[X] CLOSEMAIN MENU

  • Archives

  • Categories

    • air pollution (8)
    • Announcements (604)
    • Antibiotic Resistance (41)
    • Antimicrobial (18)
    • Aquaculture (30)
    • Aquatic Organisms (37)
    • Bats (7)
    • Beneficials (52)
    • Biofuels (6)
    • Biological Control (34)
    • Biomonitoring (40)
    • Birds (26)
    • btomsfiolone (1)
    • Bug Bombs (2)
    • Cannabis (30)
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (9)
    • Chemical Mixtures (7)
    • Children (113)
    • Children/Schools (240)
    • cicadas (1)
    • Climate (30)
    • Climate Change (85)
    • Clover (1)
    • compost (6)
    • Congress (19)
    • contamination (155)
    • deethylatrazine (1)
    • diamides (1)
    • Disinfectants & Sanitizers (19)
    • Drift (16)
    • Drinking Water (16)
    • Ecosystem Services (15)
    • Emergency Exemption (3)
    • Environmental Justice (167)
    • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (534)
    • Events (89)
    • Farm Bill (24)
    • Farmworkers (197)
    • Forestry (5)
    • Fracking (4)
    • Fungal Resistance (6)
    • Fungicides (26)
    • Goats (2)
    • Golf (15)
    • Greenhouse (1)
    • Groundwater (16)
    • Health care (32)
    • Herbicides (43)
    • Holidays (39)
    • Household Use (9)
    • Indigenous People (6)
    • Indoor Air Quality (6)
    • Infectious Disease (4)
    • Integrated and Organic Pest Management (71)
    • Invasive Species (35)
    • Label Claims (49)
    • Lawns/Landscapes (250)
    • Litigation (344)
    • Livestock (9)
    • men’s health (3)
    • metabolic syndrome (3)
    • Metabolites (4)
    • Microbiata (22)
    • Microbiome (28)
    • molluscicide (1)
    • Nanosilver (2)
    • Nanotechnology (54)
    • National Politics (388)
    • Native Americans (3)
    • Occupational Health (15)
    • Oceans (11)
    • Office of Inspector General (4)
    • perennial crops (1)
    • Pesticide Drift (163)
    • Pesticide Efficacy (10)
    • Pesticide Mixtures (13)
    • Pesticide Regulation (782)
    • Pesticide Residues (185)
    • Pets (36)
    • Plant Incorporated Protectants (2)
    • Plastic (8)
    • Poisoning (20)
    • Preemption (45)
    • President-elect Transition (2)
    • Reflection (1)
    • Repellent (4)
    • Resistance (119)
    • Rights-of-Way (1)
    • Rodenticide (33)
    • Seasonal (3)
    • Seeds (6)
    • soil health (17)
    • Superfund (5)
    • synergistic effects (23)
    • Synthetic Pyrethroids (16)
    • Synthetic Turf (3)
    • Take Action (595)
    • Textile/Apparel/Fashion Industry (1)
    • Toxic Waste (12)
    • U.S. Supreme Court (1)
    • Volatile Organic Compounds (1)
    • Women’s Health (25)
    • Wood Preservatives (36)
    • World Health Organization (11)
    • Year in Review (2)
  • Most Viewed Posts

Search Results

Organic Farming Shown to Reduce Pesticide Load in Bird of Prey Species

Friday, May 10th, 2024

(Beyond Pesticides, May 10, 2024) A study published by scientists in France from La Rochelle University’s ChizĂ© Center for Biological Studies, in collaboration with the University of Strasbourg and the University of Burgundy, finds lower pesticide load in chicks from a bird of prey species in areas with organic farming. A correlation between lower numbers of pesticides in the blood of birds with the presence of organic farms surrounding the habitats was determined after analyzing 55 Montagu’s harrier (Circus pygargus) nestlings from 22 different nests in southwestern France. As the percentage of organic agriculture around the nests increased, there was a significant decrease in the quantity and types of pesticides detected within the chicks’ blood.  In beginning this study, the scientists hypothesized that “the application of organic farming practices is expected to reduce contamination levels in the environment and consequently in wildlife.” They also referenced studies, such as a soil study, that aided in this speculation: “In an analysis of topsoil samples collected across Europe, samples from organic farms showed significantly fewer pesticide residues and in lower concentrations than those from conventional farms … [with] 70 to 90% lower concentrations.”   This study screened for 104 total compounds, 28 of which […]

Share

Study Quantifies Cost of Pesticide Resistance, while Advocates Chart a Course Beyond Pesticides

Tuesday, May 7th, 2024

(Beyond Pesticides, May 7, 2024) The marginal user costs (MUC) of pesticide resistance for chemical-intensive farmers and the pest management industry are significantly affected by pesticide costs, density dependence (growth rate of a pest population impacted by its density), and dominant genetic mutations that cause resistance, according to a novel study published in Journal of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association. Although the authors believe that integrated pest management (IPM) can be fine-tuned based on these findings, many advocates believe that these findings in fact underscore the importance of eliminating toxic pesticide use amidst compounding climate, biodiversity, and public health crises—which many IPM strategies do not adequately address. As the costs of petrochemical-based pesticides increase, organisms identified as pests continue to increase in population density as global and regional temperatures dually increase. Organic agriculture, and organic land management principles more broadly, are an economically and ecologically advantageous leap ahead in transitioning to a food system that moves beyond the status quo that poisons people and the planet. “This paper seeks to develop a better understanding of how the user costs of resistance are potentially determined by the interactions of heterogeneous bioeconomic factors that vary by context,” say the study authors. […]

Share

Inspector General Finds Widely Used Flea Collars Still Not Fully Evaluated by EPA 

Wednesday, March 6th, 2024

(Beyond Pesticides, March 6, 2024) With over 2,500 pet deaths and 900 reports of adverse effects to people, an Office of Inspector General (OIG) report, published on February 29, 2024, reveals multiple systemic failures by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), citing inadequate safety reviews of Seresto pet collars. The report, The EPA Needs to Determine Whether Seresto Pet Collars Pose an Unreasonable Risk to Pet Health, concludes, “The EPA’s response to reported pesticide incidents involving Seresto pet collars has not provided assurance that they can be used without posing unreasonable adverse effects to the environment, including pets.” At the time the animal effects made headlines in 2021, the agency defended the product’s registration, telling the media that, despite these incidents, EPA deemed Seresto collars “‘eligible for continued registration’ based on best available science, including incident data… No pesticide is completely without harm, but EPA ensures that there are measures on the product label that reduce risk.” Despite the scathing criticism, EPA maintains the position that it conducted an adequate review of the two active insecticide ingredients in the pet collars—the neurotoxic insecticide flumethrin, and the notorious neonicotinoid imidacloprid—proven to have adverse effects on the endocrine system as […]

Share

Take Action: EPA Accepting Public Comments on Seeds and Paint that Contain Pesticides

Friday, February 9th, 2024

(Beyond Pesticides, February 9, 2024) EPA is accepting public comments through today, Friday February 9, on its long-held policy of exempting “treated objects,” including seeds and paint, from pesticide registration. Although EPA does not ask the most important question—“Should pesticide-treated seeds and paint be exempt from the scrutiny given pesticide products?”—this comment period offers an opportunity to respond to EPA’s questions and express concern about hazards associated with chemical use and product ingredients. Despite exposure patterns associated with the use of pesticides in treated objects that are linked to environmental contamination and human poisoning, EPA is focused on labeling and not regulation. Instead of focusing on the exposure and harm associated with the object’s use—whether treated seeds poison pollinators, soil, and water or whether paint treated with fungicides poisons people exposed to the paint—EPA takes the position that unless the manufacturer makes a pesticidal claim, the object is not regulated as a pesticide for its pesticidal effects.  Beyond Pesticides states: At the very least, if EPA deems the hazards associated with the use of the pesticide in the treated article acceptable, then the agency should disclose the chemical used in the treatment (of the seed or the paint) and require […]

Share

Take Action: EPA Challenged for Not Assessing Claimed Pesticide “Benefits,” Opens Public Comment Period

Tuesday, January 16th, 2024

(Beyond Pesticides, January 16, 2024) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has long been criticized for its failure to evaluate the effectiveness (or efficacy) of all the pesticides it registers. A petition, for which there is now an open public comment period (submit comments by January 22, 2024), challenges what advocates call a basic failure of the agency to evaluate the claimed benefits of pesticides. Because of this long-standing situation, those who purchase pesticides do not know that the pesticides they buy will meet expectations for control. For farmers, that means that EPA has not evaluated whether the pesticide’s use actually increases productivity of the treated crops and/or whether over time the target pest (weed, insect, fungus) will become resistant. For consumers, it also means that there is not an independent analysis of whether the pesticide products work. As EPA implements the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), not only is there no agency assessment of whether the pesticide’s use will achieve its intended purpose, there is not a determination as to whether there is a less toxic way of achieving the pest management goal. As Beyond Pesticides cited last year, a piece published in the Proceedings of the […]

Share

Commentary: New Year Calls for Transformational Change Starting with Chemical Use Rejection

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024

(Beyond Pesticides, January 2, 2024) [photo credit: Alessandro Marongui, Bhopal Medical Appeal, Bhopal, 2009] The new year begins with numerous critical decisions before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its Office of Pesticide Programs, along with other federal agencies and the U.S. Congress, that determine whether the agency will continue to erode its leadership position in meeting the existential crises that threaten health, biodiversity, and climate. Given these crises, EPA under its current authority could take the action necessary to advance a transition away from the use of petrochemical pesticides, since under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) the hazards associated with pesticides are “unreasonable”—given the availability and viability of organic systems that do not utilize toxic pesticides. As EPA fails to meet the catastrophic environmental and health challenges of the day, communities and states across the U.S. are increasingly exercising their authority to restrict pesticides more stringently than the federal government. FIFRA, as affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in Wisconsin Public Intervenor v. Mortier (1991), does not prohibit or preempt local municipalities from adopting more stringent pesticide restrictions throughout their jurisdictions than the federal government. The U.S. Congress over the next several weeks will continue […]

Share

USDA Supports Expansion of “Organic” Hydroponically-Grown Food, Threatening Real Organic

Monday, December 11th, 2023

Update: This Daily News is updated to address the organic status of the company cited in the piece, Merchant’s Garden. The article now indicates that the company is certified as organic under a different name (Merchant’s Garden Agrotech) than the name used in the USDA press release.  As a result, their name did not appear in USDA’s Organic Integrity Database (OID) at the time of the original Daily News and Action of the Week posting. USDA updated OID on December 8, 2023, the same day that it received a complaint on this matter from former National Organic Standard Board chair Jim Riddle. The critical focus of the piece remains the same: It is not disclosed to consumers on food products labeled “organic” when that food or ingredients are grown hydroponically. Beyond Pesticides, as indicated in the article, views hydroponic as a conventional growing practice that does not meet the spirit and intent of the organic system, as defined in the Organic Foods Production Act.  (Beyond Pesticides, December 11, 2023) U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on November 27, 2023 funding that appears to be supporting the expansion of “organic” hydroponic, an approach to food production that has […]

Share

U.N. Special Rapporteur on Toxics and Human Rights and Environmental Justice Historian to Speak at Forum, October 24

Thursday, October 19th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, October 19, 2023) The second session of the 40th National Forum, Forging a Future with Nature, will focus on environmental justice and offer a unique conversation with the United Nations Rapporteur on Toxics and Human Rights and an environmental justice history professional. Both celebrated speakers have studied and written about the long-standing social, economic, and health problems related to pesticides and disproportionate harm to people of color. The Forum will take place at 2:00 pm EDT on Tuesday, October 24, 2023. (See free registration information HERE.)   Beyond Pesticides brings together this Forum session with the inspiration of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who wrote in Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963), “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Sixty years later, people of color—in the U.S. and around the world—still struggle with those same inequities that impose disproportionate risks interwoven in the fabric of economic and social systems in the United States and worldwide. The Forum takes place in the context of widespread toxic chemical exposure throughout communities and all strata […]

Share

EPA Reverses on Decision to Ban Flea Collars with Toxic Pesticide, Leaving Children at Risk

Friday, September 29th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, September 29, 2023) In unsurprising news, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reversed itself and decided not to ban a dangerous pesticide: tetrachlorovenphos (TCVP) used in pet flea collars and other flea products. This is despite its own earlier decision to ban TCVP in pet collars and scathing criticism of its methods and conclusions by the courts. First registered in 1966, TCVP belongs to the notoriously toxic organophosphate chemical family and is classified by the World Health Organization as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” It was originally registered to Shell Chemical, then to E.I. duPont de Nemours, then to Hartz Mountain Corporation and Fermenta Animal Health Company.  Early on, it was registered for use on food crops and livestock, but the crop uses were voluntarily de-registered in 1987. It is still widely used on pets and farm animals. In 1995, EPA issued the opinion that “all uses of tetrachlorvinphos, with the exception of oral feed-through larvicide treatment to livestock intended for food use, will not cause unreasonable risk to humans or the environment.” Since then, the agency has contorted itself repeatedly to allow TCVP to remain on the market. There is little research available on TCVP’s human health effects; the […]

Share

Second Session of National Forum on Environmental Justice; Recording of Forum Talks by Dave Goulson and André Leu Released

Friday, September 22nd, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, September 22, 2023) Beyond Pesticides today announced the second session of the National Forum, Forging a Future with Nature: The existential challenge to end petrochemical pesticide and fertilizer use, scheduled for October 24, 2:00pm EDT. The hard-hitting talks of Dave Goulson, PhD, and AndrĂ© Leu, DSc. are now available as recordings on the Beyond Pesticides website.  Beyond Pesticides introduces the Forum: A future supported by the natural environment depends on our effective involvement in decisions in our homes, communities, states, and at the federal level to ensure that we are taking the steps necessary to protect against existential threats to health, biodiversity, and climate. The Forum is an important opportunity to hear from those working as scientists, advocates, land managers (from gardens, parks, play fields to farms), and public decisionmakers about steps being taken and action needed to prevent catastrophic collapse of the natural systems that sustain life. A key part of this conversation, according to Beyond Pesticides, is addressing inequities associated with elevated rates of poisoning, contamination, and diseases in people of color communities. In introducing the importance of environmental justice and addressing the disproportionate risk from toxic pollution to people of color communities as a key […]

Share

Forging a Future with Nature—Join Us for an EPIC Meeting of the Minds this Thursday at 1 PM Eastern (EDT) on Zoom!

Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, September 11, 2023) A future supported by the natural environment depends on our effective involvement in decisions in our homes, communities, states, and at the federal level to ensure that we are taking the steps necessary to protect against existential threats to health, biodiversity, and climate. The 40th National Forum Series is an important opportunity to hear from those working as scientists, advocates, land managers (from gardens, parks, and play fields to farms), and public decision makers about steps being taken and action needed to prevent catastrophic collapse of the natural systems that sustain life. The goal of the Forum—to enable a collective strategy to address the existential health, biodiversity, and climate threats and chart a path for a livable and sustainable future. We come together to empower effective action.   We are honored to begin this year with two international experts in their fields as they discuss steps that can and must be taken in our communities around the globe: Internationally renowned researcher and author David Goulson, PhD, is able to draw together essential scientific research on the elements of nature that we must cherish, support, and enhance if we are to have a future. The data, […]

Share

“Legalized Poisoning of 5,500 People” Message Highlights Controversy Over Aerial Pesticide Spray in Oregon

Tuesday, September 5th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, September 5, 2023) Lincoln County, Oregon  community members are fighting a plan announced by a private landowner to aerially spray 473 acres of clear-cut forest over the Beaver Creek watershed with a pesticide mixture containing carcinogenic glyphosate (commonly found in Roundup).  The aerial spraying is slated to take place approximately one mile from a water intake at Seal Rock Water District, which supplies water to 5,500 residents. Beyond the risks to human health, residents are concerned about the impacts on wildlife in the creek valley. Local advocates describe the area to include native wetland plants, birds, and fish, including the federally protected Coho Salmon and Marbled Murrelet, beaver, river otter, and roaming elk herds. Beavercreek is also a protected state natural area, where families paddle and walk along the state park marshlands.  Neighbors of Beaver Creek and the surrounding community are organizing phone banking, public art displays, and a petition urging Governor Tina Kotek to put a moratorium on the spray operation. One of the efforts displays the message “legalized poisoning of 5,500 people” through lights projected onto a basalt rock formation at Seal Rock State Park. The community has gathered over 2,000 petition signatures and over 100 […]

Share

Scientists Develop Nontoxic Method To Deter Rodents from Eating Planted Seeds in Crop Production

Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, May 23, 2023) Scientists have developed a nontoxic method to deter rodents from feeding on freshly planted seeds, publishing the approach in the journal Nature Sustainability this month. The new tactic, which confuses mice through olfactory misinformation, has the potential to significantly reduce the use of hazardous rodenticides in farming operations. The approach comes at a time of increased scrutiny around rat poisons, specifically second-generation anticoagulant rodenticides (SGARs), which can result in the secondary poisoning of predators that eat poisoned rodents. Researchers set out with the intent of finding a safe alternative to rodenticides that can effectively reduce pest damage without the need for hazardous interventions. “A simpler approach to pest damage is to manipulate decisions making by problem animals and disrupt their ability to find at-risk foods,” the study indicates. Contrary to the promises of the pesticide industry that its products are ‘silver bullets’ for pest management, the authors propose weaponizing misinformation over brute force by fooling mice into thinking their sought-out food source is not there. Mice and other rodent foragers most often rely on scent and odor to determine where food is located. In the context of this study, farmers plant wheat seeds along rows, […]

Share

The Longstanding Hazards of U.S. Pesticide Exportation Exposed (Again) by Petition to EPA

Friday, April 7th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, April 7, 2023) A  petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implores the agency to halt the practice of allowing pesticides banned in the U.S. to be exported to other countries without any consent from relevant governmental authorities in those nations. The two petitioners—the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)—are focusing on a longstanding practice of U.S. pesticide manufacturers and brokers, who sell toxic pesticide products that fail to qualify for EPA registration domestically to entities nearly anywhere in the world (except where the products are specifically prohibited). As Beyond Pesticides has noted, this is a dangerous and environmentally unjust practice and has for decades urged Congress and EPA to forbid it. According to the CIEL press release on the matter, the petition was motivated by the reality that banned or voluntarily withdrawn pesticides “are routinely exported to countries that often have limited resources or capacity to assess and regulate chemical risks,” and that the “practice has directly fueled the influx of extremely hazardous pesticides to countries in the Global South, where they disproportionately harm Indigenous peoples and vulnerable and marginalized communities.” The organizations emphasize that, for example, more than four-fifths […]

Share

Groups Challenge EPA on Allowing Toxic Pesticides that Do Not Even Work and Without Its Review

Friday, March 3rd, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, March 2, 2023) On February 22, a group of 65 nonprofit organizations (including Beyond Pesticides) filed a citizen petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that asks the agency to close a gaping — and well exploited — regulatory loophole by revoking a 1984 regulation that waived efficacy data requirements in pesticide evaluations. This means that EPA has, for 39 years, registered pesticides without demonstrated proof of efficacy and benefits. The petition is aimed primarily at the widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides (neonics), which are so harmful to hundreds of species — and to bees, other pollinators, and birds, in particular — that many advocates have insisted they should be banned altogether. Beyond Pesticides has advocated for a neonics ban because of their extensive harms to pollinators, multiple other organisms (including humans), ecosystems, and natural resources. The Center for Food Safety, Pesticide Action Network North America, Center for Biological Diversity, Beyond Pesticides, and other advocates have filed lawsuits in recent years to get EPA to act protectively on neonics and other pesticides. The coalition of groups in the subject case seeks to rein in a plethora of harmful impacts of neonics, given EPA’s overall lack of protective action. (For […]

Share

Garden Pesticide Use Harms Local Bird Populations, Study Authors Say “We Should Simply Ban These Poisons”

Wednesday, February 8th, 2023

(Beyond Pesticides, February 8, 2023) Spraying pesticides around one’s garden negatively impacts local bird populations, according to research published by scientists at the University of Sussex, UK in Science of the Total Environment. Although this reasoning sounds common sense to those versed in the works of Rachel Carson, it underscores the immense importance of carrying on the legacy of her work and continuing to educate the public about the ongoing dangers posed by modern pesticides. As the study authors write, “Overall, our study shows that garden bird abundance and richness is strongly influenced by both extrinsic and intrinsic factors, and suggests that garden management, particularly regarding pesticide use, has a significant effect on bird life.” Researchers collected data by partnering with the British Trust for Ornithology, which conducts annual citizen-science counts of bird populations in UK gardens. Nearly 24,000 residents participate in the survey, which also includes information about the urbanization level surrounding their gardens, and other habitat characteristics. A group of these volunteers were provided with a questionnaire about their pesticide practices between 2020-2021, recording information on how often the pesticides were applied, as well as the pesticide brand name. After removing incomplete or unusable data, 615 individual gardens […]

Share

Researchers Determine Mechanism of DDT Link to Alzheimer’s, Informing Potential Treatments

Wednesday, August 24th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, August 24, 2022) New research is helping the medical community understand the mechanism through which exposure to the banned insecticide DDT increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, a team of researchers from Florida International University and Rutgers used multiple models to demonstrate the effects of DDT on the production of toxic proteins in the brain. The constant stream of new health risks regarding a chemical banned decades ago underlines the importance of a precautionary approach to pesticide regulation, particularly as red flags are already being raised about the connection between widely used weed killers like glyphosate and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. “The vast majority of research on the disease has been on genetics — and genetics are very important — but the genes that actually cause the disease are very rare,” says study coauthor Jason Richardson, PhD of Florida International University. “Environmental risk factors like exposure to DDT are modifiable. So, if we understand how DDT affects the brain, then perhaps we could target those mechanisms and help the people who have been highly exposed.” Previous research from Dr. Richardson found that DDT exposure increased risk of Alzheimer’s by four times. Scientists […]

Share

Pollinators Still Need Help; Act for Pollinator Week

Tuesday, June 21st, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, June 21, 2022) June 20-24 is Pollinator Week, during which we recognize—and take action to protect—this important ecosystem link. Pollinators––bees, butterflies, birds, bats, and other organisms––make a critical contribution to plant health, crop productivity, and the preservation of natural resources, but their existence is threatened by their pesticide-contaminated habitat. Pesticides have consistently been implicated as a key contributor to dramatic pollinator declines. Of the 100 crop varieties that provide 90% of the world’s food, 71 are pollinated by bees. Honey bees alone pollinate 95 kinds of fruits, nuts and vegetables, such as apples, avocados, almonds, and cranberries. Take action to protect pollinators. Providing protection for pollinators also protects the ecosystem in which they live. That protection requires eliminating harm as well as providing safe habitats where they can live and reproduce.  Provide organic habitat on your own property and encourage your town to go organic. Since plant starts in many garden centers across the country are grown from seeds coated with bee-toxic neonicotinoid pesticides, or drenched with them, Beyond Pesticides has compiled a comprehensive directory of companies and organizations that sell organic seeds and plants to the general public. Included in this directory are seeds for vegetables, flowers, and herbs, as well as […]

Share

DDT Still Harming Birds of Prey, 50 Years After Its Ban

Tuesday, May 31st, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, May 31, 2022) Fifty years after the banning of DDT, the notorious insecticide is still harming iconic birds of prey along the California coastline. According to research published in Environmental Science and Technology, California condors and marine mammals along California’s coast are contaminated with several dozen different halogenated organic compounds (hazardous, often-chlorinated chemicals) related to DDT, chlordane, and other now-banned legacy chemicals. The findings highlight the incredible importance of addressing these original “forever chemicals,” and making certain that we do not continue to repeat the mistakes of the past with new and different, yet equally dangerous, chemistries. Between 1947 and 1971, the Montrose Chemical Corporation of California, the largest historical producer of DDT, released over 1,700 tons of DDT into the LA sewer system, which eventually made its way into the Pacific Ocean. During this time, several other companies discharged PCBs, leading to further chemical contamination of land and sediment. As recent as April 2021, scientists discovered 25,000 barrels likely containing DDT near Catalina Island along the southern California coast. These releases have resulted in serious environmental and health problems throughout the coastal food chain. Yet, as the present study shows, scientists are only beginning to understand the […]

Share

Breakthrough Study Shows Organophosphate Nerve Gas Caused Gulf War Illness

Tuesday, May 24th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, May 24, 2022) New research is providing strong causal evidence that Gulf War Illness (GWI) is the result of exposure to sarin gas, an organophosphate nerve agent used by Saddam Hussein as a chemical weapon during the Gulf War. The findings, published earlier this month in Environmental Health Perspectives, have important implications for the hundreds of thousands of American service members suffering from a constellation of chronic symptoms without a true understanding of how they became sick. “Quite simply, our findings prove that Gulf War illness was caused by sarin, which was released when we bombed Iraqi chemical weapons storage and production facilities,” said Robert Haley, MD, lead author of the study and epidemiologist at University of Texas Southwestern. “There are still more than 100,000 Gulf War veterans who are not getting help for this illness and our hope is that these findings will accelerate the search for better treatment.” Sarin was first synthesized in the late 1930s by Nazi chemists working for IG Farben (a consortium that included Bayer) in an attempt to create stronger and more powerful insecticides. Sarin is a G-series organophosphate (named after the scientists that created them), characterized by high acute toxicity and […]

Share

Pesticides Used in Farmed Fish Operations Threaten Health of Swimmers

Friday, May 6th, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, May 6, 2022) A December 2021 report commissioned by the trade group Salmon Scotland concludes that the use of pesticide products by the nation’s salmon farms represents potential risk to “wild” swimmers (those who swim in open ocean waters). The report’s primary finding is that the use of insecticide products containing azamethiphos (an organophosphate), deltamethrin, and hydrogen peroxide to control sea lice in farmed fish contaminates sea water and, thus, threatens swimmers in the areas around the farms. Beyond Pesticides has reported on pesticide use in aquaculture, and most recently, on developing resistance — in the parasitic lice (Lepeophtheirus salmonis) that endanger both wild and farmed fish populations in the North Atlantic — to some of the chemical treatments used by aquaculturists to combat the parasite. The intense exploitation of wild fish and other marine creatures for human food (and as an ingredient in animal feeds) has caused, in recent decades, depletion of fish and seafood stocks across the world. The aquaculture industry — in which various aquatic species (fish, shellfish, and some plants) are bred, raised, and harvested in the open ocean — has grown rapidly as a response. Since the 1960s, the farming of salmon in the […]

Share

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Community at Disproportionate Risk from Pesticides, Study Finds

Friday, April 22nd, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, April 22, 2022) A study published on April 18 finds that people in U.S. BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) communities, as well as those living in low-income communities, endure a very disproportionate rate of exposure to pesticides, and of subsequent risks of harm. It finds that such disparities exist in both urban and rural communities, and at all points in the pesticide “life cycle,” from manufacture to application. A section of Beyond Pesticides’ recent mega-issue of Pesticides and You, “Retrospective 2021: A Call to Urgent Action,” is devoted to such inequities. Section IV, “Disproportionate Pesticide Harm Is Racial Injustice: Documenting Victimization: Structural Racism,” reprises Beyond Pesticides’ 2021 coverage of environmental injustices. It also calls for urgent action re: federal and state “evaluations that go into toxic chemical regulation . . . to reform and replace the current regulatory decision-making process, which is empirically racist, with one that acknowledges and cares for those with the highest real-world vulnerabilities and exposure[s].” The first comprehensive assessment of disparities in pesticide protections and oversight in the U.S., the study paper appeared in the journal BMC Public Health. The authors set out the broad history of how humanity moved from “Traditional Ecological […]

Share

Coverup of Dog Deaths at EPA, According to Internal Emails on Seresto Flea and Tick Collars

Friday, April 1st, 2022

(Beyond Pesticides, April 1, 2022) According to reporting by E&E’s Greenwire, internal emails at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that career scientists at the agency expressed worry about pesticide-laced pet collars, such as the notorious Seresto flea and tick collars, but that EPA managers “instructed them to avoid documenting those worries in publicly accessible records.” The emails were released pursuant to a 2021 FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) lawsuit, brought by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), that sought records of internal communications. The documents evidence staff concern about the collars that has not been a part of EPA’s public communications on the subject. EPA staff, in the emails, expressed a range of degrees of outrage at managers’ behavior and at the very registration of the product, given the significant harms. Seresto collars are plastic pet collars embedded with pesticides designed to kill fleas, ticks, and lice; they contain the active ingredients flumethrin and imidacloprid. Flumethrin, a chemical in the pyrethroid class of synthetic neurotoxic insecticides, has been linked repeatedly to neurological issues, such as seizures and learning disabilities in children, to gastrointestinal distress, and to damage to nontarget invertebrates, according to EPA’s own analysis. Imidacloprid is a commonly used pesticide linked to […]

Share