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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Disease/Health Effects' Category


21
Jun

Literature Review Analyzes Pesticide Sensitivity in Bee Species on a Molecular Level

(Beyond Pesticides, June 21, 2024) A recent review of the scientific literature, published in Science of The Total Environment, analyzes multiple species of bees on a molecular level to better understand the poisoning mechanisms that could, as the authors see it, inform chemical risk assessments with more precision. The mechanisms “implicated in the tolerance of bees to specific pesticides, and thus as determinants of insecticide sensitivity, … include metabolic detoxification, insecticide target proteins, the insect cuticle and bee gut microbiota,” the authors write. This review references more than 90 studies performed over the last 30+ years, with most being published in the last 5-10 years, as the understanding and importance of molecular determinants of bee sensitivity has emerged. Pollinators, such as bees, provide crucial ecosystem services by pollinating both wild plants and essential crops. The exposure these insects are subjected to threatens their existence, which occurs through pesticide contamination that can lead to impacts on growth and development or even colony collapse.    “While bees have only been exposed to human-made pesticides over the recent past (last 80 years) they have co-evolved with plants and fungi which produce a range of xenobiotics, including plant allelochemicals and mycotoxins,” the authors state. […]

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19
Jun

Juneteenth 2024–Taking Action to Fight Disproportionate Adverse Effects to People of Color

Calls for Holistic Environmental Justice and a Shift Away from Societal Dependence on Petrochemical Pesticides and Fertilizers (Beyond Pesticides, June 18-19, 2024) Juneteenth (June 19) commemorates the date in 1865 when the enslavement of Black Americans ended in the westernmost Confederate state of Texas, over two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and the defeat of the Confederacy on April 9, 1865. On June 19, 1865, Union Major General Gordon Granger brought federal troops to Galveston, Texas and finally, and belatedly, implemented the Emancipation Proclamation, which proclaimed on January 1, 1863 freedom from slavery across the nation. Carl Mack, PhD, a historian and former President of the Seattle-King County NAACP, reminds us that there were still 225,000 enslaved Black Americans in Kentucky and Delaware after June 19, 1865 and the end of the Civil War until December 6, 1865 when Georgia became the 27th state to ratify the 13th amendment. “That is the day in which Georgia ratified the 13th amendment,” Dr. Mack goes on to discuss the remaining three former border states on their progress in adopting the 13th amendment. “As it applies to Delaware and Kentucky, Delaware did not ratify the 13th amendment until […]

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11
Jun

Literature Review Compiles Decades of Research Finding Linkage to Pesticide Exposure and Breast Cancer

(Beyond Pesticides, June 11, 2024) Published in Science of The Total Environment in May, a comprehensive literature review of population-based studies finds strong linkages between direct and acute pesticide exposure and elevated risk of breast cancer (BC). A majority of the studies analyzed in this review were based on population groups in the United States, but also extends to Australia and three European countries (Greece, France, and Italy). Included in these studies are women who worked in chemical-intensive agricultural settings, directly sprayed pesticides in their at-home gardens, and/or handled pesticide-contaminated clothing. The findings in this literature review underscore organic advocates’ concerns of relying on pesticide substitution models that inevitably impact the health of land stewards, farmers, farmworkers, and the broader public rather than transforming food systems to an organic model that bans the use of toxic petrochemical-based pesticides. The goal of this review was to synthesize existing literature on pesticide exposure and breast cancer to determine the specific pathways and underlying mechanisms that contribute to female participants’ heightened risk. This literature review was published online by researchers at the University of Arizona’s R. Ken Coit College of Pharmacy and Coit Center for Longevity and Neurotherapeutics and the Laboratory of Tumor […]

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05
Jun

Cross-Sectional Study Finds Connection Between Pesticide Exposure and Alzheimer’s Disease

(Beyond Pesticides, June 5, 2024) Individuals living near chemical-intensive agricultural environments have heightened risk of Alzheimer’s disease relative to the general population, according to a study published earlier this year in Psychiatry Research. This finding builds on existing peer-reviewed studies that document the relationship between chronic pesticide exposure and elevated risk of neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, as well as Parkinson’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Huntington’s disease. In light of the mountains of scientific evidence, advocates continue to demand for a wholesale transformation of agricultural and land management systems to one based in organic principles in alignment with the U.S. National Organic Program. Study Analysis This study was published online on May 1, 2024 with the full entry to be published in July 2024. The researchers are physicians, health professionals, and professors at the University of Almeria in southern Spain, specifically working in the Health Research Center and the Department of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Medicine. There is also a researcher, Cristofer Ruiz-GonzĂĄlez, who works at the TorrecĂĄrdenas University Hospital also located in Almeria, Spain. Researchers gathered case information from over 40,000 patients between 2000 and 2021 living in demarcated health care districts with high and low levels of […]

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04
Jun

Presence of Weed Killer Glyphosate in Human Sperm Elevates Debate on Pesticide Threats to Human Survival 

(Beyond Pesticides, June 4, 2024) A study published in the most recent edition of the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety documents for the first time the presence of the herbicide glyphosate in human sperm. The study looked at 128 French men with an average age of 36 years who tested positive for glyphosate in their blood. Seventy-three out of the 128 men were found to also have glyphosate in their seminal plasma. Not only that, the amount of glyphosate in seminal plasma was nearly four times higher than what was detected in the blood.   Methods  The study involved a population of 128 infertile French men from whom seminal and blood plasma samples were collected. The study was conducted at the “Pole SantĂ© LĂ©onard de Vinci” medical center, located centrally near Tours, France. This region is recognized for its urban characteristics as well as being a major agricultural hub, particularly for grain and wine production. The study authors note, “This area reflects the common herbicide exposure in France” and the district ranks third highest in terms of pesticide purchases. While additional qualitative data was collected, only 47 of 128 participants fully completed a questionnaire about their profession, diet (organic or […]

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22
May

DDT Persistent in Environment 50+ Years After Ban, Found in Deep Ocean Sediment and Biota

(Beyond Pesticides, May 22, 2024) A study in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology Letters, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is the first to find halogenated organic compounds (HOCs) in deep ocean sediment and biota off the coast of California. The test area, known as the Southern California Bight (SCB), is home to historic offshore DDT waste dumping, with part of the SCB designated as a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Superfund site. 49 HOCs were detected in the sediment and biota, many of which are DDT-related and not previously screened for. The presence of these “unmonitored compounds can significantly contribute to the contaminant body burden across a range of marine taxa,” the study states, which leads to impacts on critical food webs and biodiversity. While this study is the first to specifically analyze previously overlooked DDT+ compounds, the results are nothing new. There is a body of science around the bioaccumulation and biomagnification of harmful pollutants that continue to lead to a decline in biodiversity, negative impacts on water and soil, and detrimental human health effects.       To assess the bioavailability of DDT+ and HOCs in the deep ocean food web, this study focused on […]

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17
May

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Recognized by State of Massachusetts

(Beyond Pesticides, May 17, 2024) Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey (D) proclaimed May 12 -18, 2024 as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Awareness Week, first established in 1998 in numerous states across the U.S. Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS)—also called chemical intolerance or Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT), is characterized by disorders in one or more body systems, including respiratory, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, and neurological processes. It is thought to be caused by adverse reactions to environmental chemicals and/or biological substances such as mold. Affected individuals suffer fatigue, rashes, muscle and joint pains, memory loss, and other symptoms. The Massachusetts proclamation encourages “residents of the commonwealth to take cognizance” of the event and recognize the distress of their fellow citizens who suffer from MCS. May 12 is also known as International May 12th Awareness Day, an observance started in 2006 in the United Kingdom to educate the public about many diseases associated with sensitivity to chemicals, including MCS, fibromyalgia, and Gulf War Syndrome. While some scientists have considered MCS a psychological or psychosomatic problem, there is increasing support for the reality of MCS as a physical disease distinct from mental or emotional disorders. Yet there are no medical tests that can reliably confirm a diagnosis, […]

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15
May

Pesticide Use Again Linked to Inflammatory Bowel Disease, This Time Among Applicators and Their Spouses

(Beyond Pesticides, May 15, 2024) A study published recently in the journal Environmental Research finds a significant correlation between exposure to certain pesticides and an elevated risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a chronic autoimmune condition of the gastrointestinal tract. The study, adding to the body of science on this subject, evaluates self-reported data from licensed pesticide applicators and their spouses exposed to pesticides for over 20 years. In addition, while some of the chemicals found to be most closely associated with incidents of IBD have been banned from use, they are “forever” chemicals that persist in the environment for generations. These findings demonstrate once again the failings of the current regulatory process to identify hazards before they are put into the environment. The study found evidence that exposure to several organochlorine insecticides (dieldrin, DDT, and toxaphene), as well as organophosphate insecticides (parathion, terbufos, and phorate) and herbicides (2,4,5-T, 2,4,5-TP, and metolachlor), is associated with elevated IBD risk. IBD is a generic term for diseases that result in chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. It is estimated that 6.8 million patients globally suffered from IBD in 2017. IBD may result from an imbalance […]

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13
May

Prenatal, Childhood Exposure to Toxic Pesticides Linked to Neurodevelopment Issues

(Beyond Pesticides, May 13, 2024) A study published in Environmental Research finds that “early life organophosphate pesticide exposure has been linked with poorer neurodevelopment from infancy to adolescence.” Researchers in this study acknowledge that there is still much more to be done in furthering understanding of “neural mechanisms underlying these associations,” and yet there is “notable consistency” in their Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) birth cohort study. This study’s findings are consistent with decades of substantial, peer-reviewed scientific literature documenting the adverse health impacts of organophosphate pesticides on public and ecological health. Organic advocates believe that a transition away from chemical-intensive agriculture and land management is the most viable solution to avoid adverse health impacts and end reliance on toxic chemicals in households and communities. The researchers for this study are based at the University of California, Berkley (Center for Environmental Research and Community Health as well as Center for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research), Department of Public Health at University of California, Merced, and Stanford University (Departments of Radiology and Pediatrics in the School of Medicine). “We have reported associations of prenatal [organophosphate] exposure with poorer cognitive function and executive function, and more attention and […]

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03
May

Parkinson’s Disease Explodes as Researchers Find Connection to Pesticide Exposure and Genes

(Beyond Pesticides, May 3, 2024) Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the world after Alzheimer’s. Genetic factors account for only a fraction of PD cases, and for decades scientists have been aware of associations between pesticide exposures and PD. Yet, not everyone exposed to pesticides gets PD. Consequently, neither the genetic nor the environmental hypothesis is fully satisfactory; both may be involved. Thus, there has been great interest in identifying gene variants that affect the risks of PD associated with pesticide exposure. Now a team of University of California at Los Angeles researchers led by neurologist Brent Fogel, MD, PhD has traced a connection between certain gene variants and the occurrence and severity of PD in a cohort of central California PD patients who have had long-term exposure to pesticides. The genes are related to autophagy, the process by which cells organize, degrade, recycle or eject molecules to maintain healthy chemical balance. Autophagy is an essential process throughout the body, including regulation of mitochondria, which are also vital for healthy cellular function. The study supports other research suggesting that autophagy is disturbed in neurodegenerative diseases. As Beyond Pesticides discussed in its April 19 Daily News, PD […]

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30
Apr

Meta-Analysis Catalogues Pesticides’ Adverse Impact on How Genes Function

(Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2024) Researchers found epigenetic changes, including changes relating to “DNA methylation, histone modification, and differential microRNA expression [which ‘can alter the expression of many disease-related genes’],” in a systematic review and meta-analysis of existing literature published in Environmental Epigenetics. “Our review did provide evidence that pesticide exposure could lead to epigenetic modifications, possibly altering global and gene-specific methylation levels, epigenome-wide methylation, and micro-RNA differential expression,” researchers share in the conclusion of the study. This study is an amalgamation of various studies on epigenetic changes based on a literature review process: “Article review involved [3,529 articles found through] extensive searches across major human health databases, including PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane, and BVS (Biblioteca Virtual em SaĂșde – the Latin American Health Database). Searches covered articles published through December 2020. Considering the diverse terminologies used to describe the same epigenetic mechanism in this field, the search strategy aimed to encompass all relevant articles by combining a variety of search terms in titles and abstracts. This approach was implemented across PubMed, Embase and Cochrane databases to ensure comprehensive coverage.” Studies were not included if the participants were not considered “healthy individuals” or if the participants had “known inherent/congenital or […]

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26
Apr

More Data Finds Long-Term Exposure to Toxic Pesticides Alters Human Gut Microbiome and Metabolism

(Beyond Pesticides, April 26, 2024) Researchers build on existing research when assessing the relationship between long-term exposure to organophosphorus pesticides—widely used in food production and homes and gardens—and the human gut microbiome. In a new study published in Environmental Health, an interdisciplinary research team from University of California, Los Angeles determined, “that exposure to [organophosphorus pesticides] is associated with changes in the abundance of several bacterial groups and differential functional capacity in metabolic pathways supported by the human gut microbiome.” The study draws upon data from a “Parkinson’s, Environment and Gene study (PEG)” in which 190 participants were asked to submit fecal samples and answer interview questions. “[The study] was initially designed to investigate the etiology of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and participants were recruited in two study waves [‘over the full 10-year exposure window’]: 2001–2007 and 2012–2017. At baseline, [Parkinson’s disease] patients were diagnosed within the past 5 years and randomly selected community controls were also recruited,” the research team shares in their Methodology section. “Since 2017, we invited previous study participants who could be contacted to enroll in a pilot study of the gut microbiome. In addition, we invited a household or community member of [Parkinson’s] patients to participate.” […]

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25
Apr

Wide Range of Harmful Effects of Pesticides Documented in Literature Review

(Beyond Pesticides, April 25, 2024) In a study from earlier this year, “Pesticides: An alarming detrimental to health and environment,” scientists compiled research from 154 articles regarding pesticide use and the adverse effects they have on the environment and human health. Among the effects of the harmful pesticides described is genotoxicity—the alteration of genetic material that results in the mutations in DNA that cause cancer.  The authors state that “genotoxins are mutagenic chemicals, and exposure to them increases the risk of developing tumors, hormonal changes, DNA damage, and changes in the ovaries and eggs, all of which leading to cancers… The risk of DNA damage surges with increased genotoxicity in people exposed to pesticides.” In addition, the National Institute of Health states that all “pesticides are highly biologically active chemicals. They may interact with DNA and damage its structure.” Despite these documented risks, pesticide use continues to surge.  While phased out to a considerable extent after being widely used in agriculture and residential areas, organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) like dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) or its breakdown compound dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE) continue to show up as residues in the environment and food supply. Symptoms in humans that have been exposed to these chemicals include: seizures, […]

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24
Apr

EPA Draft Herbicide Strategy Update Further Weakens Plan to Protect Endangered Species

(Beyond Pesticides, April 24, 2024) On April 16, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) posted an “update” to the Draft Herbicide Strategy Framework (Draft Herbicide Strategy Framework to Reduce Exposure of Federally Listed Endangered and Threatened Species and Designated Critical Habitats from the Use of Conventional Agricultural Herbicides) that was released last summer, weakening aspects of the agency’s efforts to “protect” endangered species from herbicide use. The update outlines three types of modifications to the Draft Strategy, including “simplifying” its approach, increasing growers’ “flexibility” when applying mitigation measures, and reducing the mitigation measures required in certain situations. By reducing the stringency of the Strategy, advocates are again questioning EPA’s commitment to fulfilling legal requirements under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) or protecting endangered species and their habitats in the midst of an unprecedented rate of global extinction. ESA is celebrated as one of the most far-reaching conservation laws globally, credited with preventing the extinction of 99 percent of those species the government targets for protection, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). ESA establishes a framework to categorize species as “endangered” or “threatened,” granting them specific protections. Under ESA, EPA is required to consult with relevant agencies […]

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22
Apr

On Earth Day, Especially, Take Action to Ensure a Sustainable Future

(Beyond Pesticides, April 22, 2024) Today, on Earth Day, the future of the planet and the health of all its inhabitants come into focus from numerous human and ecosystem health perspectives, with particular concern for the health of the next generation—as childhood cancer continues to be a leading cause of death from disease among children. Many studies demonstrate an association between environmental or occupational pesticide exposure and the risk of childhood cancer in offspring. Taking Action in Your Community: On Earth Day, Beyond Pesticides invites communities to join together in its nationwide campaign to convert parks to organic land management practices through the Parks for a Sustainable Future program. Through this program, Beyond Pesticides works with park managers, bringing hands-on horticultural support to eliminate petrochemical pesticides and fertilizers and instead nurture soil organisms to cycle nutrients naturally while creating resilient landscapes that resist weeds, insects, and disease. This program outlines the steps to become a parks advocate and how Beyond Pesticides works with communities committed to safe parks and playing fields for communities, children, and pets. One major impetus for the Parks program are the many studies that find prenatal and early-life exposure to environmental toxicants increases disease susceptibility. For decades, studies have […]

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19
Apr

Research Links Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Disease with Chemical Effects on Brain and Gut

(Beyond Pesticides, April 19, 2024) Parkinson’s disease (PD) and certain forms of dementia have been associated with exposure to pesticides, industrial chemicals, and air pollution for decades. But the mechanisms of disease progression have been unclear, and U.S. regulators have been reluctant to recognize the risks. Now neurologist E. Ray Dorsey, MD of the University of Rochester and researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Aarhus University in Denmark propose a new research paradigm based on tracking how toxicants cause neurodegeneration through inhalation and ingestion pathways. The paradigm, the authors believe, can be used to gain insight into how PD and a form of dementia known as Lewy body disease (LBD) are initiated as many as 50 years before the onset of symptoms. Dorsey and colleagues build on a recent theory that PD and LBD may be two versions of the same basic disease, both involving Lewy bodies in the nervous system. The group’s proposal was published in the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease in April. If its recommended research agenda produces the anticipated empirical support, the new paradigm will demand integration of many interdisciplinary lines of evidence showing that environmental exposures to synthetic chemicals may be the primary cause […]

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18
Apr

ALS Risk Elevated from Toxic Petrochemical Landscape Pesticides, Study Adds to Previous Findings

(Beyond Pesticides, April 18, 2024) University of Michigan researchers have found a statistically significant relationship between heightened risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and household exposure to lawn care products and pesticides. The study results were published earlier this month in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration. The interdisciplinary research team concludes that modifying residential exposure to toxic substances, including pesticides, can play an important role in ALS susceptibility and prognosis. The results build on a substantial body of scientific literature identifying pesticide exposure in various ALS cohort studies. Advocates say that these adverse effects, along with other numerous health and environmental effects, inform their call for the phaseout of toxic pesticide use and the adoption of alternative practices and eco-compatible products. All participants in this study are patients at the University of Michigan Pranger ALS Clinic with Gold Coast ALS diagnosis, which according to a Muscle & Nerve study refers to the identification of two factors: “progressive motor impairment documented by history or repeated clinical assessment” and “the presence of upper and lower motor neuron dysfunction in a least one body region.” All 367 ALS and 255 control patients were tasked with completing a survey in which they self-reported […]

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17
Apr

“Forever Chemical” PFAS Drinking Water Rules Issued, Urgency to Shift from Petrochemicals Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, April 17, 2024) With headlines drawing public attention to the contamination of drinking water after years of federal government neglect, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on April 10 new standards to reduce public exposure to PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly referred to as “forever chemicals” because of their persistence. EPA has finalized a National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for six PFAS, including PFOA and PFOS, which EPA has recognized have no safe level of exposure, regulating new chemicals for the first time since the 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). PFAS persistence and bioaccumulation in humans, wildlife, and the environment is due to the strength of a resulting fluorine–carbon atom bond. PFAS contamination of drinking water, surface and groundwater, waterways, soils, and the food supply—among other resources—is ubiquitous worldwide. PFAS is used in everyday products, including cookware, clothes, carpets, as an anti-sticking and anti-stain agent, in plastics, machinery, and as a pesticide. The action was welcomed by environmentalists and public health advocates as an important step but left many concerned that any level of exposure to these chemicals is unacceptable and critical of EPA’s ongoing failure to act despite years […]

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16
Apr

California Bill Would Ban Deadly Weedkiller, Paraquat, Linked to Parkinson’s Disease in Face of EPA Inaction

(Beyond Pesticides, April 16, 2024) Citing serious health issues associated with its use, including Parkinson’s disease, and inaction by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the weed killer paraquat would be banned through legislation introduced in the California Assembly (AB 1963). Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Burbank), in the Assembly’s leadership, chair of the bicameral Environmental Caucus, and a self-described “steadfast advocate for the environment [and] sustainable communities,” introduced the legislation to phase out and ban the use of paraquat across all uses, including agriculture, by the end of 2025. The introduction of this bill follows a long history of scientific documentation of the pesticide’s hazards, fits and starts in the regulatory process, and previous efforts to ban the herbicide through legislative action. In 2018, U.S. Representative Nydia Velasquez (D-NY) introduced legislation (Protect Against Paraquat Act) to ban paraquat. In a 1986 factsheet, Beyond Pesticides wrote, “In mammals, paraquat attacks the epithelial tissues (the skin, nails, the cornea of the eye, and the linings of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract). There have also been reports of damage to the heart muscle and to nerves. It is easily absorbed through the skin as well as orally [and through inhalation]. Paraquat causes specific damage […]

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15
Apr

EPA Issues Warning to Farmworkers Instead of Regulating a Highly Hazardous Weed Killer as an Imminent Threat

(Beyond Pesticides, April 15, 2024) At first, some thought this was an April Fools’ announcement by pranksters like the YES men. Put out an announcement pretending to be the U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) with a warning to farmworkers that they are being exposed to a highly hazardous weed killer, dacthal (dimethyl tetrachloroterephthalate or DCPA), offering no protection. The announcement says, “EPA is warning people of the significant health risks to pregnant individuals and their developing babies exposed to DCPA” and notes that the agency will be “pursuing” further action at some unspecified time in the future. But, this was no joke, especially for farmworkers. The agency somehow believed it was fulfilling its statutory duty to protect farmworkers and their families with a warning that a chemical they may be exposed in their workplace and possibly their homes and schools is harming them and, for those pregnant, destroying the health of their fetus. “In light of the workplace reality for farmworkers, the lack of labor protections, and the documented deficiencies in the existing worker protection standards, it is difficult to conceive of how EPA officials think this warning is protective in any way. And in light of what agency officials know, or […]

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11
Apr

Chemical-Intensive Practices in Florida Citrus Lead to Harm and Collapse, as Organic Methods Offer Path Forward

(Beyond Pesticides, April 11, 2024) Scientists are moving forward in testing an agroecological method of “push-pull” pest management (reducing the attractiveness of the target organism and luring pest insects towards a trap) to fight the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) in Florida orange groves, as it spreads a plant disease known as the pathogenic bacteria huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening, which is deadly to citrus trees. The disease is spread by the pathogenic bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CLas).  The chemical-intensive, or conventional, citrus industry is under intense pressure to find alternatives, as synthetic antibiotic use for this purpose has been successfully challenged in court. ACP is the carrier, or vector, for HLB, spreading it through the citrus groves and killing the trees. The chemical-intensive industry has focused on using antibiotics, which the environmental and public health community has rejected because of serious medical concerns associated with life-threatening bacterial resistance to antibiotics used to protect humans. A federal district court decision in December 2023 found illegal the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to register the antibiotic streptomycin in Florida citrus without adequate review of its impact on endangered species. The streptomycin lawsuit, filed in 2021 by a coalition of […]

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09
Apr

Industry Stops PFAS Restrictions, Reverses EPA in Court, as Plastic Leaches Contaminants

(Beyond Pesticides, April 9, 2024) The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in an opinion authored by Circuit Judge Cory T. Wilson, has vacated an action by the U.S. Environmental Protection  Agency (EPA) that had ordered the Texas-based manufacturer Inhance Technologies, L.L.C. to stop producing plastic containers that leach toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) into pesticides, household cleaners, condiments, and additional products. EPA has taken action after the agency determined that the PFAS created during the fluorination process “are highly toxic and present unreasonable risks that cannot be prevented other than through prohibition of manufacture.” While the court is not challenging EPA’s authority to determine the hazards associated with PFAS exposure to be unacceptable, on a technicality, it is finding that the agency used the wrong section of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), Section 5, which the court says is focused on new uses. According to the Court, “The EPA is just not allowed to skirt the framework set by Congress by arbitrarily deeming Inhance’s decades-old fluorination process a “significant new use,” even though EPA’s awareness of the PFAS contamination was “new” to the agency and not disclosed by the manufacturer. Even if EPA were […]

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05
Apr

Parent’s Toxic Chemical Exposure Linked to Autism in Offspring

(Beyond Pesticides, April 5, 2024) Exposure to chemical toxicants, molds, and algae contributes to autism and attention disorders in children, according to research that bolsters earlier findings. The exposures may be most relevant, not in the children, but one generation back—in the parents. The study, “Assessing Chemical Intolerance in Parents Predicts the Risk of Autism and ADHD in Their Children,” was published in the March issue of the Journal of Xenobiotics. Led by Claudia S. Miller, MD, an immunologist at the University of Texas at San Antonio noted for her work on chemical intolerance (CI), the authors build on previous work published in 2015 establishing parental CI as a risk factor for autism and ADHD. Dr. Miller participated in Beyond Pesticides’ 2022 Forum Series. Recordings of her presentation are available on YouTube here and here. In 1996, Dr. Miller concluded that CI is induced by Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT). For further details, see Beyond Pesticides’ Daily News Blog. Three years later Dr. Miller developed the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI), a questionnaire for individuals tracing their toxicant exposures and symptom histories. QEESI was first developed with groups exposed to organophosphate pesticides, volatile organic compounds in reconstruction and […]

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