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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Carbaryl' Category


19
May

EPA Imposes Pesticide Limits to Protect Salmon in Spite of Industry Refusal to Comply

(Beyond Pesticides, May 19, 2010) EPA has announced plans to place additional limitations on the use of three N-methyl carbamate pesticides — carbaryl, carbofuran and methomyl — to protect endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, in compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The decision comes after manufacturers of the chemicals diazinon, malathion and chlorpyrifos refused to adopt the limits voluntarily. The new protections are based on recommendations by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in their April 2009 Biological Opinion relative to use of the three pesticides to ensure no likely jeopardy to 28 threatened or endangered Pacific salmon and steelhead species. In a May 14, 2010 letter to NMFS, EPA explains how the Agency plans to achieve protection goals through the methods outlined by NMFS in the Biological Opinion or by alternative methods that EPA’s scientific analyses determined will achieve the same purpose. For example, EPA will require pesticide drift buffers adjacent to salmon and steelhead habitat but will impose different width buffers, some wider and others narrower than those recommended by NMFS, depending on factors that affect how far the pesticide might drift from the application site. In correspondence to the EPA […]

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01
Apr

Study Links Pesticide Exposure to Skin Cancer

(Beyond Pesticides, April 1, 2010) While most previous literature on melanoma has focused on host factors and sun exposure, new research shows a link between several pesticides and this deadly form of skin cancer. Epidemiologists from University of Iowa, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and National Cancer Institute found that agricultural workers who apply certain pesticides to farm fields are twice as likely to contract melanoma, providing support for the hypotheses that agricultural chemicals may be another important source of skin cancer risk. The study, “Pesticide use and cutaneous melanoma in pesticide applicators in the Agricultural Heath Study” was published last month in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. It examines cancer rates in 56,285 pesticide applicators in Iowa and North Carolina as part of the federal government’s Agricultural Health Study, a large, long-term study of pesticide applicators and their spouses. Researchers asked the pesticide applicators how often they were exposed to 50 pesticides and compared their cancer rates. Each person’s exposure was then approximated by adding up the total days that the workers had been exposed and using information from survey results on how the chemicals were applied and what protective equipment was being used. The pesticides that […]

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04
Dec

25 Years After Plant Explosion Bhopal Residents Still Suffer

(Beyond Pesticides, December 4, 2009) Twenty-five years ago, a toxic cloud of gas from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India, enveloped the surrounding city, leaving thousands dead. Anywhere between 50,000 to 90,000 lbs of the chemical methyl isocyanate (MIC) are estimated to have leaked into the air, killing approximately 8,000-10,000 people within the first three days, according to data by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). Advocacy groups working with victims say that more than 25,000 have died to date, and more than 120,000 people still suffer from severe health problems as a result of their exposure. According to a Reuters piece on the anniversary of Bhopal, “India’s “death factory” leaves toxic legacy 25 years on,” there are still 40 metric tonnes of chemical waste stored in a warehouse inside the plant that still needs disposal. Dow Chemical, which now owns Union Carbide, denies any responsibility saying it bought the company a decade after Union Carbide had settled its liabilities to the Indian government in 1989 by paying $470 million for the victims. “After the disaster, Union Carbide did this botched site remediation and created a massive landfill,” said Rajan Sharma, a New York-based lawyer demanding that Dow […]

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01
Sep

After Deadly Explosion Bayer Reduces Chemical Stockpile to Still Hazardous Levels

(Beyond Pesticides, September 1, 2009) On August 26, 2009, Bayer CropScience announced plans to reduce by 80 percent the storage of methyl isocyanate (MIC), the chemical used in pesticide production that caused the explosion in Bhopal, India and Institute, West Virgina. Two workers were killed in August 2008 when the chemical, an intermediate chemical used in the production of aldicarb, carbaryl, carbofuran, methomyl and other carbamate pesticides, exploded at a Bayer facility in Institute, WV. Thousands died in a Bhopal in 1984. Advocates point out that even if Bayer follows through with its 80% reduction promise, it would still allow up to 50,000 pounds of MIC to be stored on site. This would be similar to the amount of the chemical present in the 1984 Union Carbide (now owned by Dow Chemical) explosion in Bhopal, India. Last summer, when a pesticide tank exploded in West Virginia, comparisons between the site’s potential risk and the Bhopal disaster, in which an explosion and leak killed thousands, were drawn. Currently, the U.S. plant has the capacity to store more up to 40,000 pounds of MIC above ground and 200,000 pounds below ground. Bayer says it will eliminate all above ground storage. Bayer Cropscience […]

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19
May

Take Action: Tell EPA to Protect Endangered Salmon from Toxic Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, May 19, 2009) Nearly six months after federal scientists began issuing restrictions to protect salmon and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest and California, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has yet to take even the first step toward implementing these protections. This delay follows almost a decade of legal wrangling in which a coalition of environmental and fishing groups, led by the non-profit public interest law firm Earthjustice, won a court order. Tell EPA to stop its foot-dragging and protect salmon and steelhead from toxic pesticides. The six pesticides that scientists have reviewed so far are some of the most dangerous chemicals used today. All six””chlorpyrifos, diazinon, malathion, carbaryl, carbofuran, and methomyl””are neurotoxic and pose serious risks to both humans and wildlife. While many of these pesticides have been phased out for residential use, they continue to expose wildlife and farmworkers through their use in agriculture. Thirty-one more chemicals will undergo review by scientists at the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in the next three years. The new restrictions require EPA to prohibit application of the six pesticides in or near salmon and steelhead habitat. They also require EPA to prohibit application when the weather may cause the […]

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30
Apr

Three Additional Pesticides Found to Harm Salmon

(Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2009) On April 20, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) released a Biological Opinion (BiOp) finding that three additional pesticides, carbaryl, carbofuran, and methomyl, harm salmon and steelhead protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The BiOp prescribes measures necessary to keep these pesticides out of salmon waters in Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho. It is the second such plan issued in the last six months under a court settlement with fishermen and conservationists, filed by the non-profit law firm Earthjustice. The previous BiOp identified three organophosphate insecticides: chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. “These pesticides are designed to kill insects on agricultural crops, but when they get into the water system, they also kill aquatic insects that salmon feed on.” said Angela Somma, who heads the NMFS endangered species division. Under the terms of settlement, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must implement measures within a year-long timeframe to prevent further exposure of the pesticides to the water that cultivate these species. The measures recommended by NMFS include: a ban on application of the three pesticides in windy conditions and buffer zones near water resources and require that land applications must be at least 50-600 feet from the […]

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17
Feb

U.S. District Court Denies Remediation Request by Bhopal Victims

(Beyond Pesticides, February 17, 2009) A U.S. District Court Judge has denied a request for remediation in resolving an on-going lawsuit between the victims of the worst industrial disaster in human history in Bhopal, India and Union Carbide, the company responsible for the disaster, according to Reuters, after Union Carbide objected to the victims’ request for remediation. Dow Chemical bought Union Carbide in 2001 and with it, its liabilities for the chemical plant disaster involving the production of methyl isocyanate (MIC), used as an intermediate in the production of the insecticide carbaryl (Sevin). Yet Dow Chemical has refused to clean up the site, provide safe drinking water, compensate the victims, or disclose chemical information to physicians; claiming that the Indian government is responsible for the environmental cleanup. In 1984, Union Carbide was responsible for the 1984 gas leak in Bhopal, India. Forty tons of deadly gas was released. Seven thousand people died in the next few days and 15,000 have died since from illnesses related to the accident. Over 100,000 victims still suffer from illnesses because of this event. In a 1989 settlement, Union Carbide agreed to pay $470 million to victims. However, $330 million still has not been paid […]

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17
Nov

Study Finds Low Pesticide Concentrations Can Become Toxic Mixture

(Beyond Pesticides, November 17, 2008) A toxic soup of the most commonly used pesticides frequently detected in nature can adversely affect the environment and decimate amphibian populations even if the concentration of the individual chemicals are within limits considered safe, according to University of Pittsburgh research published in the online edition of Oecologia. The results of this study build on a nine-year effort to understand potential links between the global decline in amphibians, routine pesticide use, and the possible threat to humans in the future. Amphibians are considered an environmental indicator species because of their unique sensitivity to pollutants. Their demise from pesticide exposure could foreshadow the fate of less sensitive animals, according to study author Dr. Rick Relyea, Ph.D., an associate professor of biological sciences in the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Arts and Sciences. Leopard frogs, in particular, are vulnerable to contamination; once plentiful across North America, their population has declined in recent years as pollution and deforestation has increased. Dr. Relyea exposed gray tree frog and leopard frog tadpoles to small amounts of the ten pesticides that are widely used throughout the world. Dr. Relyea selected five insecticides: carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, endosulfan, and malathion; and five herbicides: […]

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13
Mar

Chemical Exposure Linked to Gulf War Veterans’ Illness

(Beyond Pesticides, March 13, 2008) Exposure to certain chemicals, including pesticides and nerve agents, explains the high rates of illness in Persian Gulf War Veterans, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Veterans from the 1990-91 conflict have a higher rate of chronic, multi-symptom health problems than either non-deployed personnel or those deployed elsewhere. Symptoms routinely reported by these veterans include fatigue, muscle or joint pain, memory problems, trouble sleeping, rash and breathing problems. Due to the findings, the study author, Beatrice Golomb, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, warns of the potential risk to civilians exposed to pesticides.“Health issues among Gulf War veterans have been a concern for nearly two decades. Now, enough studies have been conducted, and results shared, to be able to say with considerable confidence that there is a link between chemical exposure and chronic, multi-symptom health problems,” said Dr. Golomb. “Furthermore, the same chemicals affecting Gulf War veterans may be involved in similar cases of unexplained, multi-symptom health problems in the general population.”The study synthesized evidence regarding a class of chemicals known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AchEs), including […]

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05
Jul

Order of Exposure Can Make the Poison

(Beyond Pesticides, July 5, 2007) A new study showing that the order of exposure to multiple pesticides may be just as important as the dose, timing and length of exposure adds another dimension to the complex task of risk assessments. Using carbaryl and chlorpyrifos, University of York scientists have observed significant differences in mortality rates of freshwater invertebrates depending on the order of exposure to these frequently used agricultural chemicals. The study, Modeling Combined Effects of Pulsed Exposure to Carbaryl and Chlorpyrifos on Gammarus Pulex, suggests the sequence of pesticide exposure may be just as important of a variable as the dose, the timing of the dose and the length of exposure when factoring environmental and health endpoints. The researchers conducted the study by exposing the freshwater invertebrate Gammarus pulex — a tiny shrimp — to pulses of the two insecticides (both of which affect the nervous system through acetylcholinesterase inhibition) mimicking exposure to chemical mixtures in the environment — for example, farmers may apply several different pesticides over the growing season that run off into the aquatic environment. After receiving a pulse of one pesticide, the shrimp were given 14 days, a time period chosen based on previous experiments, […]

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05
Mar

NRDC Sues EPA for Failing To Ban Two Highly Toxic Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, March 5, 2007) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has failed to protect the public from exposure to two highly toxic pesticides, dichlorvos (DDVP) and carbaryl. The chemicals are found in common household products that have been demonstrated in laboratory studies to cause severe neurological and developmental harm, according to a lawsuit filed February 28, 2007, by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The action charges that EPA has missed its congressionally mandated deadline to finalize a comprehensive reevaluation of carbaryl, failed for 20 years to finish an expedited review of DDVP, and failed to respond to a petition calling for a ban on the chemicals. “EPA is needlessly jeopardizing the health of our children,” said Jennifer Sass, Ph.D., an NRDC senior scientist. “The agency should ban DDVP and carbaryl. There are safer alternatives on the market today, and we urge consumers to avoid any products that use either of these two pesticides.” DDVP*, currently used in pest strips, aerosol sprays and pet collars, is one of a class of the most dangerous pesticides on the market, called organophosphates, which derive from World War II-era nerve agents. Studies have shown DDVP causes cancer in laboratory animals. California lists DDVP […]

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