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Deltamethrin Approved for New Brunswick Salmon Fisheries

Monday, October 25th, 2010

(Beyond Pesticides, October 25,2010) In an effort to control sea lice in farmed Atlantic salmon Health Canada has approved a request by the province of New Brunswick to use the pesticide Alphamax, whose active ingredient is deltamethrin. The high concentrations of salmon in aquaculture facilities has lead to major problems with sea lice, a type of parasitic crustacean that attaches to the fish. Health Canada has approved the use of the restricted pesticide deltamethrin through December of this year. While many salmon farmers are pleased, the decision by Canada’s federal agency has many local fishermen concerned about the effects the pesticide will have on fish and shellfish populations. “Basically we are shocked in a nutshell,” said Grand Manan Fishermen’s Association project manager Melanie Sonnenberg, adding, “Dsappointed doesn’t cover it.” The use of deltamethrin will be restricted to tarped cages or well boats, boats with large holds. Treatment would involve placing fish in the boats, bathing them in Alphamax and releasing them back into cages along with the treated water. The industry is ready to start using the treatment in the Bay of Fundy. Fish farmers have been challenged in controlling sea lice outbreaks this summer, particularly in the upper Passamaquoddy […]

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Pyrethroids Found to Impair Bee Reproduction

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

(Beyond Pesticides, March 10, 2010) A study investigating the sublethal effects of pyrethroids, bifenthrin and deltamethrin on honeybees finds that the chemicals significantly impair the pollinators’ reproduction. The researchers also point out that the concentration of each pesticide that produced adverse effects in the experiments was at or below those that bees could encounter while pollinating treated crop fields. “Effects of sublethal concentrations of bifenthrin and deltamethrin on fecundity, growth, and development of the honeybee Apis mellifera ligustica” published in the March issue of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry, investigated the effects of the two pesticides at sublethal concentrations on fecundity, growth, and development of honeybees were examined with the feeding method for a three-year period (2006-2008). It was shown that both bifenthrin and deltamethrin significantly reduced bee fecundity, decreased the rate at which bees develop to adulthood, and increased their immature periods. Queens in the control group in 2006 laid a little more than 1,200 eggs each day, compared to not quite 900 a day in the bifenthrin group and roughly 600 per day in the deltamethrin group. In general, the hatch rate of pyrethroid-exposed eggs was also significantly depressed. The success rate of hatchlings, that is the share that […]

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CDC Issues Fourth National Report on Body Burden of Toxic Chemicals

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

(Beyond Pesticides, December 16, 2009) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published its Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals – the most comprehensive assessment to date of the exposure of the U.S. population to chemicals in our environment. CDC measures 212 chemicals in people’s blood or urine – 75 of which have been measured for the first time in the U.S. population. One of the new chemicals included in this report is triclosan, a common and hazardous antibacterial agent. In this Fourth Report, 75 new chemicals were added. Chemicals in the Fourth Report include metals such as lead, cadmium, uranium, mercury, and speciated forms of arsenic; environmental phenols such as bisphenol-A (BPA); acrylamide; perfluorinated chemicals; polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs); polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); volatile organic compounds such as benzene, styrene and methyl tert-butyl ether; pesticides; phthalates; and dioxins, furans and related chemicals. The data analyzed in the Fourth Report are based on blood and urine samples that were collected from approximately 2400 people who participated in CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2003 through 2004. NHANES is an ongoing national health survey of the non-institutionalized U.S. population that includes collecting and […]

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Ohio Asks EPA to Allow Unregistered Pesticide Use for Bedbugs

Friday, November 13th, 2009

(Beyond Pesticides, November 13, 2009) The Ohio Department of Agriculture is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow an unregistered use of the neurotoxic and cancer causing insecticide propoxur in homes to fight bedbugs in what state officials are describing as an ”˜emergency’ situation. The chemical, o-isopropoxyphenyl methylcarbamate, is in the carbamate family and classified as a probable human carcinogen (Group B2) by EPA, and listed as a known human carcinogen by the state of California. Though EPA allows emergency exemptions for unregistered pesticide uses in agriculture and for public health reasons under a controversial waiver program (Section 18, Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, 40 CFR Part 166), it rarely issues such an exemption for an indoor pesticide use. Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati are all experiencing a surge of bed bug infestations. According to Richard Pollack, a Harvard University public health entomologist, this is probably due to the fact that bedbugs are becoming resistant to many pesticide products that are used today. The use of broad spectrum insecticides, which kill common household insects such as cockroaches, ants and other insects including bed bugs, has resulted in insect resistance to these chemicals. Many of the chemicals used against […]

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Urban Insecticide Use Linked to Decline of Delta Ecosystem

Friday, July 17th, 2009

(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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Call For Action Against Bed Bug Resurgence

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

(Beyond Pesticides, April 16, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) convened the first ever National Bed Bug Summit (April 14-15, 2009) to solicit recommendations from scientists, state and local officials, pest control operators and the general public on how to tackle the resurgence of the blood sucking insects. Bed bugs have rebounded in significant numbers for the first time since World War II, partly due to increased global travel and their increasing resistance to commonly used pesticides. Bed bug outbreaks have tripled since 2005, according to a survey of 800 pest control firms across the country, infesting apartment buildings, college dormitories, hospital wings, homeless shelters and top-rated hotels. Bedbugs outbreaks have been reported in at least 27 states, including Honolulu, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Chicago, Houston and Miami. In 2006, a Chicago woman sued a New York hotel for $20 million after suffering more than 500 bed bug bites. Persistent outbreaks are normally concentrated in low-income neighborhoods, where people cannot afford to replace or professionally clean bedding and soft furnishing. Both New York and San Francisco have passed city legislation to help control the spread of the bugs. In San Francisco, the legislation centers on landlord and tenant rights while […]

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Pyrethroid Pesticides Found in Homes and Daycare Centers

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

(Beyond Pesticides, November 3, 2008) A new study, Pyrethroid pesticides and their metabolites in vacuum cleaner dust collected from homes and day-care centers (doi:10.1016/j.envres.2008.07.022), by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Exposure Research Laboratory finds concentrations of 13 synthetic pyrethroids and their degradates in indoor dust collected from homes and childcare centers in North Carolina and Ohio. The study results show the extent to which hazardous pesticides are present in indoor environments and threaten the public’s health, especially the health of children. With 85 vacuum cleaner bags analyzed, permethrin was present in all 85 dust samples, at least one pyrethroid pesticide was found in 69 samples and phenothrin was found in 36 samples. According to the study findings published in the November issue of the journal Environmental Research, the median concentration of permethrin in the samples is 1454ng/g of dust. Excluding permethrin, pyrethroid conectrations are less than or equal to 100ng/g of dust. The majority of the metabolites are present in more than half of the dust samples. This is not the first time researchers have found pesticides in dust in homes. A study published in the International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health (208: 193-199) also found that […]

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High Pesticide Residues Found In European Food

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

(Beyond Pesticides, October 22, 2008) Fruits, vegetables and cereals sold throughout the European Union (EU) contain record levels of pesticides, according to an official report to be published later this month by Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe. Almost half of fruits, vegetables and cereals are now contaminated with pesticides –a substantial increase on the level seen just five years ago. These findings come at a time when industry and farmers have begun to intensify their opposition to proposed restrictions on toxic pesticides. Five of the pesticides most common in the food chain are classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic, or disruptive to the hormonal system. The findings come just days before politicians in Brussels are set to debate new EU pesticide legislation —-including a proposal to eliminate the most hazardous pesticides from use in food production. But despite evidence of widespread food contamination, efforts to reduce dietary exposure to hazardous pesticides are being fiercely contested by the pesticides industry. “These are the worst pesticide results we’ve ever seen,” said Elliott Cannell, Coordinator of PAN Europe. “A record proportion of fruits and vegetables are contaminated, while 23 pesticides were detected at levels high enough to present an acute risk to public health, according […]

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