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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Malathion' Category


25
Jun

Atrazine and Glyphosate To Be Analyzed by EPA for Impacts on 1,500 Endangered Species

(Beyond Pesticides, June 25, 2015) The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Tuesday that it will analyze the effects of two of the most commonly used pesticides in the United States, glyphosate and atrazine, along with atrazine chemical-cousins propazine and simazine, for their impacts on 1,500 endangered plants and animals. The announcement marks an agreement between EPA and Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) on a proposed settlement amending a 2010 court order that  established a schedule to complete effects determinations for 75 chemicals on 11 species in the San Francisco (SF) Bay Area. According to EPA, 59 of the 75 pesticides have been evaluated and subject to  effects determinations, however for the remaining 16 pesticides, EPA and CBD agreed that it would be more efficient and environmentally significant to complete nationwide effects determinations, rather than limit their focus to the SF bay area listed species. The agency has committed to completing the assessments by June 2020. The initial lawsuit was filed by CBD in May 2007 against EPA for violating the Endangered Species Act by registering and allowing the use of scores of toxic pesticides in habitats for 11 San Francisco Bay Area endangered species without determining whether the chemicals […]

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03
Jun

California Regulators to Strengthen Pesticide Restrictions Near Schools

(Beyond Pesticides, June 3, 2015) After years of campaigning by local activists and a lawsuit filed by parents citing discriminatory practices from policies that led to disproportionate exposure of Latino children to pesticides, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) will now seek to gather input from stakeholders to determine what measures are appropriate to enhance protection of California’s schoolchildren. Given that Latino children are more likely to attend schools near areas with the highest use of pesticides of concern, and California’s pesticide use has actually increased over recent years, the state will need strong restrictive policies to provide any meaningful protections for school children. According to CDPR, the agency will hold five  workshops from May 28 – June 9 2015 to gather input that will later help craft a statewide regulation on  pesticide use near schools, with a focus  on improving school pesticide notification procedures and reducing the risk of exposure. In California, many schools have been built on prime agricultural land next to farm operations. While there are currently state regulations on the use of individual pesticides, CDPR’s regulatory framework for restricted pesticides also allows for the establishment of additional rules to address local conditions. However, existing rules […]

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20
Mar

Glyphosate Classified Carcinogenic by International Cancer Agency, Group Calls on U.S. to End Herbicide’s Use and Advance Alternatives

(Beyond Pesticides, Washington, DC, March 20, 2015 — A national public health and environmental group, Beyond Pesticides, is calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to stop the use of the country’s most popular herbicide, glyphosate, in the wake of an international ruling that it causes cancer in humans. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released its finding today concluding that there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity based on laboratory studies. Glyphosate, produced and sold as Roundup by Monsanto, is touted as a “low toxicity” chemical and “safer” than other chemicals by EPA and industry and is widely used in food production and on lawns, gardens, parks, and children’s playing fields. However, IARC’s new classification of glyphosate as a Group 2A “probable” carcinogen finds that glyphosate is anything but safe. According to IARC, Group 2A means that the chemical is probably carcinogenic to humans based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. The agency considered the findings from an EPA Scientific Advisory Panel report, along with several recent studies in making its conclusion. The agency also notes that glyphosate caused DNA and chromosomal damage in human cells. Further, epidemiologic […]

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13
Mar

Exposure to Hormone Disrupting Chemicals Costs Billions in Lost Brain Power

(Beyond Pesticides, March 13, 2015) Exposure to endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals (EDC) results in approximately € 150 billion ($162 billion) in health care costs in the European Union each year, according to panels of scientists tasked by the EU Commission to study their impact. “The shocking thing is that the major component of that cost is related to the loss of brain function in the next generation,” Philippe Grandjean, M.D. of Harvard University, one of the report’s authors, told the Guardian. EDCs, contained in common household products such as detergents, disinfectants, furniture, plastics, and pesticides, interfere with the body’s hormone system either by mimicking naturally produced hormones, blocking hormone receptors in cells, or effecting the transport, synthesis, metabolism or excretion of hormones. These impacts can result in devastating effects on one’s health, including behavioral and learning disorders, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), birth defects, obesity, early puberty, infertility, cardiovascular disease, and childhood and adult cancers. Nearly 100 percent of people have detectable amounts of EDCs in their bodies, according to the introductory guide to EDCs published by the Endocrine Society and IPEN. “Our brains need particular hormones to develop normally —the thyroid hormone and sex hormones like testosterone […]

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12
Jan

California Schools Implement Stronger Pesticide Requirements with Start of New Year

(Beyond Pesticides, January 12, 2015) California schools have started implementing new pesticide reporting and use requirements with the start of 2015. All schools and child day care centers statewide are now required to report their annual use of pesticides to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR). The requirement comes via amendments made to the state Healthy Schools Act, which requires schools and day care centers to: Develop an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan and make it available to the public. Report pesticide use at minimum once a year for pesticides that are not exempt. The first reports will be due January 30, 2016, and will include use from January 1 to Dec. 31, 2015. After July 1, 2016, school staff involved in application of pesticides will be required to complete school-related IPM training annually. Professional applicators will be required to receive this training before application at a school site. In the past, pesticide use on school property was reported to the state by the applicator, which was usually a company contracted by the school district. Now the district must report all use of these chemicals by its own staff. “The real effect in January. . .means that school districts […]

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12
Sep

Levels of Pesticides Still a Concern for Aquatic Life in U.S. Rivers and Streams

(Beyond Pesticides, September 12, 2014) A new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report finds that levels of pesticides continue to be a concern for aquatic life in many of the Nation’s rivers and streams in agricultural and urban areas. The study, which documents pesticide levels in U.S. waterways for two decades (1992-2011), finds pesticides and their breakdown products in U.S. streams more than 90 percent of the time. Known pesticide water contaminants, such as atrazine, metolachlor, and simazine, continue to be detected in streams more than 50 percent of the time, with fipronil being the pesticide most frequently found at levels of potential concern for aquatic organisms in urban streams. According to the USGS report, “An Overview Comparing Results from Two Decades of Monitoring for Pesticides in the Nation’s Streams and Rivers, 1992—2001 and 2002—2011,” featured in the journal, Environmental Science and Technology and part of the agency’s ongoing National Water-Quality Assessment Program, the proportion of streams with one or more pesticides that exceed an aquatic-life benchmark (or guideline) is similar between the two decades for streams and rivers draining agricultural and mixed-land use areas, but much greater during the 2002-2011 for streams draining urban areas. During both decades, one or […]

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18
Aug

Following Lawsuit, EPA Restores Stream Buffers to Protect Salmon from Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, August 18, 2014) In a victory for environmental groups, conservationists, and fishing groups, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a settlement last Wednesday to restore no-spray buffer zones around waterways to protect imperiled salmon and steelhead from five toxic pesticides.   An initial agreement was reached in June, when it underwent public comment, and was ultimately filed August 13 without any substantive changes. The settlement follows litigation filed by Earthjustice, representing the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, and Defenders of Wildlife, back in 2010 that called for EPA adoption of reasonable fish protections from the insecticides. The buffers apply to salmon habitat throughout California, Oregon, and Washington to prohibit aerial spraying of broad-spectrum pesticides diazinon, chlorpyrifos, malathion, carbaryl, and methomyl within 300 feet of salmon habitat and prohibit ground-based applications within 60 feet. “Poisoning salmon rivers puts our people out of work while creating an unnecessary and expensive public health hazard,” said Glen Spain of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations, a West Coast commercial fishing industry trade association and co-plaintiff. “This agreement helps the coastal and inland communities that depend on salmon for their livelihoods and provides […]

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06
Jun

EPA Agrees to Greater Protection of Salmon from Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, June 6, 2014) On June 4,  after a two year dispute between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and a coalition of conservation organizations and fishing groups, an agreement  was finally reached to set reasonable no-spray buffer zones to protect salmon from five harmful insecticides: diazinon, chlorpyrifos, malathion, carbaryl, and methomyl. These buffer zones protect salmon habitat by stopping aerial spraying of pesticides within 300 feet, and ground based spraying within 60 feet of salmon supporting waters. According to the agreement, it also provides detailed notifications to state regulators, pesticide applicators, farmers and the public about the mandatory no-spray buffer zones. These stipulations will remain in place until the National Marine Fisheries Service has completed their analysis of the impacts of those five pesticides.  Then, once the analysis is completed, EPA will execute permanent protections based on their findings. EPA is required by law under the Endangered Species Act to protect what little salmon are left on the Pacific Coast. Salmon are a  critical indicator of how well we are maintaining both marine and terrestrial ecosystems, because their habitats are in streams, lakes, rivers, estuaries and the ocean. The fish  are extremely sensitive to changes in water quality, and […]

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05
Jun

EPA’s Response on Pesticide Drift and Children’s Health Challenged

(Beyond Pesticides, June 5, 2014) Environmental advocacy groups filed an Administration Objection and a court appeal last week in order to challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) refusal to quickly correct errors in pesticide registrations and immediately implement measures to protect children from exposure to dangerous pesticides that drift from fields during and after application. EPA’s continued refusal to protect children’s health from pesticide drift is being criticized by numerous environmental, health, and farmworker advocacy groups. The groups, which include  United Farmworkers, Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste, Pesticide Action Network of North America, Sea Mar Community Health Centers, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Farm Labor Organizing Committee, originally filed a petition back in 2009 titled “Pesticides in the Air””Kids at Risk: Petition to EPA to Protect Children from Pesticide Drift (2009).” The petition asked that the agency properly comply with an existing law that requires EPA to protect children’s health from exposure to pesticides that drift from fields and orchards. After a more than four-year wait and a court appeal, EPA finally provided a response last March. These groups object to EPA’s recent response to their 2009 petition on the basis of two issues, […]

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07
May

Report Finds Numerous Schools Near Toxic Pesticide Fields

(Beyond Pesticides, May 7, 2014) A new report from the California Department of Public Health finds 36 percent of public schools in the state have pesticides of public health concern applied within a quarter mile of the school. Persistent and toxic pesticides like chlorpyrifos, methyl bromide, and malathion are among the pesticides found to be applied near schools. The report also finds that Latino children are also more likely to attend schools near areas with the highest use of pesticides of concern. The report, “Agricultural Pesticide Use near Public Schools In California,” released this month, looked at 2,511 schools in the 15 California counties with the highest overall use of farm pesticides in California for 2010, and finds that counties in the southern part of the Central Valley had the most schools near farms where pesticides were applied. Fresno County had the highest number of schools —131 — with pesticides applied nearby. Five percent of schools are within a quarter mile of where the highest volumes of pesticides are used: 2,635—28,979 pounds of active ingredient. Latino children are 46 percent more likely than white children to attend schools where pesticides of concern were applied nearby. The report’s findings are being […]

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06
Nov

Settlement Will Safeguard Endangered California Frog from Harmful Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, November 6, 2013) A federal district court approved a settlement Monday requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to better protect California red-legged frogs from seven common pesticides known to be highly toxic to amphibians. The settlement gives the agency two years to prepare “biological opinions” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to analyze pesticide use in and near the frog’s aquatic and upland habitats.   A 2006 legal settlement secured by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) required the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess pesticide impacts on red-legged frogs and to then formally consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) under the ESA. The EPA’s assessments found that widespread use of pesticides is likely harming red-legged frogs and the court ordered temporary pesticide use restrictions that remain in effect today. EPA determined that 64 other pesticides are “likely to adversely affect” or “may affect” red-legged frogs. Despite the EPA’s findings, however, FWS and EPA failed to complete the required consultation, resulting in the litigation by CBD that culminated in Monday’s settlement. The court order gives FWS two years to complete biological opinions for seven pesticides: glyphosate, malathion, simazine, pendimethalin, permethrin, methomyl and myclobutanil. This […]

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27
Feb

Pesticide Makers Win Bid to Overturn Pesticide Restrictions

(Beyond Pesticides, February 27, 2013) Last week a U.S. Court of Appeals found that pesticide restrictions to protect endangered salmon and steelhead proposed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in its Biological Opinion (BiOp) were “arbitrary and capricious,” supporting Dow AgroSciences LLC and other pesticide makers’ claims that the restrictions were based on “unsupported assumptions and conclusions.” The BiOp concluded that the pesticides chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon, three of the most highly toxic pesticides still in use, pose risks to salmon, steelhead and their habitat. In collaboration with NMFS, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is tasked with implementation of any recommended pesticide restrictions to satisfy the mandate under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). However, to date, EPA has not taken any actions to implement any of the proposed measures to protect endangered salmon and steelhead, in part due to challenges from industry. Dow AgroScience LLC, Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc., and Cheminova, Inc. USA first filed a suit in 2009 (Dow Agrosciences v. National Marine Fisheries ), challenging the NMFS’ 2008 BiOp to restrict  chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon as being based on numerous unsupported assumptions and conclusions, and faulty analyses. The U.S. District Court […]

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01
Nov

U.S. EPA Fails to Protect Salmon from Dangerous Chemicals

(Beyond Pesticides, November 1, 2012) Conservation groups and fisherman have filed lawsuits against U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) demanding that pesticide restrictions be implemented around salmon streams. Regulatory buffers surrounding streams and watersheds have not been fully implemented by EPA, though it is required to by law. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which promotes sustainable fisheries, recovery of protected species, and the health of coastal marine habitats, commented that common pesticides should not be sprayed within 500 to 1000 feet of waterways. Its comments focused on the impacts of chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion, which jeopardize the health of federally protected salmon species. Despite this and other evidence that supports the need for buffer zones, EPA has withheld action until the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals resolves the case. EPA is mandated by law to protect dwindling species like salmon under the Endangered Species Act. Salmon, in particular, are a good indicator of how well we are taking care of both the marine and terrestrial ecosystems, because they live in streams, lakes, rivers, estuaries, and open ocean. They are also extremely sensitive to changes in water quality and upstream changes to the river flow, turbidity, and temperature. It goes […]

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10
Jul

Ruling Protects Organic Farm from Pesticide Trespass

(Beyond Pesticides, July 10, 2012) In a victory for human health and organic farmers, the District Court in Delta, Colorado granted a permanent injunction last week to prohibit a farmer from fogging for moquitoes within 150 feet of his neighbor’s property or allowing the pesticides to drift, considering this to be a form of trespass. The victory is important for organic growers and others who are frequently under threat of pesticide drift from neighboring properties. Judge Charles Greenacre determined that an application of the insecticide, Fyfanon, a form of malathion, had drifted, and thus trespassed, onto the neighboring organic farm of Rosemary Bilchak and her husband, Gordon MacAlpine. In granting the permanent injunction, Judge Greenacre decided that: “Plaintiffs have an interest, shared by the public in general, in not having their property invaded by third persons or things. Plaintiffs also have a specific interest in not having pesticides invade their property because such invasions will delay or negate their efforts to have their property certified for the production of organic crops.” Last year, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that pesticides drifting from one farm to another may constitute trespass, and courts in other states have ruled in favor of […]

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09
Apr

Study Finds Common Pesticides Linked to Lower Birth Weight

(Beyond Pesticides, April 9, 2012) A new study finds that exposure of pregnant women to organophosphate (OP) pesticides —a widely used class of pesticides in North American agriculture— may affect both length of pregnancy and birth weight. Environmental Health Perspectives published the paper, “Associations of Prenatal Exposure to Organophosphate Pesticide Metabolites,” last Thursday, April 5, 2012. The study, by a Simon Fraser University researcher, finds that the population of 306 women in Cincinnati, Ohio, is representative of the type of exposures most North American women and their children experience. Although the use of OPs in Canada and the U.S. has declined in recent years, exposures remain widespread, and these findings add to growing evidence about the harmful effects of low-level exposures to environmental toxicants. The researchers collected urine from each of the women in Cincinnati twice during their pregnancies for organophosphate metabolites as well as other factors that could influence the fetus’ health, including exposure to second hand smoke, race, and poverty. Women with higher levels of organophosphates were found to have pregnancies that were three to four days shorter and babies that were about â…“ pound lighter on average than women with lower levels of pesticides. “For an individual […]

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02
Nov

Court Upholds Protection for Salmon Protections

(Beyond Pesticides, November 2, 2011) On Monday, a federal judge rejected a lawsuit brought by Dow AgroSciences challenging pesticide application restrictions to protect salmon and upheld the measures recommended by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to protect endangered salmon and steelhead from three highly toxic pesticides: chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion. The restrictions, recommended by NMFS’s Biological Opinion in 2008, ban the ground spraying of the three commonly used organophosphate agricultural insecticides within 500 feet of any salmon-bearing waterway, and aerial spraying within 1,000 feet. NMFS has issued four Biological Opinions, the latest on June 2011, which call for several limitations on aerial spraying and ground application of the pesticides near salmon waters, as well as buffer zones around salmon waters and ditches that drain to salmon habitat, among others. EPA was court ordered to consult with NMFS to identify measures needed to protect salmon and steelhead from the pesticides as a result of a 2002 and 2007 lawsuit. Pesticide manufacturers have been willfully ignoring and challenging NMFS’s findings. Dow AgroSciences alleged that NMFS used bad data and modeling and that the proposed buffers are far too large. Earthjustice, representing Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP), Pacific Coast Federation […]

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01
Dec

EPA Sued to Enforce Endangered Salmon Protections

(Beyond Pesticides, December 1, 2010) Several fishing and environmental conservation groups are suing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to limit the use of six agricultural pesticides to protect salmon. Restrictions on the use of six pesticides in Oregon, Washington and California shown to harm endangered salmon and steelhead, were ordered after a court found that EPA violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by failing to restrict the pesticides from entering salmon habitat. However EPA has failed to act to restrict the pesticides. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington is the fourth lawsuit the plainstiffs -Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations; Institute for Fisheries Resources and Defenders of Wildlife- brought against the EPA to restrict the pesticides diazinon, malathion, chlorpyrifos, carbaryl, carbofuran and methomyl in streams of endangered salmon and steelhead. The plaintiffs seek a judgment declaring that EPA’s failure to implement the organophosphate (OP) and carbamate biological opinions issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) violates the ESA, and a judgment declaring that EPA is taking listed salmonids in violation of the ESA. The lawsuit seeks an order vacating and enjoining EPA’s authorization of the uses of […]

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25
Aug

Pesticide Exposure in the Womb Increases ADHD Risk

(Beyond Pesticides, August 25, 2010) Exposure to pesticides while in the womb may increase the odds that a child will have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to researchers at the University of California-Berkeley School of Public Health. Maternal metabolites of organophosphate pesticides have previously been associated with neurobehavioral deficits in children. The California researchers are studying the impact of environmental exposures on the health of women and children who live in the Salinas Valley, an agricultural region with heavy pesticide use. They tested the urine of pregnant women for pesticide residue, and then tested the behavior of their children at ages 3 ½ and 5. The 5-year-olds who had been exposed to organophosphate pesticides while in the womb have more problems with attention and behavior than did children who were not exposed. Results are published online in the study entitled, “Organophosphate Pesticide Exposure and Attention in Young Mexican-American Children,” in the journal, Environmental Health and Perspectives. Previous studies have shown that exposure to some organophosphate compounds cause hyperactivity and cognitive deficits in animals. One study published in Pediatrics earlier this year found that exposure to organophosphates in developing children might have effects on neural systems and could contribute to […]

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18
Dec

Low Levels of Pesticides Slow Wild Salmon Population Recovery

(Beyond Pesticides, December 18, 2009) Biologists are finding that short-term, seasonal exposure to pesticides in rivers and basins limit the growth and size of wild salmon populations. Along with the widespread deterioration of salmon habitats, these findings show that exposure to commonly used pesticides continue to detriment the recovery of the salmons’ populations. The findings can be found in the study, “A fish of many scales: extrapolating sublethal pesticide exposures to the productivity of wild salmon populations,” in the December 2009 issue of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) journal, Ecological Applications. “Major efforts are currently underway to restore Pacific salmon habitats in an effort to recover depressed populations,” says David Baldwin, Ph.D., of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), who co-authored the study with NOAA colleagues, “However, not much research has been done to determine the importance of pollution as a limiting factor of ESA-listed species.” The researchers studied the impact of pesticides, such as diazinon and malathion, on individual salmon using pre-existing data, and then devised a model to calculate the productivity and growth rate of the population. They used several exposure scenarios to reflect realistic pesticide use across various landscapes and over time. “An important aim […]

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15
Sep

Under Legal Pressure, EPA Announces New Plan to Protect Salmon from Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, September, 15, 2009) On September 11, 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plans to place additional limitations on the use of three organophosphate pesticides ”” chlorpyrifos, diazinon and malathion ”” to protect endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The announcement comes in response to a series of lawsuits brought by Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations (PCFFA), the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, and other salmon advocates, with legal representation from Earthjustice, aimed at removing toxic pesticides from salmon spawning streams throughout the northwest. In response to the litigation, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in November of 2008 released a “biological opinion” that set forth a plan for protecting Pacific salmon and steelhead from three toxic organophosphate pesticides. That decision came after almost a decade of legal wrangling between salmon advocates led by Earthjustice and the federal government. The biological opinion prescribed measures necessary to keep these pesticides out of water and to protect salmon populations in Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho. The announcement from EPA moves this work forward. Although the experts at NMFS recommended prohibiting aerial applications of the three pesticides within 1,000 feet of salmon waters […]

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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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05
Mar

Pesticides in Combination Shown to Increase Endangered Salmon Threat

(Beyond Pesticides, March 5, 2009) A new study published in the March 2009 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives finds that pesticide combinations cause more harm to endangered salmon than ndividual pesticide exposure. This means that single-pesticide risk assessments required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inadequately assess hazards. Mixtures of organophosphate and carbamate pesticides are commonly detected in freshwater habitats that support threatened and endangered species of Pacific salmon. According to the researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries and Washington State University, these pesticides inhibit the activity of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and thus have potential to interfere with behaviors that may be essential for salmon survival. The researchers measured brain AChE inhibition in juvenile coho salmon exposed to sublethal concentrations of the organophosphates diazinon, malathion, and chlorpyrifos, as well as the carbamates carbaryl and carbofuran. The pesticides were tested individually and in combination. They plotted AChE levels on a curve to determine whether the toxicologic responses to binary mixtures were additive, antagonistic (lesser than additive) effect, or synergistic (greater than additive). The authors observed addition and synergism, with a greater degree of synergism at higher exposure concentrations. Several combinations of organophosphates were lethal at concentrations that were […]

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11
Feb

State Lawmakers Question Pesticide and Its Link To Lobster Die-Off

(Beyond Pesticides, February 11, 2009) Connecticut lawmakers are taking an interest in the much debated cause of a massive die-off of lobsters that has all but wiped out the state’s 40 million dollar industry, according to the Easton Courier. Fishermen and environmentalists blame the use of the insecticide malathion, a hazardous organophosphate, currently used in community mosquito eradication programs, however the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) argues that there is not enough scientific data to lead to the banning of the chemical. The huge die-off of lobsters began in 1999, days after towns in Fairfield County, Westchester County and Long Island, as well as New York City, sprayed malathion to kill mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus. Also at that time, remnants of hurricane Floyd drenched the state and washed the pesticide into Long Island Sound. The DEP, however, says the storm caused many other factors that led to the mass die-off. However, the lobster population has yet to recover. State lawmakers find DEP’s position on malathion puzzling. Rep. Richard Roy (D-Milford), chair of the House Environment Committee, and Senate Assistant Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwal) are questioning DEP about its efforts to restore the state’s lobster industry while […]

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