[About the Project]
[About the ApocaDocs]
[About Equal Share]
[TwitterFollow: apocadocs]


SEARCH

More than 6,000 stories!

OUR BOOK
IS NOW
IN PRINT!

The ApocaDocs have a Book!
Humoring the Horror
of the
Converging Emergencies
94 color pages
$24.99
Read FREE online!

Explore:

Play:

It's weekly, funny, and free!
Play:

Click for paper-free fun!

Ads for potentially
microfunding this site:


Apocadocument
Weekly Archives:
Sep 26 - Dec 31, 1969
Sep 19 - Sep 26, 2011
Sep 12 - Sep 19, 2011
Sep 5 - Sep 12, 2011
Aug 29 - Sep 5, 2011
Aug 22 - Aug 29, 2011
Aug 15 - Aug 22, 2011
Aug 8 - Aug 15, 2011
Aug 1 - Aug 8, 2011
Jul 25 - Aug 1, 2011
Jul 18 - Jul 25, 2011
Jul 11 - Jul 18, 2011
Jul 4 - Jul 11, 2011
Jun 27 - Jul 4, 2011
Jun 20 - Jun 27, 2011
Jun 13 - Jun 20, 2011
Jun 6 - Jun 13, 2011
May 30 - Jun 6, 2011
May 23 - May 30, 2011
May 16 - May 23, 2011
May 9 - May 16, 2011
May 2 - May 9, 2011
Apr 25 - May 2, 2011
Apr 18 - Apr 25, 2011
Apr 11 - Apr 18, 2011
Apr 4 - Apr 11, 2011
Mar 28 - Apr 4, 2011
Mar 21 - Mar 28, 2011
Mar 14 - Mar 21, 2011
Mar 6 - Mar 14, 2011
Feb 27 - Mar 6, 2011
Feb 20 - Feb 27, 2011
Feb 13 - Feb 20, 2011
Feb 6 - Feb 13, 2011
Jan 30 - Feb 6, 2011
Jan 23 - Jan 30, 2011
Jan 16 - Jan 23, 2011
Jan 9 - Jan 16, 2011
Jan 2 - Jan 9, 2011
Dec 26 - Jan 2, 2011
Dec 19 - Dec 26, 2010
Dec 12 - Dec 19, 2010
Dec 5 - Dec 12, 2010
Nov 28 - Dec 5, 2010
Nov 21 - Nov 28, 2010
Nov 14 - Nov 21, 2010
Nov 7 - Nov 14, 2010
Nov 1 - Nov 7, 2010
Oct 25 - Nov 1, 2010
Oct 18 - Oct 25, 2010
Oct 11 - Oct 18, 2010
Oct 4 - Oct 11, 2010
Sep 27 - Oct 4, 2010
Sep 20 - Sep 27, 2010
Sep 13 - Sep 20, 2010
Sep 6 - Sep 13, 2010
Aug 30 - Sep 6, 2010
Aug 23 - Aug 30, 2010
Aug 16 - Aug 23, 2010
Aug 9 - Aug 16, 2010
Aug 2 - Aug 9, 2010
Jul 26 - Aug 2, 2010
Jul 19 - Jul 26, 2010
Jul 12 - Jul 19, 2010
Jul 5 - Jul 12, 2010
Jun 28 - Jul 5, 2010
Jun 21 - Jun 28, 2010
Jun 14 - Jun 21, 2010
Jun 7 - Jun 14, 2010
May 31 - Jun 7, 2010
May 24 - May 31, 2010
May 17 - May 24, 2010
May 10 - May 17, 2010
May 3 - May 10, 2010
Apr 26 - May 3, 2010
Apr 19 - Apr 26, 2010
Apr 12 - Apr 19, 2010
Apr 5 - Apr 12, 2010
Mar 29 - Apr 5, 2010
Mar 22 - Mar 29, 2010
Mar 15 - Mar 22, 2010
Mar 7 - Mar 15, 2010
Feb 28 - Mar 7, 2010
Feb 21 - Feb 28, 2010
Feb 14 - Feb 21, 2010
Feb 7 - Feb 14, 2010
Jan 31 - Feb 7, 2010
Jan 24 - Jan 31, 2010
Jan 17 - Jan 24, 2010
Jan 10 - Jan 17, 2010
Jan 3 - Jan 10, 2010
Dec 27 - Jan 3, 2010
Dec 20 - Dec 27, 2009
Dec 13 - Dec 20, 2009
Dec 6 - Dec 13, 2009
Nov 29 - Dec 6, 2009
Nov 22 - Nov 29, 2009
Nov 15 - Nov 22, 2009
Nov 8 - Nov 15, 2009
Nov 1 - Nov 8, 2009
Oct 26 - Nov 1, 2009
Oct 19 - Oct 26, 2009
Oct 12 - Oct 19, 2009
Oct 5 - Oct 12, 2009
Sep 28 - Oct 5, 2009
Sep 21 - Sep 28, 2009
Sep 14 - Sep 21, 2009
Sep 7 - Sep 14, 2009
Aug 31 - Sep 7, 2009
Aug 24 - Aug 31, 2009
Aug 17 - Aug 24, 2009
Aug 10 - Aug 17, 2009
Aug 3 - Aug 10, 2009
Jul 27 - Aug 3, 2009
Jul 20 - Jul 27, 2009
Jul 13 - Jul 20, 2009
Jul 6 - Jul 13, 2009
Jun 29 - Jul 6, 2009
Jun 22 - Jun 29, 2009
Jun 15 - Jun 22, 2009
Jun 8 - Jun 15, 2009
Jun 1 - Jun 8, 2009
May 25 - Jun 1, 2009
May 18 - May 25, 2009
May 11 - May 18, 2009
May 4 - May 11, 2009
Apr 27 - May 4, 2009
Apr 20 - Apr 27, 2009
Apr 13 - Apr 20, 2009
Apr 6 - Apr 13, 2009
Mar 30 - Apr 6, 2009
Mar 23 - Mar 30, 2009
Mar 16 - Mar 23, 2009
Mar 9 - Mar 16, 2009
Mar 1 - Mar 9, 2009
Feb 22 - Mar 1, 2009
Feb 15 - Feb 22, 2009
Feb 8 - Feb 15, 2009
Feb 1 - Feb 8, 2009
Jan 25 - Feb 1, 2009
Jan 18 - Jan 25, 2009
Jan 11 - Jan 18, 2009
Jan 4 - Jan 11, 2009
Dec 28 - Jan 4, 2009
Dec 21 - Dec 28, 2008
Dec 14 - Dec 21, 2008
Dec 7 - Dec 14, 2008
Nov 30 - Dec 7, 2008
Nov 23 - Nov 30, 2008
Nov 16 - Nov 23, 2008
Nov 9 - Nov 16, 2008
Nov 2 - Nov 9, 2008
Oct 27 - Nov 2, 2008
Oct 20 - Oct 27, 2008
Oct 13 - Oct 20, 2008
Oct 6 - Oct 13, 2008
Sep 29 - Oct 6, 2008
Sep 22 - Sep 29, 2008
Sep 15 - Sep 22, 2008
Sep 8 - Sep 15, 2008
Sep 1 - Sep 8, 2008
Aug 25 - Sep 1, 2008
Aug 18 - Aug 25, 2008
Aug 11 - Aug 18, 2008
Aug 4 - Aug 11, 2008
Jul 28 - Aug 4, 2008
Jul 21 - Jul 28, 2008
Jul 14 - Jul 21, 2008
Jul 7 - Jul 14, 2008
Jun 30 - Jul 7, 2008
Jun 23 - Jun 30, 2008
Jun 16 - Jun 23, 2008
Jun 9 - Jun 16, 2008
Jun 2 - Jun 9, 2008
May 26 - Jun 2, 2008
May 19 - May 26, 2008
May 12 - May 19, 2008
May 5 - May 12, 2008
Apr 28 - May 5, 2008
Apr 21 - Apr 28, 2008
Apr 14 - Apr 21, 2008
Apr 7 - Apr 14, 2008
Mar 31 - Apr 7, 2008
Mar 24 - Mar 31, 2008
Mar 17 - Mar 24, 2008
Mar 10 - Mar 17, 2008
Mar 2 - Mar 10, 2008
Feb 24 - Mar 2, 2008
Feb 17 - Feb 24, 2008
Feb 10 - Feb 17, 2008
Feb 3 - Feb 10, 2008
Jan 27 - Feb 3, 2008
Jan 20 - Jan 27, 2008
Jan 13 - Jan 20, 2008
Jan 6 - Jan 13, 2008
Dec 30 - Jan 6, 2008
Dec 23 - Dec 30, 2007
Dec 16 - Dec 23, 2007
Dec 9 - Dec 16, 2007
Dec 2 - Dec 9, 2007
DocWatch Pesticide Runoff
I wish chemistry could distinguish between insects.
Pesticides don't just get into us via the perfect vegetables we get at the Kroger's, they also get into much, much more. Neonicotinoids -- a neuro-disrupting pesticide -- may be partly responsible for the collapse of bees the last five years. Pesticides may be helping decrease the immunity of insect-voracious bats, making White Nose Syndrome more fatal. Pesticides are certainly killing off beneficial insects as well as potato beetles, making huge tracts of land functionally sterile. Many have been implicated in cancers, and in endocrine disruption, not just in humans but in other animals. But what a labor-saver! And necessary to maintain cheap food! Related Scary Tags:
contamination  ~ toxic buildup  ~ health impacts  ~ toxic water  ~ CCD  ~ endocrine disruptor  ~ ecosystem interrelationships  ~ corporate farming  ~ unintended consequences  ~ climate impacts  ~ pharmwater  



Wed, Dec 10, 2014
from London Independent:
Organic farming can feed the world if done right, scientists claim
Organic farming is much more productive than previously thought, according to a new analysis of agricultural studies that challenges the conventional "biased" view that pesticide-free agriculture cannot feed the world. The study says that organic yields were only 19.2 per cent lower, on average, than those from conventional crops and that this gap could be reduced to just eight per cent if the pesticide-free crops were rotated more frequently. Furthermore, in some crops - especially leguminous plants such as beans, peas and lentils - there were no significant differences in yields, the researchers from the University of California, Berkeley found. ...


I don't need any Berkeley eggheads stating the obvious.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Nov 4, 2014
from David Suzuki:
The New 'F' Word
While dithering over neonicotinoids -- bee-killing pesticides banned in Europe -- Canadian regulators are poised to approve a closely-related poison called flupyradifurone. We call it the new "F"-word. Like neonics, flupyradifurone attacks the nervous system of insect pests. Both are systemic pesticides that are taken up by plants and move through their tissues into pollen, fruits and seeds. Both are also persistent, sticking around in the environment and, with repeated applications, building up over time. Health Canada says flupyradifurone may pose a risk to bees, birds, worms, spiders, small mammals and aquatic bugs -- familiar words to anyone following Canada's slow-motion review of neonics. Dust from corn seed treated with neonics is implicated in large-scale bee die-offs during planting season in Ontario and Quebec. Not only is this is alarming in its own right; the dead bees are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine, signalling broader ecological consequences. ...


Flupyradifurone -- let's just call it "Fatal Flu."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Oct 8, 2014
from Canadian Press:
Pesticides linked to bee deaths pose 'massive' ecological threat, watchdog warns
The widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides by Ontario farmers, which has been linked to the deaths of bees, could have a "massive impact" on our ecological system, the province's environment watchdog warned Tuesday. "All the science is not done, but everything that I have before me ... suggests to me that this is the biggest threat to the structure and ecological integrity of the ecosystem that I have ever encountered in my life, bigger than DDT, " said Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller as he released his annual report. Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane was banned in Canada in 1972 because of environmental and safety concerns, and even Environment Minister Glen Murray admitted the neonicotinoid class of pesticides is "much more toxic" than DDT. ...


So much for equivocation.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Sep 5, 2014
from Common Dreams:
Canadian Beekeepers Launch Class Action Suit Against Pesticide Makers
Beekeepers in the Canadian province of Ontario have launched a class action lawsuit against makers of a class of pesticides linked to the decline of bees. The claim (pdf) filed Tuesday in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice seeks $450 million in damages going back to 2006 for the "chronic effects of the use of the Neonicotinoids [...] felt by Canada's Beekeepers annually."... "Beekeepers have suffered, and will continue to suffer, devastating economic hardships as a result of the continued use of Neonicotinoids," it states. The damages they say are caused by these pesticides, also known as neonics, include: bee deaths; impaired reproduction; immune suppression; behavioral abnormalities resulting in hive loss ; reduced honey production; impacts on the quality of honey; contamination of hive equipment; loss of Queen Bees; breeding stock; and difficulties fulfilling honey product or pollination contracts. ...


The real question is, if the case is won, how do we shrink the currency so that it fits in their tiny little bee hands?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jul 25, 2014
from CBC:
More than half of Ontario bees died during harsh winter
About 58 per cent of Ontario bees died during what was an especially long winter, while other provinces lost on average about 19 per cent of their swarm, according to the Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists survey. That means Ontario lost bees at a rate three times that of the other provinces. While the report fingers the weather -- this year's polar vortex -- as the main culprit for the bee deaths, acute and chronic pesticide damage or insufficient recovery from pesticide exposure last year have also been cited by hive-minders as contributing factors.... The Ontario bee group says nearly all corn seeds and about two-thirds of soy seeds sold in the province are pretreated with neonicotinoid coatings, though only a minority of the crops are at risk from pests the insecticide is meant to stop. It did its own winter survey earlier this year and found more than a quarter of beekeepers lost 75 to 100 per cent of their colonies. ...


That's a better survival rate than my peaches and cherry trees. Toughen up, Apis mellifera!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 9, 2014
from Guardian:
Neonicotinoids linked to recent fall in farmland bird numbers
New research has identified the world's most widely used insecticides as the key factor in the recent reduction in numbers of farmland birds. The finding represents a significant escalation of the known dangers of the insecticides and follows an assessment in June that warned that pervasive pollution by these nerve agents was now threatening all food production. The neonicotinoid insecticides are believed to seriously harm bees and other pollinating insects, and a two-year EU suspension on three of the poisons began at the end of 2013. But the suspected knock-on effects on other species had not been demonstrated until now.... At least 95 percent of neonicotinoids applied to crops ends up in the wider environment, killing the insects the birds rely on for food, particularly when raising chicks. ...


But shouldn't pesticides only harm pests?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jun 27, 2014
from The Independent (UK):
Neonicotinoid pesticides also affect other friendly organisms including birds and fish
A group of 29 scientists from four continents found unequivocal evidence from hundreds of published studies to claim that "neonics" - the most widely used pesticides in the world - are having a dramatic impact on the ecosystems that support food production and wildlife. The independent researchers, who are also advisers to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), have concluded that the "systemic" pesticides such as the neonicotinoids pose as great a risk to the environment as the banned pesticide DDT, and other persistent organophosphates.... Key findings from the assessment found that neonics accumulate in the soil and persist for months and in some cases for years. The breakdown products are often as toxic - or more toxic - than the pesticide's active ingredients, which are designed to work as poisonous nerve agents. "If you use them every year they accumulate, they get into the soil water and hence into streams. So essentially we are contaminating the global environment with highly toxic, highly persistent chemicals," said David Goulson, professor of biology at Sussex University and one of the report's authors. ...


Contaminating the environment with highly toxic, highly persistent chemicals sounds strangely familiar.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jun 20, 2014
from Reuters:
U.S., stung by bee decline, sets plan to save pollinators
The White House on Friday announced a federal strategy to reverse a rapid decline in the number of honey bees and other pollinators in the United States that threatens the development of billions of dollars in crops. As part of the plan, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $8 million in funding for farmers and ranchers in five states who establish new habitats for honey bee populations.... Over recent years, bees have been dying at a rate the U.S. government says is economically unsustainable. Honey bees pollinate plants that produce about a quarter of the food consumed by Americans, including apples, watermelons and beans.... The recent increased loss of honey bee colonies is thought to be caused by factors including a loss of natural forage and inadequate diets, mite infestations and diseases, loss of genetic diversity, and exposure to certain pesticides. ...


Exposure to certain?! Pesticides?!?! LIKE NEONICOTINOIDS?!?!? Oh, right, I forgot! Politics requires the pretense of complicated causation!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, May 9, 2014
from Harvard, via The Guardian:
Honeybees abandoning hives and dying due to insecticide use, research finds
The mysterious vanishing of honeybees from hives can be directly linked to insectcide use, according to new research from Harvard University. The scientists showed that exposure to two neonicotinoids, the world's most widely used class of insecticide, lead to half the colonies studied dying, while none of the untreated colonies saw their bees disappear. "We demonstrated that neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering 'colony collapse disorder' in honeybee hives that were healthy prior to the arrival of winter," said Chensheng Lu, an expert on environmental exposure biology at Harvard School of Public Health and who led the work. ...


Five out of ten scientists recommend Chesterfield neonicotinoids.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Mar 7, 2014
from Reuters:
Groups sue EPA to force it to move on pesticide disclosures
Three environmental and public health groups sued the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday, seeking to press it to move forward with rules that would require public disclosure of certain pesticide ingredients... The groups claimed there has been an "unreasonable delay" on the EPA's part in finalizing rules to require chemical manufacturers to disclose hazardous inert ingredients in their pesticide products. The groups said there are more than 350 inert pesticide ingredients that can be just as hazardous as active ingredients that are labeled and can comprise up to 99 percent of a pesticide's formulation. Of the common inert ingredients, many are classified as carcinogenic, possibly carcinogenic or potentially toxic, the lawsuit said. ...


Instead of calling them inert we should call them ert.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jan 28, 2014
from Bloomberg News:
Pesticide DDT Linked to Heightened Alzheimer's Risk
The pesticide DDT, banned in the U.S. because of its toxic effects on wildlife and potential to harm human health, may raise the risk for Alzheimer's disease, according to the first study linking the chemical to the brain-ravaging illness. People with Alzheimer's disease had about four times the level of a DDT byproduct in their blood compared with those who didn't have the dementia, according to the research published yesterday in the journal JAMA Neurology. ...


Wish I could remember what DDT is.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Dec 30, 2013
from San Francisco Chronicle:
Breast milk harbors environmental pollutants
It's advice that doctors impart to mothers over and over: Breast milk is the most nutritious, fortifying food they can feed their babies. But women may not be aware of the strong possibility that their milk is also less than pure, an unintended consequence of living in a developed nation. That's because their bodies are exposed to chemicals like pesticides, flame retardants, additives and other chemicals from household products, air, water and food. Breast milk's high fat and protein content tends to attract heavy metals and other contaminants that make their way into a woman's body from the environment, and are then passed on to newborns, albeit usually in minuscule amounts. ...


Udderly busted.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Dec 4, 2013
from PLoS One:
Pesticides + Fungicides = Weak in the Bees
Pesticide exposure and pathogens may interact to have strong negative effects on managed honey bee colonies. Such findings are of great concern given the large numbers and high levels of pesticides found in honey bee colonies. Thus it is crucial to determine how field-relevant combinations and loads of pesticides affect bee health.... We detected 35 different pesticides in the sampled pollen, and found high fungicide loads. The insecticides esfenvalerate and phosmet were at a concentration higher than their median lethal dose in at least one pollen sample. While fungicides are typically seen as fairly safe for honey bees, we found an increased probability of Nosema infection in bees that consumed pollen with a higher fungicide load. Our results highlight a need for research on sub-lethal effects of fungicides and other chemicals that bees placed in an agricultural setting are exposed to. ...


It's as if toxin + toxin = toxin2.

ApocaDoc
permalink


Want more context?
Try reading our book FREE online:
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
More fun than a barrel of jellyfish!
Sun, Nov 24, 2013
from New York Times Review:
The Year the Monarch Didn't Appear
ON the first of November, when Mexicans celebrate a holiday called the Day of the Dead, some also celebrate the millions of monarch butterflies that, without fail, fly to the mountainous fir forests of central Mexico on that day. They are believed to be souls of the dead, returned. This year, for or the first time in memory, the monarch butterflies didn't come, at least not on the Day of the Dead. They began to straggle in a week later than usual, in record-low numbers. Last year's low of 60 million now seems great compared with the fewer than three million that have shown up so far this year. Some experts fear that the spectacular migration could be near collapse. "It does not look good," said Lincoln P. Brower, a monarch expert at Sweet Briar College.... Another major cause is farming with Roundup, a herbicide that kills virtually all plants except crops that are genetically modified to survive it. As a result, millions of acres of native plants, especially milkweed, an important source of nectar for many species, and vital for monarch butterfly larvae, have been wiped out. One study showed that Iowa has lost almost 60 percent of its milkweed, and another found 90 percent was gone. "The agricultural landscape has been sterilized," said Dr. Brower. ...


If we don't sterilize it, how can we be sure that Nature is clean?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Sep 19, 2013
from Environmental Health News:
Women living near pesticide-treated fields have smaller babies
Women in Northern California farm towns gave birth to smaller babies if they lived within three miles of strawberry fields and other crops treated with the pesticide methyl bromide, according to researchers. The soil fumigant, which is injected into the soil before planting, can volatize into the air, exposing nearby neighborhoods. Use of methyl bromide has been declining over the past decade under an international treaty that phases out chemicals that deplete the Earth's protective ozone layer. Strawberries and a few other crops are exempt under the ban because they are deemed "critical uses." ...


I have always considered babies to be pests.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 31, 2013
from Mother Jones:
The Mystery of Bee Colony Collapse
... But according to a new peer-reviewed paper, neonicotinoids aren't the only pesticides that might be undermining bee health. The study, published in PLOS One and co-authored by a team including US Department of Agriculture bee scientist Jeff Pettis and University of Maryland entomologist Dennis vanEngelsdorp, found that a pair of widely used fungicides are showing up prominently in bee pollen--and appear to be making bees significantly more likely to succumb to a fungal pathogen, called Nosema ceranae, that has been closely linked to CCD. The finding is notable, the authors state, because fungicides have so far been "typically seen as fairly safe for honey bees."... Overall, study co-author vanEngelsdorp told me in a phone interview, bees fed with fungicide-laced pollen were "two times more likely to come down with an infection" than control bees. One particular fungicide, pyraclostrobin, was found to make bees three times as susceptible to Nosema. ...


Bemoaning bruised, battered bees' bleak body budget.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 29, 2013
from Time Magazine:
Study Links Exposure to Bug and Weed Killers to Higher Risk for Parkinson's
Who doesn't want a pristine lawn free of annoying weeds and bugs? But some of those pest-fighting strategies may come with a price -- to your health. A new study published in the journal Neurology found that pesticides, which have already been linked to a range of health complications from allergies to lower IQ levels, may also play a role in the development of Parkinson's. ...


Revenge of the Lawn

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 30, 2013
from Reuters:
EU to ban pesticides blamed for harming bees
The European Union will ban three of the world's most widely-used pesticides for two years because of fears they are linked to a plunge in the population of bees critical to the production of crops. The executive European Commission said on Monday it would press ahead with the ban on a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids, produced mainly by Germany's Bayer and Switzerland's Syngenta, despite the EU's 27-member states failing to reach an agreement on the matter. ...


In Europe bees are more important than bucks.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Mar 28, 2013
from BBC:
Neonicotinoid pesticides 'damage brains of bees'
Commonly used pesticides are damaging honey bee brains, studies suggest. Scientists have found that two types of chemicals called neonicotinoids and coumaphos are interfering with the insect's ability to learn and remember. Experiments revealed that exposure was also lowering brain activity, especially when the two pesticides were used in combination.... Dr Christopher Connolly said: "We found neonicotinoids cause an immediate hyper-activation - so an epileptic type activity - this was proceeded by neuronal inactivation, where the brain goes quiet and cannot communicate any more. The same effects occur when we used organophosphates. "And if we used them together, the effect was additive, so they added to the toxicity: the effect was greater when both were present." ...


Jeez, it's not as if bees need to actually think.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Mar 19, 2013
from USA Today:
Bird group calls for halt to widely applied insecticide
...The [Anerican] Bird Conservancy, one of the nation's most active bird-conservation groups, released a 97-page report Monday that says that independent studies of the damage to birds and aquatic ecosystems they depend upon for food raise "significant environmental concerns" and that the Environmental Protection Agency has been too lenient in allowing the use of this class of insecticides, called neonicotinoids. Their possible role in the decline of honeybee populations in the USA and Europe has spurred intense debate among scientists, wildlife advocates and manufacturers, and the EPA is re-evaluating its registration of this class of insecticide. ...


Let me tell you 'bout the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Feb 4, 2013
from Nature:
Terrestrial pesticide exposure of amphibians: An underestimated cause of global decline?
Amphibians, a class of animals in global decline, are present in agricultural landscapes characterized by agrochemical inputs. Effects of pesticides on terrestrial life stages of amphibians such as juvenile and adult frogs, toads and newts are little understood and a specific risk assessment for pesticide exposure, mandatory for other vertebrate groups, is currently not conducted. We studied the effects of seven pesticide products on juvenile European common frogs (Rana temporaria) in an agricultural overspray scenario. Mortality ranged from 100 percent after one hour to 40 percent after seven days at the recommended label rate of currently registered products. The demonstrated toxicity is alarming and a large-scale negative effect of terrestrial pesticide exposure on amphibian populations seems likely. Terrestrial pesticide exposure might be underestimated as a driver of their decline calling for more attention in conservation efforts and the risk assessment procedures in place do not protect this vanishing animal group. ...


Should we be blamed if amphibians are a little thin-skinned?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Dec 3, 2012
from The Telegraph:
Pesticide exposure harms memory
A review of 14 separate studies has shown that chemicals can reduce memory and the ability to process information quickly. The findings, by researchers at University College London and the Open University, are the most comprehensive evidence yet that organophosphates can harm human health at low levels...."The weight of evidence is that low level exposure is harmful. It targets memory, information processing speed, the ability to plan and have abstract thoughts." ...


Just when we needed our wits most ... we are witless!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Nov 30, 2012
from NPR:
Cornstalks Everywhere But Nothing Else, Not Even A Bee
There were no bees. The air, the ground, seemed vacant. He found one ant "so small you couldn't pin it to a specimen board." A little later, crawling to a different row, he found one mushroom, "the size of an apple seed." (A relative of the one pictured below.) Then, later, a cobweb spider eating a crane fly (only one). A single red mite "the size of a dust mote hurrying across the barren earth," some grasshoppers, and that's it. Though he crawled and crawled, he found nothing else. "It felt like another planet entirely," he said, a world denuded.
...


I think the cornfield biodiversity looks lots tidier!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Nov 29, 2012
from London Guardian:
Siberia's pesticide dumps may prove a bigger hazard than nuclear waste
...All over the former Soviet Union, nearly 250,000 tonnes of pesticides and farm chemicals have been stored in ramshackle warehouses, land-filled or dumped. After the USSR splintered the authorities lost the thread, so no one knows exactly where this toxic waste is ... such dumps may be a bigger hazard than even nuclear waste because of the confusion surrounding them. ...


Nuke the dumps!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 1, 2012
from New York Times:
Honey Producers Lament a Bad Season for Bees
Both excess rainfall and drought in various parts of Europe have reduced honey production by as much as 90 percent, according to some producers, while the erratic course of America's parasite-afflicted "zombie bees” this week reached as far north as Washington State.... Climate change, disease and increased use of pesticides have been blamed as factors in dramatic declines in numbers of bee colonies worldwide -- by more than half in 20 years in the case of Britain, according to a recent study by Friends of the Earth, the environmental lobby organization. ...


If the hive don't thrive, honey won't bring you money.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Sep 17, 2012
from Chemical & Engineering News:
Pesticides Firm Hit With Record Fine
Scotts Miracle-Gro will pay the largest criminal fine --$4 million--and the largest civil penalty--$6 million--ever assessed for violations of the federal pesticides law. A major producer of pesticides for lawn and garden use that also sells wild bird food, Scotts agreed to the fines as part of a criminal plea agreement in a federal court case and a civil settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency. Both deals were finalized on Sept. 7. In the criminal case, court papers show that the company pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including creating phony pesticide registration documents... Scotts has admitted to having treated stored wild bird food with two insecticides not authorized for this use, including one labeled as toxic to birds, the court documents say. ...


An actual fine? It's a miracle!

ApocaDoc
permalink


You're still reading! Good for you!
You really should read our short, funny, frightening book FREE online (or buy a print copy):
Humoring the Horror of the Converging Emergencies!
We've been quipping this stuff for more than 30 months! Every day!
Which might explain why we don't get invited to parties anymore.
Tue, Aug 21, 2012
from CBS News, via kbzk:
West Nile virus outbreak: How to protect yourself
Dallas planes took to the skies Friday to spray insecticides to combat the worst West Nile virus outbreak the United States has seen this year. Thus far, 10 people have been killed and at least 230 others have been sickened in the Dallas County area. Nearly half of all West Nile cases in the U.S. so far this year are in Texas, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If the trend continues, 2012 will be the worst West Nile year in state history.... The good news is about 80 percent of people who are infected with the virus won't show any symptoms at all. Up to 20 percent, however, may develop a fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, swollen lymph glands or a skin rash.... But about one in 150 people will develop a severe illness, in which they may have a high fever, neck stiffness, convulsions, vision loss, paralysis, coma or other neurological effects that may be permanent. ...


I simply surround myself with a constant cloud of DEET.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Aug 7, 2012
from Mother Jones:
Biotech Giants Are Bankrolling a GMO Free-for-All
The so-called "Big Six" agrichemical companies--Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow Agrosciences, BASF, Bayer, and Pioneer (DuPont)--are sitting pretty. Together, they control nearly 70 percent of the global pesticide market, and essentially the entire market for genetically modified seeds. Prices of the crops they focus on--corn, soy, cotton, etc.--are soaring, pushed up by severe drought in key growing regions.... But two things could mess up the Big 6 here in the US: 1) any delay in the regulatory process for a new generation of seeds engineered for resistance to multiple herbicides; and 2) any major move to require labeling of foods containing GMOs, a requirement already in play in many other countries--including the European Union, China, Japan, and South Korea--and one for which the US public has expressed overwhelming support. Unsurprisingly, the Big 6 are investing millions of their vast profits into forestalling both of those menaces.... ...


I don't call it GMO -- I call it an upgraded food operating system.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 1, 2012
from Bloomberg News:
Exposures to Pesticide in Utero Linked to Brain Abnormalities
Babies exposed in the womb to a commonly used insecticide have brain abnormalities after birth, according to a study that looked at children born before the U.S. limited the chemical's use. Magnetic resonance imaging of elementary school-aged children with the highest exposure to chlorpyrifos, used mostly in agricultural settings now, showed structural changes in the brain compared with those who had the lowest exposure, research online today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found. Some parts of the brain were overgrown, while other regions were smaller, the scientists found. The study is the first to use imaging scans to show that prenatal exposure to the chemical, included in Dow Chemical Co.'s pesticide Dursban, is linked to structural changes in the brain five to 10 years after exposure... ...


Perhaps it makes these children more resistant to pests.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Mar 29, 2012
from Science, via The Guardian:
Neonicotinoid Pesticides linked to honeybee decline
The new research strongly links the pesticides to the serious decline in honey bee numbers in the US and UK -- a drop of around 50 percent in the last 25 years. The losses pose a threat to food supplies as bees pollinate a third of the food we eat such as tomatoes, beans, apples and strawberries. Scientists found that bees consuming one pesticide suffered an 85 percent loss in the number of queens their nests produced, while another study showed a doubling in "disappeared" bees -- those that failed to return from food foraging trips. The significance of the new work, published Science, is that it is the first carried out in realistic, open-air conditions.... The pesticides investigated in the new studies - insect neurotoxins called neonicotinoids - are applied to seeds and flow through the plants' whole system. The environmental advantage of this is it reduces pesticide spraying but chemicals end up in the nectar and pollen on which bees feed. Goulson's group studied an extremely widely used type called imidacloprid, primarily manufactured by Bayer CropScience, and registered for use on over 140 crops in 120 countries.... "There was a staggering magnitude of effect," said Goulson. "This is likely to have a substantial population-level impact." ...


This stings.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Mar 22, 2012
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Honeybee decline blamed on lethal combination of chemicals and disease
In the latest study a laboratory at Universite Blaise Pascal in France studied bees infected with a disease known as nosemosis and bees exposed to an insecticide known as fipronil. Neither of the case studies resulted in many deaths. However when the bees were exposed to both the disease and the insecticide, in any combination, a large number died. Nicolas Blot, who led the study, said only "multi-factors" could explain the worldwide decline. He said the world community now has to work on how to minimise the stress on insects. "Until now nobody could find one single reason why bees were in decline worldwide," said he said. "Many worked on one kind of stress. What we show here it is not one insecticide or one disease that explains what is happening but a combination of factors in the environment. Bees are not exposed to one stress they are exposed to many." ...


Which part of "immunosuppression" didn't you understand?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Mar 16, 2012
from Scientific American:
Low Doses of Hormonelike Chemicals May Have Big Effects
In the new report, researchers led by Tufts University's Laura Vandenberg concluded after examining hundreds of studies that health effects "are remarkably common" when people or animals are exposed to low doses of endocrine-disrupting compounds. As examples, they provide evidence for several controversial chemicals, including bisphenol A, found in polycarbonate plastic, canned foods and paper receipts, and the pesticide atrazine, used in large volumes mainly on corn. The scientists concluded that scientific evidence "clearly indicates that low doses cannot be ignored." They cited evidence of a wide range of health effects in people - from fetuses to aging adults - including links to infertility, cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer and other disorders. "Whether low doses of endocrine-disrupting compounds influence human disorders is no longer conjecture, as epidemiological studies show that environmental exposures are associated with human diseases and disabilities," they wrote. ...


So the solution to pollution may not be dilution.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Mar 13, 2012
from Bloomberg News:
Water Pollution From Farming Is Worsening, Costing Billions
Water pollution from agriculture is costing billions of dollars a year in developed countries and is set to rise in China and India as farmers race to increase food production, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said. "Pollution from farm pesticides and fertilizers is often diffuse, making it hard to pin down exactly where it's coming from,” Kevin Parris, author of a report by the Paris-based organization, said in an interview in Marseille. "In some big agricultural countries in Europe, like parts of France, Spain and the U.K., the situation is deteriorating.” ...


If only people ate pollution.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Mar 2, 2012
from ScienceDaily:
Effects of Environmental Toxicants Reach Down Through Generations
A Washington State University researcher has demonstrated that a variety of environmental toxicants can have negative effects on not just an exposed animal but the next three generations of its offspring. The animal's DNA sequence remains unchanged, but the compounds change the way genes turn on and off -- the epigenetic effect studied at length by WSU molecular biologist Michael Skinner and expanded on in the current issue of the online journal PLoS ONE.... "We didn't expect them all to have transgenerational effects, but all of them did," Skinner told the technology website Gizmodo.... Researchers tested a pesticide mixture (permethrin and insect repellant DEET), a plastic mixture (bisphenol A and phthalates), dioxin (TCDD) and a hydrocarbon mixture (jet fuel, JP8).... The researchers saw females reaching puberty earlier, increased rates in the decay and death of sperm cells and lower numbers of ovarian follicles that later become eggs. ...


Apocaiku: Early puberty / infertile sperm and ova: / maybe no grandkids.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 28, 2011
from Huffington Post:
Dan Rather: Bee Aware
And it's not just here in the United States. With losses being reported from all over Europe, the Middle East and some parts of Asia, the worldwide economic value of pollinators to agriculture, estimated to be over $200 billion dollars, is in the balance. So what's going on? One of the suspects, according to beekeepers and scientists, is relatively new on the market. Remember these words: systemic pesticides. Systemics work differently than any other pesticide.... Systemic pesticides have changed the game of insect control since they were introduced in the mid-90s. They have since become the fastest growing class of any insecticide in history, and among the most widely used in the world, now approved for use on three quarters of all U.S. farmland. Systemic pesticides have become popular because they're so effective. Since they are absorbed by the plant, either through seed treatment or spray, the whole plant becomes toxic to insects. That means they don't need to be reapplied like traditional pesticides, saving time, money and exposure to humans. But it also means that the chemicals get into the pollen and nectar. ...


Maybe that explains why my old compost piles look like my new ones.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Sep 3, 2011
from The Ecologist:
Chemical warfare: the horrific birth defects linked to tomato pesticides
Carlitos, as they called him, was born with an extremely rare condition called tetra-amelia syndrome, which left him with neither arms nor legs.... Jesus had Pierre Robin Sequence, a deformity of the lower jaw. As a result, his tongue was in constant danger of falling back into his throat, putting him at risk of choking to death. The baby had to be fed through a plastic tube. Two days after Jesus was born, Maria Meza gave birth to Jorge. He had one ear, no nose, a cleft palate, one kidney, no anus, and no visible sexual organs. A couple hours later, following a detailed examination, the doctors determined that Jorge was in fact a girl. Her parents renamed her Violeta. Her birth defects were so severe that she survived for only three days.... In addition to living within one hundred yards of each other, Herrera, Maceda, and Meza had one other thing in common. They all worked for the same company, Ag-Mart Produce, Inc., and in the same vast tomato field. Consumers know Ag-Mart mainly through its trademarked UglyRipe heirloom-style tomatoes and Santa Sweets grape tomatoes, sold in plastic clamshell containers adorned with three smiling, dancing tomato characters named Tom, Matt, and Otto. 'Kids love to snack on this nutritious treat,' says the company's advertising.... A sign at the entry warned that the field had been sprayed by no fewer than thirty-one different chemicals during the growing season. Many of them were rated 'highly toxic,' and at least three, the herbicide metribuzin, the fungicide mancozeb, and the insecticide avermectin, are known to be 'developmental and reproductive toxins,' according to Pesticide Action Network. They are teratogenic, meaning they can cause birth defects. ...


But the tomatoes are blemish-free!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Sep 1, 2011
from Los Angeles Times:
USC study tackles pesticide-prostate cancer link
Researchers at USC have found an increased prevalence of prostate cancer among older men exposed to certain pesticides in Central Valley neighborhoods. The authors used the state cancer registry to recruit 173 white and Latino seniors in Tulare, Fresno and Kern counties who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer between August 2005 and July 2006. They compared them with 162 men without prostate cancer, found through Medicare and tax records. Researchers then traced where the men lived and worked from 1974 to 1999 and compared those locations with state records of pesticide application. Those who lived within 500 meters of places where methyl bromide, captan and eight other organochlorine pesticides had been applied, they found, were more likely to have developed prostate cancer. ...


O Captan! My Captan!... Fallen cold and dead

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Aug 29, 2011
from Wall Street Journal:
Monsanto Corn Plant Losing Bug Resistance
Widely grown corn plants that Monsanto Co. genetically modified to thwart a voracious bug are falling prey to that very pest in a few Iowa fields, the first time a major Midwest scourge has developed resistance to a genetically modified crop. The discovery raises concerns that the way some farmers are using biotech crops could spawn superbugs. Iowa State University entomologist Aaron Gassmann's discovery that western corn rootworms in four northeast Iowa fields have evolved to resist the natural pesticide made by Monsanto's corn plant could encourage some farmers to switch to insect-proof seeds sold by competitors of the St. Louis crop biotechnology giant, and to return to spraying harsher synthetic insecticides on their fields.... These insect-proof and herbicide-resistant crops make farming so much easier that many growers rely heavily on the technology, violating a basic tenet of pest management, which warns that using one method year after year gives more opportunity for pests to adapt.... Dr. Gassmann collected rootworm beetles from four Iowa cornfields with plant damage in 2009. Their larvae were then fed corn containing Monsanto's Cry3Bb1 toxin. They had a survival rate three times that of control larvae that ate the same corn. ...


I call it "Unplanned GMObsolescence."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 24, 2011
from Mongabay:
Humanity knows less than 15 percent of the world's species
Scientists have named, cataloged, and described less than 2 million species in the past two and a half centuries, yet, according to an new innovative analysis, we are no-where near even a basic understanding of the diversity of life on this small blue planet. The study in PLoS Biology, which is likely to be controversial, predicts that there are 8.7 million species in the world, though the number could be as low as 7.4 or as high as 10 million. The research implies that about 86 percent of the world's species have still yet to be described.... "We have only begun to uncover the tremendous variety of life around us," says co-author Alastair Simpson, also with Dalhousie. "The richest environments for prospecting new species are thought to be coral reefs, seafloor mud and moist tropical soils. But smaller life forms are not well known anywhere. Some unknown species are living in our own backyardsliterally." Less is even known about the threats to species in what scientists say is an age of mass extinction. ...


Ah, species, we hardly knew ye.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Aug 20, 2011
from Greenwire:
Presidential Candidate Perry Championed Pesticides, Torpedoed Regs as Texas Ag Chief
As the harvest season approached in 1995, Texas cotton farmers had a boll weevil problem... Then-Agriculture Commissioner Rick Perry had a solution. The Republican urged the cotton farmers to buy into a program to eradicate the pests using 250,000 gallons of the pesticide malathion. It didn't go as planned. Malathion may have gotten rid of the boll weevils, but it also killed beneficial insects that helped keep the crop free of cotton-eating beet armyworms that invaded. As a result, the valley yielded 54,000 bales of cotton -- a far cry from the projected 450,000 bales. According to some estimates, malathion cost cotton growers $140 million in crop losses and put them $9 million in debt to the eradication program. ...


Sounds like the perfect leader for the most profligate nation on earth!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Aug 15, 2011
from Scientific American blogs:
Myths: Busted - Clearing Up the Misunderstandings about Organic Farming
The article1, by a PhD candidate named Christie Wilcox, was compromised by a slew of elisions and exaggerations. If the intention was to myth-bust, mark this one a fail: The article spread new misconceptions about the methods of organic food production. As the co-manager of an urban farm2 that uses organic practices, I was annoyed by the distortions in the article. So I'm pleased that the Scientific American editors have dedicated some space for a rebuttal.... Any approved sprays must either be produced from a natural substance or, if they are synthetic, must be proven to "not have adverse effects on the environment" or "human health."... She writes: "Why the government isn't keeping a watch on organic pesticide and fungicide is a damn good question." Well, actually, the government is -- through the highly detailed rules regarding organic certification.5 Farmers hoping to be certified as organic must keep records covering the "production, harvesting, and handling" of their crops -- and maintain those records (including receipts for purchases of any off-farm inputs like sprays) for at least five years. Organic growers also submit to an annual on-site inspection from an organic certifier. Yes, the certifiers are independent, non-government agencies, but the level of scrutiny is intense. No, the government doesn't record the use of non-synthetic pesticides on organic farms. And neither does it record the use of synthetic pesticides on individual industrial farms. A national law, FIFRA (the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act), expressly forbids the EPA from requiring pesticide applicators to report how they use synthetic chemicals6. The only information the federal government collects on pesticide usage is at the aggregate level.... Still, given the demands of yearly on-site inspections, it's fair to say that organic-certified farmers, ranchers, and processors are the most highly regulated sector of the US food system and consent to far more oversight than any industrial farmer.... It would make more sense, then, to reverse Wilcoxs question: Why the government requires far less reporting on the production methods of industrial farmers than it does reporting from organic farmers is a damn good question. The burden of proof seems askew. ...


What a silly question. Destructive agriculture is normal, after all.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jul 26, 2011
from Washington Post:
Alarming "dead zone" grows in the Chesapeake
A giant underwater "dead zone" in the Chesapeake Bay is growing at an alarming rate because of unusually high nutrient pollution levels this year, according to Virginia and Maryland officials. They said the expanding area of oxygen-starved water is on track to become the bay's largest ever. This year's Chesapeake Bay dead zone covers a third of the bay, stretching from the Baltimore Harbor to the bay's mid-channel region in the Potomac River, about 83 miles, when it was last measured in late June. It has since expanded beyond the Potomac into Virginia, officials said. Especially heavy flows of tainted water from the Susquehanna River brought as much nutrient pollution into the bay by May as normally comes in an entire average year... ...


I'm cul-de-sad about dead zones.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 20, 2011
from Texas A&M University via ScienceDaily:
2011 Gulf of Mexico 'Dead Zone' Could Be Biggest Ever
Researchers from Texas A&M University have returned from a trip to examine the scope and size of this year's "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico and have measured it currently to be about 3,300 square miles, or roughly the size of Delaware and Rhode Island combined, but some researchers anticipate it becoming much larger...During the past five years, the dead zone has averaged about 5,800 square miles and has been predicted to exceed 9,400 square miles this year, which would make it one of the largest ever recorded, according to the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. Hypoxia occurs when oxygen levels in seawater drop to dangerously low levels, and severe hypoxia can potentially result in fish kills and harm marine life, thereby creating a "dead zone" of life in that particular area. ...


If I eva have another child I'm gonna name her Hypoxia.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 6, 2011
from Environmental Health News:
Scientists warn that chemicals may be altering breast development
Exposure to chemicals early in life may alter how breast tissue develops and raise the risks of breast cancer and lactation problems later in life, scientists concluded in a set of reports published Wednesday. The scientists are urging federal officials to add new tests for industrial chemicals and pesticides to identify ones that might disrupt breast development. In some cases, they said, mammary glands are more sensitive to effects of hormone-disrupting chemicals than any other part of the body, so low levels of exposure may be causing breast changes. ...


Just so they're getting bigger.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jul 4, 2011
from Mother Jones:
Persistent pollutants linked to diabetes?
But another culprit may be contributing, too: exposure to certain pesticides and other toxic chemicals. A new peer-reviewed study published in the journal Diabetes Care found a strong link between diabetes onset and blood levels of a group of harsh industrial chemicals charmingly known as "persistent organic pollutants" (POPs), most of which have been banned in the United States for years but still end up in our food (hence the "persistent" bit--they degrade very slowly). The ones with the largest effect were PCBs, a class of highly toxic chemicals widely used as industrial coolants before being banished in 1979. Interestingly, the main US maker of PCBs, Monsanto, apparently knew about and tried to cover up their health-ruining effects long before the ban went into place. Organochlorine pesticides, another once-ubiquitous, now largely banned chemical group, also showed a significant influence on diabetes rates.... How are these awful chemicals sticking around and still causing trouble decades after being banned? POPs accumulate in the fatty tissue of animals--and transfer to the animals that eat them, including humans who eat meat and fish. In industrial animal farming, livestock are often given feed that includes animal fat, which helps POPs hang around in the food chain. "We feed the cow fat to the pigs and the chickens, and we feed the pig and chicken fat to the cows".... Farmed salmon, too, carry significant levels of these dodgy chemicals, especially PCBs. ...


POP goes the food chain!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jun 30, 2011
from EcoHearth:
Eerily Silent Summer Nights: Dead Crickets and Poisoned California Water
I remembered recently reading an article about the top pesticide source that is disrupting aquatic life in the Sacramento San Joaquim Delta, which supplies water to 23 million Californians. The culprits are Pyrethroids, a common synthetic pesticide that researchers first suspected entered the water cycle with agricultural runoff. But the largest quantities actually flow from urban Sacramento and cities in surrounding counties, either from an excessive use of shampoos to eliminate lice and fleas, or from people pouring leftover household pesticides down their drains. Pyrethroids are linked to neurological and thyroid damage as well as hormonal disruption, and they're extremely harmful to beneficial insects, including bees.... ... Borneo where, in the 1950s, the World Health Organization had sprayed roofs with DDT to eradicate malaria. This eliminated mosquitoes as well as the wasps that kept the thatch-eating caterpillars in check, which then thrived and ate the thatched roofs. So the government replaced the roofs with sheet metal, but the pounding rains kept people awake at night. The DDT-killed bugs were eaten by geckos, which were eaten by cats that also eventually died. Then the rats multiplied. Finally, the government had to commission Singapore's Royal Air Force to parachute cats into the country.... Lovins told this story to illustrate how everything is connected. Or as John Muir said, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe." ...


I'm loathe to accept that everything's connected, if that means that I'm responsible for what I do.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jun 22, 2011
from Guardian:
Experts puzzled by big decline in honeybees over winter
Honeybee populations declined by 13.6 percent over the winter, according to a survey of beekeepers across England. Losses were most severe in the north-east, where the survey recorded a loss rate of 17.1 percent. Experts worry that the declines will affect plant productivity. There are also concerns that the declines, along with drought conditions in some areas, will mean less English honey this year.... However, there is good news that the rate of colony loss has slowed. Four years ago, one in three hives was wiped out.... A campaign being launched next week to save all bees, spearheaded by Sam Roddick and Neal's Yard Remedies, pins the blame for the decline on pesticide. It will start a petition to hand to Downing Street in October to ban the use of a class of pesticides that has been implicated in bee deaths across the world. Roddick said: "These neonicotinoid pesticides penetrate the plant and indiscriminately attack the nervous system of insects that feed off them, disorientating bees, impairing their foraging ability and weakening their immune system, causing bee Aids. On current evidence, Italy, Germany and Slovenia have banned some varieties. In the UK, it's up to the people to show the government that if there is any doubt that they are contributing to bee deaths, we need to ban them." ...


The rate of decline slowed! That's almost the same as recovering, right?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, May 19, 2011
from Washington Times:
Raw milk activists protest arrest of farmer, milk cow on the Hill
A resounding theme of yesterdays Rally for Food and Farm Freedom on the Hill was that the FDAs recent arrest of Amish farmer Dan Allgyer for selling raw milk was not about food safety; it was about economics and keeping control of the food supply in the hands of big business, instead of giving power to the consumer. Organizers took power -- and sustenance -- into their own hands by creating an impressive showing at the rally in Upper Senate Park, and by drinking the controversial liquid, milked fresh onsite from Morgan the cow, who was trailered in from a Maryland dairy farm. ...


I prefer my milk cooked.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, May 19, 2011
from Grist:
Big Ag doesn't want you to care about pesticides
The produce lobby is livid that consumers might be concerned about pesticides. They are taking their fury out on the USDA for its annual report on pesticide use (via The Washington Post): "In a recent letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, 18 produce trade associations complained that the data have "been subject to misinterpretation by activists, which publicize their distorted findings through national media outlets in a way that is misleading for consumers and can be highly detrimental to the growers of these commodities.... There are some organizations with agendas that do want to scare people away from fresh produce," said Kathy Means, a vice president at the Produce Marketing Association, a major industry group. "We don't want anyone eating unsafe foods, of course. But for those products that are grown legally and the science says [the pesticide] is safe, we don't want people turning away." ...


If they haven't regulated it, it must not be dangerous.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, May 12, 2011
from Toronto Globe and Mail:
Fraser River sockeye face chemical soup of 200 contaminants
Sockeye salmon are exposed to a soup of chemicals in the Fraser River, and some of the ingredients are accumulating to potentially lethal levels in eggs, while others may be disrupting the sexual function of fish, according to a scientific review conducted for the Cohen Commission... While it is unlikely that contaminants are "the sole cause" of sockeye population declines, the report says there is "a strong possibility that exposure to contaminants of concern, endocrine disrupting chemicals, and/or contaminants of emerging concern has contributed to the decline of sockeye salmon." ...


Coldcocking the sockeye!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, May 12, 2011
from ABC Good Morning America:
Mississippi River Flooding: Pollution, Fertilizers, Sewage in the Flood Waters; ABC News Does its Own Testing
The great Mississippi River flood of 2011, cresting south of Memphis today, carries a mix of fertilizer, oil, pesticides, trash and farm runoff as it flows toward the Gulf of Mexico, say public health officials. Some of it is nasty stuff, and officials say people are wise to be careful. They urge people not to touch the water unless they're wearing rubber boots and gloves, and wash thoroughly if they get wet. "There could be a lot of untreated sewage coming downstream," said Wilma Subra, an environmental scientist and activist in Louisiana who has tangled with oil and chemical companies. "People need to be aware." ...


All that shit is going to kill the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 11, 2011
from Postmedia News:
Pollutants taking toll on polar bears: researchers
Persistent organic pollutants used in industry are changing the genitals and bones of polar bears in East Greenland, says a Danish wildlife veterinarian and toxicologist. "Shrinking balls and degraded bones," linked to the presence of pesticides and flame retardants in the Arctic, are likely to affect the animals' fertility and reproductive success, said Christian Sonne at last week's conference on Arctic climate change and pollution in Copenhagen. These impacts are "not just" affecting polar bears, said Sonne who works at the National Environmental Research Institute of Denmark. People, as well as other animals, in Canada's Arctic may also be at risk of similar effects from these pollutants... ...


Just slip 'em some calcium supplements and viagra and they'll be fine.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, May 5, 2011
from New York Times:
Asthma Rate Rises Sharply in U.S., Government Says
Americans are suffering from asthma in record numbers, according to a study released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly one in 10 children and almost one in 12 Americans of all ages now has asthma, government researchers said. According to the report, from 2001 to 2009 the prevalence of asthma increased among all demographic groups studied... Researchers are investigating several potential causes for the increase in asthma, including exposure to various allergens, traffic exhaust fumes, pesticides and certain plastics, as well as factors like obesity and diet that may play a role... ...


Could be that needing to breathe is the biggest problem of all.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Apr 18, 2011
from Sacramento Bee:
Potent new rat poisons killing California wildlife
Outside Palm Desert, a young bobcat dies mysteriously at a nature preserve. South of Nevada City, a farmer finds an owl dead near his decoy shed. In San Rafael, a red-shouldered hawk bleeds heavily from its mouth and nose before succumbing at an animal care center. Each of those incidents shares a link to a widely used toxin that is turning up at dangerous levels in wildlife across California: rat poison. Over the years, rat poison has spared state residents untold filth and disease. But a new generation of highly toxic, long-lasting poisons is killing not only rats, mice and ground squirrels, but whatever feeds on them, too.... "Rodenticides are the new DDT," said Maggie Sergio, director of advocacy at WildCare, a Bay Area wildlife rehabilitation center that has responded to dozens of poisoning cases. "It is an emergency, an environmental disaster. We are killing nature's own rodent control."... Around Bakersfield, 79 percent of endangered San Joaquin kit foxes tested have turned up positive for rodenticide. Near Los Angeles, 90 percent of bobcats sampled had rat poison in their blood. "Basically, when we look for it, we find it," McMillin said.... Two tongue-twisting toxins turn up most often in wildlife: brodifacoum and bromadio-lone. On store shelves, they go by such names as D-Con, Havoc, Talon, Tomcat Ultra and Just One Bite. ...


"Killing nature's own rodent control" is just good business. Think of all those future rat poison sales!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 5, 2011
from Independent:
Study reveals how bees reject 'toxic' pesticides
Bees can detect pesticide residues in the pollen they bring back to the hive and try to isolate it from the rest of the colony, the American government's leading bee scientist revealed in London yesterday. They "entomb" the contaminated pollen in cells which are sealed over, so they cannot be used for food, said Dr Jeffrey Pettis, head of the Bee Research Laboratory of the US Department of Agriculture.... Great interest has been shown in Dr Pettis's work on how a new generation of pesticides, the neonicotinoids, which are increasingly used over enormous acreages of crops in Britain and the US, and may be contributing to the worldwide decline in honey bees by making them more susceptible to disease. Dr Pettis has discovered that bees infected with microscopic doses of imidacloprid, the best-selling neonicotinoid made by the German agribusiness giant Bayer, are far more susceptible to infection by the harmful nosema parasite. Yet his study, which featured on the front page of The Independent two months ago, remains unpublished two years after it was completed.... He said his study was going through the process of peer-review with a scientific journal, and he hoped it would be published shortly, perhaps in less than a month. "In fact, the US Department of Agriculture has given me freedom to talk about it," he said. ...


If you had to ask for permission, that's probably not freedom.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Apr 1, 2011
from Science, via ScienceDaily:
Economic Importance of Bats in the 'Billions a Year' Range
Bats in North America are under a two-pronged attack but they are not the only victim -- so is the U.S. economy. Gary McCracken, head of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, analyzed the economic impact of the loss of bats in North America in agriculture and found it to be in the $3.7 to $53 billion a year range.... Since 2006, more than a million bats have died due to a fungal disease called White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). At the same time, several migratory tree-dwelling species are being killed in unprecedented numbers by wind turbines. This hurts the economy because bats' diet of pest insects reduces the damage the insects cause to crops and decreases the need for pesticides. In fact, the researchers estimate the value of bats to the agricultural industry is roughly $22.9 billion a year, with the extremes ranging as low as $3.7 and $53 billion a year.... "These estimates include the reduced costs of pesticide applications that are not needed to suppress the insects consumed by bats. However, they do not include the downstream impacts of pesticides on humans, domestic and wild animals and our environment," said McCracken. "Without bats, crop yields are affected. Pesticide applications go up. Even if our estimates were quartered, they clearly show how bats have enormous potential to influence the economics of agriculture and forestry." ...


That's why bat researchers are finding funding so easily.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Mar 31, 2011
from Healthfinder.gov:
Two Pesticides Linked to Parkinson's Disease, in Study
People who use the pesticides rotenone and paraquat have a 2.5 times increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a new study finds. U.S. researchers compared 110 people with Parkinson's disease and 358 people without the nervous system disorder. All of the participants were enrolled in the Farming and Movement Evaluation Study involving licensed pesticide applicators and their spouses. "Rotenone directly inhibits the function of the mitochondria, the structure responsible for making energy in the cell," study co-author Freya Kamel, a researcher at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, said in an institute news release.... "These findings help us to understand the biologic changes underlying Parkinson's disease. This may have important implications for the treatment and ultimately the prevention of Parkinson's disease...". "Paraquat increases production of certain oxygen derivatives that may harm cellular structures," she added. "People who used these pesticides or others with a similar mechanism of action were more likely to develop Parkinson's disease." ...


Are you implying that there might be a cost for blemish-free produce?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Mar 15, 2011
from Science News:
Better by Design
...Many of today's chemicals -- in packaging, cleaning products, furniture and elsewhere -- go where they should not go and do more than they were designed to do. Bisphenol A, a common ingredient in polycarbonate plastics, has made headlines for getting into the body and interfering with tissue development and function (SN: 7/18/09, p. 5). Flame retardants new and old persist in the environment, contaminating soil, waterways and wildlife (SN: 4/24/10, p. 12). And a new analysis, reported online January 14 in Environmental Health Perspectives, finds that the blood and urine of 99 percent of pregnant American women tested contain a laundry list of chemical interlopers, including various PCBs, pesticides, PFCs, PBDEs, phthalates and the rocket-fuel ingredient perchlorate. Unless there is a fundamental shift in the way that chemicals are created from the outset, the next generation of compounds will probably be just as meddlesome... Currently more than 30 million metric tons of chemicals are produced in or imported to the United States each day, a quantity that would fill a line of tanker trucks 10,000 miles long. And industrial chemical production is expected to double in the next quarter century, outpacing population growth. ...


This is why my wife and I are gonna buy an android child!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Mar 11, 2011
from Minnesota Public Radio News:
Study: Pharmaceutical chemicals widespread in Minn. streams
Potentially harmful chemicals and pharmaceuticals are widespread in Minnesota streams, state scientists found in a new study. The study by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency also shows fish have genetic changes when exposed to the mix of chemicals.... Among the substances scientists most often found are the antibiotic sulfamethoxazole and carbamazepine, a drug used to treat atentionl deficit hyperactivity disorder, agency scientist Mark Ferrey said. They also found the antibiotic trimethoprim and anti-depressant compounds. Other commonly found chemicals include components of detergent, bisphenol A, which is found in plastics, and contraceptive hormones. ...


Public radio did this report? What do you wanna bet they only studied liberal fish and streams.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Mar 8, 2011
from SEED Daily, on DesdemonaDespair:
Unregulated pesticide use in Asia destroys ecosystems and threatens resistant 'pest storms'
The unbridled manufacture and use of pesticides in Asia is raising the spectre of "pest storms" devastating the region's rice farms and threatening food security, scientists have warned. Increased production of cheap pesticides in China and India, lax regulation and inadequate farmer education are destroying ecosystems around paddies, allowing pests to thrive and multiply, they said. The problem has emerged over the last decade and -- if left unchecked -- pests could lay waste to vast tracts of Asia's rice farms, according to scientists who took part in a workshop in Singapore last week.... "There are big outbreaks of pests or what they are calling in China 'pest storms' as a result of the over-application of pesticides," Lukacs said.... The problem is compounded by indiscriminate application, which has destroyed the ecosystem surrounding the paddies, including the predators such as spiders and dragonflies that would normally keep pest numbers down. ...


If pesticides kill more than just pests, why don't they call it something else, like "poison"?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 7, 2011
from Earth Times:
Bumblebees: Gone with the Wind? A Major Disappearance
Bumblebees, also known as Bombus terristris, are the pollinating cousins of wasps and hornets. They are the number one pollinator for wild growing plants as well as commercial agriculture; you may have seen them flitting around your Gran's tomato plants on summer evenings, busy at work. However, these popular and beloved buzzing insects that help bring us all kinds of food-- from coffee beans to fresh apples -- bring alarming news. In the past few decades scientific studies have found that increasing numbers of bumblebee colonies are disappearing. It's possible that Bombus affinis, one of the many bumblebee subspecies native to North America, have all but died out. Between 1976 and 2006, there was a huge loss in the number of wild bumblebee colonies; they are now almost completely gone. Not only North America is suffering from this bumblebee disappearance; in the UK, over the past 70 years 3 out of 24 native bumblebee species have gone extinct.... Scientific evidence strongly suggests that the combination of insecticides and disease from imported bees, bred in greenhouses, are two main causes of bee deaths. One highly dangerous group of insecticides, called neonicotinoids, have been used since the 90s in North America on a wide variety of crops.... Climate change, environmental stress, harmful chemicals- these are all human induced symptoms that are believed to be contributing to rapid bee extinction. ...


With a name like Bombus terristris, I think I'm glad we're wiping them out!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Feb 28, 2011
from The Bay View Compass:
Female mice disabled by parents'pesticide intake
A white mouse is placed in the center of a maze. She is hungry because she hasn't eaten all night. As soon as the gate is raised she takes off in search of her breakfast, scurrying down the channels. She quickly realizes that turning left at every point in the maze gets her food. A few minutes later, a second mouse is set down in the center of the maze. She looks the same as the first mouse, but when the gate is raised she just sits there and seems afraid to move. Slowly and hesitantly she starts moving and eventually finds a piece of food. She continues slowly down the maze but doesn't seem to have learned or remember that taking left turns leads to food. You might call her a slow learner.... Why is it hard for the second mouse to learn? Three months earlier when she was growing in her mother's womb, her mother was exposed to a pesticide called chlorpyrifos at levels comparable to what humans encounter in the environment. ...


Is this why I can't find my way out of my garage most mornings?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Feb 18, 2011
from San Francisco Chronicle:
Agricultural chemicals interfere with testosterone
We've known for a while that endocrine disruptors may be causing early-onset puberty in girls, but, in our male-centric culture, that's not really a big deal. But you know what is bad -- like so bad I have no words and instinctively assume a stance protective of the family jewels? Demasculinization, sissy men, men whose wieners -- gasp! -- don't work. Well, guess what? Agricultural chemicals might mess with those, too. So says a new study that looked at pesticides humans are commonly exposed to (H/T Environmental Health News). It found that 23 of 37 compounds tested were anti-androgenic, or interfered with the effects of that all-important hormone, testosterone. Another 7 mimicked testosterone. Many of the offending chemicals were fungicides applied to produce including strawberries and lettuce.... As evidence of just how little we know about the chemicals we come into contact with, 16 of the tested substances had not previously been known to affect hormonal activity. ...


So far, so good.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Feb 14, 2011
from PhysOrg:
Study links pesticides to Parkinson's disease
US researchers said Friday they have found that people who used two specific varieties of pesticide were 2.5 times as likely to develop Parkinson's disease. The pesticides, paraquat and rotenone, are not approved for house and garden use. Previous research on animals has linked paraquat to Parkinson's disease, so it is restricted to use by certified applicators. Rotenone is approved only for use in killing invasive fish species. "Rotenone directly inhibits the function of the mitochondria, the structure responsible for making energy in the cell," said study co-author Freya Kamel, a researcher at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. "Paraquat increases production of certain oxygen derivatives that may harm cellular structures. People who used these pesticides or others with a similar mechanism of action were more likely to develop Parkinson's disease." The study examined 110 people with Parkinson's disease and 358 people who served as a control group from the Farming and Movement Evaluation (FAME) Study. ...


It's as if spraying poisons around might actually be bad for us.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jan 16, 2011
from The Independent:
Beekeepers fume at association's endorsement-for-cash of fatal insecticides
Britain's beekeepers are at war over their association's endorsement for money of four insecticides, all of them fatal to bees, made by major chemical companies. The British Beekeepers' Association has been selling its logo to four European pesticide producers and is believed to have received about 175,000 pounds in return. The active ingredient chemicals in the four pesticides the beekeepers endorsed are synthetic pyrethroids, which are among the most powerful of modern insect-killers. The deal was struck in secret by the beekeepers' association executive without the knowledge of the overwhelming majority of its members. After news of the deal emerged, some members expressed outrage and others resigned. ...


That executive's colony just collapsed.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jan 12, 2011
from Reuters, via Desdemona:
Floods threaten Australia's Great Barrier Reef
Australia's devastating floods are flushing toxic, pesticide-laden sediment into the Great Barrier Reef, and could threaten fragile corals and marine life in the world's largest living organism, environmentalists said on Monday. Flood plumes from the swollen Fitzroy and Burnett rivers in Queensland state had muddied reef waters as far as the Keppel Island Group, about 40 km (24 miles) offshore, at the southern end of the World Heritage-listed reef. "Toxic pollution from flooded farms and towns along the Queensland coast will have a disastrous impact on the Great Barrier Reefs corals and will likely have a significant impact on dugongs, turtles and other marine life," the World Wild Life Fund (WWF) said in a statement.... The damage to the Great Barrier Reef would be exacerbated because the floods are "bigger, dirtier and more dangerous due to excessive tree clearing, overgrazing and soil compaction", the WWF said. Experts expect the reef to recover, but depending on the coral resilience, that could take up to 100 years. ...


If God didn't want those toxins in the coral, He wouldn't have let us use them in the first place.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Dec 27, 2010
from National Science Foundation via ScienceDaily:
Global Rivers Emit Three Times IPCC Estimates of Greenhouse Gas Nitrous Oxide
...Human-caused nitrogen loading to river networks is a potentially important source of nitrous oxide emission to the atmosphere. Nitrous oxide is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change and stratospheric ozone destruction. It happens via a microbial process called denitrification, which converts nitrogen to nitrous oxide and an inert gas called dinitrogen. When summed across the globe, scientists report this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), river and stream networks are the source of at least 10 percent of human-caused nitrous oxide emissions to the atmosphere. That's three times the amount estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). ...


I thought denitrification was when I got my teeth fixed up.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Dec 23, 2010
from Politics Daily:
Salinas, California: The Salad Bowl of Pesticides
Locals call this place the world's salad bowl. Dole, Naturipe and Fresh Express are here, where much of the global fruit and vegetable trade emerges in neat green fields just over the hills from the Pacific Coast... It is here that University of California, Berkeley public health professor Brenda Eskenazi and her colleagues have spent the past 12 years studying mothers and children who are exposed to pesticides used in the fields... Investigators tracked the women throughout their pregnancies, waiting at hospitals as babies were born to collect the umbilical cord blood. As the children grew, Eskenazi and her team also charted their growth, mental development and general health. This group is now 10 and a half years old, and Eskenazi's work has set off alarms among public health officials. She and her colleagues have found that at age 2, the children of mothers who had the highest levels of organophosphate pesticide metabolites in their blood had the worst mental development in the group. They also had the most cases of pervasive developmental disorder. ...


These are not the salad days, anymore.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Dec 13, 2010
from Fast Company:
Wik-Bee Leaks: EPA Document Shows It Knowingly Allowed Pesticide That Kills Honey Bees
Now a leaked EPA document reveals that the agency allowed the widespread use of a bee-toxic pesticide, despite warnings from EPA scientists. The document, which was leaked to a Colorado beekeeper, shows that the EPA has ignored warnings about the use of clothianidin, a pesticide produced by Bayer that mainly is used to pre-treat corn seeds. The pesticide scooped up $262 million in sales in 2009 by farmers, who also use the substance on canola, soy, sugar beets, sunflowers, and wheat, according to Grist.... The document invalidates a prior Bayer study that justified the registration of clothianidin on the basis of its safety to honeybees: "Clothianidin's major risk concern is to nontarget insects (that is, honey bees). Clothianidin is a neonicotinoid insecticide that is both persistent and systemic. Acute toxicity studies to honey bees show that clothianidin is highly toxic on both a contact and an oral basis. Although EFED does not conduct RQ based risk assessments on non-target insects, information from standard tests and field studies, as well as incident reports involving other neonicotinoids insecticides (e.g., imidacloprid) suggest the potential for long-term toxic risk to honey bees and other beneficial insects." The entire 101-page memo is damning (and worth a read). But the opinion of EPA scientists apparently isn't enough for the agency, which is allowing clothianidin to keep its registration. ...


I wonder which part of the name got changed: "Environmental" to "Economic", or "Protection" to "Pretension"?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Dec 12, 2010
from TreeHugger, thru DesdemonaDespair:
Beekeepers, Activists Demand EPA Remove Pesticide Linked to Bee Deaths
Now US beekeepers are honing in on pesticides too, asking the EPA to remove one particular pesticide after a leaked study showed that field trials were severely flawed. According to PR newswire, a group of beekeepers and anti-pesticide activists are stepping up calls for the EPA to remove approval for clothianidin (product name "Poncho") after a leaked EPA memo dated November 2nd identifies a core study underpinning the registration of the insecticide as being unsound. The pesticide has been widely used on major crops across the country under a "conditional registration" while the manufacturer, Bayer Crop Science, was supposed to conduct a field study assessing the insecticide's threat to bee colony health.... "Among the neonicotinoids, clothianidin is among those most toxic for honey bees, and this combined with its systemic movement in plants has produced a troubling mix of scientific results pointing to its potential risk for honey bees through current agricultural practices. Our own research indicates that systemic pesticides occur in pollen and nectar in much greater quantities than has been previously thought, and that interactions among pesticides occurs often and should be of wide concern." ...


Heck, it's Bayer! It comes with a conditionally registered nature-back guarantee!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Nov 7, 2010
from Pittsburg KDKA TV:
Obesogens May Cause Weight Gain
If you try to lose weight and it just doesn't work, could chemicals in your food be to blame? Some people believe chemical compounds called obesogens could be a major factor in making people fat. "Obesogens are chemicals that occur in nature or artificially that mess with our metabolism and basically cause unnatural weight gain," said Stephen Perrine, author of "The New American Diet." Obesogens include agricultural pesticides, hormones used in the meat industry, and chemicals used in plastics. Perrine says regular fruits and vegetables are a problem because studies show a link between pesticide exposure and waist measurements. ...


If we start calling obesogens slimogens, would that help?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Oct 22, 2010
from Environmental Health News:
Pesticides taint one-fifth of kids' food
More than one-quarter of the food eaten by a small number of U.S. children contained pesticides, confirming again that food is a source of chemical exposures for youngsters. Researchers measured 14 varieties of pesticides in the fruits, vegetables and juices tested. While many studies have measured levels of pesticides in various foodstuffs on grocery shelves and a few have looked at levels excreted from the body, little has been known about the level of pesticides found in the food that children actually consume. This study attempted to capture the pesticide levels of foods just as they were prepared and in the amounts eaten by the children. It has long been known that pesticide exposure presents a health risk to infants and children. Food is one of the main sources of exposure. ...


What. You'd rather they eat bugs?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Oct 19, 2010
from NSF/NCAR, via EurekAlert:
Drought may threaten much of globe within decades
The United States and many other heavily populated countries face a growing threat of severe and prolonged drought in coming decades, according to results of a new study by National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) scientist Aiguo Dai. The detailed analysis concludes that warming temperatures associated with climate change will likely create increasingly dry conditions across much of the globe in the next 30 years. The drought may reach a scale in some regions by the end of the century that has rarely, if ever, been observed in modern times.... While regional climate projections are less certain than those for the globe as a whole, Dai's study indicates that most of the western two-thirds of the United States will be significantly drier by the 2030s.... "We are facing the possibility of widespread drought in the coming decades, but this has yet to be fully recognized by both the public and the climate change research community," Dai says. "If the projections in this study come even close to being realized, the consequences for society worldwide will be enormous." ...


Only this time, the great clouds of the dustbowl will be laced with unknown toxins from corporate farms.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Oct 16, 2010
from San Francisco Chronicle:
Another scary study on low-dose chemical exposure
New research being presented at an American Heart Association conference this week contributes to the body of evidence suggesting that organophosphates are dangerous even at low doses. The research focuses on sarin, a chemical warfare agent, and demonstrates that mice exposed to low doses of the stuff suffer permanent damage to the heart. Researchers injected the mice with doses too low to produce visible symptoms and found that after 10 weeks, their hearts had become malformed and dysfunctional. Sadly, the results resembled those in humans and point to low-level exposure to sarin as the cause of the mysterious illness suffered by veterans of the first Gulf War. But because sarin is an organophosphate, a class which includes many herbicides and pesticides, the study also points to the serious health effects that can result from low-grade exposure to compounds commonly used in industrial farming. ...


But it has "organo" in its name. Isn't that the same as "natural"?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Oct 7, 2010
from Science News:
Pesticide in womb may promote obesity, study finds
One-quarter of babies born to women who had relatively high concentrations of a DDT-breakdown product in their blood grew unusually fast for at least the first year of life, a study finds. Not only is this prevalence of accelerated growth unusually high, but it's also a worrisome trend since such rapid growth during early infancy has -- in other studies -- put children on track to become obese. Affected babies in the new study weighed no more than normal at birth, so growth in the womb was unaffected. Their moms were also normal weight -- which is significant because babies born to overweight and obese women sometimes undergo rapid growth. ...


They may be obese, but at least they're pest-free.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Sep 17, 2010
from SciDev.net:
Pesticides persist in Indian atmosphere
While residues of banned pesticides in the atmosphere are declining around the world India continues to have exceptionally high levels, a new study shows. Portable samplers using chemically treated resin and deployed at several sites on seven continents from 2005 to 2008 showed that 'organochlorine' or chlorine-containing pesticides such as DDT (Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane), chlordanes and endosuplhans (that also contains sulphur) are declining in most regions, suggesting the effect of worldwide bans. But levels of organochlorine pesticides in India remain "exceptionally high", researchers from the University of Toronto at Scarborough, Canada, reported in this month's (September 2010) issue of Journal of Environmental Monitoring, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.... An estimated 11 billion tonnes of pesticides are used each year worldwide. ...


Eleven billion tonnes of pesticides per year? How can we still have pests?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 1, 2010
from IOP, via EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Insecticide implicated in bee decline
Honeybees, bumblebees and many other insects are being slowly poisoned to death by persistent insecticides used to protect agricultural crops. Small doses of the toxic chemicals accumulate over time, meaning that there is no safe level of exposure. That's the conclusion from recent research looking at the long-term effects of a commonly used class of insecticides.... Neonicotinoid insecticides are widely used worldwide; they work by acting on the central nervous system of the insect. The chemicals have little affinity for vertebrate nervous systems, so they are much less toxic to mammals and birds.... In the case of honeybees, up to 6000 times less insecticide was required to kill them if it was administered in multiple tiny doses over a long time period.... Right now it still isn't possible to say if neonicotinoids are the sole cause of CCD in honeybees, but it seems likely that they play a significant role. "It explains the rapid increase in CCD since 2004, which coincides with the rapid growth in worldwide use of neonicotinoids - the most widely used class of insecticides," said van der Sluijs. ...


We bee in trouble.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 18, 2010
from Grist:
Risk to kids from toxic pesticides may be underestimated, study finds
But evidence is building that the way we think about pesticide risk, especially in children, is all wrong. A few years ago, scientists at Emory and the University of Washington showed that when children switched to organic fruits and vegetables, pesticide residue in their bodies (as measured in their urine) dropped significantly within days. But what wasn't clear at the time was the pesticide load in a typical kid's diet, since the scientists in the organic study had themselves established the diet given to the kids.... The researchers analyzed the fruit-and-veg consumption of two groups of kids, one from Washington state and one from Georgia. They found, as expected, a witch's brew of organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides -- both of which are endocrine disruptors and have suspected neurological effects -- on the fresh fruit and vegetables the study participants ate. Organophosphates, by the way, are the direct descendants of VX and Sarin nerve gases and were recently linked to the development of ADHD in kids.... What this study is telling us is that we're seriously underestimating how much of these dangerous pesticides -- chemicals that can affect kids' growing brains and bodies -- our kids are getting at any one time. For policy makers, the challenge is to create incentives for farmers to move away from poisons as a pest-control strategy. ...


An apple a day keeps the ADHD at play.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Aug 10, 2010
from New Dehli NDTV:
Oil leak off Mumbai coast has stopped: Coast Guard sources
In a big relief, two days after two ships collided off the coast of Mumbai, Coast Guard authorities have said the oil leak from the MSC Chitra has now been plugged. But the oil already in the sea along the Mumbai coast line will take a month to clear, according to environmental authorities and is still a serious worry... in a double whammy, there is an oil slick that is spreading fast with about three to four tones of oil spilling every hour and drums filled with pesticide have detached from the MSC Chitra - one of the ships that collided and is tilting precariously - and are now floating dangerously in the sea, also becoming a navigation hazard. ...


Oil leak... pesticides...what a delicious elixir!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Aug 6, 2010
from Guardian:
Pesticides linked to bee decline, say green groups
Environmental groups including the Soil Association and Buglife are making a renewed call for an end to the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, which are among the most commonly used pesticides worldwide, after a new study linked them to a decline in bee in bee populations. The study, published in the journal Toxicology, says the effects on bees of two particular neonicotinoid pesticides, known as imidacloprid and thiacloprid, have previously been underestimated and may explain the decline in bee populations. It says even low concentrations of the pesticides may be more deadly then previously thought due to their high persistence in soil and water, supporting claims for the role that pesticides may play in bee deaths.... 'We will keep this area under review and will not hesitate to act if there is any evidence of an unacceptable risk to bees,' said a spokesperson. ...


Any other evidence, that is.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jul 15, 2010
from Wall Street Journal:
A Pesticide Plan to Prevent Suicide
In the wake of a spate of suicide cases, Chinese health-care professionals are pushing a nationwide "pesticide control" plan to reduce the public's access to the deadly chemicals. While the series of employee suicides at Hon Hai (a.k.a. Foxconn) dominated the news recently, several other unusual incidents have also drawn attention to the issue of suicide in China. Early this month, five students in Shaanxi province made a death pact to drink a poisonous herbicide together in a local temple one morning. A passerby spotted them in time and none died... Pesticides are used by 58 percent of the roughly 287,000 Chinese who take their lives each year, according to statistics from the Beijing Suicide Research and Prevention Center cited in a recent China Daily article. ...


Sounds to me like they're just taking a short cut.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jul 5, 2010
from Greenwich Time:
Local lobstermen say no to moratorium
Once a thriving industry that provided seafaring men a comfortable existence, Long Island Sound's lobstermen have been virtually wiped out over the past 10 years. A new recommendation by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to prohibit lobstering in the Sound for the next five years will ensure their demise, they say. The commission is calling for a five-year moratorium on lobstering from Cape Cod, Mass., to Cape May, N.J., under a plan it hopes would allow the lobster population to recover. ...


As go lobsters... so go the lobstermen.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 22, 2010
from EnvironmentalResearchWeb:
Bee decline could be down to chemical cocktail interfering with brains
A cocktail of chemicals from pesticides could be damaging the brains of British bees, according to scientists about to embark on a study into why the populations of the insects have dropped so rapidly in recent decades. By affecting the way bees' brains work, the pesticides might be affecting the ability of bees to find food or communicate with others in their colonies.... Chris Connolly of Dundee University's Centre for Neuroscience has been awarded 1.5 m to lead the work on whether pesticides are having an affect on the brains of bees. Pesticides could be blocking the electrical and chemical signals between neurons, he said, and only subtle changes may be required to produce serious brain disorders. These problems might stop bees identifying the best sources of nectar, or it might affect their ability to navigate to nearby food source and back home again. Brain disorders in bees might also interfere with their ability to communicate with nest-mates using the "waggle dance", where bees come back to their hive and spread information about the food sources they have found. The IPI will bring together ecologists, molecular biologists, mathematicians and computer experts to study the decline of honeybees and other insect pollinators from a range of different angles. ...


Why would pesticides affect bugs that aren't pests?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jun 16, 2010
from CanWest News Service:
Arctic bird poop loaded with environmental poisons, biologists say
High Arctic seabirds carry a "cocktail" of contaminants, confirms new research, which analyzed the excrement of Arctic terns and eiders nesting on a small island north of Resolute Bay. The seabirds' cocktail is not a particularly healthy mix for the birds or the land they nest on, a team of biologists from the Canadian Wildlife Service and Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., determined. That's because, in addition to pesticides, the seabirds are loaded with heavy metals such as cadmium and lead, which they pick up from the foods they eat. ...


The sky (crap) is falling!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 1, 2010
from CNN:
'Dirty dozen' produce carries more pesticide residue, group says
If you're eating non-organic celery today, you may be ingesting 67 pesticides with it, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group. The group, a nonprofit focused on public health, scoured nearly 100,000 produce pesticide reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine what fruits and vegetables we eat have the highest, and lowest, amounts of chemical residue. Most alarming are the fruits and vegetables dubbed the "Dirty Dozen," which contain 47 to 67 pesticides per serving. These foods are believed to be most susceptible because they have soft skin that tends to absorb more pesticides. ...


Ya gotta wonder if we're better off eating the pests.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, May 18, 2010
from Reuters:
Pesticides tied to ADHD in children in U.S. study
Children exposed to pesticides known as organophosphates could have a higher risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a U.S. study that urges parents to always wash produce thoroughly. Researchers tracked the pesticides' breakdown products in children' urine and found those with high levels were almost twice as likely to develop ADHD as those with undetectable levels. The findings are based on data from the general U.S. population, meaning that exposure to the pesticides could be harmful even at levels commonly found in children's environment. "There is growing concern that these pesticides may be related to ADHD," said researcher Marc Weisskopf of the Harvard School of Public Health, who worked on the study. "What this paper specifically highlights is that this may be true even at low concentrations." Organophosphates were originally developed for chemical warfare, and they are known to be toxic to the nervous system. There are about 40 organophosphate pesticides such as malathion registered in the United States, the researchers wrote in the journal Pediatrics. ...


Maybe that explains why my kids... what was I saying?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Apr 28, 2010
from American Chemical Society:
Gypsy Moths Keep Fluttering
Nature gets a little out of control sometimes, and despite our best chemical efforts to level the playing field, we simply can't win. That's the case with the gypsy moth. This destructive insect pest has been plaguing the Northeast U.S. and parts of Canada for more than a century. A bevy of innovative chemical solutions has been devised over the years, but the moth continues to annually defoliate substantial tracts of forest and blemish suburban landscapes.... "The story of gypsy moth battles is an interesting one," Lance told C&EN. "It runs from spraying trees with heavy doses of lead arsenate a century ago to currently using relatively small amounts of a nontoxic sex pheromone to disrupt mating."... Another development in the gypsy moth war is the nucleopolyhedrosis virus (NPV), which infects only gypsy moth larvae, Lance told C&EN. NPV causes a "wilt" disease that is spread by larvae living in close quarters. The disease can reach epidemic proportions, killing up to 90 percent of the larvae in gypsy moth populations.... "That is why we had the symposium--to raise awareness for the need for better pheromones, pesticides, and pest-management tools. History shows us that the very act of discussing the problems, describing the needs, and visualizing the next level sets us on the path to developing it." ...


I bet nobody's tried high-volume Gypsy music, to make them dance themselves to death.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Apr 27, 2010
from Nashville Public Radio:
Bat-Killing Fungus Spreading Faster Than Expected, Could Affect Agriculture
A fungus that kills bats by the thousand is spreading faster than expected through Tennessee's caves. White-nose syndrome first turned up a few years ago in a cave in New York, and has since rippled out from one cave to the next, wiping out millions of bats. And in this last few months it's begun to show up in caves in Middle Tennessee.... The fungus has wiped out millions of bats in New England and can devastate populations in just a few years' time. And that's bad news for farmers, who depend on the bats to keep many flying insects in check. "Bats are the number-one predator of night-flying insects. You think about the night-flying insects we have in the southeast in Tennessee and it's mosquitoes, it's moths, beetles - things that can be large crop pests and agricultural pests." ...


I'll just spray-mist Moth-B-Gone and Beetle-B-Dead hourly, all night long. Problem solved!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Apr 26, 2010
from Telegraph.co.uk:
David Attenborough warns of ecological disaster in 'Silent Summer'
The naturalist made his comments in the foreword to a new book, Silent Summer, in which 40 prominent British ecologists explain how humankind is wiping out many species.... The new book explains the negative impact of pesticides, population growth, farming and other factors on the plants and species that prop up Britain's ecosystems.... The book details how three quarters of British butterfly species are in decline, thanks in part to the destruction of the plants caterpillars feed on, treated by farmers as weeds. Moth numbers were down by a third from 1968 to 2002 for the same reasons, with at least 20 species having seen populations decline by more than 90 per cent. Rivers in Britain have also suffered, with caddis flies, mayflies and stoneflies said to have badly suffered from the increased use of pesticides on sheep and cattle, which can wash off and poison the water if the animals enter a river or stream. ...


Fewer critters just means more room to expand!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Apr 25, 2010
from Minnesota Public Radio:
Study finds levels of pharmaceuticals in wastewater widespread
In the most comprehensive study of a variety of chemical compounds coming from municipal sewage plants, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency confirmed widespread, but low concentrations of water contamination from human medications and antibiotics... The study reinforced what earlier researchers learned, that pharmaceutical compounds used by people are very common in rivers and lakes across the state. Researchers also found another class of chemical compounds in their water samples -- endocrine disruptors proven to alter fish reproduction. The compounds researchers found most often include carbamazapine, a drug used to treat attention deficit disorder. They also found various antibiotics and diphenhydramine, a common antihistamine. ...


Dude. We are all so on drugs.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Apr 22, 2010
from London Guardian:
'Toxic stew' of chemicals causing male fish to carry eggs in testes
More than 80 percent of the male bass fish in Washington's major river are now exhibiting female traits such as egg production because of a "toxic stew" of pollutants, scientists and campaigners reported yesterday. Intersex fish probably result from drugs, such as the contraceptive pill, and other chemicals being flushed into the water and have been found right across the US. The Potomac Conservancy, which focuses on Washington DC's river, called for new research to determine what was causing male smallmouth bass to carry immature eggs in their testes. "We have not been able to identify one particular chemical or one particular source," said Vicki Blazer, a fish biologist with the US geological survey. "We are still trying to get a handle on what chemicals are important." But she said early evidence pointed to a mix of chemicals -- commonly used at home as well as those used in large-scale farming operations -- causing the deformities. The suspect chemicals mimic natural hormones and disrupt the endocrine system, with young fish being particularly susceptible. ...


These days it seems men have to do everything!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Apr 4, 2010
from South Bend Tribune:
Local beekeepers worry about downward trend
Last winter, he lost more than half of his colonies. It's a trend noticed around the region and the country. "We're all losing bees, lots of bees," beekeeper Jerry Shaw said. Shaw's collection once topped 600 hives. Now he's down to 200. He suspects Colony Collapse Disorder is responsible for the population decline. "You'll generally have quite a bit of honey left, but there are no bees," Shaw said.... "We think the deaths are caused by viruses, parasitic mites, diseases and pesticide residue, or a combination of those things," said Michael Hansen of the Michigan Department of Agriculture. "The big problem is more colonies of bees are dying now than they did 10 or 20 years ago. " ...


These bees got the blues: they're leaving their honeys behind.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Mar 31, 2010
from Environmental Health News:
Farm pesticides linked to deadly skin cancer
Workers who apply certain pesticides to farm fields are twice as likely to contract melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, according to a new scientific study. The researchers identified six pesticides that, with repeated exposure, doubled the risk of skin cancer among farmers and other workers who applied them to crops. The findings add to evidence suggesting that frequent use of pesticides could raise the risk of melanoma. Rates of the disease have tripled in the United States in the last 30 years, with sun exposure identified as the major cause. Four of the chemicals - maneb, mancozeb, methyl-parathion and carbaryl - are used in the United States on a variety of crops, including nuts, vegetables and fruits. Two others, benomyl and ethyl-parathion, were voluntarily cancelled by their manufacturers in 2008. ...


I am led to the inevitable conclusion that humans are pests.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Mar 26, 2010
from Bloomberg News:
Sickness Stalks Indian Farmers Using Chemical Banned in Europe
Seven-year-old Yeshaswini Gowda lies on the floor of her home in southern India unable to talk or walk. Her mother blames the severe disability on endosulfan, an insecticide banned in 60 countries... While a 2007 European Union report tied endosulfan to physical and mental illnesses and deaths, India's federal government says there's no evidence that long-term exposure carries health risks. Indian companies led by Hindustan Insecticides Ltd. are the world's biggest producers and the government has vowed to vote against including the pesticide on a United Nations list of dangerous chemicals at a conference in Geneva from Oct. 11. The dispute underscores the dilemma India faces in balancing health concerns while feeding the world's second-most populous nation after the weakest monsoon since 1972 propelled food-price inflation to among the highest in Asia. ...


I wonder what would happen if the cows were getting sick from the chemical?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Mar 19, 2010
from Columbia, via EurekAlert:
Pesticide chlorpyrifos is linked to childhood developmental delays
Exposure to the pesticide chlorpyrifos--which is banned for use in U.S. households but is still widely used throughout the agricultural industry--is associated with early childhood developmental delays, according to a study... "Although this pesticide has been banned for residential use in the United States, chlorpyrifos and other organophosphorus insecticides are still commonly used for a variety of agricultural purposes," said study co-author Virginia Rauh, ScD, professor of clinical population and family health, and co-deputy director for the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at the Mailman School of Public Health. "We hope that the results of this study, further demonstrating the neurotoxicity of chlorpyrifos under a range of community conditions, may inform public health professionals and policy-makers about the potential hazards of exposure to this chemical for pregnant women and young children." ...


Just think how stupid the pests are getting!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Mar 4, 2010
from SciDev.net:
Farmers and pesticide blamed in Thai rice pest invasion
Thai farmers keen to exploit high rice prices have made an outbreak of a devastating pest worse by overplanting and using too much pesticide, according to ecologists. An outbreak of brown planthoppers has destroyed 368,000 hectares -- about four per cent of Thailand's rice paddies -- since August last year. The pests have periodically plagued Asian rice farming for decades, eating their way through rice crops and spreading viral diseases that can stunt growth and prevent rice grain formation.... To ensure good yields, farmers overuse fertilisers -- thought to increase the planthopper's fertility -- and pesticides such as synthetic pyrethroids, which have no effect on planthoppers but kill many of their natural enemies such as spiders. Golsalvitra said the problem remains unabated despite state efforts to control the situation and the pest is migrating south to the Central Plains -- the country's rice bowl, which is preparing for the next rice season in May.... He said the outbreaks are preventable and that the best way to deal with them is to restore biodiversity rather than destroy it. ...


We should have used cane toads!*

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Mar 1, 2010
from UC Berkeley, via PhysOrg:
Atrazine can turn male frogs into females
Atrazine, one of the world's most widely used [weed killer], wreaks havoc with the sex lives of adult male frogs, emasculating three-quarters of them and turning one in 10 into females, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, biologists. The 75 percent that are chemically castrated are essentially "dead" because of their inability to reproduce in the wild, reports UC Berkeley's Tyrone B. Hayes, professor of integrative biology.... Though the experiments were performed on a common laboratory frog, the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), field studies indicate that atrazine, a potent endocrine disruptor, similarly affects frogs in the wild, and could possibly be one of the causes of amphibian declines around the globe, Hayes said. ...


Ribbit.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Feb 17, 2010
from CBC:
Fundy lobster deaths blamed on pesticide
Dead lobsters first appeared last November in Grand Manan's Seal Cove, and five days later a fisherman 50 kilometres away in Pocologan found more dead lobsters in his traps. Soon after that discovery, another 816 kilograms of weak or dead lobster were discovered in Deer Island's Fairhaven Harbour. "I've been around lobsters all my life. And I never seen lobsters in that state," said fisherman Reid Brown said. Environment Canada has launched two investigations into the lobster kills on Grand Manan and Deer Island. Tests found that the lobsters were exposed to Cypermethrin, a pesticide that's illegal to use in marine environments and toxic to lobsters. Environment Canada found no evidence about how the pesticide got into the Bay of Fundy. There are few if any farms near the Fundy coast that could be a source for the Cypermethrin found in the bay. ...


Look on the bright side: the lobsters will be pest-free!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Feb 12, 2010
from Telegraph.co.uk:
China considering green tax as extent of pollution is revealed
The national survey, which took 570,000 staff two years to complete, also revealed China's intensive farming practices were almost equally to blame for pollution as its many factories and coal-fired power stations. Announcing the results of China's first official nationwide pollution survey China's vice minister of environmental protection, Zhang Lijun, said that ministries were now studying the possibility of environmental taxes on polluters.... Pollution has become a major source of discontent and social unrest in China with almost daily protests about lead and other chemical pollution, fumes from rubbish incinerators and run-off from landfill sites. ...


Clearly, there's no Chinese Tea Party.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Feb 8, 2010
from Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine via ScienceDaily:
Link Between Birth Defect Gastroschisis and the Agricultural Chemical Atrazine Found
In a study to be presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's (SMFM) annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in Chicago, researchers will unveil findings that demonstrate a link between the birth defect gastroschisis and the agricultural chemical atrazine. Gastroschisis is a type of inherited congenital abdominal wall defect in which the intestines, and sometimes other organs, develop outside the fetal abdomen through an opening in the abdominal wall. The incidence of gastroschisis is on the rise, increasing two to four times in the last 30 years....Of the 805 cases and 3616 controls in the study, gastroschisis occurred more frequently among infants whose mothers resided less than 25 km from the site of high surface water contamination with atrazine. ...


I wonder if you have to be pregnant to attend The Pregnancy Meeting?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Feb 5, 2010
from Science News:
EPA reviews hints of weed killer's fetal risks
Last October, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it was reopening what the pesticide industry had hoped was a closed chapter on allegations of a popular herbicide’s toxicity. The agency will be convening meetings of its Science Advisory Panel on pesticides throughout 2010 to probe concerns about the safety of atrazine, a weed killer on which most American corn growers rely. The first meeting of these outside experts started Tuesday. And although a large number of studies have indicated that atrazine can perturb hormones in animals and human cells — and might even pose a possible risk of cancer amongst heavily exposed people, these outcomes were not the focus of EPA’s review Tuesday. Risks to babies were. During the SAP’s morning session, Aaron Niman, an EPA scientist, reviewed five recent studies linking atrazine to birth defects and other risks in newborns. ...


It's all about the babies...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Feb 4, 2010
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Most of Britain's ponds in a 'terrible state'
The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology measured animal life and water quality in half a million ponds across the country, from tarns in the Lake District to garden pools. Mostly as a result of pollution from farms, sewers and roads, more than 80 per cent of ponds were judged to be in a "poor" or "very poor state".... "It is shocking that ponds are in such a terrible state. This should be a wake up call for everyone concerned with protecting freshwater wildlife and involved in water management. Practically unnoticed, wildlife-rich, clean and unpolluted ponds have become a rarity in the countryside." ...


Change the name of that 80 percent to "cesspool" -- problem solved!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jan 22, 2010
from Chambersburg PublicOpinion:
Bats dying from white nose syndrome; means trouble for farmers
Biologist Jim Hart said a devastated bat population will cost farmers and impact water quality. Bats sometimes eat their own weight in insects in a single day. That's about 2,000 mosquito-sized bugs. "They are worth their weight in gold," said Hart, a mammalogist with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. "They take an enormous toll on agricultural pests. If they all disappear, that's going to be a pretty bad scenario." Birds won't immediately eat all of the extra bugs, according to Hart. Populations of farm pests will increase quickly and farmers will respond by applying more pesticides, some of which will find their way to streams.... Wildlife biologists estimate that the disorder has killed 750,000 bats in the Northeast since it was first discovered in 2006 in New York. An estimated one million bats overwinter in hundreds of hibernacula across Pennsylvania. Science is ill-prepared for the crisis. "In general, we don't know enough about normal bats to know what's different in sick bats," Reeder said.... "The loss of one species is a big deal," Hart said. "The loss of a whole suite of species is a catastrophe. It scares biologists." They joke about taking up a career that has a future, like computer science. ...


Time for me to get a BugDeth™ distributorship!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jan 19, 2010
from IRIN News (UN):
Bangladesh: Pesticide poisoning takes its toll
An annual government survey of Bangladeshs health situation has found that pesticide-related poisoning is a leading cause of death, underscoring a major health concern. The 2009 Health Bulletin, which compiles health statistics from 2008, recorded 7,438 pesticide-related poisoning deaths at more than 400 hospitals nationwide amongst men and women aged 15-49.... "Farmers apply pesticides on their crops without taking proper protective measures. They expose themselves to highly poisonous pesticides. They inhale substantial amounts of the pesticides they spray to kill insects in their crops," Faiz told IRIN.... According to the most recent government figures available, 37,712 tons of pesticide were sold in the country in 2007, an increase of 145.3 percent on the amount sold in 2001.... Illiterate farmers are also persuaded by unscrupulous traders and various incentive schemes to buy unregistered pesticide formulations that promise to protect crops against pest attacks and disease. ...


"We call our formulation BESTicide."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jan 10, 2010
from Lincoln Journal Star:
Atrazine getting new scrutiny from EPA
Nebraska is corn country. It's also atrazine country. That means thousands of corn producers are keeping a watchful eye on a new round of EPA scrutiny of one of their cheapest and most effective weed-killing chemicals. News of what's described as a comprehensive evaluation emerged a few weeks ago. As soon as February, the federal environmental regulator expects to seek a scientific peer review of its proposed plan for adding new health studies into its atrazine risk assessment. Pulling the product off the market is always an option. Atrazine already is banned in Europe.... [Tyrone Hayes, a biologist at the University of California-Berkeley] has been studying mutating effects of atrazine on amphibians, which he said include male frogs developing female organs. He also cited EPA studies that show atrazine's impact as "an endocrine disrupter" that lowers fertility and inhibits puberty in lab rats. ...


By buying into this system, we essentially are screwing ourselves!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jan 7, 2010
from Yale 360:
Behind Mass Die-Offs, Pesticides Lurk as Culprit
Today, drips and puffs of pesticides surround us everywhere, contaminating 90 percent of the nation's major rivers and streams, more than 80 percent of sampled fish, and one-third of the nation's aquifers. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, fish and birds that unsuspectingly expose themselves to this chemical soup die by the millions every year. But as regulators grapple with the lethal dangers of pesticides, scientists are discovering that even seemingly benign, low-level exposures to pesticides can affect wild creatures in subtle, unexpected ways -- and could even be contributing to a rash of new epidemics pushing species to the brink of extinction. In the past dozen years, no fewer than three never-before-seen diseases have decimated populations of amphibians, bees, and -- most recently -- bats. A growing body of evidence indicates that pesticide exposure may be playing an important role in the decline of the first two species, and scientists are investigating whether such exposures may be involved in the deaths of more than 1 million bats in the northeastern United States over the past several years. ...


Aren't bats, frogs, and bugs simply pests anyway?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Dec 23, 2009
from Environmental Health News:
EPA announces plan to require disclosure of secret pesticide ingredients
Reversing a decade-old decision, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that it plans to require pesticide manufacturers to disclose to the public the inert ingredients in their products. An inert ingredient is anything added to a pesticide that does not kill or control a pest. In some cases, those ingredients are toxic compounds, but companies do not identify them on pesticide labels. Nearly 4,000 inerts - including several hundred that are considered hazardous under other federal rules - are used in agricultural and residential pesticides. ...


Oh jeez I don't think I wanna know!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Dec 4, 2009
from Center for Biological Diversity:
Polar Bears Poisoned by Pesticide Pollution: Lawsuit Filed
Pesticides approved by EPA for use in the United States are known to be transported long-distance via various atmospheric, oceanic, and biotic pathways to the Arctic. 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. Pesticides and related contaminants have been linked to suppressed immune function, endocrine disruption, shrinkage of 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 pesticide crisis is a silent killer that threatens not only the polar bear but the entire Arctic ecosystem and its communities," said Rebecca Noblin, a staff attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity in Anchorage. "The benefits of protecting the polar bear from pesticide poisoning will reverberate throughout the entire Arctic ecosystem, with positive impacts for Arctic people, who share the top of the food pyramid with polar bears." ...


Has the Arctic warmed enough for a Silent Spring?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Dec 1, 2009
from Environmental Health News:
Mixture more imposing on brain messenger than lone chemicals
Scientists demonstrate that the effects of different environmental contaminants can add together to have a greater effect on an important signaling chemical in the brain. A mixture of different environmental contaminants can add up to a have a bigger effect on an important brain chemical called glutamate than any one of them alone. ...


Coldcocktailed!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Nov 17, 2009
from Reuters:
Biotech crops cause big jump in pesticide use-report
The rapid adoption by U.S. farmers of genetically engineered corn, soybeans and cotton has promoted increased use of pesticides, an epidemic of herbicide-resistant weeds and more chemical residues in foods, according to a report issued Tuesday by health and environmental protection groups. The groups said research showed that herbicide use grew by 383 million pounds from 1996 to 2008, with 46 percent of the total increase occurring in 2007 and 2008.... The report by the environmental groups states that a key problem resulting from the increase in herbicide use is the emergence of "super weeds," which are difficult to kill because they have become resistant to the herbicides. ...


Sounds like it's time to pull out the super pesticides!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Nov 13, 2009
from National Geographic News:
Cocaine, Spices, Hormones Found in Drinking Water
How's this for a sweet surprise? A team of researchers in Washington State has found traces of cooking spices and flavorings in the waters of Puget Sound.... The Puget Sound study is one of several ongoing efforts to investigate the unexpected ingredients that find their way into the global water supply. Around the world, scientists are finding trace amounts of substances -- from sugar and spice to heroine, rocket fuel, and birth control -- that might be having unintended consequences for humans and wildlife alike. ...


Water has never tasked sooooo good!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Nov 11, 2009
from Mongabay:
Prime Minister of Kenya urged to ban lion-killing pesticide after child dies from ingestion
On Monday October 26th a three-year-old girl mistakenly ate the pesticide Furadan (also known as carbofuran) in western Kenya. Her father, a teacher at a primary school, said that he had no knowledge of how dangerous the pesticide was, which he had purchased to kill pests in his vegetable garden. This tragedy comes after the conservation organization WildlifeDirect has campaigned for two years for Furadan to be banned in Kenya. The pesticide, which is a potent neurotoxin, has been used to kill dozens of Kenya's lions and millions of birds both of which are considered pests to farmers and pastoralists. Now WildlifDirect is going directly to Prime Minister Ranila Odinga for support in the ban. Odinga recently adopted a lion under the Kenya Wildlife Service's (KWS) Wildlife Endowment Fund. ...


Lions and birds are such pests!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Nov 7, 2009
from London Guardian:
Two-year-olds at risk from 'gender-bending' chemicals, report says
Two-year-old children are being exposed to dangerous levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals in domestic products such as rubber clogs and sun creams, according to an EU investigation being studied by the government. The 327-page report says that while risks from "anti-androgen" and "oestrogen-like" substances in individual items have been recognised, the cumulative impact of such chemicals, particularly on boys, is being ignored....Phthalates, one of the main anti-androgen chemicals, which are used as softeners in soap, rubber shoes, bath mats and soft toys, have been blamed for blocking the action of testosterone in the womb and are alleged to cause low sperm counts, high rates of testicular cancer and malformations of the sexual organs. ...


Plan ahead: give all babies androgynous names.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Nov 6, 2009
from Environmental Health News:
Research shows pesticide-free homes can be bug-free, too
When a building supervisor notified tenants in Brooklyn that one of the apartments had a bedbug infestation, Eddie Rosenthal feared that it was only a matter of time until they spread to his home. But it wasn't just the bugs that gave Rosenthal the creeps. So did the prospect of using pesticides. So Rosenthal decided to try a few tricks that might keep his home bug-free without spraying chemicals. He raised his bed off the ground, filled some cracks and applied some nontoxic powder to spaces between walls. Now new research shows that such good housekeeping techniques not only minimize chemical use, but they are even more effective at controlling pests than hiring an exterminator to spray powerful, toxic pesticides. A single use of such techniques in 13 New York City apartment buildings eliminated substantially more cockroaches and mice than repeated professional applications of pesticides, according to a new study. ...


Please don't let the pests figure out our new strategy!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Nov 4, 2009
from Greenwire:
Pesticide-Industry Rep Picked for Trade Post Draws Fire
A coalition of advocacy groups launched a campaign today opposing President Obama's choice of a pesticide industry official to represent U.S. interests in agricultural trade negotiations. The 85 groups -- including Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, the Organic Consumers Association, the National Family Farm Coalition and dozens of state farm worker groups -- sent a letter today to the Senate Finance Committee opposing the nomination ahead of a scheduled confirmation hearing tomorrow for Islam Siddiqui. ...


Whoa! A letter! That'll get their attention!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Nov 2, 2009
from Parkersburg News and Sentinel:
Ohio River leads nation in toxic discharge
A national environmental group has released a study indicating two area rivers are among the top 10 waterways for total toxic discharge... The bulk of the New River's 14 million pounds of toxic discharge is largely the result of the U.S. Army Radford Army Ammunition plant in Radford, Va. The study claims the plant is responsible for more than 13.6 million pounds of toxic pollutants into the New River. Calls to the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection office in Parkersburg were referred to Charleston. After several days of leaving messages, officials in Charleston referred questions to Melyssa Savage, Title III program manager for the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. Savage was out of the office. ...


Maybe everybody's gone fishing.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Oct 28, 2009
from Cold Truth:
The chemical industry hides behind touchy-feely name...
The Coalition for Chemical Safety sounds like just the kind of group to which environmental activists would swarm. The images on their Web site are iconic: A child holding the hand of a grownup, a worker's hard hat with an American flag decal, a family photo.... But if you check the interactive map on the coalition's website, the three or four "members" in the 13 states listed are mostly agri-business, chemical and industry trade associations....earlier this month, the chemical industry received an unexpected gift when the White House Office of Management and Budget prevented EPA from requiring safety data on pesticides that Congress had required years earlier. The OMB -- which oversees regulatory policies -- was notorious for bending over backwards in previous administrations to please industry, especially in regulations involving the environment and public health and safety. ...


Vhat? You prefer they name themselves We Vant Pesticides to Harm You?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Oct 25, 2009
from King's College London via ScienceDaily:
Pesticides Exposure Linked To Suicidal Thoughts
A new study in China has found that people with higher levels of pesticide exposure are more likely to have suicidal thoughts. The study was carried out by Dr Robert Stewart from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London together with scientists from Tongde Hospital Zhejiang Province.... The study found that people who stored pesticides at home, i.e. those with more exposure, were more likely to report recent suicidal thoughts. Supporting this, the survey also found suicidal thoughts to be associated with how easily accessible these pesticides were in the home and that the geographic areas with highest home storage of pesticides also had highest levels of suicidal thoughts in their populations. ...


Now if we could just get the pests to commit suicide all our problems would be solved!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 19, 2009
from Voice of America:
Fish Kills Linked to Water Pollutants
Since 2002 thousands of fish in the United States have died and continue to die in many rivers, most in the rivers of the southern east coast. Researchers have found what they call "the feminization of fish" or the presence of immature eggs in male fish. They have also found different levels of water contamination all related to human activity. The government says twenty percent of male black bass in river basins across the country have immature egg cells in their sexual organs....Scientists have found contaminants such as herbicides, pesticides, estrogen and birth control chemicals in the river. Higher concentrations were found where farming is intense and human population dense. In general, water treatment plants do not remove all chemicals before dumping water back into rivers. So called endocrine disruptors are especially worrisome because they can change sexual behavior. ...


Her/him/maphrodite phish.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Oct 17, 2009
from Forbes:
Bad Buzz For Bayer
A documentary on the declining population of bees worldwide is causing a migraine for German drug company Bayer. In Vanishing of the Bees, which opened in British theaters this month, beekeepers blame neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides produced by Bayer ( BAYRY.PK - news - people ), for so-called Colony Collapse Disorder. They theorize that neonicotinoids disrupt bees' navigational abilities, making them dizzy and unable to find their way back to the hive. There's more at stake than honey on your cereal. Without bee pollination, a third of the earth's food crops would fail. ...


If only the bees had cellphones, equipped w/ GPS.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Oct 17, 2009
from Richmond Review:
Richmond makes pesticides illegal
Using pesticides to spruce up lawns and gardens on all residential property and most city property is now illegal in Richmond. In a final vote this week, city council enacted the Pesticide Use Control Bylaw, giving bylaw enforcement officers power to fine homeowners up to $1,000 for using products like Roundup, Killex and Weed 'N' Feed.... Bylaw officers can write tickets to those who break the rules -- $100 for first offence, $500 for second and $1,000 for third. Tuesday's council vote thrilled members of the Richmond Pesticide Awareness Coalition, which has long lobbied for a bylaw. The coalition's Michelle Li said she hopes the city will now work to educate homeowners and lawn care companies of alternatives. ...


Is there a pesticide to get rid of bylaw officers?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Oct 15, 2009
from Agence France-Presse:
'Toxic legacy' seeps from melting Alpine glaciers
Swiss researchers have found that Alpine glaciers melting under the impact of climate change are releasing highly toxic pollutants that had been absorbed by the ice for decades. They warned in a study abstract published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology that it could have a "dire environmental impact" on "pristine mountain areas" as global warming accelerates. Much of the pollution was dumped on Europe's biggest mountain range by atmospheric currents from further afield, according to the researchers at three Swiss scientific institutes. ...


What goes around, comes around.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Oct 1, 2009
from US News and World Report:
Common Weed Killer Impacts Wildlife
An analysis of more than 100 scientific studies conducted on atrazine, one of the world's most common and controversial weed killers, reveals the chemical's consistent ill effects on the development, behavior, immune, hormone and reproductive systems of amphibians and freshwater fish, USF researchers have concluded in a new study.... [T]he body of scientific research on the chemical shows that while atrazine typically does not directly kill amphibians and fish, there is consistent scientific evidence that it is negatively impacting their biology. The authors conclude that these non-lethal effects must be weighed against the benefit of using the weed killer.... "The weight-of-evidence, however, suggests that atrazine regularly causes reproductive abnormalities and is an endocrine disruptor." ...


Thank goodness we have so little in common with amphibians and fish!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 30, 2009
from Memphis Commercial Appeal:
Enthusiasts aren't souring on oldest form of agriculture
Honey is in deep trouble. You could call it the Apocalypse of the Bees. Late in 2006, beekeepers in North America noticed that worker bees were suddenly disappearing from their hives. Without worker bees to attend to the brood, to maintain the hive and gather nectar to turn into honey, the colony will collapse, hence the term "colony collapse disorder." The beekeeping industry was devastated. Colony loss in North America for 2006-2007 was 32 percent; for 2007-2008, 36 percent; from Sept. 2009 through April 2009 the rate of loss dropped to 29 percent. "Oh, we've been hit by CCD," said Hughes, "and also by the South African hive beetle. I lost half my hives in one year, and now we're down to about 80 from 300." "It's unquestionable that the beekeeping industry is facing very serious problems," said Richard Underhill, president of the Tennessee Beekeepers Association. "And it goes back beyond CCD. Bees have been declining in numbers for about 20 years, due to a variety of predators and viruses and to environmental conditions, like chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. CCD, of course, is the most obvious and sudden and visible of the issues." ...


More sales of high-fructose corn syrup! What a boon to farmers!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Sep 25, 2009
from Associated Press:
Study finds school drinking water tainted
CUTLER, Calif. - Over the last decade, the drinking water at thousands of schools across the country has been found to contain unsafe levels of lead, pesticides and dozens of other toxins. An Associated Press investigation found that contaminants have surfaced at public and private schools in all 50 states - in small towns and inner cities alike. But the problem has gone largely unmonitored by the federal government, even as the number of water safety violations has multiplied. ...


Might as well get the little buggers used to it.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Sep 22, 2009
from Environmental Expert (UK)h:
New chemical pollutants? Research finds fluorochemicals in water samples
Another contaminant found in Canadian groundwater samples may join the list of environmental substances that could be harmful to humans and the environment.... The newest potential threat to human health and the environment is fluorochemicals known as perfluorinated phosphoric acids (PFPAs), which were found in water samples taken for study in the past decade from Canadian creeks, rivers and, waste treatment effluents. PFPAs were found at 24 of 30 sites used in the research.... PFPAs are used commercially as leveling and wetting agents and to defoam additives used in pesticide formulations. Similar fluorochemicals have been used for industrial purposes since the 1950s but were not identified as widespread environmental contaminants until 2001. As noted in the article, PFPAs lack hydrogen atoms and may resist degradation, like other fluorochemicals such as PFCAs and PFSAs -- perfluorinated carboxylic and sulfonic acids -- that once were used commercially and now are regulated in the United States and Canada. "From the analysis of Canadian surface waters, low-level PFPA contamination clearly is widespread," according to the authors. ...


Thank god I'm acronym-challenged. It's just too hard to remember what these things mean!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Sep 19, 2009
from The Denver Post:
Chemicals fuel ailment debate
Meggan Smoler buries her face in her hands and collapses into the back seat of the Subaru she has called home for the past four months... Smoler is crippled, she says, by encounters with routine chemicals such as pesticides, perfume, paint, air fresheners and car exhaust. She is joined by as much as 16 percent of the U.S. population who describe ailments that remain a medical mystery. Sufferers call their disease multiple chemical sensitivity, or MCS. While many doctors and scientists call their physical symptoms an eruption of psychological stress, some research is uncovering scientific underpinnings to MCS. Japan, Germany, Canada, Austria and Great Britain have acknowledged the disease as real and eligible for insurance coverage. Colorado has even given MCS its own special month. "I literally exist to prove to the world how toxic it is getting," says Smoler, who thinks her big problems started five years ago in a moldy house. "I am the canary in the coal mine." ...


Multiple ComPLAINer Syndrome, more like.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Sep 14, 2009
from Miller-McCune:
Divining the Secret of Deformed Roadkill
Hard as it is to be a voice in the wilderness, Judy Hoy has been sounding an alarm in southwestern Montana for more than 13 years. For years she's been documenting, through autopsies, photos, articles and scientific papers, changes -- mutations, really -- she's observed in various ungulate species in the valley. In particular, she's seen malformed genitalia among male white-tailed deer. Such observations are not unique. More and more scientists are documenting reproductive changes in male animals ranging from cricket frogs to polar bears. But the response from public health and governmental agencies has been underwhelming.... In 1996, the Hoys noticed something strange among the roadkill. "It started with Buck No. 9," Judy said. "We called him that because he was the ninth buck we had seen with malformed genitalia."... The next year, 25 of 49 males had anomalies in their genitals. Between 1998 and 2000, two-thirds of the bucks examined had abnormalities.... She described examining different endocrine-disrupting compounds, like a detective at a murder scene, eliminating suspects until she met up with chlorothalonil, a broad-spectrum fungicide. It had been the go-to fungicide in 1994 when neighboring farmers in Idaho were fighting potato blight. ...


Hmm... could endocrine disruptors could be used for good, rather than evil?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Sep 9, 2009
from Telegraph.co.uk:
Pesticides blamed for killing bees
In recent years bee populations around the world have plummeted, with British bee keepers losing a fifth of hives over last winter. But the cause of the sudden decline has not been identified. Now a new study by the insect research charity Buglife and the Soil Association has claimed the decline was caused in part by a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids. The "systemic" chemical, that kills unwanted insects by getting into the cell of the plant, is widely used on farms in Britain for crops like oilseed rape and the production of pot plants.... The new study brought together a number of peer-reviewed pieces of research. It concluded that neonicotinoid pesticide damages the health and life cycle of bees over the long term by affecting the nervous system. "[Neonicotinoids] may be a significant factor contributing to current bee declines and could also contribute to declines in other non-target invertebrate species," the report read. ...


Hooray! It's not cell phones!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Aug 23, 2009
from Chicago Tribune:
Toxins in Lake Michigan fish linked to diabetes
...a new study of Great Lakes boat captains over 15 years found a correlation between the chemical DDE and diabetes. Those who ate more fish had more DDE in their blood and were more likely to develop diabetes, according to results published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives in July. DDE is produced in the bodies of small bottom-feeding fish from ingesting the prevalent pesticide DDT. The chemical transfers to bigger fish when they eat smaller fish and then accumulates in the fat and liver of people who eat lots of what they catch. "Sports fishermen are at the top of the food chain," said Bruce Fowler, assistant director of science at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which funded the study, along with the federal Environmental Protection Agency. ...


Sounds absolutely DIAbolical!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 19, 2009
from American Chemical Society, via EurekAlert:
Homes pollute: Linked to 50 percent more water pollution than previously believed
In the study, Lorence Oki, Darren Haver and colleagues explain that runoff results from rainfall and watering of lawns and gardens, which winds up in municipal storm drains. The runoff washes fertilizers, pesticides and other contaminants into storm drains, and they eventually appear in rivers, lakes and other bodies of water.... Preliminary results of the study suggest that current models may underestimate the amount of pollution contributed by homes by up to 50 percent. That's because past estimates focused on rain-based runoff during the wet season. "Use of pesticides, however, increases noticeably during the dry season due to gardening, and our data contains greater resolution than previous studies," Oki says. ...


If it's that way in California, imagine 123 Maple Street, Anytown, USA.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Aug 18, 2009
from Mongabay, via Treehugger via BoingBoing:
Pesticide use linked to dying frogs in California
Don Sparling of Southern Illinois University Carbondale found that minute quantities of endosulfan -- the active ingredient in many pesticides -- was enough kill frogs. "At 0.8 parts per billion, we lose all of them," Sparling said. 8 parts per billion is the equivalent of a dozen salt grains dissolved in 500 gallons of water. "We always thought there was an association between pesticides and declining amphibian populations, and we're building up a body of evidence to show this is the case." Sparling and colleagues found that endosulfan are making their way, likely via wind currents, into critical frog habitat, triggering die-offs among Pacific tree frogs and foothill yellow-legged frogs, which are native to meadows in California's Sierra Mountains.... "These pesticides are applied by airplanes and we found that the wind would blow some of it up into the mountains, for instance. In other cases, these chemicals would volatize after being applied, turning into a gaseous state, which could also be picked up and spread into the mountains by wind." ...


That is the ugliest canary I've ever seen.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 12, 2009
from Environment Canada:
Canada moves towards ban on tributyltins
Given the hazardous properties, as well as the potential for persistence and biocaccumulation and the continuing uses of tributyltins and tetrabutyltin, it is recommended that these substances be added to the Schedule I of CEPA 1999. As such, a proposed order to add tributyltins and tetrabutyltins to the List of Toxic substances (Schedule I of CEPA 1999) will be released for a 60-day public comment period.... [from Environment Canada: "The pesticide tributyltin (TBT) is a highly toxic chemical used as a general lumber preservative and slimicide (a chemical toxic to bacteria and fungi). However, the use of tributyltin in antifouling paints on the hulls of ships and boats poses one of the greatest environmental concerns, leading to regulatory aftion in a number of countries, including Canada."] ...


Pesticide and slimicide? How about just calling it a "Gaiacide"?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 5, 2009
from NUVO Newsweekly:
Unsafe waters in Indianapolis
A fast and toxic algae growth spurt on Central Indiana waterways in recent weeks is responsible for hundreds of dead fish in White River in Indianapolis, as well as warnings to those using the Geist or Morse reservoirs for summer recreation... "When the algae are in very high concentrations, like they are right now in the White River, they make oxygen during the day, but rob oxygen from the water at night," according to Lenore Tedesco, director of [the IUPUI Center for Earth and Environmental Science]. "Without enough oxygen, fish will basically suffocate." While the presence of this type of algae is natural, the excessive and fast growth as seen in recent weeks, and the resulting dead fish, are not produced by natural causes. "Right now we are seeing algal blooms in may of our freshwater systems," Tedesco said. "This suggests excessive nutrients in the water." ...


Sounds positively vampiric!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 5, 2009
from Environmental Health News:
Rural well water linked to Parkinson's; California study implicates farm pesticides
Rural residents who drink water from private wells are much more likely to have Parkinson's disease, a finding that bolsters theories that farm pesticides may be partially to blame, according to a new study. The risk to people in California's Central Valley was 90 percent higher for those who had private wells near fields sprayed with certain insecticides. People with the incurable neurological disease "were more likely to have consumed private well water, and had consumed it on average 4.3 years longer," UCLA scientists reported. Unlike municipal water supplies, private wells are largely unregulated and are not monitored for contaminants. ...


We could call it Pesticidinson's Disease.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Aug 2, 2009
from Glasgow Sunday Herald:
Half of all the fruit & veg you buy is contaminated
ALMOST HALF of the fresh fruit and veg sold across the UK is contaminated with toxic pesticides, according to the latest scientific surveys for the government... Alarmingly, as much as a quarter of the food on sale in 2008 - the date of the latest figures - was found to contain multiple pesticides. In some cases, up to ten different chemicals were detected in a single sample. advertisement Experts warn that the "cocktail effect" of so many different chemicals endangers health. They also point out that some of the pesticides are not only cancer-causing but also so-called "gender-benders" - chemicals that disrupt human sexuality. ...


I'll drink to that!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jul 29, 2009
from Georgetown University Medical Center, via EurekAlert:
Common household pesticides linked to childhood cancer cases in Washington area
A new study by researchers at the Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center finds a higher level of common household pesticides in the urine of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a cancer that develops most commonly between three and seven years of age. The findings are published in the August issue of the journal Therapeutic Drug Monitoring. Researchers caution that these findings should not be seen as cause-and-effect, only that the study suggests an association between pesticide exposure and development of childhood ALL. "In our study, we compared urine samples from children with ALL and their mothers with healthy children and their moms. We found elevated levels of common household pesticides more often in the mother-child pairs affected by cancer," says the study's lead investigator, Offie Soldin, PhD, an epidemiologist at Lombardi. Soldin cautions, "We shouldn't assume that pesticides caused these cancers, but our findings certainly support the need for more robust research in this area." ...


Correlation is not causation... but...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jul 28, 2009
from New York Times:
Dead Zone in Gulf Is Smaller Than Forecast but More Concentrated in Parts
Scientists said Monday that the region of oxygen-starved water in the northern Gulf of Mexico this summer was smaller than forecast, which means less disruption of shrimp, crabs and other marine species, and of the fisheries that depend on them. But researchers found that although the so-called dead zone along the Texas and Louisiana coasts was smaller about 3,000 square miles compared with a prediction of about 8,000 square miles -- the actual volume of low-oxygen, or hypoxic, water may be higher, as the layer is deeper and thicker in some parts of the gulf than normal. And the five-year average size of the dead zone is still considered far too big, about three times a target of 2,000 square miles set for 2015 by an intergovernmental task force.... She said unusual winds and currents this spring had driven much of the hypoxic water to the east, reducing the size of the zone but concentrating it. "In actuality we found quite a severe area that was large in volume," she said. "Organisms were obviously stressed." ...


I'll tell ya -- this organism is feeling pretty stressed.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Jul 25, 2009
from London Guardian:
Dragonflies in danger of extinction seek sanctuary at new rescue centre
Dragonflies may have hovered and hunted across the planet for the last 325m years, but their modern relatives are staring extinction in the face. Experts warn that one-third of British species are now under threat, a plight that today sees the opening of the UK's first ever dragonfly centre to celebrate and protect one of the country's most fascinating insects. Located at Wicken Fen nature reserve in Cambridgeshire, the new centre hopes to reverse the decline of the 42 species found regularly in the UK. Conservationists blame the decline on the loss of wetlands, and pesticides and insecticides drifting from farmland. ...


Here NOT be dragons!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Jul 18, 2009
from St. Petersburg Times:
North Tampa residents win battle to stop chemical use at golf course
People who live around the Babe Zaharias Golf Course have won their battle to stop the Tampa Sports Authority from using a pesticide that some say has made them sick. But it wasn't the authority that gave in to the group's demands. Chemical giant Dow AgroSciences decided Thursday to cancel an application of the soil fumigant Curfew next week. "In light of strong protests and threatened actions of a vocal group of residents and activists, Dow AgroSciences will not place the applicator, itself, or the product in a volatile situation that could result in unfounded allegations, the unnecessary expenditure of regulatory resources or potential litigation," Dow officials told the authority in a written statement... Curfew is used to control nematodes and mole crickets. Its active ingredient is 1,3-dichloropropene. The warning label says its vapors can cause kidney, lung and liver damage and death if inhaled. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies it as a probable carcinogen. ...


Notice they don't even mention potential health effects: that's par for the course!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jul 13, 2009
from Brisbane Times:
Three-headed fish found on Sunshine Coast
More mutant fish have been found at a Noosa fish hatchery, including mullet embryos with two and three heads. The discoveries come after seven mullet - four females and three males taken from the Noosa River, were given to the Sunland Freshwater Fish Hatchery at Boreen Point for breeding this month. Fifty per cent of embryos found during two separate spawning events on July 5 and 6 had some form of cell abnormality, including some with two heads. A single mullet fry was found with three heads. ...


Does each head sport a mullet? Now that's an entertaining mutation!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jul 5, 2009
from Contra Costa Times:
EPA tentatively agrees to pesticide use restrictions near Bay Area endangered species habitat
The Environmental Protection Agency last week announced its tentative settlement agreement to temporarily ban in eight Bay Area counties the use of 74 pesticides in habitat set aside for 11 imperiled species. The agency also agreed to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to rigorously assess any risks posed by these pesticides to the endangered or threatened species. That latter step will clear up uncertainty over the effects of these powerful chemicals on animal species deemed near the brink of survival, said Jeff Miller, a spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity in San Francisco, a nonprofit that filed a 2007 lawsuit leading to the settlement. "The end game is to get them to actually conduct the assessments of what the actual effects are," Miller said. ...


Here's my assessment: Pesticides are poison!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jun 18, 2009
from The Daily Green:
Even If You Don't Use Pesticides, Your Home May Harbor Them
... pesticides linger in living spaces long after they've been used to kill roaches, ants, wasps, fleas and ticks or other pests in the home, lawn and garden.... About 165 pesticide compounds are probable or possible carcinogens, according to the EPA, and a recent study linked pesticide exposure during pregnancy to leukemia. Other pesticides may mimic hormones and affect early childhood development, reproduction and other diseases. Pesticides have been linked to everything from Parkinson's disease to obesity, and they often stay on the market long after independent scientists raise serious concerns about their safety. The results were sobering: Most U.S. kitchen floors are laced with pesticides -- several known to be toxic and several that were banned decades ago. ...


Pesticides... are a pest!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Jun 10, 2009
from Associated Press:
Pollution experts: Save fish from drugs in water
Pollution experts on Tuesday pressed a congressional panel for stronger action to keep pharmaceuticals and other contaminants out of the water, saying they are hurting fish and may threaten human health. Thomas P. Fote, a New Jersey conservationist who sits on the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, said the pollutants are damaging commercial fisheries. He told congressmen not to "study a problem to death and never do anything." Fote appeared in a lineup of witnesses Tuesday before the subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife of the House Natural Resources Committee. The witnesses pointed to research showing damage to fish and other aquatic species from pharmaceuticals, pesticides and other industrial chemicals, especially those that alter growth-regulating endocrine systems. Some scientists worry about the potential of similar harm to humans. ...


These fish need a "just say no" campaign.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 9, 2009
from Mongabay:
Kenya moves forward to ban the pesticide Furadan after it is used to kill 76 lions
After highly-publicized poisonings of lions in Kenyas national parks, the Kenyan Parliament has begun addressing longstanding concerns regarding the pesticide Furadan. Since 1995 Furadan has been used to illegally kill 76 lions, 15 hyenas, 24 hippos, over 250 vultures, and thousands of other birds in Kenya. These numbers are likely low due to under-reporting, according to Kenya-based conservation organization, Wildlife Direct. Furadan is the trade name for Carbofuran, which is manufactured by Farm Machinery and Chemicals Corporation(FMC) in the United States. The deliberate poisoning of wildlife in Kenya by Furadan is often in retaliation for predators killing a farmers' livestock. On the other hand, birds die from ingesting the pesticide off of crops. ...


O majestic wildlife...
I will kill you!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jun 4, 2009
from Wiley-Blackwell via EurekAlert:
Association found between Parkinson's disease and pesticide exposure in French farm workers
Laboratory studies in rats have shown that injecting the insecticide rotenone leads to an animal model of PD and several epidemiological studies have shown an association between pesticides and PD, but most have not identified specific pesticides or studied the amount of exposure relating to the association. A new epidemiological study involving the exposure of French farm workers to pesticides found that professional exposure is associated with PD, especially for organochlorine insecticides.... The study found that PD patients had been exposed to pesticides through their work more frequently and for a greater number of years/hours than those without PD. Among the three main classes of pesticides (insecticides, herbicides, fungicides), researchers found the largest difference for insecticides: men who had used insecticides had a two-fold increase in the risk of PD. ...


Poison is as poison does...?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jun 1, 2009
from Sydney Australian:
Spray blamed for new bird deaths
BIRDS are again dropping dead from the sky in a new toxic drama in Western Australia. Nearly 200 ibises, ravens, gulls, ducks and a pelican were found dead or frothing and convulsing in Perth at the weekend. The discovery comes a year after the mysterious mass death of 200 birds only a few kilometres away and two years after the Esperance lead contamination scandal which emptied the skies over the holiday town of Esperance for months when thousands of birds were poisoned. The Department of Environment and Conservation yesterday blamed the latest deaths on the pesticide Fenthion, but said it was unclear whether it was a deliberate bird poisoning or had been caused by someone illegally dumping pesticide. ...


Perhaps... this is what the prophet Chicken Little was talking about.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, May 29, 2009
from The Brisbane Courier-Mail:
Noosa two-headed fish scare widens
CHEMICAL contamination that caused gross deformities to millions of fish larvae may be more widespread in Noosa waterways than first thought. Data from the Department of Primary Industries showing chemical contamination in Cooloothin Creek was released two weeks ago but the State Government has been playing down the find, saying the levels are so low as to be insignificant. However, the scientist who alerted authorities to problems said yesterday that it was likely Kin Kin Creek also was contaminated. The agricultural chemicals carbendazim, atrazine and metolachlor were found near the Sunland Fish Hatchery by the DPI's Noosa Fish Health Taskforce scientists. ...


Two-headed fish are scary in so very many ways!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, May 22, 2009
from Center for Biological Diversity:
Massive Effort Needed to Save Bat Species From Extinction
The Center for Biological Diversity and 60 other national and regional organizations sent a letter today to members of Congress requesting increased funding for research on white-nose syndrome, a disease that has been devastating bat populations in the eastern United States over the past two years. Scientists are predicting that if current trends continue, several species of bat may be extinct in just a few years. The cause of the illness has not been definitively identified, and no cure is known. Bats are crucial insect eaters and pollinators whose loss could leave devastating gaps in ecosystems and profoundly disrupt the food chain. The letter was signed by scientists, farmers, and conservation, wildlife, sustainable farming, and anti-pesticide organizations. Biologists predict that the widespread loss of insect-eating bats will lead to burgeoning bug populations, including those that attack crops. Increased use of pesticides on farms may result from the bat die-off. ...


We're starting to flap on a wing and a prayer.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 20, 2009
from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, via EurekAlert:
Contaminants in marine mammals' brains
The most extensive study of pollutants in marine mammals' brains reveals that these animals are exposed to a hazardous cocktail of pesticides such as DDTs and PCBs, as well as emerging contaminants such as brominated flame retardants.... The chemicals studied include pesticides like DDT, which has been shown to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity, and PCBs, which are neurotoxicants known to disrupt the thyroid hormone system. The study also quantifies concentrations of polybrominated diphenyl ethers or PBDEs (a particular class of flame retardants), which are neurotoxicants that impair the development of motor activity and cognition. This work is the first to quantify concentrations of PBDEs in the brains of marine mammals. The results revealed that concentration of one contaminant was surprisingly high. According to Montie, "The biggest wakeup was that we found parts per million concentrations of hydroxylated PCBs in the cerebrospinal fluid of a gray seal. That is so worrisome for me. You rarely find parts per million levels of anything in the brain." ...


Now, why would marine mammals need flame retardants?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, May 18, 2009
from Salon:
Pesticides indicted in bee deaths
Gene Brandi will always rue the summer of 2007. That's when the California beekeeper rented half his honeybees, or 1,000 hives, to a watermelon farmer in the San Joaquin Valley at pollination time. The following winter, 50 percent of Brandi's bees were dead.... Brandi has grown accustomed to seeing up to 40 percent of his bees vanish each year, simply leave the hive in search of food and never come back. But this was different. Instead of losing bees from all his colonies, Brandi watched the ones that skipped watermelon duty continue to thrive. Brandi discovered the watermelon farmer had irrigated his plants with imidacloprid, the world's best-selling insecticide created by Bayer CropScience Inc., one of the world's leading producers of pesticides and genetically modified vegetable seeds, with annual sales of $8.6 billion. Blended with water and applied to the soil, imidacloprid creates a moist mixture the bees likely drank from on a hot day.... Imidacloprid and clothianidin are chloronicotinoids, a synthetic compound that combines nicotine, a powerful toxin, with chlorine to attack an insect's nervous system. The chemical is applied to the seed of a plant, added to soil, or sprayed on a crop and spreads to every corner of the plant's tissue, killing the pests that feed on it. ...


It's so shocking when insecticides kill insects.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, May 13, 2009
from London Daily Mail:
Gender-bending chemical timebomb fear for boys' fertility
Chemicals in food, cosmetics and cleaning products are 'feminising' unborn boys and raising their risk of cancer and infertility later in life, an expert warns today. Professor Richard Sharpe, one of Britain's leading reproductive biologists, says everyday substances are linked to soaring rates of birth defects and testicular cancer, and to falling sperm counts. The government adviser's report published today is the most detailed yet into the threat posed to baby boys by chemicals that block the action of the male sex hormone testosterone, or mimic the female sex hormone oestrogen...In repeated experiments, testosterone-disrupting chemicals found in pesticides, drugs, plastics and household products created symptoms of TDS [Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome] in laboratory animals. Some of the experiments showed that the chemicals work in combination - causing problems at doses where the individual chemicals should be harmless. ...


Like the old song says: I enJOY being a girl!!!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Apr 23, 2009
from Environmental Health News:
Rats are fat after long-term exposure to lower levels of atrazine
A new study with rats shows that long-term exposure to the common agricultural pesticide atrazine causes weight gain in animals fed normal diets and obesity in those fed high fat diets. These health conditions can lead to diabetes, and they may be triggered by damage to critical structures in cells responsible for making energy. The new results suggest a mechanism to explain prior studies that found an association between areas of the United States with heavy atrazine use and high obesity prevalence. ...


I prefer my atrazine supersized!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Apr 18, 2009
from Living on Earth:
Pesticides and Birth Defects
...When crops go in the ground and start to grow, it's the time for conventional farmers to apply chemical weed killers. For example, millions of pounds of Atrazine are applied on US farms each year, even though the herbicide is banned in Europe. And it should not be surprising that between April and July, there tend to be higher levels of pesticides in water than during the rest of the year, as the U.S. Geological Survey has found... What is surprising is new research that shows an association between the time of conception, pesticide levels, and the likelihood of crippling or fatal birth defects.... birth defects like spina bifida, cleft pallet and lip, down syndrome, urogenital abnormalities, club foot among others are some of the birth defects that are more likely to occur for women who conceive between April and July. ...


Sounds like it's time to adopt a Spring celibacy program!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Apr 12, 2009
from The Australian:
When farm sprays go astray
When fisheries veterinarian Matthew Landos got his first look at the double-headed fish embryos in a Queensland hatchery, he had no idea he would soon team up with a Tasmanian doctor worried that the widespread use of agricultural and forestry chemicals was making her patients sick. "In hindsight it makes perfect sense. If exposure to agricultural chemicals could cause deformed and dying fish, as the evidence suggests, of course the chemicals had the potential to trigger serious health problems with other animals, including people," says Landos, who runs a [fisheries] consulting practice... Late last year hatchery owner Gwen Gilson hired Landos to find out why -- after years of healthy hatchings -- embryos and fish fry were dying in huge numbers, while others showed bizarre physical or behavioural abnormalities. His investigation suggested the problem was the result of a cocktail of chemicals sprayed on a nearby macadamia plantation.... "The same company that makes atrazine (as a herbicide) spun out a new company that makes an anti-breast cancer medication that blocks its action," he says, noting that the company involved has complained formally to UC administrators about his public pronouncements on the subject. ...


In most of the world, that kind of thing is called a "protection racket."

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Mar 3, 2009
from Associated Press:
Study: Combining pesticides makes them more deadly for fish
Common agricultural pesticides that attack the nervous systems of salmon can turn more deadly when they combine with other pesticides, researchers have found. Scientists from the NOAA Fisheries Service and Washington State University were expecting that the harmful effects would add up as they accumulated in the water. They were surprised to find a deadly synergy occurred with some combinations, which made the mix more harmful and at lower levels of exposure than the sum of the parts. The study looked at five common pesticides: diazinon, malathion, chlorpyrifos, carbaryl and carbofuran, all of which suppress an enzyme necessary for nerves to function properly. The findings suggest that the current practice of testing pesticides - one at a time to see how much is needed to kill a fish - fails to show the true risks, especially for fish protected by the Endangered Species Act, the authors concluded in the study published Monday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. ...


Like I'm supposed to be soooo surprised by "a deadly synergy"?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Feb 23, 2009
from Environmental Health News:
A worldwide pollutant may cause gene loss
A new study suggests that long term exposure to a common water pollutant reduced the genetic diversity of the midge - a common water insect. Aquatic insects are the foundation of healthy waterways. Other insects, invertebrates and fish depend on the tiny creatures for food. A loss of their genetics is a loss for ecosystem diversity. The pollutant, called tributyltin (TBT), is a widely used pesticide. While TBT affected the growth, survival and reproduction of the midge insect, the greatest effects were found in the genes. TBT-exposed insects lost gene diversity two times greater than non-exposed insects.... Most toxicity studies look at high dose, single generation effects. But, in reality, organisms -- including humans -- are exposed to low-levels of chemicals over long periods, sometimes for many generations. Little is known about how these types of exposures may affect health. In this study, scientists exposed the midge to TBT at levels found in the environment for 12 generations. They monitored growth, weight, mortality and genetic diversity, which was determined by studying DNA sequences known as microsatellites. ...


If I were a midge, I'd be worried. Thank goodness I don't share any DNA with midges!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Feb 13, 2009
from Latin America Press:
Farming chemicals cause kidney failure
More than 3,000 workers at a sugar plant owned by Nicaragua's most powerful company have died from chronic renal failure since 1990 and a victims' group says another 5,000 workers have since developed the condition for the company's use of agrochemicals. The San Antonio Refinery is owned by the Nicaragua Sugar Estates Limited, a part of Grupo Pellas, which produces Flor de Cana rum as well as ethanol and runs an electricity generator in Chichigalpa in the northern Len department... Grupo Pellas denies any wrongdoing, accuses the sick workers of being alcoholics or drug addicts, and says that the illness is provoked by other causes. But a 2006 study by the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, cited by Artoni, found that 95 percent of the 26 wells that serve the northwest of the country and close to 96 percent of the small family-only use wells are contaminated with feces, herbicides, bacteria and agrochemicals. According to a recent investigation by the university, there is a possible cause-effect relation between the laborers' work and kidney failure. Dr. Cecilia Torres, an occupational health researcher at the university told the Latin American Regional Office of the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations that environmental neurotoxins, such as heavy metals -- arsenic, cadmium and lead -- and agrochemicals such as aldrin, chlorothalonil, maneb, copper sulfate, endrin and Nemagon, are major causes of chronic kidney failure in Nicaragua. ...


Maybe they're "alcoholics and drug addicts" because their kidneys are failing!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Feb 1, 2009
from Brisbane Times:
Fungicide maker in child defect storm
THE chemical linked with fish abnormalities and a possible cancer cluster on the Sunshine Coast has been at the centre of a storm over genetic defects in children born overseas. Manufacturer DuPont withdrew its fungicide Benlate from the US market in 2001 after it was forced to defend hundreds of law suits over the product's link with serious health issues, including a child who was born without eyes. In 2000, DuPont was ordered to pay Ecuadorian shrimp farmers more than $US10 million after Benlate run-off from banana plantations contaminated water supplies and poisoned shrimp stocks. Benomyl, the active ingredient in Benlate products, breaks down when sprayed and produces a fungicide, carbendazim, which Sunshine Coast macadamia farmers use. The hatchery, owned by Gwen Gilson, has a macadamia plantation on three sides. Ms Gilson said fish larvae at the Sunland Fish Hatchery, Noosaville, began convulsing and dying four years ago. In August, 90 per cent of fish larvae spawned at the hatchery from brood stock taken from the Noosa River had two heads. ...


I always heard it said that two heads are better than one!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jan 20, 2009
from Union Democrat:
Sierra Pacific defends use of forest chemicals
Sierra Pacific Industries is defending its use of chemicals on forested land after a report from the San Francisco-based environmental group ForestEthics claimed their use is affecting wildlife and drinking water. The report said SPI, which owns about 1.7 million acres in the state, has used more than 770,000 pounds of pesticides from 1995 to 2007 on its land -- which SPI doesn't deny. Those chemicals are affecting wildlife adversely, like the sexual development and immune systems of male frogs, said Tyrone Hayes, a professor in the department of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley. "It's causing male frogs to grow ovaries," said Josh Buswell, the Sierra campaigner with ForestEthics. "That seems a little questionable." One of the chemicals used by SPI is atrazine, which is the second most detected pesticide in drinking water wells, according to an U.S. Environmental Protection Agency national survey. Another is imazapyr, which has been shown to increase brain and thyroid cancers in male rats. ...


Just so the ovaries can still grow frogs!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jan 13, 2009
from Brisbane Courier-Mail:
Two-headed fish larvae blamed on farm chemicals in Noosa River
CHEMICAL contamination from farm runoff has been blamed after millions of fish larvae in the Noosa River were found to have grown two heads. The disfigured larvae are thought to have been affected by one of two popular farm chemicals, either the insecticide endosulphan or the fungicide carbendazim. Former NSW fisheries scientist and aquaculture veterinarian Matt Landos yesterday called on the Federal Government to ban the chemicals and urgently find replacements. Dr Landos said about 90 per cent of larvae spawned at the Sunland Fish Hatchery from bass taken from the river were deformed and all died within 48 hours. ...


I guess this is a case where two heads AREN'T better than one!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Dec 24, 2008
from University of California - Davis via ScienceDaily:
Baby Fish In Polluted San Francisco Estuarian Waters Are Stunted And Deformed
Striped bass in the San Francisco Estuary are contaminated before birth with a toxic mix of pesticides, industrial chemicals and flame retardants that their mothers acquire from estuary waters and food sources and pass on to their eggs, say UC Davis researchers. Using new analytical techniques, the researchers found that offspring of estuary fish had underdeveloped brains, inadequate energy supplies and dysfunctional livers. They grew slower and were smaller than offspring of hatchery fish raised in clean water. ...


As long as everyone is deformed it will all even out.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Dec 20, 2008
from Norfolk Daily Eastern Press:
Pesticides ban to hit farmers and prices
Families will be hit by even higher basic food prices following a drastic European-led ban on pesticides that could change the face of farming in East Anglian. Farmers' leaders have condemned a European Parliament deal to outlaw 22 chemicals that they say could mean a 20 to 25 per cent drop in yields for staple East Anglian produce such as potatoes, carrots and peas - and inevitably lead to increased prices in the shops. They fear that if the plan goes ahead, following a vote next month, many of the corner-stone crops currently grown in the region will become unviable. But groups in favour of the ban say it is justified because of evidence that the pesticides in question can trigger cancer or cause neural, hormonal or genetic damage. ...


I say let's keep using pesticides until we -- and the earth -- adapt to 'em.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Dec 18, 2008
from Nature:
Drinking water contamination mapped
The most comprehensive survey so far has found a slew of drugs, personal care products, pesticides and other contaminants in drinking water being delivered to millions of people across the United States. None of the compounds appeared at levels thought to be immediately harmful to human health. But the researchers were surprised to find widespread traces of a pesticide, used largely in corn (maize) growing, that has, at higher levels, been linked to cancer and other problems. ...


We are all pests now.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Dec 16, 2008
from SmashHits (India):
Fruit based drinks contaminated with pesticides
Fruit based soft drinks outside the US are highly contaminated with pesticides, especially in countries like Britain and Spain, says a new study.... They tested for pesticides such as carbendazim, thiabendazole, imazalil and malathion, which are applied to crops after harvest and can remain on fruits and vegetables during processing, according to a release of the American Chemical Society. They found relatively large concentrations of pesticides, in the micrograms per litre range, in most of the samples analysed. Samples from Spain and Britain had the highest levels of pesticides, while samples from the US and Russia were among the lowest. ...


Cui bono? That is, who benefits from this?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Dec 7, 2008
from London Independent:
It's official: Men really are the weaker sex
The male gender is in danger, with incalculable consequences for both humans and wildlife, startling scientific research from around the world reveals. The research to be detailed tomorrow in the most comprehensive report yet published shows that a host of common chemicals is feminising males of every class of vertebrate animals, from fish to mammals, including people. Backed by some of the world's leading scientists, who say that it "waves a red flag" for humanity and shows that evolution itself is being disrupted, the report comes out at a particularly sensitive time for ministers. On Wednesday, Britain will lead opposition to proposed new European controls on pesticides, many of which have been found to have "gender-bending" effects. ...


This is why I enjoy being a girl!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Dec 1, 2008
from Bioscience, via EurekAlert:
Persistent pollutant may promote obesity
Tributyltin, a ubiquitous pollutant that has a potent effect on gene activity, could be promoting obesity, according to an article in the December issue of BioScience. The chemical is used in antifouling paints for boats, as a wood and textile preservative, and as a pesticide on high-value food crops, among many other applications.... The rise in obesity in humans over the past 40 years parallels the increased use of industrial chemicals over the same period. Iguchi and Katsu maintain that it is "plausible and provocative" to associate the obesity epidemic to chemical triggers present in the modern environment. Several other ubiquitous pollutants with strong biological effects, including environmental estrogens such as bisphenol A and nonylphenol, have been shown to stimulate the growth of fat storage cells in mice. The role that tributyltin and similar persistent pollutants may play in the obesity epidemic is now under scrutiny. ...


So it's not all that fast food and laziness? Whew!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Nov 24, 2008
from Honolulu Injury Board:
Breast Cancer Risk in Hawaii Linked to Pesticides in Drinking Water and Indoor Air
Pesticides leach into the Hawaii ground water system and end up in our drinking water. The warm tropical sun causes the pesticides to evaporate and enter the building through gaps in the foundation and infect breathing spaces inside the homes and schools and office buildings. Not only cancer but many respiratory diseases are caused by pesticides. Controlling insects with pesticides is a huge risk to drinking water and indoor air quality in Hawaii, and ultimately to matters of life and death to the public in Hawaii.... "Emerging evidence on endocrine disruption suggests that environmental chemicals may play a role in the development of breast cancer. Agricultural chemicals, including endocrine disruptors, have been used intensively in Hawaii's island ecosystem over the past 40 years leaching into groundwater, and leading to unusually widespread occupational and general population exposures." ...


That toxical Paradise, Hawaii.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Nov 17, 2008
from Fresno Bee:
Study bolsters link between Parkinson's, pesticide
For years, researchers have suspected commercial pesticides put people at risk for Parkinson's disease. Now evidence in the San Joaquin Valley suggests it's true. Researchers have found a strong connection between the debilitating neurological disease and long-term exposure to pesticides, particularly to a fungicide that is sprayed on thousands of acres of almonds, tree fruit and grapes in the Valley. The fungicide ziram -- the 20th most-used agricultural toxin in California in 2006 -- emerged as a common factor in a UCLA study of 400 people with Parkinson's in the Valley. ...


Who's the pest now?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Nov 15, 2008
from Guardian (UK):
Campaigner wins seven-year battle to force rethink on use of pesticides
An environmental campaigner yesterday won a landmark victory against the government in a long-running legal battle over the use of pesticides. The high court ruled that Georgina Downs, who runs the UK Pesticides Campaign, had produced "solid evidence" that people exposed to chemicals used to spray crops had suffered harm. The court said the government had failed to comply with a European directive designed to protect rural communities from exposure to the toxins. It said the environment department, Defra, must reassess its policy and investigate the risks to people who are exposed. Defra had argued that its approach to the regulation and control of pesticides was "reasonable, logical and lawful". ...


We return to the quaint notion that governments exist to protect its citizens.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Oct 30, 2008
from Science:
Farm chemicals can indirectly hammer frogs
Atrazine, the second-most widely used agricultural pesticide in America, can pose a toxic double whammy to tadpoles. The weed killer not only increases the likelihood that massive concentrations of flatworms will thrive in the amphibians ponds, a new study reports, but also diminishes the ability of larval frogs to fight infection with these parasites. Moreover, the new data show, runoff of phosphate fertilizer into pond water can amplify atrazines toxicity. The fertilizer does this by boosting the production of algae on which snails feed. Those snails serve as a primary, if temporary, host for the parasitic flatworms, which can sicken frogs. ...


Those snails! Nothing but traitors!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Oct 20, 2008
from USGS, via American Society of Agronomy:
Pesticide Concentrations Decreasing
Over the years, frequent research has detected pesticides in ground water around the country, including in aquifers used for drinking-water supply. Over the past few decades, the use of some pesticides has been restricted or banned, while new pesticides have been introduced. One goal of the study was to track the retention of various types of contaminants that would be found in the different pesticides used over the years.... The results of this study are encouraging for the future state of the nations ground-water quality with respect to pesticides," said Laura Bexfield, who conducted the data analysis. "Despite sustained use of many popular pesticides and the introduction of new ones, results as a whole did not indicate increasing detection rates or concentrations in shallow or drinking-water resources over the 10 years studied." ...


RoundUp is now guilt-free!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Oct 2, 2008
from Manila Bulletin:
81 drums of toxic endosulfan recovered from sunken ship
"US-based salvor firm Titan and its local partner Harbor Star have started retrieving the endosulfan from the wreck. As of 1 p.m. last Tuesday, 22 packs of endosulfan, out of 400, had been retrieved, Bautista said.... The divers and the personnel receiving the containers on the barge were wearing hazmat (hazardous material) suits. These are people trained on the handling of toxic substances.... After the chemicals and hydrocarbons are extracted, the bodies of the ferry passengers will be retrieved. ...


Diving in hazmat suits, extracting toxic chemicals, with corpses floating within the sunken ferry... this should be a movie!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Sep 27, 2008
from Chicago Tribune:
Citing cost, USDA kills pesticide-testing program
WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration has abruptly halted a government program that tests the levels of pesticides in fruits, vegetables and field crops, arguing that the $8 million-a-year program is too expensive --a decision critics say could make it harder to protect consumers from chemicals in their food. Data from the 18-year-old Agricultural Chemical Usage Program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture were collected until this year, and the Environmental Protection Agency used the data to set safe levels of pesticides in food. ...


Too bad their isn't a pesticide that's effective against the Bush administration. Oh wait. It's called voting.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Sep 22, 2008
from Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Atrazine found in lakes far from farm sources
The widely used weed-killer atrazine is showing up in pristine lakes in northern Minnesota far from farm country, and scientists believe the chemical is falling out of the sky. In the first statewide study of pesticides in Minnesota lakes, government scientists discovered small amounts of atrazine in nine out of 10 lakes sampled, including some in or near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. ...


To paraphrase that great philosopher, Chicken Little, the sky is falling and it's full of atrazine.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Sep 11, 2008
from Raleigh News & Observer:
Ag-Mart workers testify
Nearly four years ago, Francisca Herrera bore a son who had no arms or legs, triggering the largest pesticide prosecution in state history. On Wednesday, she and the boy's father said they were repeatedly exposed to pesticides while working on a North Carolina tomato farm run by Ag-Mart. Herrera was pregnant at the time. "It happened morning, noon and evening," Herrera said at a Wednesday state Pesticide Board hearing. Sprayers "would pass by close to where we were working. They didn't care if we were eating." ...


I'll have that dish with a side of pesticides!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Sep 7, 2008
from London Independent:
Pollution can make you fat, study claims
Pollution can make children fat, startling new research shows. A groundbreaking Spanish study indicates that exposure to a range of common chemicals before birth sets up a baby to grow up stout, thus helping to drive the worldwide obesity epidemic.... The research, published in the current issue of the journal Acta Paediatrica, measured levels of hexachlorobenzene (HCB), a pesticide, in the umbilical cords of 403 children born on the Spanish island of Menorca, from before birth. It found that those with the highest levels were twice as likely to be obese when they reached the age of six and a half. ...


Hexachlorobenzene... I'd like some of that melted and spread on my french fries, please!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Aug 28, 2008
from Western Morning News (UK):
'Barmy' pesticides ban blasted
Ministers are to step up pressure on the European Parliament not to press ahead with "barmy plans" to ban three-quarters of pesticides used by farmers.... The opposition has to come from across the continent to ensure that it is "not just Britain whingeing", he said.... The controversy centres on the types of chemicals which Brussels wants to remove. They include banning substances which have "endocrine disrupting properties" that could cause adverse effect in humans. However, the public is already exposed to such substances through prescribed drugs, meat, peas and beans and products like soya milk. ...


Oi, guv'nor. Wot rubbish.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Aug 27, 2008
from Popular Science:
New research finds higher-than-expected levels of pesticides in hives
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulates agricultural pesticide use, but this regulation does not account for the interaction of these chemicals that inevitably takes place through the bees' pollination processes. Some of these combinations of pesticides have been found to have a synergistic effect hundreds of times more toxic than any of the pesticides individually, says James L. Frazier, professor of entomology at Penn State.... These changes include immune system blocks and disorientation, which may help to explain the CCD crisis of late. ...


Sort of like mixing gin and tequila.
Only lots worse.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Aug 14, 2008
from KOMO TV news (WA):
Three pesticides singled out in report as threat to salmon
"Overwhelming evidence" suggests the pesticides are interfering with the ability of salmon to swim, find food, reproduce and escape bigger fish trying to eat them, says the evaluation issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service.... Chloripyrifos. Also known by trade names that include Dursban and Lorsban, it is used on more than three dozen crops, including asparagus, alfalfa, cherries, broccoli, onions, pears and peaches, as well as for industrial uses and to control mosquitoes and fire ants. Diazinon. Also known as Knox Out, Spectracide and other brand names, diazinon is used on about 50 crops, including almonds, apples, blueberries, carrots, grapes, spinach and strawberries. Malathion is used on more than 100 crops, including avocados, cauliflower, corn, mangoes, rice, sweet potatoes and watermelon. For homes, it is registered for use on lawns, flowering plants, vegetable gardens, fruit trees, shrubs and other trees. ...


The three horseman embedded
in salmon lore:
Chloripyrifos, Diazinon, and Malathion.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Aug 11, 2008
from Society of Chemical Industry:
Organic Food Has No More Nutritional Value Than Food Grown With Pesticides, Study Shows
New research in the latest issue of the Society of Chemical Industry's (SCI) Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture shows there is no evidence to support the argument that organic food is better than food grown with the use of pesticides and chemicals. Many people pay more than a third more for organic food in the belief that it has more nutritional content than food grown with pesticides and chemicals.... "[T]he study does not support the belief that organically grown foodstuffs generally contain more major and trace elements than conventionally grown foodstuffs." ...


Actually, it's what I'm not ingesting -- or seeing as runoff and bykill -- that I pay more for:
those pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Aug 9, 2008
from Farmers Weekly (UK):
Save Our Sprays: EU Pesticide Ban -- Your Questions Answered
Proposed EU pesticide legislation could remove key products from the market. Mike Abram explains the background, what the current position is, and what happens next.... "Among the many casualties would be virtually all insecticides, strobilurin fungicides, chlorothalonil, mesosulfuron-methyl (as in Atlantis), and metazachlor. It is probably easier to write a list of what would be left." ...


In wartime, we call those casualties
collateral damage.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Aug 7, 2008
from The Register-Guard:
Agency: Chemicals a danger to salmon
"Three insecticides in common use around Oregon homes and farms pose a serious threat to endangered salmon and have been found extensively in Oregon watersheds. The insecticides chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon as they have been commonly used are likely to lead to the extinction of more than two dozen salmon or steelhead runs in California, Oregon and Washington, according to a draft biological opinion by the National Marine Fisheries Service, the federal agency that functions as a watchdog for ocean-going species." ...


Chlorpyrifos, malathion and diazinon -- the Three Stooges of Insecticides.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jul 27, 2008
from Des Moines Register:
Floods foul Iowa environment
"The scope of environmental damage in the wake of this spring's massive flooding is just starting to come into focus. The early findings: Iowa is awash in bacteria, plagued with pesticides, and doused in oil and dangerous compounds, but at concentrations that don't pose an immediate risk to aquatic life or human health. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency collected 169,836 stray computers, appliances, televisions and containers as of July 17, most in Linn County." ...


There is no ark that can save us from this flood.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jul 14, 2008
from Australian Associated Press:
Global warming 'will multiply pests'
"Global warming will allow exotic plants and animals to invade vulnerable Australian ecosystems, the WWF conservation group has warned. Warmer temperatures will allow feral animals and invasive weeds to gain access to cooler and higher areas where they have not previously been able to exist, according to WWF's Invasive Species Policy Officer Julie Kirkwood." ...


Just so we balance things out with plenty of extinctions.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jul 14, 2008
from Vietnam News:
Poisoned rivers menace public health (Vietnam)
Trinh Thi Bien, 73, has lived her whole life along the Nhue River in Ha Tay Provinces Phu Xuyen District. "In the past, the river was full of fish and shrimp, and it was so clean that the villagers could even cook with its water. But this is gone now," she says sadly. "The river has become terribly dirty. My family has drilled three wells, but all the water we find is polluted by the nearby river," says the old woman, who lives in Minh Tan Commune. ...


What did she expect?
That's progress.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jul 4, 2008
from University of Florida, via EurekAlert:
New study points to agriculture in frog sexual abnormalities
In a study with wide implications for a longstanding debate over whether agricultural chemicals pose a threat to amphibians, UF zoologists have found that toads in suburban areas are less likely to suffer from reproductive system abnormalities than toads near farms -- where some had both testes and ovaries. "As you increase agriculture," said Lou Guillette, a distinguished professor of zoology, "you have an increasing number of abnormalities." ...


That said, the suburban toads have that hellacious commute.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jul 1, 2008
from ABS CBN News Online (Philippines):
Toxic chemical leak will have int'l repercussions: expert
One cargo in the sunken M/V Princess of the Stars off Romblon can very well be a ticking time-bomb.... Quijano rejects claims endosulfan in its raw form poses no immediate threat of contamination. "The technical grade 92 percent (in the sunken ferry) endosulfan is a highly-concentrated form of the pesticide, so it doesn't need activation before it can be toxic. It is toxic by itself, and as soon as it gets out of the compartment, animals and humans are exposed to immediate and long-term danger of toxicity even in very small amounts," he said. "The level toxic to fish is .03 parts per billion. Assuming the container broke and all 10 tons spread, there can be sufficient concentration to kill fish within a 100 kilometer radius, even humans exposed to acute toxicity." ...


That's about a 60 mile radius of death,
for the metric-impaired.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jun 30, 2008
from ABS CBN News Online (Philippines):
No 'significant' release of toxic chemical yet: experts
The 10 tons of the toxic insecticide, endosulfan, in the [sunken ferry] MV Princess of the Stars' hull is still in a not-so-soluble "solid flake" form, which explains why a chemical disaster hasn't happened in Romblon, a government chemist said.... He said this could explain why the divers have not tested positive for chemical poisoning and why there are yet no reports of fish kills near the sunken ferry.... "Its really highly-toxic to marine life" ... "a "chemical disaster" would already have happened if the endosulfan was in its ready-to-mix form.... Endosulfan is a severely-restricted [endocrine disrupting] pesticide that can only be used by Del Monte and Dole for their pineapple plantations. Only these two institutional users are allowed to handle the chemical, according to Dr. Norlito Gicana, FPA executive director. ...


Only Del Monte and Dole?
How'd they get that dispensation? And how did this stuff get on a ferry with 800 people?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Jun 24, 2008
from Globe and Mail (Canada):
First nations join pool of Fisheries petitioners
"The government has often used economics to rationalize wiping out or eradicating a particular species, or wiping out habitat for a species. They rationalize it with this thing called 'no net loss'," he said. "In other words they are arrogant enough to think that man is able and capable of making a decision on wiping out habitat, God's creation, and replacing it with some man-made habitat. And I don't think it's possible. "That's one of the policies I'd like the Auditor-General to look at, that goofy policy called 'no net loss'. ...


Goofy indeed: 'no net loss' of microbes? 'no net loss' of fungi? 'no net loss' of insects?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Jun 22, 2008
from Grist:
Why are sperm counts so low in Missouri?
Are the region's titanic annual lashings of agrichemicals -- synthetic and mined fertilizers, as well as poisons designed to kill bugs, weeds, and mold -- leaching into drinking water and doing creepy things to the state's citizens? And what about manure from the stunning concentration of concentrated-animal feedlot operations (CAFOs)...? Greaney cites an Environmental Health Perspectives study showing that men in Columbia have sharply lower average sperm counts.... [T]wo pesticides -- diazinon and metolachlor -- have shown up in samples from Missouri men with low sperm counts. Neither is currently regulated by the EPA as a drinking-water contaminant. ...


Why would the EPA regulate it?
It's just a farm chemical after all.
Isn't that USDA?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Jun 14, 2008
from Chemical & Engineering News:
Pesticide Mixtures Hurt Salmon
"Mixtures of pesticides at concentrations found in the environment can wreck a salmon's sense of smell, according to a new study. Salmon use their sense of smell to find food and mates, detect predators, and migrate seasonally from rivers to oceans. The new findings suggest that the effects of pesticides in rivers on olfaction may be at least partially responsible for declining salmon stocks, which led to this year's ban on commercial fishing for wild salmon along the U.S. Pacific Coast." ...


Perhaps their other senses can learn to compensate.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, Jun 12, 2008
from Daily Pilot:
Toxins up cost of bay project
Sediment and urban runoff containing nasty chemicals like those found in common ant and roach killers find their way from upstream into the harbor. The presence of insecticides in the local waters containing a type of natural chemical compounds called pyrethrins mean costly federal environmental approvals before the city can begin dredging, said Newport Beach Assistant City Manager Dave Kiff. The chemicals kill tiny organisms at the bottom of the food chain and need proper and expensive federally-approved disposal methods, Kiff said. ...


Dredging up the past can be painful.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Jun 9, 2008
from NewScientist:
Pesticides blamed for plummeting salmon stocks
A weak mix of pesticides in river water dampens a salmon's sense of smell, say researchers. In experiments, Steelhead rainbow trout exposed to low levels of 10 common agricultural pesticides could not perceive changes in levels of a predator's scent.... A depressed sense of smell might also keep fish from finding mates and food. Trout are closely related to salmon, and, though the theory is unproven, pesticides may be a cause of plummeting salmon stocks in Canada and the US, Tierney says. ...


Something stinks -- and even the salmon can smell it.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Jun 6, 2008
from NIH, via EurekAlert:
Long-term pesticide exposure may increase risk of diabetes
Licensed pesticide applicators who used chlorinated pesticides on more than 100 days in their lifetime were at greater risk of diabetes, according to researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The associations between specific pesticides and incident diabetes ranged from a 20 percent to a 200 percent increase in risk.... "Although the amount of diabetes explained by pesticides is small, these new findings may extend beyond the pesticide applicators in the study," Sandler said. ...


Those organochlorides are a bit too sweet.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, May 30, 2008
from Tehelka (India):
India's lone DDT manufacturing facility shows no signs of shutting down
The nauseating smell of DDT assaults the senses as one nears this industrial belt built around the once small villages of Eloor and Edayar. There are about 200-odd factories in the region but it is the DDT factory of the Hindustan Insecticides Limited (HIL), manufacturing DDT and Endosulfan since 1956, which has many of the area's 40,000 residents up in arms. There is by now sufficient evidence to show that water in the villages wells has become unfit for drinking and that large tracts of land are turning uncultivable by the season.... A signatory to the Convention, India has banned the use of DDT in agriculture. HIL's DDT production is thus fully export-oriented: its client list has eight African countries, including Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. ...


Silent spring. And summer, and fall. Winter can't be far behind.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, May 23, 2008
from Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture:
Oregano oil works as well as synthetic insecticides to tackle common beetle pest
Not only does oregano oil work as well as synthetic versions but it has none of the associated side effects of synthetic insecticides on the environment. Growing resistance to synthetic insecticides combined with potential environmental damage and new government directives on changes to the way chemicals are registered means that scientists are increasingly looking at natural alternatives that can be produced in the large scale quantities needed for agricultural industry use. ...


Now, what pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer will we need, to grow a really bumper crop of oregano?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, May 22, 2008
from Associated Press:
USDA axes the sole national survey to chart pesticide use
"Consumers lost a key source of information about what's sprayed on their food on Wednesday, the last day the government published a long-standing national survey that tracks the amount of pesticides used on everything from corn to apples. Despite opposition from prominent scientists, the nation's largest farming organizations and environmental groups, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed Wednesday it plans to do away the program." ...


What we don't know surely can't hurt us!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, May 22, 2008
from Chemical and Engineering News:
Groups Petition EPA To Ban Endosulfan
Widely used pesticide is an endocrine disrupter and neurotoxicant... EPA estimates that farmers use approximately 1.4 million lb of endosulfan each year in the U.S. The pesticide is used extensively on cotton, tomatoes, potatoes, and apples, but residues of it have been detected in numerous other foods, including cucumbers, green peppers, raisins, cantaloupe, spinach, and even butter, according to the petition. Endosulfan has been detected in humans and the environment, including remote areas such as the Arctic, where it is not used. ...


Let's see, which would I prefer: blemishes on my tomatoes, or blemishes in my brain function?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, May 17, 2008
from Apapa Vanguard:
NAFDAC bans 30 agrochemical products
"THE National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has banned the sale and supply of 30 different agrochemical products in the country. NAFDAC Director-General, Professor Dora Akunyili, explained in Abuja that the ban became necessary when it was discovered that the pesticides were causing food poisoning that had resulted in the death of many after they consumed food crops preserved with the chemicals... "Samples were again taken to our laboratory and it was discovered that the foodstuffs contained outrageously high levels of lindane, an organochlorinated pesticide commonly called gammallin that affects the nervous system, producing a range of symptoms from nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness to seizure, convulsion and death," she said." ...


We're better off eating pests.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, May 10, 2008
from American Society of Agronomy:
Large Reductions In Agricultural Chemical Use Can Still Result In High Crop Yields And Profits
Researchers investigated whether yield, weed suppression, and profit characteristics of low-external-input (LEI) farming systems could match or exceed those of conventional farming systems. Yields and profits were similar or higher in the LEI systems as in the conventional system, and lower herbicide inputs did not lead to increased weed problems. The results suggest that large reductions in agrichemical use can be compatible with high crop yields and profits. ...


Since profits are all that matter, this opens up all sorts of new opportunities!

ApocaDoc
permalink

Thu, May 1, 2008
from Environmental Science & Technology:
DDT levels in Antarctic penguins present a complex mystery
"The use of DDT peaked several decades ago at more than 36,000 metric tons per year (t/yr). Today, less than 1000 t of the organochlorine pesticide -- banned in most countries since the 1980s -- is applied annually for mosquito control and farming, mainly in the Southern Hemisphere. Despite this drop, Adelie penguins in the Antarctic continue to have the same levels of total DDT in their bodies as they did 30 years ago. New research published in ES&T (DOI: 10.1021/es702919n) identifies Antarctic meltwater as the continued source of total DDT, and possibly other pollutants, in the southern continent's ecosystems." ...


Those penguin feet get less and less happy all the time.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Mon, Apr 7, 2008
from San Francisco Chronicle:
Health problems reported after aerial spraying
"On a clear night in September, the Wilcox family got ready for the airplane that would soon fly overhead and spray a pesticide to fight an invasive moth discovered on the Monterey Peninsula. They shut the windows and stayed indoors. "I didn't think much of it. We thought it wouldn't be harmful," said Air Force Maj. Timothy Wilcox, who's enrolled in the U.S. Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey. The very next day, the Wilcoxes' 11-month-old son, Jack, started wheezing. It got so bad, his eyes rolled back in his head, the boy's father said. The baby spent his first birthday in the hospital on oxygen and medication." ...


Makes you wonder if inhaling the invasive moth would be any worse than this.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Apr 4, 2008
from The Independent:
American songbirds are being wiped out by banned pesticides
"The number of migratory songbirds returning to North America has gone into sharp decline due to the unregulated use of highly toxic pesticides and other chemicals across Latin America. Ornithologists blame the demand for out-of-season fruit and vegetables and other crops in North America and Europe for the destruction of tens of millions of passerine birds. By some counts, half of the songbirds that warbled across America's skies only 40 years ago have gone, wiped out by pesticides or loss of habitat." ...


Nothing to do but quote the late Kurt Vonnegut: Poo-too-weet...

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Mar 25, 2008
from Palm Beach Post:
Suit over limbless boy, 3, settled
"MIAMI The Florida produce company Ag-Mart has settled a civil suit with two former tomato pickers who claimed their son was born without arms and legs because of the misuse of dangerous pesticides in farm fields by the agricultural firm. The child, Carlos Candelario Herrera, known as "Carlitos," was born Dec. 17, 2004. His mother, Francisca Herrera, then 19, originally from Mexico, had worked in Ag-Mart fields in both South Florida and North Carolina during her pregnancy. She said in a deposition that on repeated occasions pesticides sprayed in adjacent Ag-Mart fields had drifted and reached her. She also said she was forced to work in freshly sprayed fields, that her hands absorbed the wet chemicals and that she had suffered sore throat, burning eyes and headaches. Other former employees backed her claims. ...


Johnny got his gun, Carlos got his pesticides.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Mar 15, 2008
from Scientific American:
Fertilizer Runoff Overwhelms Streams and Rivers--Creating Vast "Dead Zones"
"The water in brooks, streams and creeks from Michigan to Puerto Rico carries a heavy load of pollutants, particularly nitrates from fertilizers. These nitrogen and oxygen molecules that crops need to grow eventually make their way into rivers, lakes and oceans, fertilizing blooms of algae that deplete oxygen and leave vast "dead zones" in their wake. There, no fish or typical sea life can survive. And scientists warn that a federal mandate to produce more biofuel may make the situation even worse." ...


This whole dead zone thing just cul-de-sucks.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Mar 14, 2008
from The Hindu:
Govt allows use of 66 pesticides banned outside in India
"New Delhi (PTI): The government on Friday said that there are 66 pesticides such as DDT and Endosulfan, which are either banned or severely restricted in other countries, but are permitted for use in India as these have been found to be harmless. "... use has been permitted only after thorough reviews and satisfying that the particular pesticide does not pose harmful effect under the conditions of use in our country," Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers B K Handique told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply." ...


Would you like some atrazine fries with that PCB burger?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Fri, Mar 7, 2008
from Science Daily (US):
Chemicals In Our Waters Are Affecting Humans And Aquatic Life In Unanticipated Ways
Derek Muir of Environment Canada and colleagues have determined that of the 30,000 or so chemicals used commercially in the United States and Canada, about 400 resist breaking down in the environment and can accumulate in fish and wildlife. These researchers estimate that of this 400, only 4 percent are routinely analyzed and about 75 percent have not been studied.... found that some combinations were much more toxic to the juvenile salmon than any one of the chemicals acting alone... ...


Willya quit ganging up on them?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Tue, Mar 4, 2008
from Chesapeake Bay Journal:
Study links agriculture to increase of intersex fish in Potomac basin
"Scientists have been perplexed for years as to why large numbers of male smallmouth bass in the Potomac River basin contain immature egg cells, but they offer some clues in a recent journal article. Results published in the Journal of Aquatic Animal Health suggest that the high rate of "intersex" characteristics in smallmouth bass from the Shenandoah River and the South Branch of the Potomac appears to be linked to areas with large human populations or intense agricultural operations. ...


Apparently, whether you're an urban smallmouth bass or a rural smallmouth bass, you're screwed.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sat, Feb 23, 2008
from Science Daily (US):
Chemicals In Our Waters Are Affecting Humans And Aquatic Life In Unanticipated Ways
"Substances that we use everyday are turning up in our lakes, rivers and ocean, where they can impact aquatic life and possibly ourselves. Now these contaminants are affecting aquatic environments and may be coming back to haunt us in unanticipated ways.... The researchers looked at mixtures of five common insecticides and found that some combinations were much more toxic to the juvenile salmon than any one of the chemicals acting alone." ...


What, I have to think about combinations of toxic chemicals? How can they label that?

ApocaDoc
permalink

Wed, Feb 20, 2008
from The Asahi Shimbun:
Pesticide dichlorvos detected in sliced frozen mackerel imported from China
"TAKAMATSU--The pesticide dichlorvos, which had contaminated gyoza dumplings imported from China, was detected in sliced frozen mackerel processed in an area of China that handles a large volume of farm produce. The fish was sold in Japan by Kouzai Bussan Co., based in Sanuki city, east of here, company officials said Monday. They said 0.14 parts per million (ppm) of the organophosphorus pesticide was found in the product called Aburi Toro Shimesaba Suraisu, a package of 20 slices weighing about 200 grams." ...


I suppose you could say that's an unholy mackerel.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Sun, Feb 17, 2008
from Friends of the Earth, via Business Week:
Report Raises Alarm Over Superweeds
"As more acres of "Roundup Ready" crops are planted, the use of the pesticide has increased. The increased application has led some weeds to develop a resistance to glyphosate, the generic term for the chemical in Roundup. And, in turn, farmers have had to apply stronger doses of pesticide to kill the superweeds.... According to the report, the amount of weed-killing herbicides used by farmers has exploded, rising fifteenfold since biotech crops were first planted. The report lists eight weeds in the U.S. -- among them horseweed, common waterhemp, and hairy fleabane -- that have developed resistance to glyphosate, the most commonly applied pesticide." ...


Not surprisingly, elsewhere in the article, this headline:
Monsanto Profit Forecast Up.
The makers of Roundup are like heroin dealers, raising the junkies' resistance, so they can sell more, more, more.
Until the overdose.

ApocaDoc
permalink

Copyright 2009 The Apocadocs.com