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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'New Jersey' Category


27
Oct

New Jersey Lawmakers Reintroduce Safe Playing Fields Act

(Beyond Pesticides, October 27, 2016) Lawmakers in the New Jersey House and Senate introduced bills this legislative session to stop the use of toxic lawn care pesticides on children’s playing fields. The Safe Playing Fields Act, introduced by Representatives Daniel Benson (D) and Holly Schepisi (R) in the New Jersey Assembly and Senator Shirley Turner (D) in the Senate will  eliminate the use of toxic registered pesticides on school grounds in favor of “low impact pesticides” considered minimum risk by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This is the latest legislative push to pass this Act after attempts in 2011 and 2012. The bill is modeled on similar efforts that have been successfully implemented in the states of New York and Connecticut. Connecticut first passed An Act Concerning Pesticides at Schools and Day Care Facilities in 2005, which restricted toxic pesticide use on elementary school grounds in the state. The act has been amended multiple times. First in 2007, An Act Banning Pesticide Use on School Grounds extended prohibitions to students in schools up to grade 8. In 2009, Connecticut’s law was amended again to extend pesticide protections to day care centers. Last year, the state passed another update, this time […]

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16
Feb

Intersex Fish at National Wildlife Refuges Considered for Further Study

(Beyond Pesticides, February 16, 2016) Last Thursday, officials reported that federal scientists for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) are recommending follow up studies for a portion of the Wallkill River in Sussex County, NJ, in addition to five other national wildlife refuges in the Northeast that were previously found to contain small-mouth bass with intersex characteristics. A study conducted  by FWS and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) points out that smallmouth and largemouth bass are showing intersex features, but researchers have  not pinpointed the cause. Scientists hope a follow up study will provide answers. Intersex fish and other species are  characterized  by one sex exhibiting traits  of the opposite sex. In the case of the FWS/USGS study, researchers found testicular oocytes ””female eggs found inside male testicles””in male smallmouth and largemouth bass. The source of intersex effects  can be hard to pinpoint, but pesticides are often cited as a cause given that they widely pollute waterways that  fish populate. Those chemicals have properties that disrupt the endocrine system and affect the reproductive system, causing development issues such as testicular oocytes. According to the USGS press release for the study, “Estrogenic endocrine-disrupting chemicals are derived from a variety of […]

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26
Jun

Study Finds Majority of “Bee-Friendly” Plants Sold at Garden Stores Contaminated with Bee-Killing Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, June 26, 2014) Over half of the “bee-friendly” home garden plants sold at garden supply centers such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Walmart have been pre-treated with pesticides shown to harm and kill bees, according to a study released yesterday by Friends of the Earth, Beyond Pesticides and allies. The study, Gardeners Beware 2014, shows that 36 out of 71 (51 percent) of garden plant samples purchased at top garden retailers in 18 cities in the United States and Canada contain neonicotinoid (neonic) pesticides — a key contributor to recent bee declines. Some of the flowers contained neonic levels high enough to kill bees outright and concentrations in the flowers’ pollen and nectar are assumed to be comparable. Further, 40% of the positive samples contained two or more neonics. Gardeners Beware 2014 is a larger follow up to a first-of-its-kind pilot study co-released by Friends of the Earth, Beyond Pesticides, and other groups last August. The new study expanded the number of samples and number of locations where plants were purchased, and also assessed the distribution of neonic pesticides between flowers and the rest of the plant. “Our data indicate that many plants sold in nurseries and garden […]

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03
Apr

EPA Issues Stop Sale Order for Food Containers Laced with Nanosilver Pesticide

(Beyond Pesticides, April 3, 2014) A food container production company in New Jersey is finding out that the smallest of ingredients can have big implications for public health. Earlier this week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it had issued a stop sale order to Pathway Investment Corp., manufacturer of Kinetic Go Green Premium Food Storage Containers and Kinetic Smartwist Series Containers. In addition to the order sent to Pathway, the EPA has also issued warning letters to Amazon, Sears, Wal-Mart and other large retailers directing them not to sell these products. The reason for the order: nanosilver””an extremely small particle of silver that has been added to consumer products of all kinds during the last decade to combat bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms. Because of nanosilver’s properties, it is considered a pesticide and active ingredient under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the primary federal law governing pesticide use in the United States. Under FIFRA, any product containing an active ingredient that acts as a pesticide must be registered with EPA. For public health claims associated with pesticide use, EPA requires manufacturers to show that the product  performs as intended and does not  pose “unreasonable” […]

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02
Jan

New Jersey Legislators Seek Ban on School Playing Field Pesticides in 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, January 2, 2013) As the medical community weighs in, the new year begins with a push in New Jersey to adopt the Safe Playing Fields Act (S1143 / A2412), straightforward common sense legislation to remove children from harm’s way by stopping hazardous lawn pesticide use on school grounds. The bill’s sponsors, state Senators Shirley Turner (D-Mercer) and Robert Gordon (D-Bergen) —who moved Senate Bill 1143    through the New Jersey Senate Environment and Energy Committee with unanimous support in December, are seeking a full Senate vote this month. The bill prohibits lawn pesticides on playing fields of child care centers and schools, kindergarten through eighth grade. On December 14, 2012, the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) wrote  a letter  to legislators in support of the legislation, citing the recent policy position and technical report that AAP released last year. In its letter, the AAP chapter said: “The NJ Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) represents 1650 pediatricians. The national Academy is a professional membership organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical sub-specialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety, and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. […]

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08
Aug

Condominium Residents Win Fight Against Pesticide Use

(Beyond Pesticides, August 8, 2012) Residents of a large condominium in New Jersey have won their fight against the use of pesticides on the complex’s lawn. The homeowner’s association agreed with residents’ pleas to alter its treatment of lawns, instituting an integrated pest management (IPM) policy to avoid using toxic pesticides.In June, several residents at the Society Hill complex in Bernardsville, New Jersey, went public in challenging their homeowners’ association’s decision to use pesticides for lawn care, saying the chemicals have left their children with skin rashes, have sickened, and even killed family dogs. They took their pleas to the Environmental Commission, the Township Committee, The Bernardsville News and even New Jersey 101.5 FM radio. Officials from the Environmental Commission said they could only encourage, not force, private homeowner associations to use organic lawn treatments. Last week, the residents won their battle when the association decided to enact a new pesticide policy. The policy applies integrated pest management (IPM) that avoids pesticides when possible. The association plans to put IPM in all future maintenance contracts so as to maintain consistency. IPM, as defined by Beyond Pesticides, is a program of prevention, monitoring, and control that offers the opportunity to eliminate […]

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27
Jun

Tiny Crustaceans Enlisted to Fight Mosquitoes in New Jersey

(Beyond Pesticides, June 27, 2012) One county in New Jersey is getting serious about combating mosquitoes this season. Instead of relying on pesticide spraying, which has been shown to not be effective, the Cape May County Department of Mosquito Control is employing 10,000 tiny shrimp-like crustaceans that will eat their way through mosquito larvae in the county’s swamps, roadside ditches and small pools. The latest weapon in the battle against mosquitoes is barely visible. The crustaceans, known as copepods, are cousins to crayfish and water fleas, and do not get much bigger than two millimeters. They are voracious predators of mosquito larvae. New Jersey recently delivered 10,000 of the tiny shrimp-like crustaceans to Cape May County. They are already being used to fight mosquitoes in Bergen, Passaic, and Morris counties. Ocean County is next on the delivery list and six other counties will follow. “The days of driving a truck down the street and spraying pesticides are long gone. These copepods can pick up where fish leave off,” according to Administrator Robert Kent, of the state Office of Mosquito Control. Natural Predators as a Solution for Mosquito Control New Jersey has used mosquitofish, fathead minnows, killifish, bluegill and other fish […]

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06
Jan

NJ Assembly Advances Bill To Protect Children from Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, January 6, 2011) A law in the state of New Jersey aimed at protecting children by prohibiting pesticides on school grounds has advanced in the state’s General Assembly. Public health and environmental advocates are hoping that the bill will be considered by the full legislature within the next week, before the legislative session adjourns. Just prior to the holidays, the bill was released by the Environment and Solid Waste Committee of the New Jersey General Assembly. The current legislative session ends on Monday January, 9th and the bill must be approved before then, or it will need to be reintroduced in the legislature’s next session. The Safe Playing Fields Act mirrors similar laws in nearby Connecticut and New York State and is designed to ensure that children have a healthy and safe place for outdoor activities while at school. If enacted, it would prohibit the use of lawn care pesticides on all school playgrounds and on recreational fields of schools that have children in grades K-8, except as an emergency response to an immediate threat to human health, as determined by the municipal or county governing body in consultation with the local health officer or if required by […]

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31
Oct

NJ School Pesticide Exposure Incident Reinforces Need for Policy

(Beyond Pesticides, October 31, 2011) The Borough Council of Oradell, NJ has pledged to review the use of pesticides on public grounds following an incident in which children may have been allowed to prematurely re-enter an herbicide-treated soccer field. This incident recalls the recently reported exposure and poisoning that occurred in Ohio a few weeks ago, and echoes the need for a comprehensive national policy to protect children from harmful and unnecessary exposure to toxic chemicals. The on-line edition of The Record reported on October 25 that the Council acted in response to a complaint filed as a result of an herbicide application to Memorial Field on October 6. The complaint stated that despite numerous posted signs warning children should not to enter the treated area for 72 hours, two youth soccer teams were playing on the field six hours after the application. The complaint further stated that the town’s Department of Public Works had removed all but one of the warning signs by the next day when another soccer game was played. The Record also reported that the field is open and accessible to members of the general public. Children are especially sensitive and vulnerable to pesticides because of […]

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02
Feb

New Jersey Bill Prohibits Pesticides on School Lawns

(Beyond Pesticides, February 2, 2011) A bill that would make the state of New Jersey a national leader in banning pesticides on all school grounds was passed in a Senate environment committee Monday with unanimous bi-partisan support. The measure, dubbed The Child Safe Playing Field Act, would prohibit the use of most lawn pesticides on public and private school playgrounds, recreational fields, and day-care centers. Legislators voted (unanimous bi-partisan support 5-0) to release The Child Safe Playing Field Act, S.2610 at a NJ Senate Environment Committee hearing. The bill would prohibit lawn pesticide use on all day care, school, municipal, county and state playgrounds and playing fields. Low-impact organic pesticide applications would be allowed, and there is an exception that allows stronger pesticides during emergencies. If New Jersey’s proposal were to become law, all but a small class of lawn pesticides would be banned from public and private school grounds, including high schools; recreation fields owned by municipalities, counties, or the state. Pesticides would only be allowed in emergencies to eliminate “an immediate threat to human health.” “This legislation is important to protect children’s health where they play. At least 40 towns and many schools have declared their parks pesticide […]

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17
Aug

Blueberry Farmers’ Suit Against Pesticide Maker Moves Ahead

(Beyond Pesticides, August 17, 2010) A federal appeals court has revived the fraud and negligent misrepresentation claims by blueberry farmers in New Jersey, who say that a pesticide made by Novartis Crop Protection, Inc. reacted badly with fungicides and ruined their crops. Declaring that the lower court improperly dismissed the farmers’ state law claims as preempted by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the federal court concluded that farmers were not suing over the alleged flaws in the warning label-which is federally regulated -rather were complaining about misrepresentations in Novartis’ marketing brochure. The case, Indian Brand Farms Inc. v. Novartis Crop Protection Inc. was filed in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Jersey. Blueberry farmers said Novartis should have warned them that a new version of its pesticide, including diazinon as the active ingredient, also included a surfactant that reacts badly with fungicides. The promotional brochure failed to mention this reaction and when farmers mixed the diazinon pesticide with the fungicides Captan and Captec, it caused phytotoxic damage, including blotches, depressions and spots, and in some cases killed their plants. It was not clear to the appeals court that the practice of combining pesticides with […]

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10
May

IPM Policy and “Pesticide Free Zones” Gain Momentum in New Jersey

(Beyond Pesticides, May 10, 2010) The environmentally friendly ladybug is alive and well in Ocean Township, New Jersey, thanks to a newly adopted Township resolution that declares parks, playgrounds, and fields as “Pesticide Free Zones;” requires Township property to be managed with Integrated Pest Management (IPM), a program that manages and prevents pests using environmental information, with a focus on non-chemical pest management methods and tools (sanitation, mechanical, biological and, as a last resort, “least toxic” chemicals) that are least likely to impact human health or the environment. The Township’s goal is to eliminate the use of pesticides, while encouraging citizens to do the same. According to Ray Pogwist, Chair of the Ocean Township Environmental Commission, the IPM policy for the township identifies key sensitive areas like the village parks to be managed without harmful chemical pesticides. These areas will be posted with a sign indicating that chemical pesticides have not been applied to the site. “Ocean Township’s action reinforces their commitment to protecting parks and open spaces and reducing its pesticide use,” said Jane Nogaki, program coordinator for NJ Environmental Federation (NJEF). “Since IPM is now the law on all New Jersey school grounds, it makes perfect sense to […]

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07
Apr

New Jersey Village Hopes to Ban Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, April 7, 2010) Although the city stopped using chemical pesticides in much of its public spaces nearly four decades ago, village officials expect to pass a resolution prohibiting their use on public property, including parks, fields and playgrounds. The hope is that the local law, once publicized, will have a trickle-down effect on private property owners. “If we can do it, why can’t people do it on their own lawn?” the village president, Douglas Newman, asked last week. On April 1, at Meadowland Park, village officials and local and state environmentalists unveiled a sign featuring a ladybug that will soon be posted in the village’s 10 parks, fields and playgrounds. James McGowan, of the South Orange Environmental Commission, which is credited with spearheading the village’s initiative, said inorganic pesticides and their use still pose a danger. “There is some serious effects from these things,” he said. “People have good alternatives,” such as integrated pest management, which uses biological controls, such as plants that are resistant to common pests.” The village’s program, he said, “brings together a lot of environmental initiatives.” Eric Benson, canvass director for the New Jersey Environmental Federation, said the benefit of announcing the plan right […]

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19
Oct

New Jersey Town Adopts Policy to Significantly Reduce Pesticide Use

(Beyond Pesticides, October 19, 2009) The “green” movement continues to sprout throughout New Jersey, as Hamilton Township joins other municipalities in the state that have made their parks pesticide-free zones and have adopted an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program for managing town property. Responding to the request of local members of the New Jersey Environmental Federation, Hamilton Township recently passed a resolution adopting the Federation’s model pesticide reduction policy. The policy establishes Pesticide Free Zones for 50 feet surrounding township playgrounds, picnic grounds, pavilions and rest areas, dog parks and ballfields, as well as 300 feet from any stream bank, pond, lake or natural wetland. It also requires the implementation of an IPM program for all township buildings and grounds. Hamilton Mayor John F. Bencivengo endorsed the policy, stating that it is a great way to educate the public about pesticide use, and ensure that the township continues on its path of “pesticide free zones” in its parks, municipal building and library. Schools in New Jersey are already required by law to follow IPM plans using non-toxic methods first and conventional pesticides only if the non-toxic methods are ineffective. “It is easy to manage a lawn without harmful chemical pesticides,” […]

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25
Feb

State Fails To Protect Workers in Pesticide Lawsuit

(Beyond Pesticides, February 25, 2009) After three years of legal battle, the North Carolina Pesticide Board on February 19, 2009 fined Florida-based Ag-Mart Produce Inc. a substantially lower fine of $3,000 than the originally proposed $185,000, after deciding that it can only prove six of about 200 worker safety accusations that had been levied against the company. This comes less than a month after the unprecedented ruling against Ag-Mart in New Jersey, where the company was ordered to pay penalties of more than $931,000 for misusing pesticides and jeopardizing the health and safety of workers in its New Jersey farm fields and packing houses. The Florida-based company, described as one of the biggest pesticide offenders, has been accused of routinely exposing hundreds of workers to toxic chemicals. Investigators in North Carolina, Florida and New Jersey, the three states where the international company grows its tomatoes, scrutinized the company’s records and charged it with ignoring laws intended to keep workers safe from toxic pesticide residue. The investigators alleged workers were sent into the fields too soon after dangerous chemicals had been sprayed. The case started three years ago when some workers gave birth to babies with severe birth defects. One mother […]

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03
Feb

New Jersey Issues Record Fine, Nearly $1 Million, for Pesticide Use Violation

(Beyond Pesticides, February 3, 2009) A corporate tomato grower faces an unprecedented penalty of more than $931,000 for misusing pesticides and jeopardizing the health and safety of workers in its New Jersey farm fields and packing houses, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Acting Commissioner Mark N. Mauriello announced January 30, 2009. In its enforcement action, the DEP cites Ag-Mart Produce Inc., headquartered in Cedarville, Cumberland County, with hundreds of violations that include denying state environmental inspectors access to facilities, losing track of a highly toxic insecticide, failing to properly ventilate areas during pesticide use, failing to post important pesticide-safety information for workers, careless recordkeeping and using forbidden mixtures of pesticides. Ag-Mart Produce widely markets its tomatoes under the brand name “Santa Sweets,” and employs 700 people throughout 17 farm locations in New Jersey. Ag-Mart also owns and operates other produce farms in North Carolina, Florida and Mexico. “Ag-Mart has repeatedly shown a stunning disregard of laws and regulations intended to protect the workers who harvest their tomatoes, the people who consume them and New Jersey’s environment,” Commissioner Mauriello said. “Ag-Mart’s pesticide violations are the most serious DEP inspectors have ever uncovered. We have imposed a record-high penalty not […]

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02
Feb

26th New Jersey Township Adopts Pesticide-Free Policy

(Beyond Pesticides, February 2, 2009) As part of the Township of Bernards, New Jersey’s new Pesticide Management System Resolution that designates pesticide-free zones and requires adoption of an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program for all its municipal grounds, the mayor and town council are also asking its citizens to adopt such measures on their own property. The resolution preface states, “[S]cientific studies associate exposure to pesticides with asthma, cancer, development and learning disabilities, nerve an immune system damage, liver or kidney damage, reproductive impairment, birth defects and disruption of the endocrine system, and ”¦ infants, children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems and chemical sensitivities are especially vulnerable to pesticide effects and exposure, and ”¦ lawn pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are harmful to pests, wildlife, soil microbiology, plants, and natural ecosystems and can run off into streams, lakes and drinking water sources ”¦” Pesticide-free zones include playgrounds, picnic grounds and pavilion/rest areas, and the area 50 feet around each of these sites, as well as dog park/runs, pool areas and ball fields. Pesticide-free zones also include all waterways and a 300 foot buffer around any stream bank, pond, lake or natural wetland. According to the township’s […]

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31
Oct

Pittsgrove NJ Adopts Pesticide-Free Park Resolution

(Beyond Pesticides, October 31, 2008) Pittsgrove, New Jersey Township adopted a pesticide-free park resolution at its October 28th meeting. As a result, Deer Pen Park, which includes picnic areas and a playground, will be managed using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and without harmful pesticides. “We are excited about this because we are the first in the county to take part,” said Mayor Peter Voros. “We hope that others follow because this is a great project.” Two township volunteers proposed the policy last summer, presenting information on pesticides an alternatives at a committee meeting. They and a local environmental group collaborated to create the adopted resolution. “Pittsgrove now has a written Integrated Pest Management policy which means that least-toxic methods are used, only when needed,” said Committeewoman Linda DuBois. The IPM policy targets toxic pesticides for elimination, as many have been linked to health risks like asthma, learning disabilities, and birth defects. “We especially want to protect children because they are closer to pesticide applications on the ground and they are still developing and absorb more pesticides than adults,” said Jane Nogaki, program coordinator for the New Jersey Environmental Federation. (for more information on children and pesticides, see Beyond Pesticides’ fact […]

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13
May

NJ Community Adopts Indoor IPM, Parks Go Pesticide-Free

(Beyond Pesticides, May 13, 2008) Citing concerns over the impact of pesticides on health and the environment, the Voorhees, NJ Township Committee approved Resolution 126-08, Township of Voorhees Pesticide Reduction Policy, on April 28, 2008 to stop hazardous pesticide use. The New Jersey Township has adopted Integrated Pest Management (IPM) as the pest control policy and strategy to be used in the maintenance of the township’s public properties and buildings, and township parks are pesticide free posted with “Pesticide Free Zone” ladybug signs.The National Center for Environmental Health Strategies, which proposed the resolution, will be working with the township’s pest control contractor on an IPM plan for township buildings to continue to eliminate or significantly reduce the use of hazardous pesticides. The guidance will in part be based on the New Jersey School IPM Law (S. 137, adopted September 26, 2002), which requires that after non-chemical means of pest control have been considered and exhausted and conventional pesticide use is deemed necessary, preference be given to using a pesticide that is classified “low impact.” Low impact pesticides according to the New Jersey School IPM Law include a first category of pesticides or substances that are U.S. EPA exempt from regulation […]

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01
Nov

New Jersey Steps Up Effort to Ban Pesticides in Parks

(Beyond Pesticides, November 1, 2007) The borough of Fairlawn, New Jersey joined 11 other boroughs in banning pesticides from public play areas. The borough declared its parks pesticide-free and will post a “pesticide-free zone” sign at every playground in the borough. The Record reported that: Volunteers from the New Jersey Environmental Federation canvassed borough neighborhoods last spring asking residents to support the program, spokeswoman Jane Nogaki said. Mayor Steve Weinstein said those residents sent him hundreds of letters. Lisa Lovermi and Randi Willey, who were walking through the park on their lunch break, said they always assumed borough parks were safe, but they thought a sign could help put park users’ minds at ease. “You’d think that a park is supposed to be a natural environment,” Lovermi said. “You wouldn’t think there would be pesticides.” New Jersey limited the use of pesticides on school grounds in 2002. But the recent discovery of dangerous levels of chemicals in the soil next to a Paramus middle school and several other North Jersey schools had many residents questioning the safety of their yards and play areas. Organizers of the pesticide-free park campaign are trying to rally support for a county- or statewide policy. […]

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02
Jul

Pesticides Found on School Grounds

(Beyond Pesticides, July 2, 2007) Dangerous pesticides have been found in soil samples taken from the grounds of the West Brook Middle School in Paramus, New Jersey. The concentrations found exceed state safety standards and concerns are being raised over why the school took no action once it knew about the contaminants. One of the chemicals found is chlordane. Chlordane is an organochlorine classified by the EPA as a Group B2, probable human carcinogen and is also associated with adverse neurological and gastrointestinal effects. Studies also report an association between chlordane exposure and non-Hodgkins’s lymphoma. Chlordane was registered in the U.S. in 1948 and was used as a pesticide on agricultural crops and gardens until 1978 when its registered uses on food crops and other above ground uses were cancelled. In 1988, all uses of chlordane were cancelled. This pesticide however, is persistent in soil and the environment and has been found in air samples, fish tissue, and recent studies have linked organochlorines like chlordane to breast cancer. The Record, a New Jersey newspaper, commissioned the tests to be carried out by Aqua Pro-Tech Laboratories, which revealed that chlordane at 17 parts per billion were on the school’s soccer field. […]

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31
Jan

New Jersey Rejects Toxic Sprays for Gypsy Moths

(Beyond Pesticides, January 31, 2007) On January 29, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) concluded a month-long review of the Department of Agriculture’s (NJDA) petition to waive the state’s ban on aerial-spraying of broad-spectrum pesticides. The state will uphold the ban, effectively blocking widespread use of the chemical Dimilin. The ban affects towns seeking to reduce rising gypsy moth populations. Roughly 125,000 acres of trees suffered defoliation in the state as a result of gypsy moths, one of the worst years in recent memory. Gypsy moths have been in New Jersey since the 1920s, and their destruction peaking in 1981, with 800,000 acres defoliated. Dimilin is a restricted-use pesticide (available only to certified applicators) that has been unavailable for broadcast use for decades. For the past 20 years, in lieu of aerial spraying of Dimilin — also known as diflubenzuron — the pesticide specified in NJDA’s request, New Jersey towns have used bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) , a bacterial agent. With gypsy moth populations expected to be higher in 2007 than in recent years, NJDA argued that Bt would be insufficient to protect hardwood trees across the state. In a letter to NJDA, Marcedius T. Jameson, DEP’s administrator for […]

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16
Jan

NJ Groups Oppose Lifting 20-Year Ban on Chemical Gypsy Moth Control

(Beyond Pesticides, January 16, 2007) A proposal is underway within New Jersey’s Department of Agriculture (DOA) to lift a 20-year ban on the use of Dimilin (diflubenzuron) for gypsy moth suppression. The State’s DOA is proposing to amend its regulations (N.J.A.C. 2:23) to permit the synthetic chemical pesticide to be aerially sprayed over forested residential areas (estimated to be 50,000 acres) in 14 counties where egg mass counts are over 4,000 per acre. In addition, the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Division of Parks and Forestry may propose using Dimilin in state park areas where the egg masses are 4,000 per acre or more — potentially treating up to an additional 28,000 acres.The New Jersey Environmental Federation (NJEF) has taken action to stop the plan. In a letter co-signed by an additional 25 organizations to the Commissioners of DEP and DOA, they state, “While gypsy moth is a nuisance pest and can contribute to oak tree mortality, it is not a human health threat, nor a disease vector. We believe that given the potential harm to human health and biodiversity by the chemical pesticide Dimilin, the Departments should err on the side of caution and stand by their regulations that […]

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