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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'World Health Organization' Category


16
Oct

Scientists Warn of Another Pandemic If Officials Continue to Ignore Explosion of ‘Antimicrobial Resistance’

(Beyond Pesticides, October 16, 2020) The Lancet has published an article that identifies several of the multiple and interacting crises the U.S. and world face, with a focus on another ‚Äúlooming potential pandemic . . . [a] rise in multidrug-resistant bacterial infections that are undetected, undiagnosed, and increasingly untreatable, [whose rise] threatens the health of people in the USA and globally.‚ÄĚ It calls on leaders in the U.S. and beyond, asking that even as they address the current coronavirus pandemic, they also attend to the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) problem, which is a growing threat to public health. The co-authors outline a number of strategies for progress on AMR, including banning of medically important antibiotics in agribusiness, and promoting consumer, and supplier and private sector, awareness and action on food choices. Beyond Pesticides endorses these strategies, but insists that a genuine solution would include the transition to organic agriculture, not least for the health benefits it would provide. The introduction to the article adds another crisis layer ‚ÄĒ the climate emergency ‚ÄĒ and asserts that any resolutions of these crises will, or will not, unfold in a political context: ‚ÄúThe outcome of the U.S. election will have far-reaching consequences for planetary […]

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08
Jul

With 400,000 Malaria Deaths Worldwide, Insect Resistance to Mosquito Pesticides Calls for Urgent Need to Shift to Alternative Management Strategies

(Beyond Pesticides, July 8, 2020)¬†Efforts to control the transmission of malaria are encountering a big, though predictable, problem: the mosquitoes that transmit malaria are developing resistance to at least five of the insecticides that have been central to limiting transmission of the disease. A study released in late June reveals a dramatic increase in resistance to pyrethroid insecticides and DDT across sub-Saharan Africa. This signals the failure of a mainstay chemical approach to the spread of malarial mosquitoes; this same problem ‚ÄĒ resistance ‚ÄĒ is happening with chemical management of agricultural pests and weeds, and with antibiotics to treat human bacterial infections. This study underscores a point Beyond Pesticides has made repeatedly: resistance to pesticides (whether insecticides, herbicides, biocides, fungicides, or medical antibiotics) is nearly inevitable. The solution to containing the spread of malaria lies not in the use of more and different chemicals, but in nontoxic approaches that respect nature and ecological balance. Malaria is a sometimes deadly disease caused by female Anopheles mosquitoes infected with any of four varieties of the Plasmodium parasite. The disease kills roughly 400,000 people annually, with half that mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. The U.S. sees approximately 2,000 cases of malaria annually, primarily in […]

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20
May

World Health Organization (WHO) Warns Against Hazards of Toxic Disinfectants

(Beyond Pesticides, May 20, 2020) The World Health Organization (WHO) released an updated advisory that warns, ‚Äúspraying disinfectants can result in risks to the eyes, respiratory or skin irritation and the resulting health effects.‚ÄĚ Beyond Pesticides recommends caution around toxic disinfectant and sanitizers and, to this end, offers resources and advice on products for use in the fight against Covid-19. ‚ÄúSpraying or fogging of certain chemicals, such as formaldehyde, chlorine-based agents or quaternary ammonium compounds, is not recommended due to adverse health effects on workers in facilities where these methods have been utilized,” WHO reports. While some governments are broadcasting chemicals or washing down sidewalks with disinfectants, WHO advises against the practice. ‚ÄúSpraying or fumigation of outdoor spaces, such as streets or marketplaces, is also not recommended to kill the COVID-19 virus or other pathogens because disinfectant is inactivated by dirt and debris and it is not feasible to manually clean and remove all organic matter from such spaces,‚ÄĚ they state. As individuals, companies, and governments respond to the novel coronavirus, it is critical that they respond with measures supported by scientific research and public safety. Using toxic cleaning products can be counterproductive to maintaining health during the pandemic‚ÄĒand there […]

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