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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Permethrin' Category


10
Dec

Flight Attendant Links Airline Insecticide Use to His Parkinson’s

(Beyond Pesticides, December 10, 2013) A former steward for Australian-based Quantas airlines is suing the Australian government claiming that frequent insecticide use in airplane cabins resulted in his Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. Australia is among 49 countries that require pesticide spraying on some or all flights. Pesticide use on flights into the United States is not required, but is permitted under international law. (See here for a breakdown of pesticide use in American-based airlines, and here for information from the U.S. Department of Transportation on pesticide use in aircrafts.) Brett Vollus, former Quantas airline steward, worked for the company for 27 years until this past May when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and a malignant brain tumor. “He [my doctor] asked me what I did for living and when I told him he just nodded and said: ‘Another one, I am seeing a lot of you’,” Mr. Vollus said to The Australian. “This is a nightmare that has ruined my life. I am very keen to start a legal action and if it can help others I am happy to lead the way.” This case puts an international spotlight on growing evidence that pesticide use is linked to Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s […]

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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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01
Nov

Behavioral and Emotional Problems in Children Linked to Insecticide Exposure

(Beyond Pesticides, November 1, 2013) Insecticides commonly used in homes and schools are associated with behavioral problems in children, according to a recent study by Canadian researchers. The study investigates exposure to pyrethroid pesticides, used in more than 3,500 products, including flea and tick controls, cockroach sprays, and head lice controls. The study, Urinary metabolites of organophosphates and pyrethroid pesticides and behavioral problems in Canadian children, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, raises serious concerns about the impact of pyrethroids, which are increasingly used as a replacement for organophosphates. This study uses data from the Canadian Health Measures Survey (2007-2009), a nationally representative survey, so researchers are able to apply these findings to the entire population of Canadian children. In a previous study among U.S. children, researchers at the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) examined the metabolites of pyrethroids in children below the age of six. Similarly, they found pyrethroid insecticides in more than 70 percent of the samples, concluding that children had significantly higher metabolite concentrations than those of adolescents. Together these studies demonstrate that exposure is widespread, with real impacts to human health. In the recent study, researchers analyzed organophosphate and pyrethroid metabolites in the […]

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23
Jul

Nanoparticles in Athletic Wear: Don’t Sweat It?

(Beyond Pesticides, July 23, 2013) When shopping for sportswear nowadays, you might notice the stickers or tags on some clothing items touting the apparel as “antimicrobial.” What’s not mentioned on those tags, however, is the point that these antimicrobials, often titanium dioxide or silver nanoparticles (nanosilver), are largely untested, and recent studies are revealing that these substances could seep into a person’s sweat and end up being absorbed through one’s skin. Lead researcher of the study published in Environmental Science and Technology, Natalie von Gotz, Ph.D,, found that some pieces of clothing released significant amounts of nanosilver. Manufacturers are adding nanoparticles to clothing in order to tout their ability to block UV rays (titanium dioxide) or prevent mold and smells (nanosilver) on clothing. However, the long-term impacts of this new technology to human health and the environment are still unknown. There are concerns about the ability of nanomaterial to travel through the human body and damage brain, liver, stomach, testes and other organs, as well as pass from mother to fetus, according to a recent Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report. Laundering these products ultimately washes them into our environment because sewage treatment plants are not set up to filter […]

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12
Apr

Study Shows Brain Tumors in Children Caused by Parental Pesticide Exposures

(Beyond Pesticides, April 12, 2013) A study released this month on termite pesticide applications reveals that women exposed within a year of pregnancy are almost twice as likely to have a child that develops a brain tumor. Research was led by Professor Elizabeth Milne, PhD., head of the cancer epidemiology group at the Telethon Institute for Child Research. Published in Cancer Causes and Control, the article, “Exposure to Pesticides and the Risk of Childhood Brain Tumors,” studies whether exposure to pesticides a year prior to conception, during pregnancy and exposure during childhood were likely to augment the risk of brain tumors. Instead of examining household applications by homeowners, the study examines the role of pesticides applied by professional pest control applicators particularly to eradicate termites, spiders, and insects. “The findings confirm what has been found in previous studies but we have been able to go a little bit further,” Professor Milne said. Interestingly, “The increased risk associated with termite treatments may be as high as twofold, while the increased risk with other pesticides may be about 30 percent.” The study accounted for 303 cases of those that were exposed to pesticides and 941 families that were not exposed. Data came […]

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26
Mar

Bed Bugs Display Multiple Layers of Resistance to Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, March 26, 2013) Scientists are learning more about the mechanisms bed bugs have developed to increase their resistance to the increasingly common class of pyrethriod pesticides. The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports in early March, adds further weight to calls from consumer health and environmental groups to adopt proven, non-toxic strategies to manage bed bugs and other household pest problems. After all, if alternatives exist, why put your family at risk with unsustainable, ineffective control methods? This latest research reveals something scientists had not suspected. Bed bugs are developing most of their resistance-associated genes on the outer layer of their shell. These genes either neutralize the insecticides before they can take effect, or slow down the toxins’ move towards the insects’ nerve cells. In addition, bed bugs in the study also show resistance developing within their nerve cells, the target site for the pesticides. This multilayered resistance is unique, scientists say, but, as Beyond Pesticides has long documented, pest resistance to pesticides is not. A 2011 study from Ohio State University reveals bed bugs’ ability to evolve hereditary changes in their production of certain enzymes, allowing them to excrete the toxins without being harmed. A study […]

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31
Jan

Risk of Infant Leukemia Associated with Mother’s Pesticide Exposure

(Beyond Pesticides, January 31, 2012) A new study finds that a mother’s exposure to pesticides before, during and after pregnancy may increase the risk of infant leukemia diagnosed before the age of two. Researchers in Brazil found that children are twice as likely to develop the rare cancers if their mothers were exposed three months before conception when compared to mothers who reported no exposures. A mother’s exposure at any time to the insecticide permethrin also raised the cancer risk for infants. The results support recommendations for women of reproductive age to minimize their pesticide exposure before and during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, and adds to the growing weight of evidence of the dangers of using synthetic pyrethroid pesticides. The study, entitled, “In utero pesticide exposure and leukemia in Brazilian children less than 2 years of age,” is published in Environmental Health Perspectives. Researchers asked mothers in Brazil about their pesticide exposure three months before pregnancy, while pregnant and three months after pregnancy when they were nursing. The women reported their home, work and agricultural contact with pesticides (at least once) between 1999 and 2007. Pesticide exposures from mothers of 252 children younger than two years old and diagnosed with […]

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12
Sep

Prenatal Exposure to Widely Used Pesticide Ingredient Linked to Childhood Cough

(Beyond Pesticides, September 12, 2012) Expectant mothers exposed to the pesticide additive piperonyl butoxide (PBO), widely used in synthetic prethroid insecticides and those ending in “thrin” (popular in mosquito spray programs), during pregnancy pass to their children a heightened risk of noninfectious cough at ages 5 and 6, according to researchers at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (CCCEH). These findings support the premise that children’s respiratory system is susceptible to damage from toxic exposures during the prenatal period. Researchers outfitted 224 expectant mothers with air monitors during their third trimester of pregnancy and measured the levels of PBO and permethrin in the air around them. Then, once the children were 5 and 6, the same two chemicals were measured from air samples collected inside their home. Results showed that children exposed to PBO in the womb were at increased odds of reporting cough unrelated to cold or flu. Researchers found no correlation between prenatal or childhood exposure to permethrin, however they pointed out that this may be because PBO is easier to measure in air samples than permethrin. Coauthor of the study, “Prenatal exposure to pesticide ingredient piperonyl butoxide and childhood cough in an urban cohort,” Dr. Rachel […]

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31
Jan

Take Action: EPA Proposes Expansion of Neurotoxic Pyrethroid Uses

(Beyond Pesticides, January 31, 2012) The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed an expansion in pyrethrins/pyrethroid insecticide uses as part of its cumulative risk assessment for this neurotoxic class of chemicals. In the cumulative risk assessment, EPA concludes that pyrethroids “do not pose risk concerns for children or adults,” ignoring a wealth of independent data that links this class of chemicals to certain cancers, respiratory and reproductive problems, and the onset of insect resistance. It went as far as to state that its cumulative assessment supports consideration of registering additional new uses of these pesticides, potentially opening the flood gates for manufacturers to bombard the market with more pyrethroid pesticides, endangering the health of the public. The agency is accepting public comments through February 8, 2012. Tell EPA that it has ignored numerous health effects and that these pesticides do pose unacceptable risks to human health given the availability of alternatives. Submit comments directly to the EPA docket or sign-on to Beyond Pesticides’ comments. In its comments to EPA, Beyond Pesticides states: There are several major concerns and flaws plaguing this cumulative assessment, which therefore does not meet the regulatory burden in fully evaluating synthetic pyrethroids’ effect on public and […]

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16
Nov

EPA Releases Pyrethroid Risk Assessment, Ignores Numerous Health Effects

(Beyond Pesticides, November 16, 2011) On November 9, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its cumulative risk assessment for the pyrethroid class of insecticides, concluding that these pesticides “do not pose risk concerns for children or adults,” ignoring a wealth of independent data that links this class of chemicals to certain cancers, respiratory and reproductive problems, and the onset of insect resistance. The agency went as far to state that its cumulative assessment supports consideration of registering additional new uses of these pesticides, potentially opening the flood gates for manufacturers to bombard the market with more pyrethroid pesticides, endangering the health of the public. EPA issued the final pyrethins/pyrethroid cumulative risk assessment in the Federal Register and is requesting comment until January 9, 2011, including information that may be used to further refine the assessment. Pyrethroids are a widely used class of insecticides used for mosquito control and various insects in residential and agricultural settings. However pyrethroids are highly neurotoxic and have been linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, suppression of the immune system, and various reproductive effects. This class of chemicals includes permethrin, bifenthrin, resmethrin, cyfluthrin and scores of others. Read Beyond Pesticides’ factsheet “Syntethic Pyrethroids.” Once the […]

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26
Sep

Centers for Disease Control Reports Illness and Death Linked to Bed Bug Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, September 26, 2011) On September 23, 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report linking pesticides sprayed in attempts to control bed bugs to poisoning incidents and death. Because bed bugs do not transmit disease and can be controlled without pesticides, this risk is completely unnecessary. The study, “Acute Illnesses Associated with Insecticides Used to Control Bed Bugs,” utilized data from California, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Texas, and Washington. In those seven states, over 100 poisonings, including one fatality, were associated with bed bug-related insecticide use. The CDC researchers used data from states participating in the Sentinel Event Notification System for Occupational Risks (SENSOR)-Pesticides program and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH). The authors defined “acute illness” associated with an insecticide used to control bed bugs as two or more acute adverse health effects resulting from exposure to an insecticide used for bed bug control. The study reports: A total of 111 illnesses associated with bed bug–related insecticide use were identified; although 90 (81%) were low severity, one fatality occurred. Pyrethroids, pyrethrins, or both were implicated in 99 (89%) […]

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20
Sep

Army-Funded Study Links Gulf War Illness to Pesticides and More

(Beyond Pesticides, September 20, 2011) A study supported by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command links pesticide exposure and other factors to Gulf War illness (also referred to as Gulf War Syndrome), an illness characterized by a wide range of acute and chronic symptoms experienced by veterans and civilians after the 1991 Gulf War. The study, “Complex Factors in the Etiology of Gulf War Illness: Wartime Exposures and Risk Factors in Veteran Subgroups,” is published in the September 19, 2011 online edition of Environmental Health Perspectives. The researchers designed the study to compare the characteristics of deployment and the risk factors experienced by veterans participating in various theaters of the Gulf War. Among personnel who were in Iraq or Kuwait, where all battles took place, four exposures were independently associated with GWI: taking PB pills, being within one mile of an exploding SCUD missile, using pesticides on the skin, and exposure to smoke from oil well fires. For veterans who remained in support areas, GWI was significantly associated only with personal pesticide use, with increased prevalence (OR=12.7, CI=2.6-61.5) in the relatively small subgroup who wore pesticide-treated uniforms, nearly all of whom also used skin pesticides. Among 64 pesticide […]

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11
Aug

Research Shows Commonly Used Pesticides Produce Greater Toxic Effect When Mixed

(Beyond Pesticides, August 11, 2011) A combination of eleven different kinds of commonly used pyrethroids were tested on mice in a new study which found that, at real-world exposure levels, the insecticides can produce heightened toxicity that is equal to the sum of each insecticide’s individual effect. The mixture of similar-acting insecticides works by over-stimulating electronic channels in the mouse’s brain cells and eventually causing death. This study adds to the growing body of research on the toxicity of pesticide combinations in nature and showcases the need for policy change because the current risk assessment approach to regulating pesticides fails to look at chemical mixtures and synergistic effects. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently regulates on a chemical-by-chemical basis, but as this study demonstrates, interacting chemicals can have synergistic effects at very low levels, where a “chemical cocktail” of multiple interacting chemicals combine to have greater effects than expected. Pesticides can also have a cumulative “toxic loading” effect both in the immediate and long term. Researchers exposed mice brain cells to eleven different food-use pyrethroid insecticides either singly or in a mixture in the study entitled ”Additivity of pyrethroid actions on sodium influx in cerebrocortical neurons in primary culture.” […]

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11
Jul

Research Links Mixture of Old and Current Pesticides in the Environment to Developmental Effects

(Beyond Pesticides, July 11, 2011) The findings of a research team suggest that the concentrations of the banned but still persistent insecticide chlordane and the widely used insecticide permethrin in cord blood may be associated with inflammatory cytokines (signaling molecules of the nervous and immune system important to intercellular communication) in the fetus. The results from the research team were significant because few studies on the developmental effects of chlordane and permethrin in humans have been performed, and they were the first to demonstrate an association between in utero exposures with changes in the immune systems of newborns. The data and findings are found in this month’s Research Brief by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Research Program, which highlights the widespread aggregate pesticide exposure that individuals in the U.S. experience, focusing on a recent study on the developmental effects of chlordane and permethrin mixtures. The study looks at the relationship between cord serum concentrations of chlordane and permethrin pesticides, gestational age, size at birth and the presence of inflammatory cytokines, which are endogenous proteins secreted as signaling compounds to coordinate immune system functions. The study, entitled “Fetal Exposure to Chlordane and Permethrin Mixtures in Relation to […]

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08
Feb

Study Links Prenatal Exposure to Pyrethroid Insecticides and Learning Problems

(Beyond Pesticides, February 8, 2011) Research published February 7, 2011 in the online edition of the journal Peditatrics shows that children more highly exposed to pyrethroid insecticides and piperonyl butoxide (PBO), a synergist added to increase the potency of pyrethroids, are three times as likely to have a mental delay compared to children with lower levels. The study, “Impact of Prenatal Exposure to Piperonyl Butoxide and Permethrin on 36-Month Neurodevelopment,” measured exposure to pesticides using maternal and umbilical cord plasma samples and in personal air samples, collected using backpack air monitors during pregnancy. Children were then tested for cognitive and motor development (using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development) at three years of age. Children with the highest prenatal exposures scored about 4 points lower on the test. That’s about the same intelligence loss caused by lead, Philip Landrigan, MD, a pediatrics professor and environmental health expert at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine, told USA Today. Pyrethroid pesticides kill bugs by “being toxic to the developing brain,” Dr. Landrigan says. The results are “very believable and should be taken seriously.” Pyrethroid pesticides have increased in popularity over the past decade due in large part to the phase-out of […]

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31
Mar

EPA Tackles Dangerous Bug Bombs, Falls Short on Restriction

(Beyond Pesticides, March 31, 2010) Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it was taking action aimed at improving residential safety and reducing risks associated with bug bombs, or total release foggers (TRFs). The agency is calling for significant changes to product labeling to address the most common causes of exposure incidents associated with TRFs. However, product labels do not adequately protect the public from toxic pesticide ingredients and calls to ban foggers and promote safer alternatives, action that has been urged for years both within and outside the agency, continue to go unheeded. Prompted by concerns raised by a 2009 petition from the New York City Department of Health to reclassify TRFs as restricted use pesticides, EPA sent a letter of notification to manufacturers on March 23, 2010 stating that the agency is now requiring a number of labeling changes by September 30, 2011. In spite of New York’s recommendation, the agency concluded that reclassification is inappropriate and would unnecessarily remove these inexpensive pest control tools from the residential market. Since, according to the agency’s analysis, the largest proportion of incidents is attributable to failure to follow label instructions, the changes are targeted at minimizing those […]

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24
Mar

Increase in Reported Incidents Prompts EPA to Review Pet Products

(Beyond Pesticides, March 24, 2010) Due to a significant increase in adverse incidents, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking a series of actions aimed at increasing the safety of spot-on pesticide products for flea and tick control for cats and dogs. EPA will begin reviewing labels to determine which ones will require new instructions and labeling for on-spot flea products. EPA began investigating the products after discovering a sharp rise in the number of dogs and cats reported to be sick. Incidents reported by consumers rose from 28,895 in 2007 to 44,263 in 2008, an increase of 53 percent. The products investigated, including the popular Frontline and Advantage brands, are small vials of liquid pesticides that pet owners apply monthly to the backs of dogs or cats to kill fleas and ticks. EPA began investigating the products after discovering a sharp rise in the number of pets reported to be sick after they were treated. The year long investigation, conducted by a team of veterinarians assembled by the agency, concluded that certain pets — small dogs between 10 and 20 pounds — are most susceptible to the problems, which include rashes, vomiting, diarrhea and seizures. EPA plans to […]

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17
Feb

Study Finds Residential and Agricultural Pesticides in Household Dust

(Beyond Pesticides, February 17, 2010) In the largest study of its kind, researchers searched hundreds of Salinas Valley, California homes for pesticide compounds sticking to dust layers and discovered widespread residues of 22 residential and agricultural-use products. The study, “Pesticides in Dust from Homes in an Agricultural Area,” was conducted by an investigator from the California Department of Public Health and researchers with the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas (CHAMACOS) with the University of California, Berkeley. CHAMACOS began recruiting pregnant women in the Salinas Valley for a long-term study of prenatal and infant chemical and allergen exposure in 1999. The center sampled study homes in 1999 and 2000 with a modified vacuum cleaner. The most common pesticides found were permethrin (467ppb) -a popular insecticide against home insect, and chlorpyrifos (74ppb). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned chlorpyrifos for home-use in 2000, but it is still used in agriculture. Other pesticides frequently detected include the herbicide dimethyl tetrachloroterephthalate (DCPA), methomyl, diazinon and a fungicide, iprodione. Household dust concentrations are significantly associated with nearby use of these chemicals on agricultural fields in the month or season prior to sample collection. The study reported that in […]

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16
Feb

Pyrethroid Pesticides in Streams Found Toxic to Indicator Species

(Beyond Pesticides, February 16, 2010) Pyrethroids, among the most widely-used home pesticides, are winding up in California rivers at levels toxic to some stream-dwellers, possibly endangering the food supply of fish and other aquatic animals, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and Southern Illinois University (SIU). The study, “Urban and Agricultural Sources of Pyrethroid Insecticides to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta of California,” in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, is the first published work to document toxic levels in the water column as well as in the sediments at the bottom of streams. Pyrethroid insecticides, commonly used to kill ants and other insects around the home, have been found in street runoff and in the outflow from sewage treatment plants in the Sacramento, California area. The insecticide ended up in two urban creeks, the San Joaquin River and a 20-mile stretch of the American River, traditionally considered to be one of the cleanest rivers in the region. Although the pyrethroid levels were low, around 10-20 parts per trillion, they were high enough to kill a test organism similar to a small shrimp that is used to assess water safety. “These indicator organisms are ‘lab […]

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16
Sep

Occupational Use of 2,4-D, Permethrin Triple the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

(Beyond Pesticides, September 16, 2009) A new study published in the September issue of Archives of Neurology reports that the risk of Parkinsonism doubled with increased occupational exposure to pesticides, including eight agents associated with experimental Parkinsonism. These data add to the growing number of studies that lend credence to a causative role of certain pesticides in neurological disorders. The study, “Occupation and Risk of Parkinsonism: A Multicenter Case-Control Study,” set out to investigate occupations, specific job tasks, or exposures and risk of parkinsonism in collaboration with eight movement disorders centers in North America including, the Parkinson’s Institute, CA, Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine and Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York. The investigation focused on five occupations previously suggested as posing an increased risk of Parkinsonism: agriculture, education, healthcare, welding, and mining. This examination of toxicant exposures included solvents and pesticides putatively associated with Parkinsonism. 519 people with Parkinson’s disease and 511 similar people who did not have Parkinson’s were studied. Overall, the study finds that those whose jobs involve using pesticides are 80 percent more likely to develop the condition. The data reveals that any exposure to the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) almost triples […]

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17
Jul

Urban Insecticide Use Linked to Decline of Delta Ecosystem

(Beyond Pesticides, July 17, 2009) High levels of pyrethroid pesticides in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the number one river system on America’s Most Endangered Rivers List of 2009, has been linked to heavy urbanization in the region. Leading a study to understand the collapse of the delta’s ecosystem, University of California-Berkeley toxicologist Donald Weston, Ph.D. found that these pesticides most likely reached the river from urban storm drains, collecting household pesticide disposal and runoff from lawns of 1.4 million residents in the Sacramento region. Five years ago, a study by Dr. Weston and his colleague Michael J. Lydy, Ph.D of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale found that synthetic phyrethroids were collecting in river and creek sediments at levels that are toxic to bottom dwelling fish. Current research holds that there are enough pyrethroids to kill tiny shrimp, which are said to be the first link in the aquatic food chain. Pyrethroids are synthetic versions of pyrethrin, a natural insecticide found in certain species of chrysanthemum. It initially came on the market as a ”˜safer’ alternative to the heavily regulated and highly toxic organophosphates, such as diazinon and chlorypyrifos. Despite the fact that there are plenty of effective pest control […]

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10
Jul

Lawsuit to Challenge EPA for Pesticide Impacts on Polar Bears

(Beyond Pesticides, July 10, 2009) The Center for Biological Diversity notified the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) earlier this week of its intent to file suit against the agency for failing to consider impacts to the polar bear and its Arctic habitat from toxic contamination resulting from pesticide use in the U.S. Pesticides registered by EPA for use in the U.S. are known to be transported to the Arctic via various atmospheric, oceanic, and biotic pathways. Such pesticides are biomagnified with each step higher in the food web, reaching some of their greatest concentrations in polar bears, the apex predators of the Arctic. A body of literature demonstrates the far-reaching effects of commonly used pesticides that are suspected endocrine disruptors and persistent organic pollutants, such as atrazine, 2,4-D, lindane, endosulfan, and permethrin, on global ecosystems. These pesticides, among others, and related contaminants have been linked to suppressed immune function, endocrine disruption, abnormalities in reproductive organs, hermaphroditism, and increased cub mortality in polar bears. Human subsistence hunters in the Arctic, who share the top spot on the food web with the polar bear, also face increased risks from exposure to these contaminants. “The poisoning of the Arctic is a silent crisis […]

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22
Jun

EPA Announces Increased Scrutiny of Flea and Tick Pesticides

(Beyond Pesticides, June 22, 2009) In April 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is intensifying its evaluation of spot-on pesticide products for flea and tick control for pets due to recent increases in the number of reported incidents. Adverse reactions reported range from mild effects such as skin irritation to more serious effects such as seizures and, in some cases, the death of pets. Incidents with flea and tick products can involve the use of spot-on treatments, sprays, collars and shampoos. However, the majority of the incidents reported to EPA are related to flea and tick treatments with EPA-registered spot-on products. Spot-on products are generally sold in tubes or vials and are applied to one or more localized areas on the body of the pet, such as in between the shoulders or in a stripe along the back. This advisory pertains only to EPA-registered spot-on flea and tick products; these products have an EPA registration number on the label. EPA now is evaluating all available data on the pesticides, including reports of adverse reactions, clarity of product use directions and label warnings, product ingredients, market share, and pre-market safety data submitted to the Agency. EPA says […]

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