[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • Announcements (586)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (26)
    • Antimicrobial (8)
    • Aquaculture (27)
    • Aquatic Organisms (21)
    • Bats (3)
    • Beneficials (40)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (19)
    • Biomonitoring (34)
    • Birds (14)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (1)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (27)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (8)
    • Children (54)
    • Children/Schools (228)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate Change (53)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (1)
    • contamination (111)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (10)
    • Drift (2)
    • Drinking Water (2)
    • Emergency Exemption (2)
    • Environmental Justice (135)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (282)
    • Events (82)
    • Farm Bill (10)
    • Farmworkers (152)
    • fish (6)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungicides (12)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (11)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (2)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (8)
    • Holidays (29)
    • Household Use (5)
    • Indigenous People (1)
    • Infectious Disease (2)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (62)
    • International (345)
    • Invasive Species (30)
    • Label Claims (47)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (214)
    • Litigation (316)
    • Livestock (5)
    • Metabolites (2)
    • Microbiata (10)
    • Microbiome (9)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (386)
    • Occupational Health (2)
    • Pesticide Drift (144)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (2)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (2)
    • Pesticide Regulation (707)
    • Pesticide Residues (160)
    • Pets (25)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (1)
    • Poisoning (4)
    • Preemption (25)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Repellent (1)
    • Resistance (97)
    • Rodenticide (26)
    • Seeds (3)
    • synergistic effects (7)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (8)
    • Take Action (504)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (6)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (386)
    • Women’s Health (5)
    • Wood Preservatives (25)
    • World Health Organization (4)
  • Most Viewed Posts

Daily News Blog

17
Dec

EPA Considers Approving Uses for Highly Toxic, Broadly Banned Pesticide on Citrus Crops

(Beyond Pesticides, December 17, 2020) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is contemplating the reapproval of toxic, widely banned insecticide aldicarb for use on citrus fruits in Texas and Florida. A vast amount of scientific evidence reports a dramatic decline in insect population (i.e., the insect apocalypse), like pollinators and other beneficial biotas, from environmental pollution sources like pesticides. Therefore, it is important to assess regulatory decisions that can potentially jeopardize the protection of these species and, consequently, human health. Nathan Donley, PhD, a senior scientist at the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), states, “The fact that U.S. regulators would even consider expanding use of this dangerous, widely banned pesticide is a stunning indictment of our broken regulatory system. This application vividly reaffirms why the pesticide industry considers us the dumping ground for the world’s worst pollutants. We’ll be watching closely to see whether the Biden administration steps up and puts public health before pesticide company profits.”

Aldicarb is a highly toxic, systemic carbamate insecticide, with initial production beginning in 1965. The chemical is a fast-acting cholinesterase inhibitor that permanently binds to the active site of an essential enzyme for normal nerve impulse transmission, acetylcholinesterase (AChE), deactivating the enzyme. In doing this, the chemical causes damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems, interrupting neurological activity. Furthermore, exposure to high doses of aldicarb can cause vision problems, improper thermal regulation, headaches, nausea, and even death via polarization of the respiratory system. Thus, aldicarb is subject to regulation under the Rotterdam Convention, an international treaty established to reduce the trade of the most globally hazardous chemicals, with over 100 countries banning its use. Both EPA and the World Health Organization (WHO) classify the chemical in the highest toxicity category. However, the U.S. is one of only a few countries around the world that does not regulate aldicarb via the treaty, but merely strictly restricts its uses.

Although EPA restricts the use of aldicarb in households, the agency approves it for agricultural use on specific crops, including cotton, and beans by professional pesticide applicators. Hence, their use in agriculture poses a huge threat to environmental and human health via runoff. In fact, aldicarb was one of the first widely used pesticides to leach and contaminate groundwater in the Central Sand Plains of Wisconsin and Long Island, New York, during the early 1980s. Aldicarb may persist in groundwater for decades due to its long half-life between 200 to 2000 days and ingestion of aldicarb-contaminated groundwater by residents adversely affects immune system function (immune dysfunction). Furthermore, aldicarb is a systemic pesticide that plant roots and leaves readily uptake, leading to toxic chemical residues in pollen and sap-like droplets (guttation) easily accessible to vulnerable pollinators, like bees.

In 2010, BayerCrop Science agreed with EPA to voluntarily cancel the production of Temik 15G, the sole aldicarb pesticide on the market, ending distribution by 2017. The chemical poses an unnecessary dietary risk to infants and children, causing neurological harm at very low doses. However, less than a decade after its discontinuation, a new aldicarb product by AgLogic—AgLogic 15G—surfaced, with limited use on a small subset of U.S. crops.

Presently, AgLogic is the only manufacturer of aldicarb pesticide products, and approving it for use on citrus fruit highlights faults within the pesticide regulatory system. Evidence demonstrates that past use of Temik 15G on citrus fruit crops exclusively posed the highest risk to children and infants, ultimately leading to its 2010 cancellation. Furthermore, the Florida Department of Agriculture denied AgLogic’s request to gain “Special Local Needs” approval (also called a Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act [FIFRA] Section 24(c) approval) for use on Florida citrus in 2017 and 2018. AgLogic was unable to demonstrate that aldicarb is safer at controlling pests than other alternatives. Thus, AgLogic is currently pursuing a FIFRA Section 3 approval that does not “require the submission of comparative efficacy studies,” indicating the company’s intent to request a waiver for necessary pollinator-toxicity studies to accelerate regular Section 3 approval on citrus.

The approval of AgLogic15G for use on citrus crops (e.g., grapefruit, lemon, orange, lime trees) would allow an additional 400,000 acres of crop treatments in areas where pesticides already pose a threat to human, animal, and environmental health. In Texas, aldicarb-treated corn poisoned feral hogs, deer, and other animals, promoting a hunting ban by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to protect human health. Florida’s karst (porous) topography, slightly acidic soil and frequent precipitation can allow aldicarb to mobilize in soil, contaminating groundwater and contributing to toxic chemical runoff into nearby aquatic systems. Furthermore, Karen McCormack, a retired employee of the EPA’s pesticide office, states her concern over aldicarb approval, “It’s deeply disappointing to watch the current EPA renege on its agreement to ban this highly toxic and persistent pesticide. After receiving numerous complaints of aldicarb leaching into groundwater and contaminating drinking water supplies in Florida and elsewhere, my colleagues worked tirelessly to reach a voluntary agreement with the aldicarb manufacturer to stop producing this hazardous pesticide. Now it appears all this work may have been in vain.”

It is essential that when EPA weighs the risks and benefits of extending pesticide uses, the agency acknowledges previous harms associated with those chemicals. Harms ultimately associated with contaminant exposure should end through policy reform and the adoption of practices that eliminate toxic pesticide use. With far too many diseases in the U.S. associated with pesticide exposure, prohibiting the use of pesticides with known toxic effects is crucial for safeguarding public health.

Beyond Pesticides’ Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database is a great resource for additional scientific literature that documents elevated rates of acute and chronic diseases and illnesses among people exposed to pesticides. Additionally, Beyond Pesticides advocates for a precautionary approach to pest management in land management and agriculture, with a transition to organic methods. Tell President-elect Biden to adopt a new direction for pesticide regulation and Tell Vilsack to Move Forward, Meet Challenges, Correct the Past by supporting strong organic agricultural standards.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: Center for Biological Diversity

 

Share

Leave a Reply

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • Announcements (586)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (26)
    • Antimicrobial (8)
    • Aquaculture (27)
    • Aquatic Organisms (21)
    • Bats (3)
    • Beneficials (40)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (19)
    • Biomonitoring (34)
    • Birds (14)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (1)
    • Canada (10)
    • Cannabis (27)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (8)
    • Children (54)
    • Children/Schools (228)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate Change (53)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (1)
    • contamination (111)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (10)
    • Drift (2)
    • Drinking Water (2)
    • Emergency Exemption (2)
    • Environmental Justice (135)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (282)
    • Events (82)
    • Farm Bill (10)
    • Farmworkers (152)
    • fish (6)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungicides (12)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (11)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (2)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (8)
    • Holidays (29)
    • Household Use (5)
    • Indigenous People (1)
    • Infectious Disease (2)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (62)
    • International (345)
    • Invasive Species (30)
    • Label Claims (47)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (214)
    • Litigation (316)
    • Livestock (5)
    • Metabolites (2)
    • Microbiata (10)
    • Microbiome (9)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (386)
    • Occupational Health (2)
    • Pesticide Drift (144)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (2)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (2)
    • Pesticide Regulation (707)
    • Pesticide Residues (160)
    • Pets (25)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (1)
    • Poisoning (4)
    • Preemption (25)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Repellent (1)
    • Resistance (97)
    • Rodenticide (26)
    • Seeds (3)
    • synergistic effects (7)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (8)
    • Take Action (504)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (6)
    • Wildlife/Endangered Sp. (386)
    • Women’s Health (5)
    • Wood Preservatives (25)
    • World Health Organization (4)
  • Most Viewed Posts