November 1, 2002 - Today's Photo Story shows a cropduster spraying Baytex, a pesticide formulation containing the organophosphate insecticide fenthion. Fenthion is an EPA toxicity class II (second most toxic) pesticide registered for use on biting pests, especially fruit flies, stem borers, mosquitoes, and Eurygaster cereal bugs. Symptoms of acute exposure to organophosphate or cholinesterase-inhibiting compounds may include the following: numbness, tingling sensations, incoordination, headache, dizziness, tremor, nausea, abdominal cramps, sweating, blurred vision, difficulty breathing or respiratory depression, and slow heartbeat. Very high doses may result in unconsciousness, incontinence, and convulsions or fatality. Notice the person running along the beach.
Environmental groups recently filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the use of fenthion, which is killing federally protected species in Florida. The lawsuit, which was filed in federal district court by Defenders of Wildlife, American Bird Conservancy, and Florida Wildlife Federation, charges EPA with violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) by its registration of fenthion. The insecticide has been documented to cause severe ecological impacts and is exceptionally toxic to birds.
one of the most dangerous bird-killing pesticides in use in this country,"
said Dr. Patti Bright, Director of American Bird Conservancy's pesticide
campaign. "It is not necessary to bear the extreme ecological costs
of fenthion when there are equally effective pesticides available for
mosquito control that won't kill birds, don't wreak environmental havoc,
and are in use to combat mosquitoes in 49 other states and even most of
Florida." More than thirty federally listed species live in the Everglades
region, and many others depend on this ecosystem for important habitat
needs, including millions of migratory birds that travel through the state
Beyond Pesticides launched Photo Stories on March 1, 2002. The photos are updated on a biweekly basis. Read the instructions on how to get your photo story featured. To see what other visitors to this site thought about this photo story, visit the reader's comments page.