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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Metam Sodium' Category


26
Jan

California’s Pesticide Use Declined, Yet Millions of Pounds of Toxic Pesticides Continue

(Beyond Pesticides, January 26, 2010) Pesticide use declined in California for a third consecutive year in 2008, according to the state’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). Approximately 162 million pounds of reported pesticides were applied statewide, a decrease of nearly 10 million pounds – or 6 percent – from 2007. Pesticide use in production agriculture fell by 9.6 million pounds and in most other categories as well, including structural pest control and landscape maintenance. Reports are mandatory for agricultural and pest control business applications, while most home, industrial and institutional uses are exempt. DPR Director Mary-Ann Warmerdam emphasized that pesticide use varies from year to year depending on a number of factors, including weather, pest problems, economics and types of crops planted. Increases and decreases in pesticide use from one year to the next or in the span of a few years do not necessarily indicate a general trend. “California experienced another dry winter and spring in 2008, which helps explain why fungicides showed the greatest decrease in use by both pounds and acres treated,” Ms. Warmerdam said. “Herbicide use also fell by pounds and acres treated, indicating fewer weeds.” Sulfur was again the most highly used pesticide in 2008 […]

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22
Jul

Oregon Suspends Pesticide Use Reporting After 2008 Data

(Beyond Pesticides, July 22, 2009) The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) recently released statistics for statewide pesticide use in 2008, while at the same time announcing the suspension of the reporting system, which has only been collecting data since 2007. The Pesticide Use Reporting System (PURS) was suspended until 2013 by House Bill 2999, due to lack of funding. The $800,000 saved will instead be used to fund two investigator positions. Until its reinstatement, officials will be unable to collect data or pursue enforcement related to missing reports from earlier in 2009. The 2008 PURS report documents agricultural and household pesticide use, which totaled almost 20,000 pounds and 572 different active ingredients. The top five active ingredients, by pounds, were all used in agriculture: metam sodium, glyphosate, 1,3-dichloropropene, sulfuric acid, and aliphatic petroleum hydrocarbons. Agriculture totaled 77 percent of all pesticide use, with urban/general indoor and outdoor uses totaling under four percent. The total used dropped by half from 2007, due in part to improved record keeping and a decline in the use of metam sodium, a popular fumigant in potato production. In households, pesticide use may be shifting away from the most toxic products. “In 2007, everyone was just […]

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19
Jun

Farmworker Groups Ask EPA Administrator to Uphold Environmental Justice for Farmworker Communities

(Beyond Pesticides, June 19, 2009) Farmworker unions, support groups, and worker advocacy organizations today asked Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson to stop the pesticide poisoning of farmworker communities and uphold the Obama administration’s commitment to environmental justice. Citing a long EPA history of “inhumane neglect of toxic pesticide effects on farmworker community health,” the groups asked the Administrator to amend a recent May 2009 decision that allows the continued use of hazardous soil fumigant pesticides. The chemicals when used in chemically treated crop production, such as tomatoes, carrots, strawberries and nuts, escape into the environment and drift into communities where the families and children of farmworkers live and play. The letter, signed by 28 groups from across the country, says that the new fumigants policy “continues an outdated EPA approach to pesticide regulation that adopts unrealistic and unenforceable standards as risk mitigation measures, in an age of safer, greener approaches to agricultural pest management.” EPA announced its decision May 27, 2009 to allow continued use of toxic soil fumigants with modified safety measures, falling far short of safety advocate efforts to adopt more stringent use restrictions and chemical bans. The rule was first proposed in July 2008, […]

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29
May

Workers and Communities Still Unprotected by EPA Fumigant Rule, Advocates Say

(Beyond Pesticides, May 29, 2008) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced May 27, 2009 modified safety measures for soil fumigant pesticides, falling short of safety advocate efforts to adopt more stringent use restrictions and chemical bans. The new regulations follow a July 10, 2008 proposed rule, which resulted from three years of deliberation. Safety advocates said last July that while substantially better than the past, the proposed regulation fell short in protecting people, workers and the environment and from that perspective this weeks regulation is a disappointment. Advocates believe that the country can do better to phase out uses of highly hazardous chemicals that have devastating impact on exposed workers and communities in which they are used, and advance green technologies and organic practices. Fumigants, which are among the most toxic chemicals used in agriculture, are gases or liquids that are injected or dripped into the soil to sterilize a field before planting. Even with plastic tarps on the soil, fumigants escape from the soil and drift through the air into schools, homes, parks and playgrounds. Strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, carrots and potatoes are some of the major crops for which fumigant use is high. The agency says these measures will […]

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08
Dec

Farmworkers Face Highest Risk of Pesticide Poisonings, EPA Worker Protection Standards Failing

(Beyond Pesticides, December 8, 2008) A new study by a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) researcher finds the pesticide poisoning incidence rate among U.S. agricultural workers is thirty-nine times higher than the incidence rate found in all other industries combined. The study, “Acute Pesticide Poisoning Among Agricultural Workers in the United Sates, 1998-2005,” published in the December issue of the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, is believed to be the first detailed multi-state assessment of acute pesticide poisonings among agricultural workers. From 1998 to 2005, a total of 3,271 cases of acute occupational pesticide-related illness/injury among agricultural workers were identified in ten states. According to EPA, the Worker Protection Standards are designed to reduce the risk of injury or illness to agricultural field workers resulting from exposure to pesticides. Although the WPS was expanded in 1995 and in 2005 EPA developed a new WPS How to Comply (HTC) Manual, the NIOSH findings indicate that agricultural workers continue to have an elevated risk for acute pesticide poisoning. Furthermore, female agricultural workers experienced nearly twice the risk of pesticide poisoning of male agricultural workers. The most common factors that contributed to pesticide exposure included off-target drift, early reentry into […]

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15
Jul

EPA Fumigant Rules Leave Communities and Workers At Risk

(Beyond Pesticides, July 15, 2008) After three years of deliberation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new rules for five highly toxic fumigant pesticides on July 10, 2008. Environmental health, community and farmworker groups say the rules, while substantially better than the past, still fall short of protecting people, workers and the environment. The rules will be published in the Federal Register on July 17, 2008.The fumigant review, mandated by the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act, was conducted as a combined evaluation of five commonly used fumigants, called the “Fumigant Cluster Assessment.” The five fumigants included in the assessment are methyl bromide, metam sodium, metam potassium, dazomet, and chloropicrin. Methyl bromide was slated for phaseout by January 2005 under the Montreal Protocol because it is a potent ozone depletor, but the Bush Administration has sought annual “critical use exemptions,” keeping it on the market. Fumigants, which are among the most toxic chemicals used in agriculture, are gases or liquids that are injected or dripped into the soil to sterilize a field before planting. Even with plastic tarps on the soil, fumigants escape from the soil and drift through the air into schools, homes, parks and playgrounds. Strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, […]

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27
Apr

Amvac Corporation Charts Risky Business Model

(Beyond Pesticides, April 27, 2007) Health risk, environmental risk and investment risk all have one thing in common — they are all part of Amvac Chemical Corporation’s business practices. According to a Los Angeles Times investigation earlier this month, this socially irresponsible business model has led Amvac to double-digit revenue growth and a toxic legacy. The Amvac homepage reads, “The Company’s chief strategy is to acquire niche product lines from multi-billion dollar companies that divest mature products to focus on newly discovered molecules. The Company’s products include insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, soil fumigants, defoliants, molluscides and growth regulators.” In actuality, Amvac buys the rights to older, high risk pesticides from larger companies. Many of these pesticides, which are some of the most toxic on the market, are likely to be banned or restricted due to safety concerns. Amvac hires scientists and lawyers to keep these dangerous chemicals on the market as long as possible. The company also often skirts regulatory issues by exporting products to countries with weaker regulatory systems. “There’s something here rather unique, which is a company that basically goes intentionally after chemicals that are in trouble because of health and safety concerns,” said Steve Schatzow, a former director […]

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