risk Pesticide Ingredients

(Beyond Pesticides, January 4, 2013) On December 31, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed to clarify its labeling requirement for disclosure of all active and inert ingredients in “minimum risk pesticide products,” exempt from registration under Section 25 (b) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The rule (77 FR 250) reorganizes the list of eligible active and inert ingredients by adding identifiers that will clarify for the public, and more importantly for federal and state inspectors, which ingredients are permitted in minimum risk pesticide products. The modification would require labels to use common chemical names in the list of ingredients as well as the contact information for the manufacturer. The lack of clarity on minimum risk pesticide product labels in the past has made it difficult for enforcement officials who must use their own judgment on the applicability of vague descriptors such as cedar leaf oil and cedar wood oil, which are exempt under the current listing of “Cedar Oil” under CFR Section 152.25. While EPA has attempted to improve labeling clarity of minimum risk pesticide products by updating its website, stakeholders have found the measure insufficient. Regulatory Background Currently, EPA is empowered under FIFRA […]

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02
Feb

Take Action: Demand EPA Disclose All Pesticide Ingredients, Including “Inerts”

(Beyond Pesticides, February 2, 2010) We’re not Cockroaches, EPA. Tell Us What’s in that Toxic Spray! EPA is taking public comments on this important public health and environmental issue and your views are critical to the process. The agency has published a notice proposing the option of full disclosure of all ingredients in pesticide products, including those ithat have been claimed to be trade secrets and withheld from the public. Take a close look at the fine print on a can of Raid, a bottle of Cutters, a jug of RoundUp, or virtually any pesticide on the market today, and you’ll see these words: “Inert ingredients.” Inert ingredients are the pesticide industry’s best-kept secret. The Bad News There are thousands of chemicals used as inerts in pesticides, and over the years we’ve discovered what some of them are. The truth is that many inert ingredients are neither chemically nor toxicologically inert. Some cause cancer, some cause genetic damage, some cause reproductive harm, and others cause a wide variety of other health problems. For decades, EPA has routinely accepted the pesticide industry’s line that these ingredients are “confidential business information.” That’s a red herring. Pesticide companies can easily test their competitors’ […]

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01
Dec

Study Links Rhinitis to Pesticide Exposure

(Beyond Pesticides, December 1, 2009) A new study published in the November 2009 issue of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, adds rhinitis, the inflammation of the mucous lining of the nose, to the long list of ailments linked to pesticide exposure. “Rhinitis associated with pesticide exposure among commercial pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Health Study,” examined data from 2,245 Iowa commercial pesticide applicators and evaluated the association between rhinitis and 34 pesticides used in the past year. Seventy-four percent of commercial pesticide applicators in the study reported at least one episode of rhinitis in the past year (current rhinitis), compared with about 20-30% of the general population. Pesticide exposure and rhinitis were assessed at enrollment using two self-administered questionnaires. The first, completed at enrollment, obtained detailed information on use of pesticides on the market at the time of enrolment as well as smoking history, current agricultural activity and demographics. The second questionnaire, sent one month later, more detailed information on the pesticides, as well as medical history, including rhinitis, conjunctivitis, sinusitis and asthma. Respondents reported using 16 herbicides, 11 insecticides, five fungicides and two fumigants in the past year. Five of the pesticides were significantly positively associated with current rhinitis: the […]

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01
Jul

Secret Ingredient in the Herbicide Roundup Kills Human Cells

(Beyond Pesticides, July 1, 2009) Researchers have found that one of the so-called “inert” ingredients in the popular herbicide product Roundup can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. Over 4,000 inert ingredients are approved for use in the U.S. and can be mixed with pesticide “active” ingredients; however these chemicals are not disclosed to consumers or users on pesticide product labels due to EPA’s intepretation (many would say incorrect interpretation) of federal pesticide law. Many inerts are classified as highly toxic, while others have not been adequately studied. About 100 million pounds of Roundup are applied to U.S. farms and lawns every year and until now, most health studies have focused on the safety of glyphosate the active ingredient in Roundup, rather than the mixture of “inert” ingredients found in the herbicidal product. In this new study, “Glyphosate Formulations Induce Apoptosis and Necrosis in Human Umbilical, Embryonic, and Placental Cells,” researchers found that Roundup’s inert ingredients amplified the toxic effect on human cells””even at concentrations much more diluted than those used on farms and lawns, and which correspond to low levels of residues in food or feed. One specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA, was […]

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01
May

CA Senate Committee Approves Pesticide Ingredient Disclosure Bill

(Beyond Pesticides, May 1, 2009) The California State Senate’s Health Committee last week passed legislation that provides public health agencies and emergency responders timely access to complete ingredient lists of aerial pesticides. Senate Bill 759, authored by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), requires the disclosure of inert or inactive ingredients in pesticides before they are approved for use by state regulators. The bill passed committee with a 8-2 bipartisan vote. “In case of an emergency, it is critical that our health care professionals can easily access a complete list of pesticide ingredients so they can properly treat anyone who was exposed to them,” said Senator Leno. “Current law keeps emergency responders in the dark by permitting pesticide manufacturers to shield many of the ingredients they use from public disclosure,” he said. Federal regulation requires pesticide manufacturers to disclose the ingredients of industrial chemicals only if they are classified as “active” ingredients. More than 99 percent of the ingredients in certain pesticides are designated as inert or inactive, so they are never disclosed to the public. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), many consumers have a misleading impression of the term “inert ingredient,” believing it to be water or […]

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08
Apr

Take Action: Demand that EPA Requires Inert Ingredient Disclosure

(Beyond Pesticides, April 8, 2009) The Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) and Beyond Pesticides are asking that you take action to help secure everyone’s right to know about “secret” hazardous ingredients found in commonly used farm and household pesticide products. Please e-mail Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa Jackson at Hazardous_Inerts_Ingredients@epamail.epa.gov, no later than May 1, urging EPA to respond to NCAP’s petition and mandate that pesticide manufacturers list hazardous “inert” ingredients on pesticide labels. “Inert” refers to ingredients in a pesticide formulation that have been added to the active ingredient to serve a variety of functions, such as acting as solvents, surfactants, or preservatives. However, the common misconception is that “inert” ingredients are physically, chemically, or biologically inactive substances. EPA allows pesticide manufacturers to put harmful chemicals into pesticide products without telling the public — chemicals linked with cancer, genetic damage, and reduced fertility, despite admitting the policy is misleading. EPA has stated that “many consumers have a misleading impression of the term ”˜inert ingredient,’ believing it to mean water or other harmless ingredients.” A December 2006 commentary in the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences’ journal Environmental Health Perspectives calls for improvements in pesticide regulation and […]

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15
Mar

Industry Group Forms To Generate “Inerts” Data for EPA

(Beyond Pesticides, March 15, 2007) In a press release last week, industry group CropLife America (CLA) announced the formation of its Joint Inerts Task Force (JITF), along with another industry leader, the Chemical Producers and Distributors Association (CPDA). JITF’s creation comes in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement that certain pesticide “inert” ingredients will be subject to regulatory action. EPA’s final rule, published in the Federal Register (71 FR 45415), states, “EPA is revoking 130 inert ingredient tolerance exemptions because insufficient data are available to the agency to make the safety determination required by FFDCA [Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act] section 408(c)(2).” The rule is slated to go into full effect August 9, 2008. JITF is designed to respond to data gaps that might result in the revocation of some or all of those 130 inert ingredients. JITF currently consists of 29 companies, not necessarily all of which are members of CLA or CPDA, but all of which must prove that they are registrants or inert ingredient suppliers. Information on JITF’s work available to interested parties outside of these qualifications is extremely limited. As Ray McAllister, CLA regulatory and policy leader said in a recent press release, […]

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