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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'New York' Category


07
Oct

Mosquito Pesticide Suspected in Lobster Deaths

(Beyond Pesticides, October 7, 2011) Commercial lobster fishers operating in Long Island Sound off the coast of Connecticut have begun to suspect that the mosquito killing chemical methoprene, sprayed by neighboring New York State as part of its West Nile virus (WNv) control program, is contributing to widespread deaths of lobsters in the sound. Believing that a large amount of the chemical flowed into the sound in late summer due to heavy rains from Hurricane Irene, the lobster fishers are asking New York to follow Connecticut’s example and switch its WNv control method to the less toxic bacillus thuringiensis. Late summer declines in the sound’s lobster population have been alarmingly common throughout much of the last decade, devastating fishers and the local economy that depends on them. A number of factors have been blamed, but the lobstering community has increasingly been pointing to mosquito pesticides for several reasons. Methoprene has a tendency to sink to the bottom of the ocean water, where lobsters live and feed. Additionally, lobsters are a distant cousin of mosquitoes, and the methoprene acts on them in much the same way that it does the insects. Finally, the western part of the sound was the hardest […]

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02
Aug

FDA Tests Mott’s Plant after Groups Discover High Arsenic Levels in Juice

(Beyond Pesticides, August 2, 2011) Under pressure from lab results showing arsenic in apple juice, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and New York state officials inspected a Williamson, NY Mott’s apple products plant for the toxic metal on July 26, 2011. While the lab tests commissioned by the Rochester-based Empire State Consumer Project examined several brands of apple juice and apple sauce, Mott’s Apple Juice stood out, with one sample registering 55 parts per billion of arsenic, five times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) legal limit (tolerance level) for drinking water. While no longer used in U.S. orchards, arsenic-based pesticides are still used on food crops in some countries, including China. “This is not the first time high levels of arsenic have been found in apple juice,” said Judy Braiman, executive director of the Empire State Consumer Project. “It is past time for the FDA to set a limit on a toxic substance like arsenic with long term health effects in the juice that kids drink.” Two-thirds of apple juice that Americans consume ””more than 400 million gallons annually”” comes from China. The Empire State Consumer Project and Food & Water Watch sent a letter to […]

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22
Dec

New York to Mitigate Impact of Pesticides on Groundwater

(Beyond Pesticides, December 22, 2010)The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has created a pesticide use committee to look for ways to reduce the impact of more than 100 pesticides found in Long Island’s groundwater. In an effort to strengthen the protection of the sole source aquifer that supplies Long Island’s drinking water, and area lakes, ponds and bays, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the creation of a consortium of public and private stakeholders to develop a Long Island Pesticide Use Management Plan. The committee, which first met November 30, 2010, will create the Plan that focuses on mitigating the impact of pesticides on groundwater. The plan, according to the Department’s Regional Director Peter A. Scully, is being prepared in response to the past discovery of more than 100 pesticides and pesticide breakdown products in Long Island’s groundwater. The overall goal of the plan, Mr. Scully said, is to prevent adverse effects to human health and the environment by protecting Long Island’s groundwater and surface water resources from pesticide contamination, while continuing to meet the needs of agricultural, residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional pest management. “The importance of this effort is underscored by the broad […]

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12
Nov

New Draft Guidance for Pesticide Law in NY Released

(Beyond Pesticides, November 12, 2010) On November 14, new restrictions that ban the outdoor use of pesticides on playgrounds or playing fields in New York will go into effect. In preparation for these new requirements, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) released draft guidance on October 27. This guidance is intended to instruct schools and day care centers on compliance with the new law, by providing information on its requirements and on allowable alternatives to pesticides for grounds maintenance. The Child Safe Playing Field Act, which was enacted in May 2010, requires that all schools, preschools, and day care centers both public and private to stop using pesticides on any playgrounds or playing fields. The law allows for emergency application of pesticides for infestations if the County Health Department, the Commissioner of Health, the Commissioner of Environmental Conservation or the school board deems it an emergency. Containerized nonvolatile bait stations are also permitted for insect and rodent control. “The archaic practice of poisoning children’s playgrounds is coming to an end in New York State. We will now raise a generation of healthier, safer children because of this legislation,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director, Citizens’ Campaign for the […]

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28
Oct

Negligent Bed Bug Extermination Contaminates Elementary School

(Beyond Pesticides, October 28, 2010) In an effort to combat a bedbug problem in a Brooklyn, New York elementary school, the Department of Education (DOE) paid a private contractor almost $100,000 to exterminate and, according to teachers, left the classrooms “soaked with a liquid bed bug killing chemical.” An odorous fluid was left behind on children’s and teacher’s desks, books and on the floors. ABC 7 Online reports the unknown pesticide substance is being tested, but teachers and parents will not know the results and what they were exposed to for another two weeks. The teacher’s union estimates that cleaning up the classroom will cost over twice what was paid, and the DOE plans to bill the contractor and stop the company from future business in the city, according to the news report. This story showcases the importance of a comprehensive school and community pesticide and pest management policy in response to the mass hysteria that bedbugs are causing and as a general public health protection measure. The bedbug outbreak prompted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue warnings against improper treatments and misuses of pesticides. Despite the fact that bed bugs do not transmit diseases and are not […]

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18
Aug

New York Bans Phosphorus in Detergent, Lawn Fertilizer

(Beyond Pesticides, August 18, 2010) A new law to improve water quality makes it illegal for stores in New York to stock fresh supplies of household dishwasher detergents that contain phosphorus. Stores have 60 days to sell old inventories. Sales for commercial use are to end July 1, 2013. Starting in 2012, a similar ban will apply to lawn fertilizers. The Household Detergent and Nutrient Runoff Law, signed into law by the Governor David Paterson on July 15, 2010, aims to improve water quality in New York by reducing phosphorus runoff into the State’s waterbodies. Environmental officials say phosphorus drains into New York lakes and rivers, which turn green with algae, degrading drinking water and reducing oxygen that fish need. More than 100 bodies of water in the state are considered impaired, including Cayuga Lake and Lake Champlain. With similar measures now effective in 16 other states, including neighboring Vermont and Pennsylvania, many detergent makers produce low-phosphate formulas. Consumer tests show some are cleaning better than even earlier detergents considered environmentally friendly. “The impact of phosphorus is particularly significant in lakes and reservoirs. Over half of all the lake acres in the state have water quality impacts for which phosphorus […]

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09
Jun

NY State Launches ‘Be Green Organic Yards’ Program

(Beyond Pesticides, June 9, 2010) Residents of New York now have new assistance in maintaining beautiful, green lawns, plants and trees without the use of toxic chemicals. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has initiated the ”˜Be Green Organic Yard NY” program, where participating ”˜Be Green’ businesses agree to avoid synthetic pesticides and other materials prohibited by the organic ”˜Be Green’ standard. ”˜Be Green’ landscape services utilize an organic approach focusing on preventing problems before they occur, and building a sustainable landscape that is healthy for all -plants, wildlife, pets, and people. Services can range from a simple regimen of weeding, mulching and pruning, to all aspects of yard care, including plant selection and tree and lawn installation and maintenance. DEC expects that, by the fall of 2010, yard care businesses will be able to begin taking the training required to participate in ”˜Be Green’. ”˜Be Green’ businesses sign an agreement with DEC for the right to use the ”˜Be Green’ service mark (logo). In return, businesses agree that, when they provide ”˜Be Green’ services, they will avoid the synthetic pesticides and other materials prohibited by the organic standards in the agreement. “Demand for all types of organic […]

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03
Jun

City Lawmakers to Strengthen Pesticide Ban, Oversight and Enforcement

(Beyond Pesticides, June 3, 2010) City lawmakers in Albany, New York want to strengthen an 11-year-old ban on the use of some pesticides on city land after the revelation last week that one such banned chemical was sprayed near a local playground earlier this month. Albany’s Parks and Recreation Commissioner John D’Antonio said last Friday he was unaware of the ban, passed by the council in 1998, until he began researching a recent citizen complaint. The city is now rethinking its use of pesticides and exploring why the ban on city use of pesticides dubbed most toxic by the federal government was not more widely known. The law also required departments using less toxic pesticides to annually report plans to phase them out to the Common Council. TruGreen, a city contractor, used Trupower 3 Selective Herbicide, which is a mixture of 2,4-D, mecoprop-p and dicamba, and is listed in Toxicity Category 1 (most toxic) by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) — causing potentially irreversible eye damage, but is also toxic if ingested and can be irritating to the skin. The herbicide has been banned from city land, except in rare circumstances, since 1999. Under the same ordinance, all city agencies […]

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22
Mar

TruGreen Fined in New York; Dropped as Earth Day Sponsor

(Beyond Pesticides, March 22, 2010) New York State has fined TruGreen, the world’s largest professional lawn and landscape company, half a million dollars for numerous violations for misapplying pesticides and inaccurate recordkeeping, according to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) consent order filed last week. In related news, the unlikely sponsorship agreement between TruGreen and Earth Day Network has finally been dropped. The potential sell-out of Earth Day to TruGreen created such a backlash in the environmental community that due to a tremendous amount of pressure, Earth Day Network has retracted its sponsorship agreement with the company. Beyond Pesticides received the following statement today from Earth Day Network: “Earth Day Network had previously announced an educational sponsorship with TruGreen in respect to organic and sustainable lawn and landscape care. Due to unanticipated events, Earth Day Network and TruGreen regrettably announce their relationship for the 40th anniversary event has been suspended. TruGreen continues to respect the commitment Earth Day Network is making to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and Earth Day Network recognizes TruGreen’s efforts on behalf of organic and sustainable lawn and land care.” New York State is demanding a civil penalty of $400,000 be paid by […]

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11
Mar

Canceled Pesticide Kills Bald Eagles; Farmer Fined

(Beyond Pesticides, March 11, 2010) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) determined that a pair of bald eagles were killed and a host of other wildlife were injured after an Allegany County farmer applied a highly toxic pesticide that has been canceled for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Following an investigation, the state DEC determined that the two bald eagles were poisoned after ingesting the improperly applied pesticide Furadan, or carbofuran, on his farm. The farmer and landowner, Richard Sekoll, was charged with and pleaded guilty to violating state pesticide laws and fish and wildlife laws and paid $3,000 in fines. After receiving a call that two dead bald eagles were found near the Genesee River last fall, DEC began an investigation and sent the eagles to the department’s Wildlife Pathology Unit. Lab results showed that the birds died of poisoning from consumption of carbofuran, which occurred after the eagles consumed prey that had ingested the pesticide. State officials with the DEC’s Division of Pesticides and the Division of Wildlife, as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service assisted in the investigation, which found that a farm within 500 yards of where the […]

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05
Jan

NY Panel Proposes 85 Chemicals to Avoid under State Procurement Policy

(Beyond Pesticides, January 5, 2010) A New York state panel is proposing a list of 85 chemicals that state agencies must avoid buying, a measure short of a ban that may drive industry to produce fewer toxic products, including those that can cause cancer. The proposal, reported by the Associated Press, would leverage the state’s extensive buying power, complying with New York Governor David Paterson’s 2008 Executive Order No. 4, Establishing a State Green Procurement and Agency Sustainability Program. This order directs state agencies, public authorities and public benefit corporations to green their procurements and implement sustainability initiatives, including minimizing pesticide use by state agencies. The “chemical avoidance list” comes from an advisory council, the Interagency Committee on Sustainability and Green Procurement, that wants some $9 billion in annual state purchasing used to help rid the marketplace of toxic chemicals, including likely carcinogens. Advocates point to environmental contamination and human exposure from use, manufacturing and disposal of items that have even small quantities of substances like mercury. The final recommendations will be posted and subject to public comment, however no dates have been set. Anne Rabe, an advisory council member from the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ), said […]

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17
Sep

Biomonitoring Funding Awarded to Three States

(Beyond Pesticides, September 17, 2009) Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded $5 million to the states of California, New York and Washington to conduct biomonitoring surveys to assess public exposure to chemicals and toxic substances. This will allow the states to determine which environmental chemicals people have been exposed to and how much of those chemicals are in their bodies. Many U.S. residents carry toxic pesticides in their bodies above government assessed “acceptable” levels. Biomonitoring, which measures levels of chemicals directly in people’s blood or urine, has become increasingly helpful for assessing people’s exposure to toxic substances as well as for responding to serious environmental public health problems. The PANNA report “Chemical Trespass: Pesticides in Our Bodies and Corporate Accountability” in 2004, which compiled data from previous CDC biomonitoring surveys found that children, women and Mexican Americans carried the heaviest “pesticide body burden.” Another biomonitoring study by the World Wildlife Fund UK in 2003, revealed that chemicals, such as DDT, which have been banned for decades and are associated with cancer, immune system disorders, and other health problems, are still found in people today. “Biomonitoring measurements are considered the most health-relevant assessments of exposure because […]

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27
Jul

Lower IQ in Children Linked to Toxic Air Pollutants, Some Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, July 27, 2009) A mother’s exposure to urban air pollutants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can adversely affect a child’s intelligence quotient or IQ, according to the new study “Prenatal Airborne Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Exposure and Child IQ at Age 5 Years.” PAHs are widespread in urban environments and throughout the world as they have many sources, several of which are related to pesticides, including creosote used for wood preservation, burning pesticide-laden grass seed fields, and exposure to organochlorine pesticides whether banned, yet ubiquitous DDT or the still used insecticide dicofol. Other sources include synthetic turf fields and the burning of coal, diesel, oil and gas, or other organic substances such as tobacco. PAHs have been known to be bioaccumulative, carcinogenic and disrupt the endocrine system. The new study, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), a branch of the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and several private foundations, found that children exposed to high levels of PAHs in New York City had full scale and verbal IQ scores that were 4.31 and 4.67 points lower than those of less exposed children. High PAH levels were defined as above the […]

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24
Jun

Preventive Practices Work Best to Control Cockroaches

(Beyond Pesticides, June 24, 2009) An analysis of the New York City Public Housing system’s pest management practices finds that a combination of preventive management practices and least toxic pesticide options are more effective than conventional chemical-dependent practices.The analysis finds that integrated pest management (IPM)practices with a focus on sealing cracks and proper sanitation, coupled with boric acid controls cockroaches better than chemical approaches. The study, entitled “Effectiveness of an Integrated Pest Management Intervention in Controlling Cockroaches, Mice and Allergens in New York City Public Housing,” finds that apartments utilizing integrated pest management (IPM) measures have significantly lower counts of cockroaches at three months and greater success in reducing or sustaining low counts of cockroaches at three (75 percent decline) and six months (88 percent decline). IPM was associated with a more than 50 percent drop in cockroach allergen levels in kitchens at three months, and in beds and kitchens at six months. In contrast, the number of cockroaches in buildings receiving professional exterminator visits every three to six months increased slightly. Pesticide use was reduced in apartments using IPM relative to apartments with chemical practices in place. Residents of IPM apartments also rated building services more positively. The researchers […]

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04
May

New York Governor Sets Pesticide-Free Goal for State Parks

(Beyond Pesticides, May 4, 2009) Targeting areas frequented by children, such as playgrounds, picnic areas, baseball fields, campgrounds, beaches, and hiking trails, New York Governor David A. Paterson announced an initiative to substantially reduce pesticide use throughout the State park system. “New York has a magnificent State park system that is a tremendous resource for all New Yorkers,” said Governor Paterson. “People visiting our parks, particularly children, should not be exposed to pesticides. This effort will reduce or, when possible, eliminate the use of pesticides in our State parks and historic sites.” The pesticide reduction policy is an outgrowth of Governor Paterson’s Executive Order No. 4, adopted in April 2008, which established procurement specifications to minimize State pesticide use by State agencies. The State Parks policy goes further than the Executive Order requirements by eliminating pesticide use to the maximum extent possible. The goal is to keep parks pesticide-free. The approach is outlined in the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation’s Sustainability Plan, an agency-wide strategy to improve energy conservation, improve the sustainability of parks and historic sites, improve waste reduction and recycling efforts, enhance green procurement, and incorporate sustainability in education, training and interpretation efforts. “Now that the […]

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21
Apr

New Study Finds “Single Visit” IPM Successful in NYC Public Housing

(Beyond Pesticides, April 21, 2009) According to a new study by the New York City (NYC) Department of Health, Columbia University and the NYC Housing Authority published in the online edition of Environmental Health Perspectives on April 15, 2009, “single visit” integrated pest management (IPM) at the building level (rather than individual rental units) is more successful than regular pesticide applications in managing public housing pests and allergens. The study, “Effectiveness of an Integrated Pest Management Intervention in Controlling Cockroaches, Mice and Allergens in New York City Public Housing,” is available online. The NYC Housing Authority is the largest public housing owner in North America with more than 405,000 low-income residents. The successful implementation of IPM in an institution of this size was thought to offer many potential benefits; pesticide use reduction, improved pest management and reduced pest and allergen burdens in housing populated by largely African American and Latino families with a disproportionately high prevalence of asthma. Following a successful pilot program in public housing, the NYC Department of Health and Housing Authority developed an IPM intervention designed to be simple, low-cost and relatively easily scaled. In buildings participating in the study, Housing Authority IPM teams spent 8-12 person-hours […]

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21
Oct

New York State To Restrict Use Of Bug Bombs

(Beyond Pesticides, October 21, 2008) On October 17, 2008, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that the state will be taking action to address the risks posed by total release foggers, also known as “bug bombs,” in the wake of a new federal report detailing hazards and injuries related to the product. DEC will move to classify foggers as a restricted-use product in New York State, meaning that only licensed pesticide applicators, rather than the general public, will be able to obtain them. DEC also says it will explore the need to further limit fogger use and encourage the adoption of better pest management strategies. Total release foggers have caused numerous explosions and acute illnesses due to pesticide exposure. According to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 123 cases of bug bomb-related illness or injury in New York State (58 in New York City alone) from 2001-06. Information on New York’s incidents are part of a larger study published October 17, 2008 in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which illuminates the hazards of total release foggers using data from several states. The most commonly reported acute health […]

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27
Jun

New Paltz, NY Goes Organic, Hopes to Set Example for Residents

(Beyond Pesticides, June 27, 2008) New Paltz, NY parks and green spaces are going organic with the hope that residents will follow suit and stop treating their lawns with pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Final approval of the legislation that would prohibit pesticides on town property is “just a lawyerly tweak away from becoming law,” according to Alice Andrews, a member of the village environmental commission and organizer of an organics task force. Ms. Andrews was motivated to work on the issue when she learned about the health and environmental hazards of commonly used lawn pesticides. Of 30 commonly used lawn pesticides, 19 are linked with cancer or carcinogencity, 13 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 26 with liver or kidney damage, 15 with neurotoxicity, and 11 with disruption of the endocrine (hormonal) system. Of those same 30 lawn pesticides, 17 are detected in groundwater, 23 have the ability to leach into drinking water sources, 24 are toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms vital to our ecosystem, 11 are toxic to bees, and 16 are toxic to birds. Ms. Andrews originally planned to propose legislation that would have banned or limited pesticide use for all village properties, […]

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19
Jun

Rockland Co. NY Legislature Passes Non-Toxic Landscape Act

(Beyond Pesticides, June 19, 2008) Rockland County, NY legislators passed a bill on June 17, 2008 to eliminate the use of toxic pesticides on all county-owned or leased land. Rose Marie Raccioppi, the community organizer behind the bill, is a member of Beyond Pesticides, the National Pesticide-Free Lawn Coalition, and Orangetown’s Environmental Committee. She brought her concerns about pesticide exposure to the Rockland County Legislature last year, and advocated strongly for the passage of the Rockland County Non-Toxic Landscape Maintenance Act. “This is the beginning of what is hoped to be a continuing campaign,” Ms. Raccioppi said. “We hope it moves from county to towns to school districts and eventually, the consciousness of the individual homeowner.” As the law currently stands in New York, and most other states, municipalities may not pass legislation regulating the use of pesticides on private land and buildings, reserving governance of such matters to the state government. However, towns and counties throughout the U.S. (See Daily News of April 15, May 12, May 13, and June 16, 2008) are passing regulations restricting the use of pesticides on publicly-owned land. For a list of these local policies, please visit Beyond Pesticides’ Tools for Change site. The […]

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23
Oct

720,000 Ladybugs Imported As Pest Control at NYC Apartment Complex

(Beyond Pesticides, October 23, 2007) On October 18, 2007, groundskeepers at one of New York City’s largest apartment complexes released 720,000 ladybugs over its 40 acres of landscaping as an alternative to spraying insecticides to control mites and other insects that feed on its flowers, shrubs and trees. The bugs, hippodamia convergens, were harvested in Bozeman, MT, shipped in bags of straw and released by hand at the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village complex in Manhattan’s East Side. The complex’s owner, Tishman Speyer, purchased the ladybugs from Planet Natural, an online retailer, for just under $6,000 and is expected to save money over the cost of the insecticides. The ladybugs are available to the public through the Planet Natural website at $16.50 for 2,000 (shipping included). Eric Vinje, owner of Planet Natural, explained to the Associated Press that he buys from ladybug collectors working the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains in Oregon, California and Montana. In Bozeman, he keeps the ladybugs alive in large refrigerators where the temperature is kept to about 35 degrees. Under these conditions, they go “dormant,”, using up their fat stores without eating anything, and staying alive for about five months. In the shipping […]

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30
Jul

Action Alert: Groups Call for States to End Pesticide Use

(Beyond Pesticides, July 30, 2007) Following the release of a new national report, Ending Toxic Dependency: The State of IPM, environmental and health groups in New York state issued a letter to Governor Eliot Spitzer. In the letter, they requested that the Governor order all state agencies to phase out use of toxic pesticides in favor of less- and non-toxic products. Twenty-six groups signed the statement, which urges Mr. Spitzer to reduce the amount of pesticides used in the state, which, in 2004, included 2.7 million gallons applied by pest-control companies alone. “We should not be exposing state workers and the public to hazardous and unnecessary chemicals that can cause a range of serious health problems, from asthma attacks to birth defects and cancer, as well as contaminate our air and drinking water,” said Laura Haight of the New York Public Interest Research Group, one of the co-signing organizations. “It’s not rocket science; there are towns and counties and cities across the state doing just this on their own property.” The body of the letter, expanding Ms. Haight’s statement, reads: Our groups, which represent citizens from across the state, applaud you for your commitment to protecting the environment and public […]

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05
Jun

Train Carrying Methyl Bromide Derails in New York

(Beyond Pesticides, June 5, 2007) On May 26, a Montreal-bound train derailed near Lake Champlain, New York. Twelve of 33 cars jumped the tracks, including one carrying methylene chloride, a paint remover, and methyl bromide, a fumigant that has been banned in much of the world under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The county HazMat response team arrived two hours after the accident, putting out a small fire on the locomotive and determining within another two hours that the chemical tanks were unharmed, ending the threat of a chemical spill. Essex County Emergency Services Deputy Director Don Jaquish noted that the tankers were around ten percent full when they derailed, calling the scene one of “moderate risk,” although “for people working on the train, it could be a severe risk.” While this incident fortunately did not result in compromise of human health or the environment, the continued use of methyl bromide on fruits and vegetables across the country does compromise both public health and the environment by exposing many to a chemical that is carcinogenic, according to California’s Proposition 65. Methyl bromide is an ozone-depleting chemical that was supposed to be phased out in industrialized […]

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19
Apr

NYC Settles Mosquito Spray Lawsuit Filed by Pesticide Activists

(Beyond Pesticides, April 19, 2007) On April 12, a federal judge signed a settlement agreement in which New York City admits that the pesticides it sprayed may indeed be dangerous to human health as well as to the natural environment. For seven years, the No Spray Coalition, Beyond Pesticides and others have battled the City of New York in Federal Court in opposition to the Giuliani administration’s massive and indiscriminate spraying of toxic pesticides, including the organophosphate malathion. The settlement agreement states that, contrary to the City’s prior statements, pesticides may remain in the environment beyond their intended purpose, cause adverse health effects, kill mosquitoes’ natural predators, increase mosquito resistance to the sprays, and are not presently approved for direct application to waterways. Mitchel Cohen, the coordinator of the No Spray Coalition and an individual plaintiff in the lawsuit, sees the settlement agreement as a “tremendous victory” for health and environmental advocates. “Thousands of New Yorkers were made seriously sick by the spraying,” said Mr. Cohen. “A number of members of our coalition, including several of the plaintiffs, died from pesticide-related illnesses. Many suffer from multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS) or asthma caused or exacerbated by the spraying. We are very […]

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