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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Chlorpyrifos' Category


10
Sep

More Scientific Evidence that Endocrine-Disrupting Pesticides Disrupt Thyroid Function

(Beyond Pesticides, September 10, 2021)¬†Research conducted in Thailand shows that exposures to pesticides, even at low levels, can impact the human endocrine system and distort thyroid function. The study looked specifically at interactions of genetics and environment: it investigated associations between variations in genes involved in pesticide metabolism and altered thyroid hormone concentrations in agricultural workers. This research underscores some of the complexity and difficulty of determining human vulnerability to impacts of pesticide exposures, given genetic variables. Beyond Pesticides believes that this very complexity is a cogent argument for anchoring regulation of pesticides in the Precautionary Principle. If exposure to a pesticide can cause damage to human (or environmental) health, it sometimes will do so. Thus, to protect people‚Äôs health, agriculture and other land management practices must transition from the use of synthetic pesticides to broad adoption of organic regenerative approaches that obviate the need for such chemicals. This research is part of a longitudinal study that seeks to evaluate sub-chronic impacts, on thyroid hormone levels, of repeated exposures to a variety of pesticides. The farmworkers studied in this phase comprise two groups: those working on organically managed farms (216 subjects), and those working on conventional farms that use pesticides […]

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02
Sep

Study Finds Recently Banned, Common Insecticide Promotes Obesity Development, and Related Illnesses

(Beyond Pesticides, September 2, 2021) A¬†McMaster University¬†(Canada) study demonstrates exposure to the recently banned, commonly used insecticide chlorpyrifos promotes obesity development, even at low doses. Obesity generally occurs following a caloric imbalance between food intake, absorption, and energy expenditure. Although various factors can promote obesity, researchers suggest environmental toxicants like chlorpyrifos play a role in obesity development through protein/enzyme suppression. According to the¬†Center for Disease Control, 42 percent of the U.S. population is obese and at risk for type two diabetes, cardiovascular (heart) disease, stroke, several cancers, and other critical health issues. Therefore, research like this highlights the significance of investigating how toxic chemical exposure can impact health to prevent adverse disease outcomes. Researchers note, ‚ÄúThese studies suggest that the effects of environmental toxicants on the development of obesity may have been underestimated as all studies to date have been conducted in mice housed at RT [room temperature]. Future studies examining the mechanisms driving reductions in ő≤-AR [beta adrenergic receptors] signaling and whether there are associations between BAT [brown adipose tissue] metabolic activity and CPF [chlorpyrifos] in humans will be important.‚ÄĚ Several environmental pollutants have links to obesity development via the effects on gut health, endocrine (hormone) and metabolic system, […]

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30
Aug

Tell EPA to Ban ALL Uses of Chlorpyrifos

(Beyond Pesticides, August 30, 2021) As with other actions on pesticides, EPA’s chlorpyrifos decision is filled with exceptions that respond to vested interests seeking to ignore or deflect the science. EPA, since announcing its decision in 1999 to ban ‚Äúresidential‚ÄĚ uses of chlorpyrifos, continues to allow the following uses: (i) Residential use of containerized baits; (ii) Indoor areas where children will not be exposed, including only ship holds, railroad boxcars, industrial plants, manufacturing plants, or food processing plants; (iii) Outdoor areas where children will not be exposed, including only: golf courses, road medians, Industrial plant sites; (iv) Non-structural wood treatments including: fenceposts, utility poles, railroad ties, landscape timers, logs, pallets, wooden containers, poles, posts, and processed wood products; (v) Public health uses: Fire ant mounds (drench and granular treatment); (vi) nurseries and greenhouses; and (vii) Mosquito control. These uses are unaffected by EPA’s announcement. We need to finish the chlorpyrifos job. Tell EPA to ban all uses of chlorpyrifos. The collective effort to remove this one chemical is a tremendous feat in eliminating one exposure to a hazardous material for children. Achieving the ban on food uses required an enormously resource-intensive effort at a time in history when we are […]

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19
Aug

Commentary: Are Children, Agricultural Workers, and the Food Supply Safe with EPA’s Chlorpyrifos Decision?

(Beyond Pesticides, August 19, 2021) Does a science-based, public health-oriented, occupational safety focused, children-concerned, ecologically protective society allow the use of toxic pesticides that are unnecessary to achieve land management, quality of life, and food productivity goals? Should victims of poisoning have to plead with regulators to protect them? Should organizations have to fight chemical-by-chemical to achieve basic levels of protection from individual neurotoxic, cancer causing, endocrine disrupting pesticides? Of course not. But, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‚Äôs (EPA) announcement that it is stopping food uses of the insecticide chlorpyrifos after being registered 65 years ago provides us with an important opportunity for reflection, not just celebration. The collective effort to remove this one chemical is a tremendous feat in eliminating one exposure to a hazardous material for children. That is the point. The action we‚Äôre celebrating required an amazingly resource-intensive effort at a time in history when we are running against the clock in an urgent race to transition our society and global community away from the use of petroleum-based, toxic pesticides‚ÄĒto move to meaningful practices that sustain, nurture, and regenerate life. In this context, let‚Äôs put chlorpyrifos in perspective. EPA was forced into its decision by a court […]

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10
Aug

Biden EPA Reapproves Paraquat with Weaker Protections than Trump Administration Proposed

(Beyond Pesticides, August 10, 2021) President Biden‚Äôs Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under Administrator Michael Regan, is set to reapprove the highly hazardous herbicide paraquat with fewer protections than those proposed by the Trump administration. Despite strong links to Parkinson‚Äôs, and bans on the herbicide in the European Union, China, Brazil, and many other countries, EPA‚Äôs press release inexplicably states, ‚ÄúNo direct one-to-one alternatives to paraquat are available.‚ÄĚ The move is part of a string of actions that have pesticide reform advocates increasingly concerned that the Biden Administration is not living up to his initial promises to improve health and environmental protections. Paraquat is the most toxic herbicide still on the market. As EPA readily admits, one small sip of paraquat can be fatal. Apart from its acute toxicity, chronic exposure to the herbicide is strongly linked to the development of Parkinson‚Äôs disease. But its association with Parkinson‚Äôs is merely the most well-known health concern ‚Äď the chemical is a likely carcinogen, harms the reproductive system, and damages organs like the kidney and liver. It is hazardous to birds and bees, and prone to leaching into groundwater, where it disrupts the health of aquatic ecosystems. The Trump administration‚Äôs decision to reapprove […]

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30
Jul

Commentary: Will Playing Fields, Parks, and Lawns Be Safe After Glyphosate in Roundup Residential Use Ends in 2023?

(Beyond Pesticides, July 30, 2021) Bayer (Monsanto), the maker of the deadly herbicide glyphosate/Roundup, after hinting in May that it would end the weed killer‚Äôs residential uses in the U.S., made it official yesterday. With its announcement to shareholders, Bayer puts an end to residential uses beginning in 2023 and allocates $4.5 billion to cover ‚Äúthe company‚Äôs potential long-term exposure‚ÄĚ from lawsuits by those harmed by the chemical. At the same time, the company announced it is seeking a U.S. Supreme Court hearing to reverse significant jury verdicts (from $289 million to $2 billion) for individuals who have suffered health damage they tie to glyphosate exposure. Bayer claims that it will argue that federal pesticide law preempts litigation against products that it has registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA). Similar arguments have been tried before, most notably in Bates v. Dow Agrosciences (2005), and the Supreme Court has found that federal pesticide law does not protect ‚Äúmanufacturers of poisonous substances.‚ÄĚ (See more below.) Despite the extensive scientific review (see Pesticide Gateway) of glyphosate/Roundup and a ‚Äúprobable‚ÄĚ cancer causing ranking by the World Health Organization/International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015, Bayer says, ‚ÄúThis move is being made exclusively […]

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20
Jul

Insecticide Chlorpyrifos Interacts with Genes to Increase Autism Risk, Research Finds

(Beyond Pesticides, July 20, 2021) Chlorpyrifos exposure results in the expression of genetic mutations associated with autism spectrum disorder in a laboratory model, finds research published in Environmental Health Perspectives by scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. ‚ÄúThis is a step forward in showing an interplay between genetics and environment and its potential role for autism spectrum disorder,‚ÄĚ says study lead Lena Smirnova, PhD, a research associate in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at the Bloomberg School. The findings support reams of research already conducted that show strong associations between autism and exposure to hazardous environmental stressors like toxic pesticides. Scientists conducted their study using a ‚Äėbrain organoid‚Äô model, which is essentially a cluster of cells artificially grown in the lab from stem cells in order to mimic a developing human brain. These tests provide certain benefits over animal testing, as they are more relevant to human disease, and can be performed faster with less cost. The organoid model also represents an improvement on typical 2d cell-based models, increasing cell survival, shelf-life, and thus providing opportunity to model for later stages of brain development. Brain organoids in this study carried a gene called CHD8, which […]

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14
Jul

Parents of Harmed Children Sue Manufacturer of Brain-Damaging Insecticide Chlorpyrifos

(Beyond Pesticides, July 14, 2021) Corteva (formerly DowDupont) is facing a potential class-action lawsuit after several California families filed suit claiming that the use of the insecticide chlorpyrifos around their homes resulted in birth defects, brain damage, and developmental problems in their children. Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide that has been linked to a range of health ailments, posing significant hazards particularly for pregnant mothers and their children. The lawsuits come as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approaches a court-imposed 60-day deadline to decide the fate of the pesticide‚Äôs registration. Attorneys for the court cases, filed on behalf of individuals located in four California communities (Fresno, Kings, Medera, and Tulare counties), indicate they intend to pursue class-action status, which would allow additional injured parties to join the lawsuit. The plaintiffs argue that the effects of chlorpyrifos exposure lingers in the agricultural communities where they reside. ‚ÄúWe have found it in the houses, we have found it in carpet, in upholstered furniture, we found it in a teddy bear, and we found it on the walls and surfaces,‚ÄĚ said Stuart Calwell, lead attorney for the plantiffs. ‚ÄúThen a little child picks up a teddy bear and holds on to it.‚ÄĚ […]

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28
May

Inspector General Blasts Trump’s Politicized EPA, No Announced Plans to Reverse Unscientific Decisions

(Beyond Pesticides, May 28, 2021)¬†A report by the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concludes that scientific analyses by the agency were altered so as to favor top Trump administration officials‚Äô policy choices in the 2018 reapproval of the highly toxic and problematic pesticide, dicamba. The report, ‚ÄúEPA Deviated from its Typical Procedures in Its 2018 Dicamba Pesticide Registration Decision,‚ÄĚ was publicly released on May 24. It confirms aspects of what Beyond Pesticides and many others in the science, advocacy, public health, and environmental communities have been saying and reporting since 2016: the Trump administration executed a wholesale assault on scientific integrity in federal decision making. In its research on the matter, the Inspector General‚Äôs office (OIG) reviewed EPA‚Äôs 2016 and 2018 decisions on dicamba‚Äôs registration, documentation that purported to support those decisions, and the concerns forwarded in the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and by many stakeholders. (See more in figure below.) It also reviewed EPA internal procedures and guidance on pesticide registration, and agency scientific integrity materials; interviewed career scientists and other agency staff; and communicated with EPA‚Äôs Scientific Integrity (Science Advisor) program staff. As reported […]

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19
May

Canada Quietly Bans Chlorpyrifos, While EPA’s 60-Day Deadline For Action Rapidly Approaches

(Beyond Pesticides, May 19, 2021) Last week Health Canada quietly announced its intent to cancel all remaining registrations of the brain-damaging insecticide chlorpyrifos. The decision by Canada‚Äôs federal pesticide regulators comes shortly after a U.S. federal court gave the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) a 60-day deadline to make a final decision on whether to amend or cancel the chemical‚Äôs registration. With Europe and now Canada eliminating use of this hazardous insecticide, advocates are urging that the Biden Administration, under EPA administrator Michael Regan, finally puts an end to the decades of harm caused after chlorpyrifos was first registered in 1965. Up until recently, Canada and the U.S. had relatively similar provisions regulating chlorpyrifos use. Officials in both countries eliminated homeowner use, and tightened up on agricultural uses in the 2000s and early 2010s, requiring additional personal protective equipment and drift mitigation measures. However, ¬†Health Canada ¬†began to look at significant restrictions on chlorpyrifos in 2019, when it proposed eliminating a range of uses that threaten environmental health. Under its draft decision, regulators planned to eliminate all uses except for mosquito control, structural pest control, outdoor ornamentals, and greenhouse ornamentals. Certain agricultural uses were provided an extended phase-out period with […]

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17
May

Stop EPA’s Racist Policies that Disproportionately Harm Farmworker Children’s Brains: Ban Chlorpyrifos

(Beyond Pesticides, May 17, 2021)¬†The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has less than two months to decide whether to cancel or modify its registration of the brain-damaging organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos, following a decision from a federal appeals court. The ruling comes after more than a decade of delay from the federal agency tasked with protecting public health and the environment from the hazards of chemicals like chlorpyrifos. The decision now falls to the Biden Administration‚Äôs EPA Administrator Michael Regan, after the previous administration reversed a proposal to ban agricultural uses of chlorpyrifos in 2017. Most residential uses of the chemical were banned in 2000.¬† Tell EPA to ban chlorpyrifos and other neurotoxic pesticides. The target of action by which chlorpyrifos and many other pesticides kill is the nervous system. It is not surprising, then, that pesticides also target the nervous system in humans. They are particularly hazardous to children, who take in greater amounts of pesticides relative to their body weight than adults, and whose developing organ systems are typically more sensitive to toxic exposures. The body of evidence in the scientific literature shows that pesticide exposure can adversely affect a child’s neurological, respiratory, immune, and endocrine systems, even at […]

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04
May

Federal Court Gives EPA 60-Day Deadline to Decide the Fate of Chlorpyrifos

(Beyond Pesticides, May 4, 2021) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has less than two months to determine whether cancel or modify its registration of the brain-damaging, organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos, following a decision from a federal appeals court last week. The ruling comes after more than a decade of delay from the federal agency tasked with protecting public health and the environment from the hazards of chemicals like chlorpyrifos. The decision now falls to the Biden Administration’s EPA Administrator Michael Regan, after the previous administration reversed a proposal to ban agricultural uses of chlorpyrifos in 2017. Most residential uses of the chemical were banned in 2000.¬†¬† ‚ÄúThe EPA has had nearly 14 years to publish a legally sufficient response to the 2007 Petition,‚ÄĚ reads a 2-1 opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco. ‚ÄúDuring that time, the¬† EPA‚Äôs¬† egregious¬† delay¬† exposed¬† a¬† generation¬† of¬† American¬† children¬† to¬† unsafe¬† levels¬† of¬† chlorpyrifos.‚ÄĚ Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide that is currently registered for use on a range of food crops, golf courses, and for public health mosquito control (in cases of mosquito-borne diseases). It is highly acutely toxic, causing numbness, tingling sensation, in-coordination, dizziness, vomiting, […]

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28
Apr

Pesticide Exposure Increases Susceptibility to Covid-19, Gulf War Veterans Found At Risk

(Beyond Pesticides, April 28, 2021) New evidence set to be presented at the Experimental Biology (EB) 2021 meeting held this week suggests that Gulf War Veterans and other individuals with prior pesticide exposures may be more susceptible to Covid-19 infection. As the pandemic continues, it is critically important for researchers to better understand specific vulnerabilities in population groups in order to improve care and patient outcomes. “The reason why COVID-19 causes a severe form of disease leading to hospitalization and high rates of mortality in a small segment of society is unclear,” said Prakash Nagarkatti, PhD, co-author of the study and vice president for research at the University of South Carolina. “This work sheds new light on exposure to pesticides and potential susceptibility to COVID-19 through altered immune response.” ¬† According to recent data, out of 160,000 Covid-19 cases among veterans, the mortality rate was more than 4%. Researchers are pointing to Gulf War Syndrome, and past exposure to organophosphate pesticides as part of the problem. “We have identified a basic mechanism linked with inflammation that could increase susceptibility to COVID-19 infection among people exposed to organophosphates,” said Saurabh Chatterjee, PhD, from the University of South Carolina. Interleukin 6 (IL-6) […]

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23
Dec

Trump EPA Gives Neurotoxic Insecticide Chlorpyrifos Another Thumbs Up, Ignoring Brain Effects in Children

(Beyond Pesticides, December 23, 2020) The litany of parting shots by the waning Trump administration got longer on December 4, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposed interim decision on the very toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos, functionally continuing its registration for many agricultural uses. The interim decision purports to put in place new limitations on use of this pesticide, but they are wholly inadequate to the threat this compound represents ‚ÄĒ to young children, most concerningly, as well as to farmworkers, critical species and ecosystems, and the public. Chlorpyrifos should not be re-registered for use ‚ÄĒ i.e., its sale and use should be banned altogether, as Beyond Pesticides has asserted for years. Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate pesticide used on scores of food crops, for mosquito (and other pest) control, and for some turf management (golf courses, especially). It has been demonstrated to be highly neurotoxic, especially to young children, leading to impaired cognitive function, developmental delays, lower IQs, attention deficit disorder, and a variety of other pervasive developmental and learning disorders. The essence of the compound‚Äôs toxicity to developing brains lies in its function as a cholinesterase inhibitor; chlorpyrifos binds to the receptor sites for acetylcholinesterase (AChE), an enzyme […]

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23
Oct

Parents Sue Manufacturer of Neurotoxic Insecticide Chlorpyrifos, Corteva (formerly Dow), for Causing Child’s Disabilities

(Beyond Pesticides, October 23, 2020)¬†In central California, what promises to be a landmark series of lawsuits against Corteva (formerly DowAgroSciences), maker of the pesticide chlorpyrifos, is under way, spearheaded by the case Alba Luz Calderon de Cerda and Rafael Cerda Martinez v. Corteva Inc., et al. This first suit, brought by the parents of Rafael Cerda Calderon, Jr. on his behalf, charges that his lifelong disabilities were caused by chronic exposures to chlorpyrifos. The parents are suing for general damages, compensatory damages (due to Rafael, Jr.‚Äôs loss of earning capacity), medical care costs, and ‚Äúpunitive damages for the willful, reckless, and recklessly indifferent conduct of the Defendants‚ÄĚ in intentionally hiding the dangers of their chlorpyrifos products from customers and the public. As with so many dangerous pesticides, absent effective federal regulation, states, cities, and other entities are taking action to protect people from this compound, and as in this case, individuals are seeking redress for harms suffered. Beyond Pesticides has long advocated for a¬†ban on the use of chlorpyrifos¬†because of the¬†grave risks it poses. The case was filed in mid-September in California Superior Court, Kings County, and names not only Corteva, but also, the cities of Huron and Avenal, Woolf […]

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15
Oct

Literature Review: Pesticides Exposure Highly Correlated with Respiratory Diseases

(Beyond Pesticides, October 15, 2020) A¬†review of scientific literature¬†on the correlation between respiratory diseases and pesticides exposure‚ÄĒpublished in the journal¬†Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine (AAEM), ‚ÄúInfluence of pesticides on respiratory pathology‚ÄĒa literature review‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒfinds that exposure to pesticides increases incidents of respiratory pathologies (i.e., asthma, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease [COPD]‚ÄĒor chronic bronchitis). The review by researchers at the Iuliu Hatieganu‚Äô University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, looks at how pesticide exposure adversely propagates and reinforces respiratory diseases in humans. This review highlights the significance of evaluating how pesticide exposure impacts respiratory function, especially since contact with pesticides can happen at any point in the production, transportation preparation, or application treatment process. Researchers in the study note, ‚ÄúKnowing and recognizing these respiratory health problems of farmers and their families, and also of [pesticide] manipulators/retailers, are essential for early diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and preventive measures.‚ÄĚ This study results are critically important at a time when exposure to respiratory toxicants increases vulnerability to Covid-19, which attacks the respiratory system, among other organic systems. The respiratory system is essential to human survival, regulating gas exchange (oxygen-carbon dioxide) in the body to balance acid and base tissue cells for normal […]

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02
Oct

EPA Dismisses Disproportionate Harm to Farmworker Children from Neurotoxic Insecticide Chlorpyrifos, Leaves in Food Supply, Rejects Scientific Method

(Beyond Pesticides, October 2, 2020)¬†The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‚Äôs (EPA) September 22 announcement asserts that, ‚Äúdespite several years of study, the science addressing neurodevelopmental effects [of the insecticide chlorpyrifos] remains unresolved,‚ÄĚ as reported in The New York Times. This conclusion contradicts both ample scientific evidence and the agency‚Äôs own findings. Beyond Pesticides has repeatedly advocated for a ban on the use of chlorpyrifos because of the grave risks it poses. This organophosphate pesticide is used on approximately 60 different crops, including¬†almonds, cotton, citrus fruits, grapes, corn, broccoli, sugar beets, peaches, and nectarines. It is also commonly employed for mosquito-borne disease control, and on some kinds of managed turf, including golf courses. Exposure to the pesticide has been identified repeatedly as problematic. Most residential uses were taken off the market in 2000, after the manufacturer, DowDupont (now Corteva) was faced with EPA action. Chlorpyrifos is a cholinesterase inhibitor that binds irreversibly to the receptor sites of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), an enzyme that is critical to normal nerve impulse transmission. In so doing, chlorpyrifos inactivates the enzyme, damages the central and peripheral nervous systems, and disrupts neurological activity. The compound is associated with harmful reproductive, renal, hepatic, and endocrine disrupting effects, and most […]

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10
Sep

Pesticides and Heavy Metals Found in Blunt (Cigar) Wrappers, Cellulose-Based Rolling Papers, and other Plant-based Rolling Paper Products

(Beyond Pesticides, September 10, 2020) A¬†new analysis¬†by Science of Cannabis Laboratories Inc. (SC Labs) finds detectable concentrations of pesticides and heavy metals in rolling papers, with hemp/blunt wraps and cellulose-based rolling papers containing the highest levels of contaminants. The analysis follows a SC Labs‚Äô finding of high levels of chlorpyrifos‚ÄĒa neurotoxic, organophosphate insecticide‚ÄĒin the rolling paper of pre-rolled cannabis, which was undergoing compliance testing. Although the rolling paper regulations generally track standards for toxic tobacco products (which means there is very little meaningful regulation), the rolling paper use with cannabis may add an addition layer of scrutiny since some statewide cannabis regulations and independent certifications adhere to stricter¬†guidelines similar to organic practices. Researchers note the goals of the experiment ‚Äúwere to assess the exposure risks to the consumer as well as identify any potential liabilities for cannabis producers who use these products to make their pre-roll products.‚ÄĚ This report, and others like it, are significant as cannabis use expands in in the U.S. and around the world, and given that one of the¬†most popular¬†ways to consume cannabis product is as a rolled cigarette. Study author and president of¬†SC Labs¬†Josh Wurzer, Ph.D., said, ‚ÄúThis [issue] is something that cannabis and paper […]

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21
Aug

EPA Relied on Flawed Analysis to Allow Use of the Neurotoxic Insecticide Chlorpyrifos

(Beyond Pesticides, August 21, 2020)¬†A foundational study of the toxic insecticide chlorpyrifos left critical data out of its analysis, resulting in decades of an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ‚Äúsafe exposure limit‚ÄĚ that is flat out wrong, new research says. That 1972 study concluded that the amount of the chemical to which a human could be exposed before adverse effects showed up (the ‚Äúno observed adverse effect level,‚ÄĚ or NOAEL) was more than twice as high as should have been determined had the study not ignored critical data. In addition, the study points to the perennial ‚Äúfox and hen house‚ÄĚ issues at EPA, which include using research commissioned, funded, or even conducted by industry as any basis for regulation. For years, Beyond Pesticides has rung the alarm on this very dangerous pesticide, and advocated for its ban nationwide. News of this omission from the 1972 ‚ÄúCoulston Study‚ÄĚ comes from a team out of the University of Washington. The researchers re-analyzed that human intentional dosing study using both the original statistical methods and modern computational tools that did not exist in the 1970s. (An important side note: such a study is unethical by current research standards.) The new analysis finds two significant […]

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20
Aug

Arctic Glaciers Entrap Pesticides and Other Environmental Pollutants from Global Drift and Release Hazardous Chemicals as They Melt from Global Warming

(Beyond Pesticides, August 20, 2020) Persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including banned and current-use pesticides are present in snow and ice on top of Arctic glaciers, according to the study, ‚ÄúAtmospheric Deposition of Organochlorine Pesticides and Industrial Compounds to Seasonal Surface Snow at Four Glacier Sites on Svalbard, 2013‚Äď2014,‚Ä̬†published in¬†Environmental Science & Technology.¬†Past research finds that air contaminated with these environmentally bioaccumulative, toxic chemicals drift toward the poles, becoming entrapped in ice under the accumulating snowfall. As the global climate continues to rise and the climate crisis worsens, studies like this become significant, as glaciers encapsulating these toxic chemicals are melting. Upon melting, some chemicals can volatize back into the atmosphere releasing toxicants into air and aquatic systems, with the ensuing consequences. Although this research demonstrates that specific computer programs can track the trajectory of chemically contaminated air parcels with practical precision, it falls to global leaders to curtail the continued manufacturing of these chemical pollutants. [For related pieces, see Silent Snow: The unimaginable impact of toxic chemical use and DDT in Glacial Melt Puts Alaskan Communities at Risk.] Countless scientists consider Arctic environments to be¬†‚Äúpristine,‚Ä̬†void of direct chemical inputs from pesticides and other POPs. However, the Arctic has become a¬†sink¬†for […]

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23
Jul

Pesticide Use Linked to Increased Risk of Lung Cancer

(Beyond Pesticides, July 23, 2020) Chronic pesticide use, and subsequent exposure, elevate a person‚Äôs risk of developing lung cancer, according to a study published in¬†F1000Research¬†by researchers at the Nakhon Sawan Provincial Public Health Office and Naresuan University, Thailand. Globally,¬†cancer¬†is one of the leading causes of death, with over 8 million people succumbing to the disease every year. Notably, the International Agency for Cancer Research¬†(IARC) predicts new cancer cases to rise 67.4% by 2030. Although there is a vast amalgamation of research linking cancer risk to genetic and external factors (i.e., cigarette smoke), there is increasing evidence that pesticide exposure augments the risk of developing lung cancer, as well. This study highlights the importance of understanding how pesticide use can increase the risk of latent diseases, which do not readily develop upon initial exposure. ¬†Study researchers state, ‚ÄúTo our knowledge, the association between lung cancer and pesticides has never been studied before among [Thai] people. The objective of this study was to investigate associations between pesticide exposure and lung cancer among people [living in Nakhon Sawan province, Thailand]. The results can be used for the prevention of lung cancer, and to support the global literature.‚ÄĚ Lung cancer is one of the […]

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20
Jul

Take Action: Tell Public Officials to Stop Mosquito Spraying and Adopt a Safe, Effective Mosquito Management Plan

(Beyond Pesticides, July 20, 2020) Does your community spray toxic pesticides for mosquitoes? In a well-intentioned but ill-informed attempt to prevent mosquito-borne illness such as West Nile virus, many communities spray insecticides (adulticides) designed to kill flying mosquitoes. If your community is one of these, then your public officials need to know that there is a better, more-effective, way to prevent mosquito breeding. Tell your public officials to stop spraying pesticides and adopt a mosquito management plan that protects public health and the environment. The problem with mosquito pesticides. Two classes of insecticides are favored by mosquito spray programs‚ÄĒorganophosphates and synthetic pyrethroids. In order to better target flying mosquitoes, adulticides are generally applied as ultra-low-volume (ULV) formulations that will float in the air longer than usual.¬† Pesticides are toxic chemicals and can exacerbate respiratory illnesses like Covid-19.Organophosphates, which include malathion (Fyfanon), naled (Dibrom), and chlorpyrifos (Mosquitomist for public health uses only) are highly toxic pesticides that affect the central nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. Symptoms of poisoning in humans include numbness, tingling sensations, headache, dizziness, tremors, nausea, abdominal cramps, sweating, incoordination, blurred vision, difficulty breathing, slow heartbeat, loss of consciousness, incontinence, convulsions, and death. Some organophosphates have been linked to […]

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09
Jul

From Udder to Table: Toxic Pesticides Found in Conventional Milk, Not Organic Milk

(Beyond Pesticides, July 9, 2020) Conventional U.S. milk contains growth hormones, antibiotics, and low to elevated levels of pesticides not found in organic milk, according to a study published in the journal of Public Health Nutrition by Emory University researchers. Milk can bioaccumulate certain organic pollutants, making it a valuable medium to assess what chemical we might be ingesting daily. With milk being one of the most consumed beverages in the U.S., in addition to its use in other popular drinks (i.e., coffee and tea), this study discloses widespread contamination and highlights the need for improved regulation. Researchers in the study note, ‚ÄúTo our knowledge, the present study is the first study to compare levels of pesticide in the U.S. milk supply by production method (conventional vs. organic). It is also the first in a decade to measure antibiotic and hormone levels and compare them by milk production type.‚Ä̬† The market for conventional milk, produced in chemical-intensive agriculture, is declining, but the demand for organic milk is increasing due to concerns over chemical contamination in consumer products from pesticides and other toxic chemicals. Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets limits for pesticide residues in food products, the agency […]

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