Thursday, December 25, 2008

Doctors, nurses, and health charities advice on pesticides is best...

Dec 24, 2008
Guelph Mercury
Their advice is best
Dear Editor - Re: "Develop sound, scientific criteria on pesticideuse" (Guelph Mercury, Dec. 19).
The author of this column urges us to get the "best advice possible"when it comes to pesticides.
We agree.
That's why we're listening to the Ontario College of FamilyPhysicians, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the Registered Nurses'Association of Ontario -- all of whom support the province's newpesticide regulations and urge their implementation in early 2009. Ifthe issue is public safety, there's no better source of advice thanour doctors, nurses, and health charities.
-- Gideon Forman, executive director, Canadian Association ofPhysicians for the Environment, Toronto
© Copyright 2007 Metroland Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved.
http://news.guelphmercury.com/printArticle/419721
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NRDC petitions EPA to ban 2,4-D: An Agent Orange chemical doesn'tbelong on lawnsNovember 6, 2008
Posted by Jennifer Sass in Health and the Environment
Tags: 2,4-D, hazard, pesticide, toxic, toxicchemicals
If you've used a pesticide on your lawn in the past 60 years, there'sa good chance you've used 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (aka 2,4-D) -a carcinogen that was also one-half of the recipe for the infamousAgent Orange.
2,4-D is a herbicide in the phenoxy chemical family, used at about 46million pounds annually in the U.S. - about 30 million pounds inagriculture and 16 million pounds for non-agriculture uses like lawns.
NRDC today petitioned the EPA to ban 2,4-D, the most commonly usedactive ingredient in "home and garden" pesticides. 2,4-D is also oneof the oldest pesticides still legal for use. Even though safer andmore effective pesticides are available - 2,4-D is often moreaffordable.
2,4-D is an endocrine disruptor with predicted human health risksranging from changes in estrogen and testosterone levels, thyroidproblems, prostate cancer and reproductive abnormalities. It's alsoneurotoxin linked in animal studies to side effects like brain celldeath, Parkinson's-like tremors, delays in brain development andabnormal behavior patterns.
Pregnant women and children are most susceptible to these potentialeffects.
At home, 2,4-D is used to control aquatic weeds in water where peoplemay swim, on athletic fields, golf courses and playgrounds. It's alsoused agriculturally - sprayed on our food supply, including pastureland, wheat, corn, soybeans, barley, rice, oats and sugar cane.
It shows up in about half of all surface water samples nationwide, andthe groundwater of at least five states and Canada. Once trackedindoors - such as from the bottom of a shoe - 2,4-D can stay in yourcarpet for up to a year. And if you're enjoying a beer or a glass ofwine on that carpet - take extra caution. The chemical is absorbed byyour body more easily if you're consuming alcohol, wearing sunscreenor using DEET. Infants can take in the chemical through breast milk.
In short - 2,4-D is everywhere, and it's dangerous, particularly forour children. The government has allowed this hazardous herbicide tostay on the market for far too long. In light of all the evidence ofthe numerous, varied health risks associated with this popularpesticide, the EPA has a responsibility to protect human health andenvironmental integrity by banning highly hazardous old-schoolchemicals like 2,4-D.
http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jsass/nrdc_files_a_legal_petition_to.html
Jennifer Sass Senior Scientist Washington, D.C.
Jennifer Sass's BlogAbout
Bio:
I grew up in the Canadian prairies where I learned to love openspaces, wild places, big skies, long summer nights, cozy cold winters,and the comfort of good friends. I came to the US as a post-doctoralstudent of toxicology and environmental health. After about a dozensuccessful years as a bench scientist conducting basic medicalresearch, I wanted to transition into policy work. I joined NRDC in2001 to work towards strengthening the regulation of toxic chemicals.When not in the office I like to hike, bike white water kayak, andwalk my dog.
http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/jsass/about/
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Dec 24, 2008
caledonenterprise.com
Pesticide act will change landscape in Caledon
By Matthew Strader, Enterprise Staff
Pesticide use in Caledon could be about to change.
Thanks to the Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Act, proposed in June of 2008,which will come into effect after an approval process, includingpublic and government consultation, the content of many common-useweed killers could be drastically different.
When it does come into effect the Act is going to increase the scopeof substances banned, and how they are banned. And making oneparticular substance unavailable is ‘a good thing,’ according to theTown By-law department.
In April of 2003, the Town of Caledon passed the Healthy HorticulturalLandscapes By-law in an attempt to address the concerns of the publicon the non-essential use of pesticides in Caledon.
In other words, cosmetically used pesticides for personal, andprofessional landscaping.The Town approached the Ministry of Environment, and Health Canada,prior to passing the By-law to convince these levels of government totake a more active role in regulating the cosmetic use of pesticides.
While Caledon cannot take credit for the new pesticide act, it is asmall victory in something the Town cares deeply about.
“What they’re saying is those applicators who are applying dangerousstuff, can’t apply them anymore,” said Glenn Blakely, manager of theTown of Caledon’s By-law enforcement. “In fact, it won’t even beavailable for sale anymore.”
One of the effects of the act will be a ban on the sale of 2,4-D, achemical used in a number of weed killers popularly used by cosmeticlandscaping and weed control companies.
“A lot of municipalities have By-laws in place,” said Kate Jordan,spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment. “But (the ban) is goingto be tougher because it’s going to ban the sale of products.”
Jordan reiterated that illegal use can still happen, and the Ministrywill continue to enforce this issue with everything from fines, topossible criminal charges for serious offenders, however the Ministryis hoping that education on the harm chemicals can do, and theenvironmentally friendly alternatives available will be the realbenefit of the Act.Enforcement will be a difficult practice, and education will be themain focus of the ministry.
“One we have heard of is Corn Gluten,” said Blakely. “It’s greatbecause it is basically just corn. There is also a vinegar used, muchlike we use on our fish and chips, but with a higher acidic content.”
Blakely also explained that there are exemptions to the ban, in whichsome of the environmentally unfriendly products are still allowed.
Examples of this are control of invasive species, such as the purpleloostrife, or emerald ash borer.
Another is the destruction of weeds considered a danger to the publichealth and safety, including poison ivy or hogweed.
The Act also does not regulate the use of pesticides for agriculturalpurposes, only cosmetic, or non-essential purposes.
Golf Courses are also exempt, provided they are fully accredited by anaccreditation body approved by the ministry of environment.
The golf course will also be required to report back to the ministryannually on type and amount of pesticide used.
“It’s a big step,” said Blakely. “And a very good thing.”
The pesticide ingredient 2, 4D is a common systemic herbicide used inthe control of broadleaf weeds. It is the most widely used herbicidein the world, and the third most commonly used in North America.
According to the National Pesticide Information Centre (NPIC), 2,4-Dhas low to moderate toxicity to humans for short-term exposures, butexcessive doses of 2,4-D can affect the nervous system and digestivesystem. Symptoms of over-exposure include: muscle weakness, loss ofreflexes, nausea, vomiting, sweating, headaches, dizziness, and brieflowering of blood pressure.
http://www.caledonenterprise.com/printArticle/62746
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Wed 24 Dec 2008
The Globe and Mail
Many pregnant women still smoking, Alberta study of 28,000 shows
by Dawn Walton
CALGARY -- A disturbing number of women in Alberta are smoking duringpregnancy despite the well-established risks to both the mother andthe fetus, a new provincial study has found.
In what is billed as the largest study of its kind ever undertaken inCanada, the Alberta government tracked chemicals, metals and mineralsin the blood of pregnant women and, in general, found levels ofcontaminants on par with or lower than accepted levels nationally andaround the world.
But the level of cotinine - a nicotine metabolite that is a marker ofcigarette-smoke exposure - set off alarm bells.
Non-smokers are generally considered to have a concentration of thechemical of less than 15 nanograms per millilitre of blood. However,serum samples in this study showed pregnant Albertans had absorbed 5.1to 55 ng/ml of the contaminant.
"The concentrations of cotinine measured here indicate that manypregnant Albertan women were smokers at the time of their blood samplecollection, particularly in the youngest women examined, and inNorthern Alberta," the report concluded.
Smoking while pregnant has been linked to pregnancy complications,premature births, low birth-weight babies, stillbirths and suddeninfant death syndrome, as well as birth defects and chronicrespiratory illnesses.
"It shows we can never have enough in terms of education andintervention strategies and we still have some work to do in theseareas," said Stephan Gabos, senior science adviser and member of theAlberta government's bio- monitoring committee, which oversaw thestudy.
Women under the age of 25 and those living in the North could betargeted for anti-smoking campaigns, he added.
The findings are part of $1-million project that collected the bloodof 50, 599 pregnant women in 2005. Some 28,400 samples, based on thewomen's age and location, were selected for bio-monitoring.
The blood was tested for 170 natural and synthetic chemicalsubstances, including tobacco smoke, polychlorinated biphenyls orPCBs, pesticides, herbicides and lead, which are absorbed by the bodythrough food, drink, air and skin.
The 143-page final report was submitted to the province in May. It wasreleased on the Alberta Health website this month, with no explanationfor the delay. A second component of the study, involving children,should be out soon, according to officials.
"In general, concentrations of detected contaminants were either loweror similar to concentrations previously determined in other studies inNorth America or around the world," the report concluded.
The United States has been doing large-scale testing of this kind fora few years, but Canada has lagged behind. Statistics Canada is in themidst of testing samples from Canadians for contaminants, andpreliminary results have linked the elimination of lead from gasolineand paint to a 25-per-cent reduction in the toxin's prevalence inblood.
The Alberta report could set a baseline for future research and tomeasure the effectiveness of tough new national and global rules onthe use of bisphenol A, perfluorinated chemicals and polybrominatedflame retardant.
The report also highlighted some surprising trends.
Methylmercury levels, often related to eating contaminated fish, werefound to be highest in Southern Alberta.
"We always thought it was the opposite way around," Dr. Gabos said."We had more concerns about some of the industrial development inNorthern Alberta and thought that the concentrations might be higher,but it turns out that this is not correct."
(All figures are still below Health Canada's "level of concern.")
The energy industry and the Alberta government have been accused ofharming the environment and the health of residents in the North byallowing rapid development of the oil sands.
John Tuckwell, a spokesman with Alberta Health, said the report raisesa "few flags" for future research and the direction of public-healthpolicy, such as in the area of tobacco use.
In Alberta, about one in five people smokes, while up to one-third ofwomen smokers said they used cigarettes during pregnancy, a proportionthat exceeds the national average.
The Conservative government introduced legislation last year banningsmoking in public places and workplaces. The last phase of Alberta'sTobacco Reduction Act, which prohibits cigarette sales in stores witha pharmacy, as well in as postsecondary institutions, comes intoeffect on Jan. 1.
© 2008 CTVglobemedia Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20081224.STUDY24/TPStory/National
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Carbaryl; Order Denying NRDC's Petition to Revoke Tolerances
PDF Version (18 pp, 219K, About PDF)
[Federal Register: October 29, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 210)][Rules and Regulations][Page 64229-64246]From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov][DOCID:fr29oc08-16]
http://www.epa.gov/EPA-PEST/2008/October/Day-29/p25693.htm
===================================Warning Industry Propaganda Below===================================
INDUSTRY TASK FORCE II ON 2,4-D RESEARCH DATA COMMENTS ON A PETITIONSEEKING TOCANCEL 2,4-D AND REVOKE TOLERANCES
Kansas City, November 10, 2008 - - "Extensive research, independentscientific reviews and regulatory evaluations worldwide haveconsistently found that authorized uses of 2,4-D do not pose risks ofconcern for human health or the environment," said Jim Gray, ExecutiveDirector for the Industry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data,responding to a recent petition urging the U.S. EPA to cancelregistrations and revoke tolerances of the herbicide 2,4-D, TheIndustry Task Force II on 2,4-D Research Data, (AGRO-GOR, DowAgroSciences, and Nufarm USA) a consortium of manufacturers of theherbicide who have conducted and submitted to EPA over 300 toxicology,ecotoxicity, residue and environmental fate studies on 2,4-D, willurge the Agency to deny the NRDC petition on the grounds that EP Ahave repeatedly reviewed these and other studies, including studiescited in the petition, and concluded that 2,4-D does not pose anunreasonable risk to man or the environment when used according to itslabel. "It's unfortunate that during these tough economic times thatorganizations would tie up scarce EPA resources concerning anherbicide that has already been recently reviewed and proven safe,"Gray said.
The Agency concluded its Re-registration Eligibility Decision (RED) ofthe popular herbicide in 2005, following a 17-year review process. In2007, following more than 21 years of research and agency review, theAgency was able to determine that no correlation exists between 2,4-Dand human cancer. In April 2008, Health Canada's Pest ManagementRegulatory Agency (PMRA) published its Re-evaluation Decision findingthe herbicide to meet all of Canada's strict pesticide safetyregulations.
"These recent findings by the US EPA and Health Canada's PRMA bolsterprevious decisions made by authorities including the World HealthOrganization, European Commission and recent studies by the U.S.National Cancer Institute that deem 2,4-D to be a valuable and usefulherbicide that does not pose additional human health or environmentalrisks when used according to label instructions," Gray added.
2,4-D, one of the most widely used herbicides in North America andworldwide, is applied to crops such as wheat, corn, rice, soybeans,potatoes, sugar cane, pome fruits, stone fruits and nuts. It controlsinvasive species in aquatic areas and federally protected areas andbroadleaf weeds in turf grass. Effective weed control in home andprofessional turf protects property values and provides safe playingfields. Well-managed turf improves the effectiveness of filteringpollutants, preventing soil erosion, improving water infiltration,moderating temperatures, and reducing noise.
An economic evaluation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (NAPIAPReport 1-PA~96) concluded that the loss of2,4-D would cost the U.S.economy $1.7 billion annually in higher food production and weedcontrol expenses. A similar study prepared for Canada found the lossof 2,4-D in the agricultural sector would cost the Canadian economy$321 million and the industrial infrastructure segment an additional$17.5 million annually.
1945 - U.S. Patent No 2,390,941 is issued for 2,4-D to plantphysiologist Dr. Franklin D. Jones of the American Chemical PaintCompany.1946 - 2,4- D is registered for use in Canada on crops and turfgrass.1964 - 54 million pounds of2,4-D are produced providing farmers andhomeowners alike with effective weed control. Studies at the timefind that weeds typically destroyed 30 - 35 percent of crop yields.1970 - Plant scientists continue to fmd new uses for 2,4-D inprotecting crops, such as plant growth regulator on potatoes and weedcontrol for blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and strawberries.1980 - Re-evaluation by the Canadian government of2,4-D is announcedin October.1986 - EP A issues preliminary notification of Special Review.1988 - Beginning of reregistration data development by the 2,4-D TaskForce and review by EPA.1996 - World Health Organization completes its toxicological reviewof2,4-D and determines the compound does not present a risk to humanhealth.2001 - European Commission completes its toxicological andenvironmental assessment of 2,4-D and states" ... that the plantprotection products containing 2,4-D will fulfill the safetyrequirements laid down in the Directive 91/414/EEC."2004 - The Henry Ford organization in Dearborn, Michigan declares 2,4-D one of the 75 most important innovations in the previous 75 years.2005 - Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) issues"Proposed Acceptability for Continued Registration" and determines 2,4-D can be used safely on lawn and turf when label directions arefollowed. Release of proposed decision provides for public comment andinput.2005 - EPA releases 2,4-D Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED).EPA's review of human health and environmental data concludes thatthere is no convincing evidence that would implicate 2,4-D as a causeof cancer and that the herbicide does not pose an unacceptable risk tohuman health when product instructions are followed.2007 - PMRA issues the "Proposed Acceptability for ContinuedRegistration" of 2,4-D for agriculture, forestry and industrial sites,and determines that these uses are acceptable for continuedregistration.2007 - EP A determines that existing data do not support a linkbetween human cancer and 2,4- D exposure. The Agency and issues"Decision Not to Initiate a Special Review" after more than 21 yearsof research and agency review.2008 - PMRA issues final Re-evaluation Decision (RVD) on 2,4-D anddetermines that it is safe to use according to label directions.
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St. John's Daily Spray Advisory

My Past Articles

More enforcement needed for pesticide spray regulations
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 413 words
Karen Griffin - Judie Squires says someone needs to patrol the companies that spray residential areas for pesticides because she's observed nine violations of the Environmental Protection Act in her Paradise neighborhood alone


Spray woes: Province falling down on monitoring pesticides
The Telegram (St. John's) - Final - 10-01-2002 - 253 words
Judie Squires - environment to become poisoned? A temporary ban on all residential pesticides has to be put into place, to protect us, our wildlife and our environment as a whole. Judie Squires Paradise


Government lax on cosmetic pesticide regulation: advocate
The Telegram (St. John's) - 08-28-2004 - 613 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic the province will ban cosmetic use


Woman doesn't expect cosmetic pesticide ban any time soon
The Western Star (Corner Brook) - 08-30-2004 - 712 words
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of Newfoundland and Labrador, isn't optimistic that the province will ban the


Province lagging behind in pesticide control
The Telegram (St. John's) - 09-04-2005 - 496 words
Squires, Judie - it to do is to prohibit the cosmetic use of synthetic pesticides altogether in order to protect our citizens and the environment. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's


The two sides to pesticide use
The Telegram (St. John's) - 07-16-2006 - 781 words
Judie Squires - health of your families. When Canada's most respected health authorities tell us pesticides threaten our health, we should all be listening. Judie Squires writes from Portugal Cove-St. Philip's


Inquiry implicates BTk
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 353 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - of trees. The live spores can be inhaled by humans and animals exposed to BT. Judie Squires, secretary of the Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, says despite claims that


Delayed pesticide laws 'disappointing'
The Telegram (St. John's) - 06-24-2006 - 833 words
DEANA STOKES SULLIVAN - at the end of this year. These products will only be sold to certified dealers. Judie Squires, secretary of the newly formed Northeast Avalon Group of the Sierra Club, isn't


Above Articles available through Trancontinental Newsnet

Time for provincial lawn pesticide regulation
The Telegram (St. John's) - 03-14-2009 - 419 words
pesticides. Please join me in lobbying our province for a pesticide ban Judie Squires Portugal Cove...

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