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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'New York' Category


15
Jun

Aerial Mosquito Spraying Linked to Elevated Autism Rates

(Beyond Pesticides, June 15, 2017) Communities exposed to frequent aerial spraying for mosquito control experience elevated rates of autism diagnoses, according to new research. The study identifies the frequent use of synthetic pyrethroid insecticides, which are linked to neurocognitive and behavioral impacts, among other health effects. Pediatric researchers at Penn State University and the University of California examined communities in eight zip codes in Onondaga County, New York with frequent aerial spray programs for mosquito control, and contrasted these findings with communities in 16 zip codes that do not employ similar pesticide use programs. According to the study, between 2007 and 2009, the average yearly pesticide burden across the eight aerial exposed zip codes was approximately 11,000 kilograms, compared to approximately 4,000 kilograms of pesticide exposure across the 16 control zip codes. The study finds that the zip codes with frequent aerial pyrethroid exposure are 37% more likely to have higher rates of childhood developmental delays and autism spectrum disorder. The researchers acknowledge that the study establishes a correlational, not a causal, link between pyrethroid exposure and autism/developmental disorders, it adds to a growing body of research demonstrating an exposure-effect relationship between the two. Other studies have similarly linked developmental disorders and autism […]

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25
Jan

Study Links Carbamate Insecticides to Diabetes and other Metabolic Diseases

(Beyond Pesticides, January 25, 2017) A study conducted at the University of Buffalo recently revealed a connection between two common insecticides and an increased risk for certain metabolic diseases, including diabetes. Researchers found that by binding to and disrupting melatonin receptors that control numerous physiological functions, chemicals such as insecticides can affect melatonin levels, creating a higher risk for metabolic diseases to develop. The study, Carbamate Insecticides Target Human Melatonin Receptors, was published in Chemical Research in Toxicology and was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. The implicated chemicals in this research, carbaryl and carbofuran, are notoriously dangerous carbamate insecticides. Carbamates share structural characteristics and an ability to inhibit acetylcholinesterase (AChE), an enzyme important for the transmission of nerve impulses. When AChE is inhibited, acetylcholine accumulates leading to overstimulation of neurotransmitters, resulting in muscle weakness, confusion, and paralysis, among other symptoms. Carbaryl is said by EPA to be “one of the most widely applied insecticides in the U.S.,” since use began in 1959, with 10-15 million pounds used annually. It is a broad-spectrum insecticide used on a variety of crops, in forestry and on ornamentals, in […]

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04
Aug

Investigative Report Uncovers Dangerous Pesticide Misuse on Golf Courses in New York

(Beyond Pesticides, August 4, 2016) Complaints about a green residue that appeared on golfers’ shoes at Rye Golf Club in New York last spring prompted an investigative report by The Journal News/lohud.com, that  revealed what reporters are describing a region-wide “environmental toxic time bomb” caused by the over and misuse of pesticides throughout the state. The investigation uncovered (i) gaps in the oversight of millions of pound of toxic pesticides applied throughout the Lower Hudson Valley, (ii) heightened health risks in Westchester and Rockland counties where pesticides are used the most, (iii) significant flaws in pesticide data collected in the state of New York, and (iv) the failure of authorities to catch the illegal sale and use of unregistered pesticides. Rye Golf Club, which turned into a “field of dustbowls” within weeks of the green residue appearing on golfer’s shoes, had to close 18 putting greens, leading members to demand thousands of dollars in refunds and city leaders to address the severely damaged city-owned golf course. The cause of the mysterious green residue was later revealed to be the result of an application of a contaminated batch of the fungicide ArmorTech ALT 70, whose active ingredient is azoxystrobin. Rye Golf […]

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25
May

Goats Put to Work to Restore NYC’s Prospect Park

(Beyond Pesticides, May 25, 2016) New York City’s Prospect Park is bringing in a herd of goats to fight back opportunistic species that are encroaching in an area of the park after damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. Rather than spray toxic weed killers like 2,4-D, triclopyr, or glyphosate, the Prospect Park Alliance used the grant money it obtained from the National Park Service to bring in these 4-legged weed warriors as a safe and environmentally friendly way to restore storm-damaged areas. “We are pleased to welcome these goats to Prospect Park to help us further the important woodland restoration work that has always been a focus for the Alliance,” Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue said to ABC7. “These goats will provide an environmentally-friendly approach to our larger efforts, which will not only beautify the Park, but make it more resilient to future storms.” After Hurricane Sandy barreled up the east coast, a roughly 1.5 acre area of Prospect Park was seriously damaged, with 100s of trees toppled. The disturbance has allowed so-called invasive species to move into the park, supplanting the regrowth of native species in the last remaining forested area in the borough of Brooklyn. Goats act as […]

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06
Nov

NY State Senator Calls For Statewide Triclosan Ban

(Beyond Pesticides, November 6, 2015) New York State Senator Tim Kennedy (D-NY) has called for a statewide ban on triclosan, one of the most prevalent antibacterial compounds found in common household products. Minnesota is the only state to have passed a triclosan  ban. If passed, the New York Bill (Bill S6070) would prohibit the sale of cleaning products containing triclosan, triclocarban, or derivatives of similar antibacterial compounds, and mark a clear victory for human health and safety interests within the state. Triclosan has been used for over 30 years in the U.S., mostly in a medical setting, but more recently in consumer products. Beyond Pesticides has generated extensive documentation  of the potential human and environmental health effects of triclosan and its cousin triclocarban, called on manufacturers to stop using triclosan in its products and retailers to stop carrying these products, and previously petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the cancellation of registered products that contain the antibacterial pesticide. In May 2015, EPA issued its long-awaited response to the Citizen Petition filed by Beyond Pesticides and Food & Water Watch, denying the request. When introduced to the market in 1972, triclosan was confined to hospital and health care settings. Since […]

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07
Sep

New York Lawn Care Companies Fined for Violating Pesticide Laws

(Beyond Pesticides, September 8, 2015) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued tickets to six companies in Rockland and Westchester counties for violating state laws on pesticide applications, most on residential lawns. Eight other companies were issued warnings. The violations, which occurred between 2013 and spring 2015, ranged from unlicensed businesses to uncertified workers and unlabeled toxic pesticides. These fines and warnings came about after complaints and anonymous tips, and highlight the many instances where pesticide law enforcement and compliance falls short. In September of last year, a complaint was called into the DEC, reporting that a Jonathan Landscaping (of Rockville, NY) truck was spraying pesticides with no labels, and was missing triangle decals that indicate a valid state pesticide permit. The DEC inspector went out and found the truck, issuing four tickets for operating an unregistered pesticide business and unlabeled poisons. Rafael Hernandez, the owner of Jonathan Landscaping, pleaded guilty to violating environmental laws in March and was fined $350, according to The Journal News.  In April, SavALawn, another landscaping company, was found to be missing triangle decals and had unlabeled pesticide poisons, and was also issued a ticket, of value unknown. Another investigator from […]

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12
Aug

Town of Plattsburgh, NY Tackles Pesticides and GMOs in Non-Binding Resolution

(Beyond Pesticides, August 12 2015) Last week, the City of Plattsburgh, New York, unanimously approved a policy that encourages city departments and city residents to reduce and eventually eliminate their use of toxic pesticides, such as neonicotinoids and glyphosate. In the same resolution, city residents and department heads are also encouraged to refrain from genetically modified organism (GMO) cultivation, though they recognize there is very little of that taking place within Plattsburgh city limits. While this policy can only be used to discourage the use of pesticides and GMOs, not implement an outright ban, due to preemptive New York state law that occupies the field of pesticide regulation, city officials are hopeful that they will be able to use their influence to implore the state of New York and U.S. legislators to take statewide and nationwide measures on the production of GMO crops and to curb the use of toxic pesticides. The language of the resolution, sponsored by Councilman Mike Kelly, cites the health of honey bees and other insects as one of the main reasons for encouraging citizens to refrain from the use of pesticides in the practice of lawn care and beautification. It also specifically names neonicotinoids as […]

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12
Jun

Cornell University Releases GE Moths without Thorough Evaluation of Risks

(Beyond Pesticides, June 12, 2015) Without input from or notification to the public, Cornell University  has released genetically engineered (GE) diamondback moths at its  agricultural experiment station in Geneva, New York. The university is testing a new way to  control agricultural  pests, much to the dismay of environmentalists. The moths, which are engineered to be autocidal (self-killing), pose a possible threat to the certification of organic farmers and create environmental risks. Environmental groups such as Food and Water Watch, Center for Food Safety, and Friends of the Earth, among others, sent a letter expressing concern over the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s assessment process, which neglected to address  the possibility of moth movement past the trial area, and the impacts that diamondback moth declines will have on their natural predators and the larger ecosystem. These groups are recommending that  all outdoor trials be stopped until more information is available. Cornell has partnered with Oxitec, a self-described  pioneer in using advanced genetics to control target  insects. They plan on controlling the population growth of these GE moths through their genetic design that kills the moth  in the larval stage on plants. Normally, these larvae feed on crops such as broccoli and […]

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10
Mar

U.S. Senator Calls for Suspension of Pentachlorophenol, Used to Treat Utility Poles

(Beyond Pesticides, March 10, 2015) U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) yesterday called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday to immediately investigate the specific use of pentachlorophenol  (penta or PCP), a toxic wood preservative, to treat  utility poles throughout Long Island and urged  Public Service Electric and Gas (PSEG) Long Island to immediately suspend further use of this chemical until a  federal review  is complete. PSEG has been installing new, chemically-treated utility poles throughout the Towns of North Hempstead and East Hampton. In his press  release, Senator Schumer expresses  serious concern about penta’s  health risks to utility workers, adults and children and its ability to  move  into water over the long-term as the chemical leaches from the poles. The Senator also notes that a private firm has conducted a study based on a very limited sample size that does not consider long-term risks as the pole decomposes and further leaches toward groundwater. EPA, which is responsible for evaluating penta’s health and environmental risk, has noted public health concerns related to the chemical when ingested or inhaled, including  neurological, respiratory, kidney and immune system effects. On Long Island, 95,000 of PSEG’s 324,000 utility poles have been treated with penta. […]

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02
Feb

Commonly Used Pyrethroid Pesticide Increases Risk of ADHD

(Beyond Pesticides, February 2, 2015) A study led by a Rutgers University research team finds that the commonly used pesticide deltamethrin increases the risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, adding to a mounting body of scientific research linking pesticide exposure to the disorder. Rutgers scientists, along with colleagues from Emory University, the University of Rochester Medical Center, and Wake Forest University discovered that mice exposed to the pyrethroid insecticide deltamethrin in utero and through lactation exhibit several features of ADHD, including dysfunctional dopamine signaling in the brain, hyperactivity, working memory, attention deficits and impulsive-like behavior. The study, Developmental pesticide exposure reproduces features of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, was published Wednesday in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). ADHD is estimated to affect 8—12% of school-age children worldwide. ADHD is a complex disorder, and though is strong scientific evidence that genetics play a role in susceptibility to the disorder, no specific gene has been found that causes ADHD and scientists believe that environmental factors, such as pesticide exposure, may contribute to the development of the behavioral condition. “Although we can’t change genetic susceptibility to ADHD, there may be modifiable environmental factors, including […]

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21
Jan

North Hempstead Sued by Utilities over Pole Warning Signs

(Beyond Pesticides, January 21, 2015) Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) Long Island and Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) filed suit against the Town of North Hempstead, New York on Thursday, seeking to impede a 2014 ordinance requiring utility companies to post warning signs on utility poles treated with the hazardous chemical pentachlorophenol (PCP).  The chemical has been listed as a possible carcinogen, is typically contaminated with various forms of dioxins and furans —known carcinogens that persist in the environment. The ordinance, passed in fall 2014, requires warning labels on utility poles  that are treated with the hazardous wood preservative  PCP. The warning states:  “This pole contains a hazardous chemical. Avoid prolonged direct contact with this pole. Wash hands or other exposed areas thoroughly if contact is made.”  PCP is highly toxic and has been listed as a possible carcinogen by national and international agencies. Concerns  have been raised throughout the years over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) continued registration of PCP in the U.S. despite having been banned in all European Union member states, China, India, New Zealand, Indonesia, and Russia. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Central Islip, asserts that the law violates the […]

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19
Dec

New York State Bans Fracking

(Beyond Pesticides, December 19, 2014) Citing concerns over health risks, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and his administration announced Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” in New York state, thus becoming the first state with significant natural-gas resources to ban the practice. Fracking is a method of extracting natural gas from deep in the ground by injecting a mixture of water, sand, and toxic chemicals ””including biocides to control biological activity”” under high pressure into dense rock formations, such as shale, in order to crack the rock and release the gas. The announcement to ban fracking came alongside a long-awaited health study. The study, made public during a year-end cabinet meeting convened by the governor in Albany, found “significant public health risks” associated with fracking. The study also considers the effects of biocide use in the fracking process, such as reduced microbial diversity and enhanced tolerance from chemicals like glutaraldehyde, a strong irritant. Hydraulic fracking operations use biocides because microbes, which are present beneath the surface of the earth, can interfere with the flow of gas in the pipelines. Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., an ecologist and author, explained the possible role of these microbes and the use […]

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15
Sep

Local Municipality Requires Labeling of Penta (PCP)-Treated Utility Poles

(Beyond Pesticides, September 15, 2014) The Town of North Hempstead on Long Island, New York has passed a new law requiring warning labels on the utility poles that are treated with the hazardous wood preservative, pentachlorophenol  (PCP). At the town board meeting on September 9, a vote of 7-0 mandated the labeling with the following warning: “This pole contains a hazardous chemical. Avoid prolonged direct contact with this pole. Wash hands or other exposed areas thoroughly if contact is made.” Since the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), operated by Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG), installed thousands of new hurricane-resistant utility poles that are thicker and taller, it shed  more light on the community hazards  associated with use of pentachlorophenol. Of the 324,000 utility poles on Long Island, about 95,000 have been treated with PCP. Even though there is a prohibition  of PCP for residential uses within the U.S., it still can be used on utility poles, railroad ties and other industrial uses under  federal law. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines pentachlorophenol as “extremely toxic” to humans even from short-term exposure and is listed as a “probable human carcinogen.” The inhalation or ingestion can lead to cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, […]

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22
Aug

Town Bans Land Application of Sewage Sludge, or Biosolids

(Beyond Pesticides, August 22, 2014) The Town Board in Wheatfield, New York unanimously voted last month to amend its biosolids law to ban any application of sewage sludge and other similar materials from the treatment of municipal wastewater to any land in town, even for those who already have permits from the state. The law reasons that the potential contamination of groundwater, surface water, and soil, as well as the potential for air pollution, poses an unreasonable risk to town residents, public health, and the environment. Biosolids, otherwise known as sewage sludge, are composed of dried microbes previously used to process wastewater in treatment plants. The material is increasingly being used in conventional agriculture, but its application is explicitly forbidden in organic production. This is because the sludge can contain high concentrations of toxic contaminants, such as pesticides, detergents, estrogenic hormones, antibiotics, dioxins, PCBs, flame retardants, and heavy metals. A 2002 study revealed the material to be associated with an increased prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus infections, a condition known to cause skin rashes and respiratory problems, for people located in close proximity to biosolid application sites. More recently, new research adds to existing evidence of the hazards of sewage sludge […]

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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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27
May

Got Invasive Plants? Goats to the Rescue, Eating Unwanted Vegetation Yet Again!

(Beyond Pesticides, May 27, 2014) Bridgehampton’s Vineyard Field on Long Island, NY is joining the ever expanding movement of communities that are enlisting goats to help manage their land without the use of harmful herbicides. The Friends of Long Pond Greenbelt hired goats to manage the 40-acre field, which stretches from Ligonee Creek in Sagg Harbor to Sagg Pond in Sagaponack. With complaints from residents of overcrowding weeds on hiking trails, but not wanting to resort to using toxic herbicides, which harm sensitive species that live in the preserve, the volunteers looked to goats on May 17 as an answer. Goats are a great tool for managing invasive plants, because they add fertilizer and aerate the soil while they eat and physically remove the unwanted vegetation, creating healthier soil conditions. The Long Pond volunteers have come together to help pay for fencing, assist in its installation, and monitor the goats. The town board authorized the work and agreed to pay up to $3,500 for the project. Rhinebeck farmers  Annlilita Larry Cihanek, who have 65 goats, rent out half a dozen of their Nubian dairy goats. In Bridgehampton, the goats will be fenced in on a few acres of the field […]

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19
Feb

Proposal Will Repeal Pesticide Use Reporting Requirements in New York

(Beyond Pesticides, February 19, 2014) Over 30 environmental and consumer groups in New York are protesting new language in the state’s proposed budget that strips away the requirement that commercial pesticide applicators report where pesticides are used, what kind of pesticides they use and how much. The new reporting regulation will require that sales are recorded at the register, instead of where they are applied, eroding the public’s right-to-know. The law has allowed the public access to summary pesticide  use information at the zip code level, and granted researchers access to confidential pesticide use for analysis. However, the proposed rules, written into the state’s Executive Budget proposal, dramatically restructures the state’s Pesticide Sales and Use Reporting Law, stipulating that the annual pesticide reporting summary release detailed sales – not use – data by county. Opponents of the change say that where things are sold are not necessarily where they are used. The inability to  identify where pesticides are used in the state will undercut the ability to track  associated environmental and health effects. “It will impede the public’s ability to learn about toxic chemical uses where they work, live and play,” said Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of […]

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03
Oct

Elevated Pesticide Exposure Documented in New York City Residents

(Beyond Pesticides, October 3, 2013) According to new research, residents are more highly exposed to organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides in New York City (NYC) than in the U.S. overall.  Researchers from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reviewed the 2004 NYC Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NYC HANES) to compare its pesticide exposure patterns in an urban environment with the nation as a whole. The NYC HANES includes a biomonitoring component to evaluate pesticide exposures by measuring concentrations of organophosphate and pyrethroid metabolites in urine. According to the authors, the findings underscore the importance of considering pest and pesticide burdens on cities, where a dense population results in a single exposure source affecting many people at the same time when regulating pesticide use. Organophosphate metabolites were measured in the urine of 882 New Yorkers, while 1,452 residents were tested for pyrethroid metabolites. As the researchers explain, the building density and disrepair in parts of NYC likely increased the chances of a pest infestation, which in turn can lead to the reliance on indoor pesticide use. By the 1980’s, organophosphates were the most common class of insecticides in the U.S., and were used indoors until the early 2000’s when […]

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21
Aug

Bill Introduced to Restrict the Pesticide Methoprene in Estuaries in New York County

(Beyond Pesticides, August 21, 2013) Suffolk County, New York, Legislator Jay Schneiderman (I-Montauk) introduced a bill on July 30, 2013 to establish strict guidelines for the use of methoprene within estuaries in Suffolk County.   Methoprene, an insect growth regulator, is commonly used in mosquito control programs, but is highly toxic to estuarine invertebrates, including crabs and lobsters, which are the backbone of the fishing industry along the East coast. This bill follows similar legislation already passed in Connecticut and Rhode Island to help protect lobster populations. The lobster population in the Long Island Sound has decreased dramatically over the last decade, corresponding with the introduction of pesticides such as methoprene in mosquito control programs. Methoprene  is an insect growth regulator that prevents development to the adult reproductive stages so that insects die in arrested immaturity. It is an insecticide that is acutely toxic to estuarine invertebrates, including valuable food and commercial species like crabs and lobsters.  The effect of mosquito pesticides on marine life, especially lobsters, has come under scrutiny in recent years as mosquito spray programs in various states escalated efforts to suppress West Nile virus (WNv). Other mosquito-killing chemicals suspected of causing damage to aquatic life include […]

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16
May

Manufacturer to Restrict Atrazine Sales, Use, and Distribution on Long Island

(Beyond Pesticides, May 15, 2013) Recent public outcry over atrazine contamination of drinking water supplies on Long Island has pressured pesticide, herbicide, and fungicide manufacturer Makhteshim Agan of North America (MANA) to restrict the sale, use, and distribution of the toxic chemical. The move has been lauded by environmental advocacy groups, including Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE). “Atrazine is a dangerous chemical that poses an unacceptable risk to public health and the environment on Long Island,” said Adrienne Esposito, CCE Executive Director. “Removing this product from the shelves is an essential first step in protecting Long Island drinking water from unnecessary pesticide contamination. We are delighted by this news.” Unfortunately, stores will continue to sell its atrazine inventory until MANA implements the anticipated restriction date of spring of 2014. Atrazine is one of the most commonly used herbicides in the world and is used on most corn, sugarcane and sorghum acreage in the United States; and can also be used on golf courses and residential lawns. In the U.S. alone, 60-80 million pounds are used per year to stop pre- and post-emergent broadleaf and annual grassy weeds, and is generally applied in the spring. The herbicide is a common […]

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18
Apr

Climate Change Augments Agricultural Chemical Impacts on Lake Erie

(Beyond Pesticides, April 18, 2013) With hotter and more frequent extreme weather events, scientists say harmful algal blooms caused by pesticides and fertilizer inputs will strike more often in water bodies like Lake Erie, to the detriment of aquatic life and surrounding wildlife. All trends, show that the conditions that caused Lake Erie’s 2011 algal blooms will continue recurring. The algal blooms, which cause bright green scum that completely covers the Western part of Lake Erie, occurs from mid-July to October, in part because of farming practices surrounding the Lake and in part due to climate change. Ecologist Thomas Bridgeman, Ph.D.  at the University of Toledo contributed to these findings in this month’s publication of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science entitled “Record-setting algal blooms in Lake Erie caused by meteorological trends consistent with expected future conditions. “The 2011 bloom was a catastrophe. But it could become the new normal if we don’t do anything” said Dr. Bridgeman. Importantly, the study concludes that “long-term trends in agricultural practices are consistent with increasing phosphorus loading to the western basin of the lake, and that these trends, coupled with meteorological conditions in spring 2011, produced record-breaking nutrient loads.” In short, […]

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09
Apr

Pesticides Found in Long Island Drinking Water

(Beyond Pesticides, April 9, 2013) Last Wednesday, close to a hundred people attended a public hearing at the Riverhead campus of Suffolk County Community College, sponsored by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), to comment on the draft of the Long Island Pesticide Pollution Prevention Strategy. The strategy, which was released in January, is dramatically different than a draft plan DEC had released in 2011. The draft plan had initially received praise from environmental organizations for its “zero tolerance policy”   to ensure certain chemicals did not end up in Long Island’s drinking water. However, the revamped strategy fails to offer any meaningful protective measures or strong pesticide regulations. This is concerning, given trace amounts of metalaxyl, imidacloprid and atrazine have been repeatedly detected in test wells, along with 117 other pesticides detected in Long Island drinking water. State officials argued that pesticide levels in Long Island’s drinking water are far below federal standards. However, the pesticides that have been found in the drinking water have been linked to several health and environmental problems. Because of these health and environmental risks the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, a grassroots organization working in Long Island, has called for DEC to ban […]

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15
Feb

Bat Killing Fungus Spreads West

(Beyond Pesticides, February 15, 2013) Bats around the U.S. are being decimated by White Nose Syndrome (WNS). The deadly disease was detected recently at Kentucky’s Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, according to the National Park Service. Based on laboratory testing, three bats were discovered with WNS, coming from three separate caves in the park. The cold-loving fungus thrives on hibernating bats, spreading in 2006 from a cave in New York State to 21 other states in the East and Midwest. In 19 of these states there have been confirmed cases of WNS, not including detections in four Canadian Provinces (see map).  White nose syndrome is usually transmitted bat-to-bat, although the spore can also spread through human clothing, shoes or gear. The fungus causing WNS, Geomyces destructan, is extremely lethal to hibernating bats–though posing no health threats to humans, pets, or other animals– killing 90% of bats where the fungus had persisted for a year or more, totaling 5.8 million bat deaths since 2006. There are six species of cave-dwelling bats that are susceptible to WNS, including the endangered Indiana bat. There are also three species of tree-dwelling bats in the parks, but these are less at risk for contamination as […]

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