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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Triclopyr' Category


12
Feb

Bill Introduced to Protect Oregonians from Forestry Pesticide Use

(Beyond Pesticides, February 12, 2015) Oregon Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) and Representative Ann Liniger (D-Lake Oswego) introduced a bill on Tuesday targeting the loosely regulated aerial pesticide spraying practices of the Oregon timber industry. The bill will establish residential, school, drinking water, and fish habitat buffers zones, require timely notification of spraying and controlled burns for nearby residents, increase record keeping requirements, establish protected areas where pesticide spraying is prohibited, and grant investigative and enforcement authority to the Oregon Health Authority in cases of human pesticide exposure. Development of the bill grew out of a series of incidents across Oregon involving residential pesticide exposure and poisoning from aerial spraying of forest lands. The main incident, which spurred state-wide outrage and investigations into the pesticide regulation and enforcement practices of the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), involved Curry County residents who complained of pesticide exposure after witnessing aerial spraying near their homes. After pressure from local residents, investigative reporters, and environmental groups, ODA was ordered to publicly disclose pesticide records. It was found that the pesticides being sprayed were 2,4-D and triclopyr  ””information that conflicted with previous statements and reports and adding to the trend of opaque and lackluster ODA enforcement […]

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30
Oct

Oregon Legislators Working to Introduce Herbicide Spray Policy

(Beyond Pesticides, October 30, 2014) After concerns have been raised about the poor oversight of aerial herbicide spraying on Oregon forests, and the subsequent pesticide contamination of residents living nearby, policy makers are working to introduce legislation to better protect local residents from pesticide and environmental contamination. An investigation, which began in 2013 into allegations of improper pesticide spraying on timberland near residential areas in Southern Oregon, has since confirmed that residents of the small towns were unwillingly sprayed with pesticides. The investigation was launched after residents filed complaints after they experienced rashes, headaches, asthma, and stomach cramps directly after pesticide applications. Earlier this year, the investigation led by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) indicated multiple violations by the pesticide operator and applicator responsible for the spraying, as well as evidence of the presence of pesticides on properties in Cedar Valley, near Gold Beach, Oregon. The aerial applicator, the investigation uncovered, allowed pesticide deposition on properties other than the intended application site, applied one product at a rate above the maximum allowed by the label instructions, and provided multiple false records that misled ODA about the actual products used. Now, in light of several state regulatory lapses that include […]

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07
Oct

Study Shows Goats as Viable Control Agent for Opportunistic Wetland Reeds

(Beyond Pesticides, October 7, 2014) Goat grazing to control opportunistic, unwanted, and poisonous plants has taken off across the country, as researchers continue to find new value in these personable animals. According to a study published last month by an international team of scientists in the journal PeerJ, goats have an outstanding potential to effectively control the opportunistic, or “invasive” reed Phragmites australis, and replace the unnecessary use of costly and dangerous herbicides. Although a native species of phragmites exist in the U.S.  (phragmites australis subspecies americanus), these plants do not form the dense monotypic stands characteristic of European phragmites (phragmites australis subspecies australis), which was introduced to the U.S. east coast in the early 1800s, and is currently found in wetlands throughout North America. The plant can grow up to 15 feet tall, and has been widely implicated in  reducing biodiversity and crowding out native species in wetlands. Land managers throughout the country are encountering phragmites and resorting to the use of toxic and expensive chemicals, usually combinations of the herbicide triclopyr and glyphosate, both of which have shown evidence of harm to aquatic species. A study published in 2013 in the journal Estuaries and Coasts found that between […]

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26
Aug

Oregon Spray Pilot Fined $10,000 for Pesticide Drift that Residents Say Poisoned Them

(Beyond Pesticides, August 26, 2014) Nearly a year after residents in Curry County Oregon were sprayed with herbicides, the pilot responsible for the incident had  his license suspended for a year and was fined $10,000 by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA). The Pacific Air Research Company, which employed the pilot, was also fined $10,000 and had all its licenses revoked for a year for providing false information to the state. The initial incident happened in October 2013, when  residents complained of experiencing rashes, headaches, asthma, and stomach cramps right after the application. As reported in the The Oregonian, after the investigation, ODA was criticized by environmental groups and the general public for not doing a proper investigation. It took 6 months for any information to be disclosed even though the poisoned residents requested it. Pacific Air Research at the time of the incident stated that the only chemical being sprayed was glyphosate. Then, ODA conducted an investigation and concluded that the spray was not directly linked to the conditions displayed by residents. Unsatisfied with  the state’s findings, a local environmental group, Beyond Toxics, forced  ODA to produce all its records, which confirmed that 2, 4-D and triclopyr were the […]

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22
Jul

Tamarisk Tree’s Role as ‘Invasive’ in Southwest Questioned

(Beyond Pesticides, July 22, 2014) As drought persists across the western U.S., farmers, ranchers, and government authorities looking for solutions to water worries have picked a tough battle, and many are questioning whether it’s worth the fight. The target is the ”˜invasive,’ tamarisk tree, also known as salt cedar, a hardy evergreen that can grow nearly 60 feet tall, and has been labeled as a water glutton. In Arizona, many are heralding the arrival of the small tamarisk beetle, itself an ”˜invasive’ imported from Kazakhstan by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to control the spread of tamarisk trees. But numerous questions surrounding the campaign highlight a persistent national debate: Are invasives categorically bad or simply convenient scapegoats? Are the solutions worse than the current state of affairs? Can we permanently restore native habitat? In 2005, USDA approved the release of the tamarisk beetle in Colorado, Utah and a number of other western states. However, five years later, the agency made a quiet about-face on the campaign and stopped any further releases of the beetle into western habitat. The stated reason for the cancellation was “potential effects on the critical habitat of the federally-listed, endangered southwestern willow flycatcher,” notes […]

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10
Apr

Pesticide Law Violations Uncovered in Oregon Timberland Spraying

(Beyond Pesticides, April 10, 2014) — The results of an on-going investigation into allegations of improper pesticide spraying on timberland near residential areas in Southern Oregon confirmed what residents of the small towns had known since the day they were unwillingly sprayed with dangerous pesticides””the applications were illegal. Statements released on April 8, 2014, by Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) concerning its investigation into the allegations, indicated multiple violations by the pesticide operator and applicator responsible for the spraying had been found, as well as evidence of the presence of pesticides on properties in Cedar Valley, near Gold Beach, Oregon. Specifically, ODA concluded that Pacific Air Research — a licensed commercial pesticide operator based in White City, Oregon— and its aerial applicator, allowed pesticide products to fall on properties other than the intended application site, applied one product at a rate above the maximum allowed by the label instructions, and provided multiple false records that misled ODA about the actual products used. The confirmed pesticides at issue, 2,4-D and triclopyr, are a serious matter, exacerbated by spray applications  in excess of pesticide label restrictions and other regulations. Under the Federal, Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the nation’s primary pesticide […]

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05
Apr

Herbicide Applications Undermining Protection of Biodiversity

(Beyond Pesticides, April 5, 2012) Newly published research has documented that widely used herbicides can adversely impact non-target invertebrate organisms and that endangered species face acute risk from such impacts. Researchers found that adult numbers of the Behr’s metalmark butterfly dropped by one-fourth to more than one-third when its larvae were exposed to herbicides applied in the vicinity of the butterfly’s preferred food source, the naked stem buckwheat plant. The results are especially disturbing because the Behr’s metalmark was being studied as a surrogate for the Lange’s metalmark butterfly, which shares the same habitat and feeding preference and whose population has shrunk from 2,300 in 1999 to less than 100 today. As a federally protected endangered species, the Lange’s metalmark could not be included in the experiment. Researchers concluded that inert ingredients in the herbicide formulations or indirect effects on food plant quality may be causing the increased butterfly mortality. The research was conducted at the 55 acre Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge in Contra Costa County, CA, which is the only known habitat for the Lange’s metalmark. Refuge managers noticed that the naked stem buckwheat, which is native to the refuge and supports both species of butterflies, was being […]

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27
Oct

Students Poisoned by Pesticides Sprayed on Playing Field Outside of Classroom

(Beyond Pesticides, October 27, 2011) Forty-seven students from Edgewood Middle School in St. Clair Township, Ohio, reportedly fell ill after the school’s hired pest control company sprayed the herbicide Momentum, which contains the toxic ingredients 2,4-D, triclopyr and clopyralid, on nearby playing fields to treat for clover and other weeds. The incident and others like it demonstrate the need for a comprehensive national policy to protect children from harmful and unnecessary exposure to toxic chemicals. Six students were taken to nearby hospitals and twenty-one students total were treated for symptoms, including headaches, breathing difficulties, nausea and dizziness. Children are especially sensitive and vulnerable to pesticides because of their rapid development and behavior patterns. Adverse health effects, such as nausea, dizziness, respiratory problems, headaches, rashes, and mental disorientation, may appear even if a pesticide is applied according to label directions, which may have been the case in this situation. Pesticide exposure can have long-term adverse effects, including damage to a child’s neurological, respiratory, immune, and endocrine system and increased asthma symptoms. Studies show that children living in households where pesticides are used suffer elevated rates of leukemia, brain cancer, and soft tissue sarcoma. For more information, see Beyond Pesticides’ fact sheet, […]

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17
Oct

Residents Battle with City Park District To Prevent Toxic Pesticide Use

(Beyond Pesticides, October 17, 2011) Backlash from local residents in an Illinois city has pressured park officials to keep chemical pesticides off of athletic fields, successfully stopping a planned chemical treatment in November and postponing the city’s decision to spray until they hear more from concerned residents and turf experts. For four years, the Park Board of Highland Park, IL has managed its playing fields without the use of chemical pesticides and herbicides. Back in August, however, the Park Board decided to allow its groundskeepers to apply herbicides in order to control dandelions, clover, and other unwanted plants at three local parks. Over 70 residents sent emails to the Park Board and administration, and an online petition has collected 683 signatures opposed to the city park commissioners’ decision to spray the chemical pesticides. In response to public concern, Bruce Branham, PhD, a Professor of the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois wrote a statement to the park officials in favor of spraying, citing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pesticide registration process as establishing the safety of the pesticides being proposed for use by the Park Board. Beyond Pesticides responded with a letter

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06
Jul

BLM to Revisit Herbicide Use on Rights-of-Ways in Oregon

(Beyond Pesticides, July 6, 2011) After 27 years of fighting invasive weeds without the high-powered help of toxic chemicals, the Eugene district of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wants to add herbicides back into the toolkit. Eugene district BLM officials are proposing to use four herbicides to kill weeds along roadsides and in rights-of-way. The BLM stopped using herbicides in Oregon in 1984 after a court injunction in response to a lawsuit filed by the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides. The coalition had argued that the agency had not followed federal procedures in approving the use of herbicides on public lands, and a judge agreed. The BLM eventually wrote an environmental impact statement (EIS) on its proposal to use herbicides, but a final management plan wasn’t completed until last year. The BLM said it will only be doing ground application and not spraying herbicides by helicopter or plane. The management plan permits the agency to use 17 different herbicides to control weeds but only in limited circumstances. Now individual districts, including Eugene, are developing site-specific proposals for using chemicals. Locally, four herbicides are under consideration. Glyphosate, imazapyr, triclopyr, and clopyralid are effective on a range of plants, […]

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04
Mar

New Canadian Regulations Prohibit 85 Lawn and Garden Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, March 4, 2009) The Ontario government is set to announce sweeping new regulations that will prohibit the use of 85 chemical substances, found in roughly 250 lawn and garden products, from use on neighborhood lawns. Once approved, products containing these chemicals would be barred from sale and use for cosmetic purposes. On November 7, 2008, the Ontario government released a proposed new regulation containing the specifics of the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, passed last June. Then, Ontario joined Quebec in restricting the sale and cosmetic use of pesticides but environmental and public health advocates said then that the new law preempted local by-laws and actually weakens protections in some municipalities with stronger local protections. There are over 55 municipalities in Canada where the residential use, but not sale, of pesticides is banned. The prohibition of these 85 substances is the latest step in this Act. The proposal contains: ”¢ List of pesticides (ingredients in pesticide products) to be banned for cosmetic use ”¢ List of pesticide products to be banned for sale ”¢ List of domestic pesticide products to be restricted for sale. Restricted sale products include those with cosmetic and non-cosmetic uses (i.e., a product that’s allowed […]

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20
Mar

USGS Finds Water Contaminated by Pesticides Known To Be Hazardous at Low Levels

(Beyond Pesticides, March 20, 2008) A 2000-2005 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study, Pesticide Occurrence and Distribution in the Lower Clackamas River Basin, Oregon, 2000-2005, finds a variety of pesticides in river and tributary samples, along with trace-level detections of pesticides in treated drinking-water samples collected from a drinking-water treatment plant that uses the Clackamas River as a raw-water source. While the federal government is quick to point out that detections in drinking water are below existing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking-water standards and most river samples are below the agency’s aquatic life benchmarks, studies show hazardous endocrine-disrupting and immunosuppressive effects at extremely low levels — far below EPA standards. A total of 63 pesticide compounds were detected in 119 water samples collected during storm and non-storm conditions using low-level detection methods. More pesticides were detected in the tributaries than in the Clackamas River mainstem. One or more of 15 pesticides were detected in nine of 15 samples of drinking water. Environmental and public health advocates are concerned that these results add to a pattern of contamination across the country. USGS data released in 2008, shows widespread pesticide contamination in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and a 2004 USGS report of nationwide […]

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26
Jul

Children Sprayed at Day Care with Railroad Herbicides

(Beyond Pesticides, July 26, 2007) A company with previous pesticide violations will likely face a significant fine after accidentally spraying children at a day care in Virginia last week with herbicides. Several children were directly sprayed and at least three experienced symptoms of acute pesticide poisoning. The company, NaturChem, was hired by Norfolk Southern to spray a section of railroad tracks, which they do every three years to suppress unwanted plants along the tracks. Sixteen children were playing outside at the day care, adjacent to the tracks as the NaturChem tanker went by. Four children, who were playing along the fence, were directly sprayed. While day care staff took them inside, washed them and changed their clothes immediately, at least three children had acute symptoms following their exposure, including a bloody nose, diarrhea, eye irritation, and blistering. The chemicals’ labels prohibit application methods that result in drift to other property or people, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture, and it is illegal to use pesticides in a manner inconsistent with their labeling. This is NaturChem’s second violation in Virginia, following a $2,000 fine in 2005 for causing property damage in Giles County. The company also reached a $194,200 settlement […]

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