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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Piperonyl butoxide (PBO)' Category


31
Aug

Cannabis Certification Program Restricts Pesticides and Residues

(Beyond Pesticides, August 31, 2016) Last week, a Denver marijuana company went through its first inspection for the Colorado-based Organic Cannabis Association’s (OCA) new “pesticide-free” certification. This voluntary certification program was developed by OCA following an indefinite postponement of the Pesticide-Free Marijuana Bill, HB 16-1079 by the Colorado Senate and the failure of  the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) to implement meaningful regulations to protect  users within the state from pesticides that are not regulated  for use in cannabis production by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the states. While the certification program is characterized as “pesticide-free,” it is focused on residues on the finished product, allowing the use of pesticides that do not appear on the narrow list of those restricted by the state of Colorado. The certification is a a step in the right direction for consumers who wish to protect themselves from unwanted pesticides in their cannabis products, however it is important to note that it  does not equate to a USDA organic inspection, as marijuana remains illegal at the federal level and is unable to qualify for certification under the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). While discussing his inspiration for developing such a program, OCA […]

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16
Aug

Australian Study Finds Nearly Half of Insecticide Poisonings Affect Young Children

(Beyond Pesticides, August 16, 2016) Young children are disproportionately poisoned by toxic pesticides used indoors, according to a study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. Data analyzed from the Queensland, Australia Poisons Information Centre (QPIC) finds that 49% of 743 insecticide-related calls in 2014 concerned young children. Given that children are more sensitive to pesticide exposure than adults because they take in more of a chemical relative to their body size and have developing organ systems, this data underscores the importance of educating the general public about alternatives to the use of toxic pesticides in and around the home. A significant share of childhood pesticide poisonings occurred in very young children. “Children in the one-year age group were at greatest risk — as they’re at that stage where they spend a lot of the time on the floor and put things in their mouth,” said Karin English, PhD candidate at the University of Queensland. As a result of children’s propensity for hand to mouth motion, cockroach baits and ant liquid were found to be the most common source of insecticide exposure for kids under five, covering 39% of calls. However, Ms. English notes that enclosing […]

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25
Jul

Oregon Prohibits 14 Horticultural Products Used in Marijuana Production, Not Labeled as Containing Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides July 25, 2016) The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) last week issued 12 notices of statewide detainment and stop sale and removal orders for horticultural pesticide products that contain active ingredients not listed on the label. The orders call for the product manufacturers to immediately cease all sales, offers of sale, or other distribution in Oregon. This is the latest effort by a state with a legalized marijuana market to try to  curb the use of illegal pesticides in cannabis production, a practice that poses potential health threats to consumers, creating a regulatory challenge for state officials in states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal and or recreational purposes. Because the U.S. government classifies cannabis as a narcotic, the U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) does not register pesticide products for use in its production, leaving consumers exposed to hazardous pesticides through inhalation, ingestion, and dermal absorption without any evaluation of potential health effects. The products in question are commonly used in horticulture and hydroponics, including cannabis production. The 12 notices cover 14 products sold in Oregon that were also identified by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) in late June as containing undeclared pesticide active ingredients. In an […]

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12
Sep

Prenatal Exposure to Widely Used Pesticide Ingredient Linked to Childhood Cough

(Beyond Pesticides, September 12, 2012) Expectant mothers exposed to the pesticide additive piperonyl butoxide (PBO), widely used in synthetic prethroid insecticides and those ending in “thrin” (popular in mosquito spray programs), during pregnancy pass to their children a heightened risk of noninfectious cough at ages 5 and 6, according to researchers at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH). These findings support the premise that children’s respiratory system is susceptible to damage from toxic exposures during the prenatal period. Researchers outfitted 224 expectant mothers with air monitors during their third trimester of pregnancy and measured the levels of PBO and permethrin in the air around them. Then, once the children were 5 and 6, the same two chemicals were measured from air samples collected inside their home. Results showed that children exposed to PBO in the womb were at increased odds of reporting cough unrelated to cold or flu. Researchers found no correlation between prenatal or childhood exposure to permethrin, however they pointed out that this may be because PBO is easier to measure in air samples than permethrin. Coauthor of the study, “Prenatal exposure to pesticide ingredient piperonyl butoxide and childhood cough in an urban cohort,” Dr. Rachel […]

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15
Jun

New Research Confirms Neurotoxicity of Pesticide Synergist PBO

(Beyond Pesticides, June 15, 2012) Researchers at the Duke University School of Medicine have developed a laboratory screening system for detecting neurotoxic chemicals and successfully tested it on more than 1,400 potential toxicants. The study confirms the high toxic activity of the chemical piperonyl butoxide (PBO), a chemical “synergist” used to increase the potency of more than 700 insecticides, including synthetic pyrethroids widely used in mosquito and community spray programs and for home use. The study, entitled “The Insecticide Synergist Piperonyl Butoxide Inhibits Hedgehog Signaling: Assessing Chemical Risks,” was published in the May 2012 edition of the journal Toxicological Sciences. The testing shows that PBO disrupts a biological signaling system that is “critical in neurological development,” the researchers reported in the abstract of their paper. The study finds that the disruption of this critical pathway “may be the molecular basis for profound developmental defects in children exposed in utero to PBO.” Piperonyl butoxide is not itself classified as a pesticide, but companies combine it with insecticides to increase their potency. PBO came into widespread use when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) phased out chlorpyrifos and other organophosphate pesticides nearly a decade ago after determining that they posed a risk […]

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11
Jul

Research Links Mixture of Old and Current Pesticides in the Environment to Developmental Effects

(Beyond Pesticides, July 11, 2011) The findings of a research team suggest that the concentrations of the banned but still persistent insecticide chlordane and the widely used insecticide permethrin in cord blood may be associated with inflammatory cytokines (signaling molecules of the nervous and immune system important to intercellular communication) in the fetus. The results from the research team were significant because few studies on the developmental effects of chlordane and permethrin in humans have been performed, and they were the first to demonstrate an association between in utero exposures with changes in the immune systems of newborns. The data and findings are found in this month’s Research Brief by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Research Program, which highlights the widespread aggregate pesticide exposure that individuals in the U.S. experience, focusing on a recent study on the developmental effects of chlordane and permethrin mixtures. The study looks at the relationship between cord serum concentrations of chlordane and permethrin pesticides, gestational age, size at birth and the presence of inflammatory cytokines, which are endogenous proteins secreted as signaling compounds to coordinate immune system functions. The study, entitled “Fetal Exposure to Chlordane and Permethrin Mixtures in Relation to […]

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08
Feb

Study Links Prenatal Exposure to Pyrethroid Insecticides and Learning Problems

(Beyond Pesticides, February 8, 2011) Research published February 7, 2011 in the online edition of the journal Peditatrics shows that children more highly exposed to pyrethroid insecticides and piperonyl butoxide (PBO), a synergist added to increase the potency of pyrethroids, are three times as likely to have a mental delay compared to children with lower levels. The study, “Impact of Prenatal Exposure to Piperonyl Butoxide and Permethrin on 36-Month Neurodevelopment,” measured exposure to pesticides using maternal and umbilical cord plasma samples and in personal air samples, collected using backpack air monitors during pregnancy. Children were then tested for cognitive and motor development (using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development) at three years of age. Children with the highest prenatal exposures scored about 4 points lower on the test. That’s about the same intelligence loss caused by lead, Philip Landrigan, MD, a pediatrics professor and environmental health expert at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine, told USA Today. Pyrethroid pesticides kill bugs by “being toxic to the developing brain,” Dr. Landrigan says. The results are “very believable and should be taken seriously.” Pyrethroid pesticides have increased in popularity over the past decade due in large part to the phase-out of […]

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17
Jun

Study Finds that Pesticides Linger in Homes

(Beyond Pesticides, June 17, 2009) A new study finds that toxic pesticides, including those already banned, persist in homes. The study’s results indicate that most floors in occupied homes in the U.S. have measurable levels of insecticides that serve as sources of exposure to home dwellers. These persistent residues continue to expose people, especially vulnerable children, to the health risks associated with these chemicals. Published in Environmental Science and Technology, the study, entitled “American Healthy Homes Survey: A National Study of Residential Pesticides Measured from Floor Wipes,” was conducted as a collaboration between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Five hundred randomly selected homes were sampled using alcohol wipes to collect dust from hard surface floors, mostly kitchen floor surfaces. The swipes were analyzed for 24 currently and previously use residential insecticides in the organochlorine, organophosphate, pyrethroid and phenylpyrazole classes, and the insecticide synergist piperonyl butoxide. Researchers found that currently used pyrethroid pesticides were, not surprisingly, at the highest levels with varied concentrations. Fipronil and permethrin, both currently used, were found in 40 percent and 89 percent of homes respectively. However, the researchers found that long discontinued pesticides like DDT and […]

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