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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Paraquat' Category


23
May

New Study Spotlights Ten Pesticides Implicated in Development of Parkinson’s

(Beyond Pesticides, May 23 2023) New research is zeroing in on the role of 10 commonly used pesticides in the development of Parkinson‚Äôs. Published in the journal Nature Communications by a team of scientists lead by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, the study focused on the toxicity of these pesticides to neurons that have been found to lead to the presentation of the disease. Research is increasingly focusing on environmental exposures, and pesticides in particular, as a major factor in the development of Parkinson‚Äôs. This study adds further evidence that this line of research is a valid and worthwhile undertaking for the nearly one million people in the United States struggling with this incurable disease. [The authors note that the herbicide paraquat’s strong connection to Parkinson’s is not addressed in this study, but is the focus of a separate manuscript.] Scientists sought to further focus on which pesticides were most likely to be playing a role in Parkinson‚Äôs development. Records from California‚Äôs vast pesticide use database aided the search. From a comprehensive pesticide-wide association study, 53 of 288 pesticides screened were found to be linked to Parkinson‚Äôs. Scientists then took these 53 pesticides and conducted live-cell imaging […]

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21
Nov

EPA’s Deficient Pesticide Analysis Contributes to Ecological Decline

(Beyond Pesticides, November 21, 2022)¬†Once again, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has registered a new pesticide without performing a thorough review of its impacts on biodiversity as well as¬†threatened and endangered species. Inpyrfluxam was registered in 2020¬†and only after being sued by the¬†Center for Biological Diversity¬†for failure to comply with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) did EPA commit to completing draft effects determinations by Fall 2022. Once again, EPA’s¬†draft biological evaluation¬†is incomplete and inadequate. EPA is¬†accepting comments¬†on its draft biological evaluation at Regulations.gov.¬† Tell EPA and Congress that Pesticide Registrations Require Complete Science. The Review of Inpyrfluxam is Incomplete and Inadequate.¬† The agency’s draft effects assessment is flawed and incomplete. We share the details because it shows that EPA is out of step with the science and its regulatory responsibility when it comes a thorough review for ecosystem effects of pesticides.¬†¬† The agency used fish early life stage (ELS) tests to estimate chronic fish toxicity. This is inappropriate. The fish ELS is a sub-chronic test of sensitive life stages. Although it is often used as a surrogate or predictor of chronic toxicity, it does not adequately address potential adverse effects on reproduction or transfer of the test chemical to eggs/offspring […]

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12
Oct

EPA Asks Federal Court to Allow Reconsideration of Its Decision to Permit Paraquat’s Continued Use

(Beyond Pesticides, October 12, 2022) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is asking a federal court for permission to go back and reconsider its decision to reapprove use of the highly hazardous herbicide paraquat, according to a filing submitted by the agency late last month. Advocates see the move as encouraging, since meaningful EPA action on this Parkinson’s-linked chemical is long overdue. Last year, advocates condemned the Biden Administration for its reapproval of the weed killer with fewer protections than those proposed by the Trump Administration, marking a deeply concerning sign for pesticide reform campaigners looking to the administration for positive change. EPA‚Äôs request is the result of a legal challenge brought by the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, Earthjustice, Farmworker Association of Florida, Pesticide Action Network, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson‚Äôs Research. ¬†The groups argued that the agency‚Äôs decision to reregister paraquat was not legal based on substantial evidence that the chemical poses unreasonable risks to human health and the environment. While EPA made its initial decision to reapprove paraquat in the late days of the Trump Administration, it was under the Biden Administration that the agency reversed a proposed ban on aerial use, permitting broad-scale […]

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26
Aug

As Thyroid Cancer Cases Rise, Study Finds Pesticides Link

(Beyond Pesticides, August 26, 2022) New research from a team in California finds one-third of pesticides it reviewed ‚ÄĒ including glyphosate, paraquat dichloride, and oxyfluorfen ‚ÄĒ to be associated with the development of thyroid cancer. Researchers investigated the links between exposure to pesticides ‚ÄĒ including 29 that cause DNA cell damage ‚ÄĒ and the risk of this cancer. The researchers also find that in all the single-pollutant models they employed, paraquat dichloride ‚ÄĒ a widely used herbicide ‚ÄĒ was linked to this cancer. In 2021, Beyond Pesticides covered research by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) that demonstrated that exposures to lindane and metalaxyl also cause heightened risk of thyroid cancer. These study findings add to the already considerable concern about pervasive pesticide exposure ‚ÄĒ not only among farmers and applicators, but also in the general population. It is worth noting that, in addition to elevated thyroid cancer risks, multiple pesticides can cause other health damage. Paraquat is also acutely toxic, and can cause longer-term reproductive, renal, and hepatic damage to humans; it is toxic to birds, fish, and other aquatic organisms, and slightly so to honeybees. Glyphosate, as Beyond Pesticides has written frequently, is carcinogenic, and is associated […]

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01
Mar

Pesticide Use on Crops for Meat and Dairy Feed Further Threatens Endangered Species

(Beyond Pesticides, March 1, 2022) A report by the¬†Independent¬†finds chemical-intensive farming of crops for animal feed puts thousands of endangered species at risk. U.S. farmlands use more than 235 million pounds of pesticide (i.e., herbicides and insecticides) solely for animal feed production, many of which are¬†highly hazardous pesticides¬†(HHPs). Several HHP hazard categories include acutely toxic, chronic health hazards, and environmental hazards. Therefore, animal feed production intensifies global pollution, increases pesticide exposure, and degrades human, animal, and ecological health.¬† Although the report demonstrates a need to eliminate toxic pesticide use for the sake of human, animal, and ecosystem health, it will take more than eliminating the worst chemicals to address the impending biodiversity collapse and the climate crisis. Experts highlight the need for an urgent shift to organic land and agricultural management practices. The study¬†notes, ‚ÄúThese pesticides are taking a toll on our environment and biodiversity. Endangered species like the highly imperiled whooping crane, monarch butterflies, all species of salmon, the rusty-patched bumble bee, the San Joaquin kit fox, and the northern long-eared bat, as examples, all face significant threats from industrial agricultural operations and the chemicals applied. In order to conserve biodiversity and better protect vulnerable species and their habitats, […]

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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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13
May

Advocates Call for Ban of Toxic Pesticides Linked to Deaths from Chemical Suicides

(Beyond Pesticides, May 13, 2021) Scientists are advocating for stricter pesticide bans to lower deaths from deliberate pesticide ingestion. The request for this toxic pesticide ban follows a University of South Australia¬†study¬†detailing discrepancies in World Health Organization (WHO) classifications of pesticide hazards that rely on animal rather than human data. Previous¬†studies¬†demonstrate an increased risk of developing depression, especially among agricultural workers and landscapers who use pesticides. Acute exposure to chemicals, including organophosphate and carbamate pesticides, tends to put farmers at¬†greater risk¬†of suicide than the general population. This research highlights the significance of assessing pesticide toxicity and health effects using human data rather than animals to understand health effects resulting from pesticide exposure. Society tends to rank mental health risks second to physical health. However, pesticide poisonings account for one in five suicides globally. Therefore, it is vital to address the accessibility and necessity of conventional pesticide use to safeguard human well-being, especially in countries lacking adequate chemical regulations. The study‚Äôs scientists note, ‚ÄúThe human data for acute toxicity of pesticides should drive hazard classifications and regulation. We believe that a global benchmark for registration of pesticides should include a less than 5% case fatality after self-poisoning, which could prevent many […]

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14
Apr

Lawsuits Mount for Syngenta/ChemChina Over Claims Paraquat Herbicide Causing Parkinson’s Disease

(Beyond Pesticides, April 14, 2021) Litigation on the highly toxic herbicide paraquat may soon move into its next phase as lawyers representing victims recently requested cases be consolidated in the federal district court of Northern California. Over a dozen lawsuits have been filed against the Swiss-based agrichemical corporation Syngenta in several states throughout the U.S. The complaints allege that exposure to Syngenta herbicides containing paraquat resulted in their diagnosis of Parkinson‚Äôs Disease. Paraquat dichloride (paraquat) is a highly toxic herbicide that has been registered for use in the United States since 1964. Although not permitted for residential use, the product is registered on a wide range of agricultural land, from row crops to vegetables and trees, and on non-farm areas, including airports, certain industrial sites and commercial buildings. It can be used as a preemergent, post-emergent, and post-harvest as a desiccant or harvest aid in the field. The lawsuits target both Syngenta and Chevron corporation, which previously held the rights to sell paraquat in the 1960s under an agreement with a company that was eventually purchased by Syngenta. Syngenta itself, while still headquartered in Switzerland, is now owned by the Chinese National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) after a 2016 merger. Despite […]

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18
Feb

Implications for Human Health: Chronic Inhalation of Paraquat in Low-Doses Disrupts Sense of Smell

(Beyond Pesticides, February 18, 2021) New research published in the journal¬†Toxicological Sciences¬†finds extended inhalation of the common herbicide¬†paraquat¬†causes male mice to lose some sense of smell, even at low doses. This study highlights the significance of understanding how specific chemical exposure routes can influence disease development. Olfactory (relating to the sense of smell) impairment is a¬†precursory feature¬†of Parkinson‚Äôs disease (PD), and¬†studies¬†connect paraquat poisoning to PD risk. Hence, future pesticide management policies should assess specific disease risks with bodily chemical concentration from low-dose, chronic neurotoxic chemical exposure. The study‚Äôs researchers note, ‚ÄúThese data support the importance of route of exposure in the determination of safety estimates for neurotoxic pesticides, such as [paraquat]. Accurate estimation of the relationship between exposure and internal dose is critical for risk assessment and public health protection.‚ÄĚ Despite evidence demonstrating that olfactory ¬†nerve cells transport toxic airborne particles and solutes to the brain upon inhalation, the possibility of olfactory impairment (damage) from paraquat inhalation lacks adequate assessment. To assess the impact paraquat has on olfactory function, researchers exposed a cohort of adult female and male mice to paraquat aerosols in an¬†inhalation chamber¬†for four hours a day, five days a week, for four weeks. Researchers investigated paraquat concentrations […]

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05
Nov

Pesticide Exposure Increases the Risk of Developing Gene-Specific and Sporadic Parkinson’s Disease Incidences

(Beyond Pesticides, November 5, 2020) Research at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) finds that pesticide exposure increases the risk of developing Parkinson‚Äôs disease (PD), regardless of whether disease onset is idiopathic (spontaneous) or genetic (GBA¬†genetic risk variant). Although the exact etiology of PD remains unknown, epidemiological and toxicological research repeatedly identifies exposure to pesticides, as well as specific gene-pesticide interactions, as significant adverse risk factors that contribute to PD. Furthermore, this study, ‚ÄúGene Variants May Affect PD Risk After Pesticide Exposure,‚ÄĚ suggests that environmental triggers like occupational exposure to pesticides can prompt PD in individuals with or without the genetic precursor. This research demonstrates the importance of assessing disease etiology concerning occupational pesticide exposure, especially if disease triggers are overwhelmingly non-hereditary. Since not all individuals genetically predisposed to the disease develop PD, with only 10 to 15 percent of PD cases being genetic, government officials need to consider alternate etiological pathways that include environmental risk factors. Study researchers note, ‚Äú‚ÄėEnvironmental exposures may have differential effects in different genotypes‚Äô and may predispose people with PD to different symptom burden.‚Ä̬† Parkinson‚Äôs disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, with at least one million Americans living with PD and about […]

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28
Oct

Captured by Extremist Pro-Pesticide Agenda, A Broken EPA Reregisters Several Toxic Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, October 28, 2020) This month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized decisions allowing continued use of a range of highly toxic pesticides, including the herbicide paraquat, and the synthetic pyrethroid class of insecticides. The move has been met with stinging criticism from the health and environmental community, but the decisions come as no surprise. Continued allowance of hazardous pesticides is a result of a weak law, lax regulations, and an administration that has consistently refused to follow even deficient protections. ‚ÄúThe EPA‚Äôs pesticide office has sunk to a despicable new low in allowing farmworkers, small children and the environment to be sacrificial pawns in the profit schemes of its friends in the pesticide industry,‚ÄĚ said Nathan Donley, PhD, senior scientist at Center for Biological Diversity. ‚ÄúIn rushing to reapprove these deadly chemicals, it‚Äôs ignored its own scientists and independent researchers, refused to protect human health and the environment, and shown itself to be the panting lapdog of a morally bankrupt industry.‚ÄĚ EPA reregistered paraquat despite overwhelming evidence that the chemical cannot be used without ‚Äėunreasonable adverse effects on the environment‚Äô — the lackluster standard in federal pesticide law to which the agency is required to regulate a […]

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01
Oct

Court Rejects Case to Reinstate Environmental Protections on U.S. Wildlife Refuges, as Report Shows Increasing Pesticide Use

(Beyond Pesticides, October 1, 2020) A federal judge on September 24, 2020 dismissed an ¬†environmental lawsuit seeking to reinstate a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rule, killed by the Trump Administration, which banned the use of neonicotinoid insecticides, genetically engineered (GE) crops, and adopted a precautionary approach to pest management. The decision comes on the heels of a Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) analysis that reports a 34% increase in the pesticide use on U.S. national wildlife refuge acres over a two year period from 2016-2018. This analysis is an update to CBD‚Äôs 2018 report, No Refuge, which is the first of its kind to offer comprehensive details of agricultural pesticide spraying in national wildlife refuges. Wildlife refuges act as a sanctuary, providing habitat and protection essential for the survival and recovery of species nationwide. However, pesticide spraying in or around wildlife refuges threatens the survivability and recovery of species that reside there as many of these pesticides are highly toxic to human and animal health. Analyses like these are significant, especially since the globe is currently going through the¬†Holocene Extinction, Earth‚Äôs 6th mass extinction, with one million species of plants and animals at risk of extinction. In 2012, […]

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07
Jul

Study Matches Parkinson’s Disease Risk to Zip Code, Proximity to Pesticide Use

(Beyond Pesticides, July 7, 2020) One‚Äôs zip code plays an important role in the likelihood of developing Parkinson‚Äôs disease (PD), according to data published by Louisiana State University researchers in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. With genetics and exposure to agricultural pesticide use identified as the main factors affecting PD, proximity to certain cropland and its effluent had a major impact on disease risk. As with most environmentally related diseases, this study highlights the disproportionate risk and environmental racism low income, indigenous and people of color communities endure. Researchers received access to over 23,000 PD diagnoses in Louisiana between 1999 and 2012, and mapped these data by zip code. Risk was determined calculating the number of diagnoses per 10,000 people in a given zip code, based on census data. To flesh out the role agriculture was playing in PD diagnoses, additional data derived from water quality samples taken by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, and the U.S. Geological Survey pesticide use estimates were compared against reported disease incidence. Results show that certain zip codes faced significantly higher incidence of PD than others in the state. Further, ‚ÄúThe PD high-risk areas match closely the arbor-pastoral […]

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01
Jul

U.S. and Brazil Trying to Force Thailand to Accept Food Coated in Hazardous Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, July 1, 2020) As the U.S. is subject to searing criticism for inadequately regulated hazardous pesticides domestically, administration officials are standing in the way as other countries’ work toward modest reforms. According to a report published in Reuters, the U.S. is standing alongside the corrupt Bolsonaro administration in Brazil to oppose Thailand‚Äôs efforts to protect its citizens from highly toxic pesticides used in food production. Both countries launched separate complaints to the World Trade Organization after Thailand announced it would ban imports of the brain-damaging insecticide chlorpyrifos and weedkiller paraquat, which has been strongly linked to Parkinson‚Äôs disease. On June 1, Thailand added paraquat and chlorpyrifos to its list of most hazardous substances. This listing initiated a follow-on regulation that banned the import of these substances on food, set to take effect in mid-July. Thailand has been feeling the brunt of U.S. diplomatic pressure since it first proposed restrictions on toxic chemicals late last year. By December, the U.S. was able to get Bangkok to remove glyphosate from its proposal, and delay the listing of paraquat and chlorpyrifos until June. But as the current situation shows, the U.S. had no plans to stop pressuring the Bangkok government after […]

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03
Mar

Chemical-Intensive Agriculture Increases Pregnant Mother’s Risk of Her Child Developing Leukemia

(Beyond Pesticides, March 3, 2020) Pregnant mothers living in areas where carcinogenic pesticides have been used are at increased risk of their child developing an acute form of leukemia, according to research published last month in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles. The findings are based on a review of pesticide use data in rural, agricultural areas of California, where many minority, low-income and farmworking communities live. Under current laws, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permits the use of cancer-causing pesticides with an expectation that a certain number of cancers (anywhere from 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 1,000,000, based on the pesticide in question) should be considered ‚Äėacceptable risk.‚Äô While past studies have shown similar connections between pesticide exposure in the womb and the development of childhood cancer, this is one of the first to utilize geographic information systems (GIS) data, rather than parental interviews on past exposures. Researchers used California public records of cancer incidence from 1998-2011, alongside statewide pesticide use reports (California is the only state to make this information publicly accessible and searchable). A list of 65 pesticides were investigated for their specific connection […]

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17
Oct

Despite Damning Scientific Evidence, EPA Dismisses Link Between Parkinson’s and Exposure to the Herbicide Paraquat

(Beyond Pesticides, October 17, 2019) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is downplaying the connection between exposure to the herbicide paraquat and the development of Parkinson‚Äôs disease, per registration review documents released by the agency this week. Although unsurprising given the current administration‚Äôs track record of defending some of the most heinous chemicals still on the market, the review nonetheless marks a low point for scientific integrity within EPA‚Äôs Office of Pesticide Programs, according to advocates. Health and environmental advocates have already discounted EPA‚Äôs industry-biased review, and are instead pushing hard for Congressional action ‚Äď namely HR 3817, the Protect Against Paraquat Act, introduced by Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY). Under federal law, pesticides are required to undergo reevaluation every 15 years. Paraquat is a potent restricted use herbicide, not available to be applied by residential users, but permitted for use on multiple agriculture crops. Over the last decade, independent peer-reviewed scientific studies have repeatedly found strong associations between paraquat to the development of Parkinson‚Äôs disease. Many of these studies have been covered in Beyond Pesticides‚Äô Daily News or are recorded in the Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database. In response to this growing body of literature, EPA conducted an epidemiological evaluation of published […]

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01
Aug

Brazil Approves 262 New Hazardous Pesticides, Makes Death Sole Criteria for Toxicity

(Beyond Pesticides, August 1, 2019) Last month, the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture approved the registration of 51 additional hazardous pesticides and brought the total to 262 newly approved pesticides this year. Moreover, Brazil‚Äôs health surveillance agency, Anvisa, approved new rules that establish risk of death as the singular criteria for determining toxicity of pesticides. Human Rights Watch, a nonprofit that conducts local investigations, reports that the government has simultaneously been unresponsive to incidents of pesticide poisoning. Brazil‚Äôs president, Jair Bolsonoro, is known for his far-right politics, and has been accused of corruption, scandals, and disregard for the environment. This rapid registration of novel pesticides is unprecedented in Brazil. Many of the products are generic versions of existing formulas, with government officials seeking to lower the price of pesticides. Products include insecticides with the active ingredient sulfoxaflor, a bee-toxic pesticide that has also recently gained traction in the U.S. despite pushback from beekeepers and environmentalists. While an American license for a pesticide, for example, lasts 15 years, Brazilian registration of pesticides never expires. Generic products lower the price barrier to amplified use of these interminable, toxic pesticides. In 1989, Brazil established one of the toughest pesticide laws in the world that […]

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23
Jul

Protect Workers and the Public from Parkinson’s Disease: Support H.R. 3817

(Beyond Pesticides, July 23, 2019)¬†Last week, U.S. Representative Nydia M. Velazquez introduced legislation to cancel all uses of the pesticide paraquat, which is acutely toxic and strongly linked to Parkinson’s disease. The move is supported by the Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council ‚Äď a group led by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research ‚Äď as well as other health and environmental groups such as Beyond Pesticides. Paraquat, which is a dangerous, fast-acting nonselective herbicide that kills by burning living tissues, is also unnecessary. Organic agriculture provides an alternative that does not depend on toxic chemicals like paraquat. Tell your U.S. Representative to support H.R. 3817 to cancel the use of paraquat. According to the EPA, ‚Äúone small sip [of paraquat] can be fatal, and there is no antidote.‚ÄĚ Advocates are pushing for its elimination from the American agriculture system for many reasons, including acute toxicity and organ failure by inhalation, oral intake and dermal absorption; chronic toxicity affecting the eyes, lungs, liver, kidneys and endocrine system; and a higher incidence of various cancers after exposure. The EPA characterizes paraquat as ‚Äúextremely biologically active and toxic to plants and animals.‚ÄĚ The agency has previously determined that exposure to this herbicide […]

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20
Feb

DDT Exposure During Early Life Associated with Increased Risk of Breast Cancer

(Beyond Pesticides, February 20, 2019) Women exposed to DDT during ‚Äėearly windows of susceptibility‚Äô in their childhood are at increased risk of developing breast cancer, according to new research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Nearly 75 years after the chemical was first used in the U.S., and 50 years after its ban, DDT is continuing to adversely affect the health of Americans. The data brings needed attention to the dangers of early-life pesticide exposure, and underlines the need to take a precautionary approach to the introduction of biocides in our environment so that future generations do not suffer from the same mistakes of the past. “What we have learned is that timing really matters. We know that if harmful exposures occur at times when breast tissue is rapidly changing, such as during puberty, they impact breast development in ways that can later result in cancer,” said lead author Barbara A. Cohn, PhD, of the Public Health Institute’s (PHI) Child Health and Development Studies. “The research published today suggests that DDT affects breast cancer as an endocrine disruptor, that the period of time between first exposure and cancer risk seems to be around 40 years–and that other […]

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20
Dec

New Developments in the Link Between Parkinson’s and Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, December 20, 2018) Using low doses of the herbicide paraquat and common proteins found in food called lectins, researchers were able to recreate the symptoms of Parkinson‚Äôs disease in rats. Results of this study, published in the journal Parkinson‚Äôs disease, provide scientists with fresh insights into the development of the disease, and a new model to test potential remedies. Paraquat, a neurotoxic herbicide with a well-established body of literature linking it to Parkinson‚Äôs disease, is currently undergoing a registration review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and groups like the Michael J Fox Foundation are calling for its ban. Researchers based their study on the Braak Staging hypothesis of Parkinson‚Äôs, which posits that the disease is brought on by foreign agents entering the body through the gut or nose and making their way to the brain. Rats were exposed to low doses of paraquat combined with lectin every day for a week. After two weeks, the animals‚Äô motor function was tested and compared to an unexposed control group. Rats exposed to lectin and paraquat exhibited Parkinson-like symptoms. Primary author R. Alberto Travagli, PhD, notes, “After observing that these animals did indeed show symptoms of Parkinsonism, we wanted to […]

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21
May

Tell U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Eliminate Pesticide Use on Refuges

(Beyond Pesticides, May 21, 2018)¬†¬†490,000 Pounds of Toxic Pesticides Sprayed on National Wildlife Refuges in 2016 The nation‚Äôs 562 national wildlife refuges play a critical role in protecting fish, plants, and other wildlife. They include forests, wetlands, and waterways vital to thousands of species of plants and animals, including 280 that are protected under the Endangered Species Act. However, private chemical-intensive commercial farming of crops like corn, soybeans, and sorghum has become common on refuge lands, with the increasing use of highly toxic pesticides that threaten the long-term health of sensitive habitats and the creatures who depend on them. The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) estimates that 490,000 pounds of pesticides were applied to commodity crops like corn, soybeans, and sorghum grown in national wildlife refuges in 2016, the most recent year for which data are available. Tell FWS to take toxic pesticides out of wildlife refuges. The nearly half million pounds of pesticides used on wildlife refuges in 2016 include 2,4-D, dicamba, and paraquat, all of which are toxic to fish, amphibians, crustaceans, and other animals. Also included are 116,200 pounds of glyphosate, the herbicide that has caused widespread decreases in milkweed plants, helping to trigger the 80 percent […]

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12
Feb

Take Action: Tell EPA to Ban Paraquat

(Beyond Pesticides, February 12, 2018)¬† The most recent findings on the development of Parkinson‚Äôs disease after exposure to the highly toxic paraquat add to the well-established body of scientific literature linking the herbicide to Parkinson‚Äôs ‚ÄĒ which should lead to finally eliminating the use of the herbicide in the U.S. The chemical was banned in the European Union in 2007, and many health groups, including Beyond Pesticides and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson‚Äôs Research, are calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop the use of paraquat by denying its upcoming reregistration. In addition to its connection with Parkinson‚Äôs disease, paraquat is known to be highly acutely toxic. By generating free radicals, it essentially burns its way through the body, targeting the lungs ‚ÄĒcausing lung fibrosis‚ÄĒ and other organs. Most acutely toxic exposures result in death, sometimes delayed by as much as three weeks. Although paraquat is a restricted use pesticide (RUP), EPA is proposing to eliminate the minimum age for applying RUPs, which would permit teenagers to use it. Tell EPA and Congress to ban paraquat!¬†This link will send the following message to EPA and your Congressional delegation: I urge EPA to join other countries […]

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01
Feb

Herbicide Paraquat Again Linked to Parkinson’s Symptoms in Brain

(Beyond Pesticides, February 1, 2018) Scientists at the European Institute for the Biology of Aging are finding new information about how Parkinson‚Äôs disease manifests itself after exposure to the herbicide paraquat, in hopes of finding ways to prevent the progression of the disease. Despite a well-established body of scientific literature linking the paraquat to Parkinson‚Äôs, and a ban on the use of the chemical in the European Union that dates back to 2007, its use is still permitted in the U.S. Many health groups, including Beyond Pesticides and organizations like the Michael J Fox Foundation are calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stop the use of paraquat by denying its upcoming reregistration. Published in the journal Cell Reports, this new research on Parkinson‚Äôs investigates the impact of ‚Äúsenescent‚ÄĚ cells in the body. Senescent cells are those which, despite being able to divide, stop doing so in response to stress. This is an anti-cancer mechanism, as stress would otherwise cause the cells to multiply unchecked and create malignancies. Researchers suspected that despite the benefit of stopping cancer, senescent cells may be causing other problems in the body. Rather than dying, these cells can cause inflammation in the area around where […]

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