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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Imazapyr' Category


Ecosystem Health: Pesticide Use from Forest Management Practices Threatens Essential West Coast Marine Organisms

(Beyond Pesticides, March 11, 2021) A Portland State University (PSU) study finds that pesticides from the forestry industry threaten clams, mussels, oysters (bivalves) along the Oregon state coast. Bivalves are excellent indicator species, signaling environmental contamination through their sedimentary, filter-feeding diet. However, continuous pesticide inputs—from various forestry management regimes—into watersheds along Oregon’s coastal zone endanger these species in downstream rivers and estuaries (river mouths). Although research demonstrates many forestry practices (e.g.., road building, planting, clearcutting, thinning) have cumulative effects on the ecosystem, there is a lack of studies addressing the overall impact of multiple chemical mixtures and application on watersheds and subsequent aquatic transport. Like agriculture, conventional forest management across the U.S. depends on the use of toxic pesticides to control pest populations. However, pesticide residues from application drift, runoff, and contamination continuously jeopardize the health and fitness of various non-target species, including humans. Marine ecosystem pollution is difficult to track and measure, and forestry pesticide regulations can invoke variations in water quality requirements through discrepancies in buffer zones and application concentrations. Therefore, studies like this can help guide future forest management practices to reduce the number of chemicals entering aquatic ecosystems. Researchers in the study note, “These findings highlight the need to […]



Timberland Pesticide Spray Investigation Records Ordered Released in Oregon

(Beyond Pesticides, March 31, 2014) On March 24 the Oregon Department of Justice (ODJ) ordered the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) to turn over records that are part of an investigation of an aerial herbicide spraying over timberland in southwestern Oregon. This public disclosure of records may allow residents to have a better understanding of the chemicals associated with ongoing exposure incidents.  This recent spray event is just one in line of many that have led environmental groups and federal agencies to call into question the effectiveness of Oregon’s regulation of pesticide use on timberland. ODA began its investigation in November of 2013 after complaints that herbicides sprayed from a helicopter on commercial timberlands near Gold Beach drifted on to residential areas. ODA is investigating five herbicide active ingredients: 2,4-D, triclopyr, glyphosate, imazapyr, and  metsulfuron methyl.  However, ODA has not released information about the specific products it believes were used or their potential toxicity. Fifteen residents filed complaints with the department after they experienced rashes, headaches, asthma, and stomach cramps directly after the application. Recently, the Oregon Department of Justice ordered ODA to turn over records that are part of an investigation after the agency denied a request made in […]



Herbicide Applications Undermining Protection of Biodiversity

(Beyond Pesticides, April 5, 2012) Newly published research has documented that widely used herbicides can adversely impact non-target invertebrate organisms and that endangered species face acute risk from such impacts. Researchers found that adult numbers of the Behr’s metalmark butterfly dropped by one-fourth to more than one-third when its larvae were exposed to herbicides applied in the vicinity of the butterfly’s preferred food source, the naked stem buckwheat plant. The results are especially disturbing because the Behr’s metalmark was being studied as a surrogate for the Lange’s metalmark butterfly, which shares the same habitat and feeding preference and whose population has shrunk from 2,300 in 1999 to less than 100 today. As a federally protected endangered species, the Lange’s metalmark could not be included in the experiment. Researchers concluded that inert ingredients in the herbicide formulations or indirect effects on food plant quality may be causing the increased butterfly mortality. The research was conducted at the 55 acre Antioch Dunes National Wildlife Refuge in Contra Costa County, CA, which is the only known habitat for the Lange’s metalmark. Refuge managers noticed that the naked stem buckwheat, which is native to the refuge and supports both species of butterflies, was being […]



BLM to Revisit Herbicide Use on Rights-of-Ways in Oregon

(Beyond Pesticides, July 6, 2011) After 27 years of fighting invasive weeds without the high-powered help of toxic chemicals, the Eugene district of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wants to add herbicides back into the toolkit. Eugene district BLM officials are proposing to use four herbicides to kill weeds along roadsides and in rights-of-way. The BLM stopped using herbicides in Oregon in 1984 after a court injunction in response to a lawsuit filed by the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides. The coalition had argued that the agency had not followed federal procedures in approving the use of herbicides on public lands, and a judge agreed. The BLM eventually wrote an environmental impact statement (EIS) on its proposal to use herbicides, but a final management plan wasn’t completed until last year. The BLM said it will only be doing ground application and not spraying herbicides by helicopter or plane. The management plan permits the agency to use 17 different herbicides to control weeds but only in limited circumstances. Now individual districts, including Eugene, are developing site-specific proposals for using chemicals. Locally, four herbicides are under consideration. Glyphosate, imazapyr, triclopyr, and clopyralid are effective on a range of plants, […]



Herbicide Use Along California’s Eel River Prompts Lawsuit

(Beyond Pesticides, September 20, 20087) A citizens group sued the county and the state of California September 14, 2007 for not allowing adequate public input before using toxic sprays on the Eel River to eradicate invasive weeds. Eureka-based Californians for Alternatives to Toxics (CATs) sued the Humboldt County Agricultural Commissioner (County) and the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) for their decision to use herbicides to kill purple loosestrife plants for as many as 10 years without first consulting with the public. The suit, filed in Humboldt County Superior Court, also faults the agencies for failing to consider safer and more effective methods such as biological weed control programs, already used successfully throughout the country.“The decision to spray was made behind closed doors with the many people who care deeply about the Eel River locked out,” said Patty Clary, speaking for CATs. “State law requires that the public be involved in important environmental decisions and that alternatives be seriously considered – these requirements were not met.” The agencies’ decision to spray the herbicide imazapyr from boats on 200 riverbank sites along 25 miles of the Eel was first sprung on the public on July 10 at an invitation-only meeting […]



Children Sprayed at Day Care with Railroad Herbicides

(Beyond Pesticides, July 26, 2007) A company with previous pesticide violations will likely face a significant fine after accidentally spraying children at a day care in Virginia last week with herbicides. Several children were directly sprayed and at least three experienced symptoms of acute pesticide poisoning. The company, NaturChem, was hired by Norfolk Southern to spray a section of railroad tracks, which they do every three years to suppress unwanted plants along the tracks. Sixteen children were playing outside at the day care, adjacent to the tracks as the NaturChem tanker went by. Four children, who were playing along the fence, were directly sprayed. While day care staff took them inside, washed them and changed their clothes immediately, at least three children had acute symptoms following their exposure, including a bloody nose, diarrhea, eye irritation, and blistering. The chemicals’ labels prohibit application methods that result in drift to other property or people, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture, and it is illegal to use pesticides in a manner inconsistent with their labeling. This is NaturChem’s second violation in Virginia, following a $2,000 fine in 2005 for causing property damage in Giles County. The company also reached a $194,200 settlement […]