Thursday, January 29, 2009
New Report Finds High Concentrations of Toxic Contaminants in Sewage Sludge
Richmond ReviewEDITORIAL: Time to ban pesticides
On Saturday, 50 residents turned out to hear Dr. Warren Bell talkabout how pesticides are harmful to children at an educational forum.
Bell says children are at greater risk than adults because theirimmune system is still developing and because of their tendency to putobjects in their mouth and to roll on the lawn.
He along with the Canadian Cancer Society, Richmond PesticideAwareness Coalition and Richmond Children First want pesticides bannedin Richmond
Two years ago, the city toyed with the idea of banning the cosmeticuse of pesticides and herbicides, but decided to adopt a policy thatencourages the responsible use of pesticides. Since then, The RichmondReview has received complaints from residents who are concerned aboutspraying in or near public areas and even from one resident who wasactually sprayed. Obviously, the city needs to do more than educating.
Granted, Richmond is still a farming community. Obviously, plants andpests that can destroy crops need to be sprayed if other methods donot work. But what we’re talking about are herbicidal maniacs who usea toxic arsenal to wipe out a couple of dandelions.
Such overkill is unnecessary. Spraying often occurs in public areaswhere people and pets play. Many of these chemicals are carcinogensand make the landscape a more toxic place.
City council has already approved tough bylaws curbing smoking inpublic areas. So why does the right of private individuals to spraychemicals outweigh the rights of the general public to not have tosuffer in a toxic environment?
It’s time to stop the unnecessary spraying. The good news is thecurrent council members seemed to agree while they were campaigningfor November’s civic election. Now is the time to live up to theirpromise.
Find this article at:http://www.bclocalnews.com/opinion/38563539.html
© Copyright Black Press. All rights reserved.
New Report Finds High Concentrations of Toxic Contaminants in SewageSludge
(Beyond Pesticides, January 28, 2009) The U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency’s (EPA) national sewage sludge survey identifieshigh concentrations of toxic contaminants with heavy metals, steroidsand pharmaceuticals, including the antibacterials, triclocarban andtriclosan. Despite the prevalence of these toxic chemicals in theenvironment and their potential adverse impacts to human health andthe environment, EPA maintains that it is not appropriate to speculateon the significance of the results at this time.
Under the Clean Water Act (CWA), Section 405(d) stipulates that EPAmust identify and regulate toxic pollutants that may be present inbiosolids (sewage sludge) at levels of concern for public health andthe environment. The survey, “Targeted National Sewage SludgeSurvey” (TNSSS), sampled 74 selected waste water treatment plants in35 states during 2006 to 2007. The survey, like its threepredecessors, is conducted to determine which chemicals are present insewage sludge and develop national estimates of their concentrationsin order to assess whether exposures may be occurring and whetherconcentrations found may be of concern. The agency conducted analysisof sewage sludge samples for 145 compounds, including four anions(nitrite/nitrate, fluoride, water-extractable phosphorus), 28 metals,four polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, two semi-volatiles, 11 flameretardants, 72 pharmaceuticals, and 25 steroids and hormones.
The antimicrobial triclocarban is detected in all 84 samplescollected, while its cousin triclosan is found in 79 out of 84collected samples. Along with being the most detected pharmaceutical,triclocarban is also detected at the highest concentrations with arecorded maximum concentration of 4.41×10-5 ug/kg. This value is thehighest ever detected in sewage sludge. Triclosan came in with thesecond highest concentrations in the category with a maximum of1.33×10-5 ug/kg. The antibiotic, ofloxacin, had the third highestconcentration with a maximum of 5.81 x10-4 ug/kg.
The TNSSS data confirms a host of independent scientific researchwhich has found that these widely used antimicrobial chemicals arefinding there way into the environment, contaminating surface anddrinking waters, as well as potentially impacting human andenvironmental health. These findings also correlate with U.S.Geological Survey (USGS) studies that have found that triclosan is oneof the most detected pharmaceutical chemicals detected in U.S. surfacewaters.
The implications of these sewage sludge findings are significant.Municipal waste water treatment plants generate tons of sewage sludgeannually. Sewage sludge is widely recycled on agricultural lands andnonagricultural landscapes as fertilizer, and for land reclaiming andfilling. The application of sewage sludge on terrestrial systems meansthat these antimicrobial compounds, as well as the host of other heavymetals, pharmaceuticals, hormones, organics and PBDEs found in thisreport may be absorbed by crops, earthworms and other soil organisms,and find their way up the food chain and into human diets. Many ofthese chemicals, such as triclosan, are persistent and do not breakdown easily. Their effects on soil microorganisms are still notunderstood. Major questions remain, such as whether these compoundsharm soil microbes, or aquatic life if leached into streams.
Triclocarban and its cousin triclosan are used in a wide variety ofconsumer products ranging from antibacterial handsoap, cosmetics,clothing and toys. Both are used in products that are washed down thedrain and subsequently reach surface waters and waste water treatmentplants. They are both linked to hormonal disruption, especially inamphibians. Triclosan has also been found in urine, umbilical cordblood and breast milk. During the recent reregistration process fortriclosan, which is also associated with numerous health impacts andantibacterical resistance, the EPA concluded that these are not ofconcern. Triclocarban is not a registered chemical with EPA, but fallsunder the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Beyond Pesticides is actively working with other environmental andcommunity groups to ban the non-medical uses of triclosan. In July andagain in December 2008, Beyond Pesticides, Food and Water Watch,Greenpeace US, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club anddozens of public health and environmental groups from the U.S. andCanada, urged the agency to use its authority to cancel the non-medical uses of the antibacterial chemical triclosan in order toprotect human health and the environment. For more information, visitour Antibacterial Program page.
Source: EPA Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey Report, ScienceNews
Conference on Fair, Organic Food and Public Health, April 3-4 in NorthCarolina
Beyond Pesticides will hold its 27th National Pesticide Forum, Bridgeto an Organic Future: Opportunities for health and the environment,April 3-4, 2009 in Carrboro, NC (next to Chapel Hill and theUniversity of North Carolina). This national environmental conferencewill include sessions on Pesticides and public health; Organicagriculture; Domestic fair trade; Organic lawns and landscapes;Healthy schools and daycare; Water contamination; and much more.Register online or call 202-543-5450 to register by phone.
This national environmental conference, co-convened by Toxic FreeNorth Carolina, is an important opportunity for community peoplenationwide to get together, share the latest information, meet withscientists and policy makers, and discuss local, statewide andnational strategies on pest issues, pesticides, public health and theenvironment. As the home of the National Institute of EnvironmentalHealth Sciences (NIEHS) and recently named “America’s Foodiest SmallTown,” the location is just the right place for participants todiscuss fair, organic food and the impact of pesticides on publichealth.
Keynote speakers for the conference include:
Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator and author of manybooks, including his latest, Swim Against The Current: Even A DeadFish Can Go With The Flow. Mr. Hightower has spent three decadesbattling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be.Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Jim has become a leadingvoice for those who no longer find themselves within shouting distanceof Washington and Wall Street. He’s a modern-day Johnny Appleseed,spreading the message of progressive populism all across the Americangrassroots.
Philip Shabecoff, co-author of the new book Poisoned Profits: Thetoxic assault on our children, served as chief environmentalcorrespondent for The New York Times for fourteen years. Mr. Shabecoffalso founded Greenwire, an online digest of environmental news and wasselected as one of the “Global 500” by the United Nations’Environmental Program. His previous books include A Fierce Green Fire:A History of the American Environmental Movement.
Alice Shabecoff, co-author of Poisoned Profits: The toxic assault onour children, is a freelance journalist focusing on family andconsumer topics. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, TheWashington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, and the InternationalHerald Tribune, among other publications. She was executive directorof the National Consumers League and Community Information Exchange.Her previous books include A Guide to Careers in CommunityDevelopment.
For an updated list, visit the speakers page on the Forum website.
January 27, 2009
Kelowna Capital News
SIR board changes tactics
By Judie Steeves - Kelowna Capital News
An innovative, area-wide local pest control program is taking aslightly different tack this year in dealing with those reluctant tofully participate.
Instead of issuing tree removal orders against either orchardists orthose with backyard fruit trees on which the codling moth has not beencontrolled, the Sterile Insect Release board will work one-on-one totry and ensure there’s a thorough understanding of the program andwhat they must do to comply with it.
That doesn’t mean those growers won’t have to meet the requirementsfor meeting the program’s objectives, but staff will work more closelywith the few remaining property-owners not in compliance, beforeissuing a tree removal order.
The SIR program relies on the co-operation of everyone with an apple,pear or crabapple tree to ensure they prevent an infestation ofcodling moth, a non-native pest that burrows into the fruit, making itunfit for commercial use.
Moths are irradiated to make them sterile, then released into orchardswhere codling moth populations have been brought down to a low level,to ensure the remaining wild moths can’t reproduce.
Tuesday was the first SIR board meeting since new council members wereelected last fall, and there are many new faces around the table.Kevin Flynn, representing the Columbia Shuswap regional district waselected chairman, succeeding Colin Day of Kelowna, who did not run forre-election last year.
Vice-chairman is Allan Patton, who represents the Okanagan Similkameenregional district. Graeme James represents the Central Okanaganregional district and Rick Fairbairn the North Okanagan.
Non-voting board members include Brian Given of CORD, entomologistSusanna Acheampong of the provincial agriculture ministry, John Berryfrom the federal ministry, Dr. Felicitas Katepa-Mupondwa from thePacific Agri-food Research Centre, Brian Mennell representing organicgrowers, Joe Sardhina, president of the B.C. Fruit Growers’Association, and Fred Steele, vice-president.
SIR general manager Cara McCurrach told board members there will alsobe three pilot projects conducted this year to ensure areas with highlevels of codling moth infestation are brought under control and tosafeguard areas where pest control has been achieved.
In East Kelowna, where there are still some “hot spots” with highinfestations of the pest, staff may use a multiple mating disruptionlure, which Acheampong explained confuses the moths so they don’t getto mate.
There are also experiments underway with a dual lure which would giveoff pheromones to confuse the leafroller pest as well. Leafroller usedto be controlled with similar sprays used for codling moth control, soit is becoming a bigger problem amongst orchardists as it’s becomingless necessary for them to spray pesticides for codling moth.
Steele noted it’s important the industry look at controlling otherinsect pests without sprays in order for the Okanagan and Similkameento work towards designation of this as an area of low pest prevalence.
The other two pilot projects will be in the Fairview area.
Find this article at:http://www.bclocalnews.com/okanagan_similkameen/kelownacapitalnews/news/38521049.html
© Copyright Black Press. All rights reserved.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Toronto bans smoking near playgrounds, wading pools
When Toronto's new bylaw takes effect, smoking will not be allowedwithin nine metres of children's playgrounds.
Smokers will no longer be welcome within nine metres of Torontoplaygrounds, splash pads or wading pools.
City council passed a bylaw banning smoking near the children's areasat its meeting Tuesday.
The ban takes effect as soon as the province sets the amount of thefine. The city has asked that the fine be pegged at $305.
Toronto already has a smoking ban in place in restaurants. Last week,a new provincial law banning smoking in vehicles carrying childrencame into force.
The new bylaw, which was carried by a 31-6 vote, will also apply toother city-run outdoor areas that attract children, such as High ParkZoo and Riverdale Farm.
================================Warning Industry Propaganda Below================================
January 29, 2009
Pesticide ban a slippery slope for Ontario agriculture
It's hard to think about lawns, gardens, fields and crops when it's-15 C and everything's buried under January snow.
Certainly on the farm, winter is a slower time of year. But somethings need to be thought about because they're important and becausethey have the potential to impact all of us.
The provincial government is finalizing legislation that willimplement a ban on the cosmetic use of crop protection products inOntario. Agriculture is one of the few groups with an exemption underthe new regulations and probably rightly so.
There are few users of crop protection products more trained andeducated on proper, responsible and judicious use than farmers. Wehave to be certified every five year in order to use crop protectionproducts and to make sure we're up to date on the latest techniques,research, rules and methods.
As a result of this approach, Ontario farmers now voluntarily use morethan 50 per cent fewer crop protection products than they did 20 yearsago. We're so proud of this achievement that we encouraged thegovernment to follow our example of training and certification forother users as well. Now that's good news for the environment.
What is not so good news is legislation --like the upcoming ban --thatdoes not have a solid foundation in science.
Last October, I attended a conference hosted by the Canadian CancerSociety that looked at possible connections between cancer and cropprotection methods. It brought together stakeholders from medicine,research, environment, government and agriculture to hear about theregulations currently in place, research underway and what's happeningaround the world.
At the conference, leading medical researchers admitted there is nodirect connection between crop protection products and cancer rates.Participants from outside of Canada acknowledged that our regulatorysystems are among the best in the world and many left with a betterunderstanding of what we do on our farms and how we use many differenttechnologies --including global positioning system and integrated pestmanagement --to protect our crops.
But what was refreshing about this event was the attention given tothe importance of sound science.
Cancer is an emotional subject that has affected so many Canadians --rural and urban -- in very personal ways.
It was encouraging that the Canadian Cancer Society was willing totake an objective look at the evidence that exists, and to involve allstakeholders in the discussion. That kind of approach sets the stagefor an amicable working relationship on future initiatives.
This ban is a slippery slope for Ontario agriculture. First, it putsfields and crops at greater risk of weed infestations from urban areaswhere the proposed regulations would ban the use of products tocontrol them.
Secondly, what kind of message is it sending to the public about ourregulatory system when a provincial law has the power to ban productsthat are federally regulated and subjected to extensive scientificreview?
Farmers are no strangers to cancer and not a single one of us wants toput our families, consumers, or the environment at an increased risk.If there's science to prove that those products have a detrimentaleffect on our health or the health of the environment, then we want tosee it.
Farming is a significant driver of Ontario's economic engine. In fact,we're second only to the automotive sector, proud to provide jobs forthousands of Ontarians across the province. We are also proud of ourroles as responsible environmental stewards and as producers of food.
If we as farmers are to successfully meet the challenge of producingfood for a growing world population, we will need every tool availableto us.
This includes the safe and responsible use of crop protection productsso that we can continue to feed not only ourselves but others aroundthe world.
Richard Blyleven is a farmer and chair of Guelph-based AGCare, theenvironmental voice of Ontario's 45,000 crop and horticulture farmers.
© Copyright 2007 Metroland Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved.
Thursday 29 January, 2009
Pesticides ban: How it will affect your crops
After more than six months of discussions, debate and concertedlobbying the revision of the EU pesticide approvals legislation isdrawing to a close. Mike Abram, with help from industry experts,assesses the potential impacts on each crop
WHEAT James Clarke & Sarah Wynn, ADAS
Weed control will be hit hardest by the potential ban on certainactive ingredients once they are reviewed under the new pesticidesapprovals directive. Pendimethalin, in particular, is an importantpart of many resistance strategies against blackgrass, providingresidual activity with some post-emergence activity.
Alternative options are available pre-emergence, but there will bedangerously few. The reduction in different modes of action willincrease the risk of resistance developing to the remaining actives.
Potentially, wheat production could be cut by 7-10% because of extragrassweed competition, although it could be higher for growers withsignificant blackgrass problems.
It will mean careful planning of cultural and herbicide regimes willbe required to minimise the risk of resistance developing, probablyincluding greater use of ploughing, stale seed-beds and delayeddrilling.
The loss of some key triazole fungicides will have a slight effect onfoliar disease control levels in wheat. There is a possibility thatyellow rust might become more difficult to control, as the at-risklists a number of strong triazoles on that disease.
But although preferred products for yellow rust and septoria, such asepoxiconazole, might be lost, a number of alternative azoles appear toescape a ban, although this is still a grey area and depends on howone hazard, endocrine disruption, is finally defined.
Sufficient alternatives should be available for the control of themost important insect pests.
OILSEED RAPE James Clarke & Sarah Wynn, ADAS
The directive should have only a small impact on oilseed rape. Thefungicides that are lost can be replaced using other existing activeingredients, although higher rates might be required of weakerproducts to maintain similar levels of control.
No key herbicides look like being lost, while, as with wheat, thereare enough alternative insecticides left to maintain adequate levelsof pest control.
PULSES Anthony Biddle, PGRO
Undoubtedly the impacts on pulse production are much less than whenmost insecticides looked like they could be under threat. As it standsonly bifenthrin and possibly deltamethrin of the pyrethroids look likebeing lost.
That still leaves a reasonable number of alternative pyrethroids, pluspirimicarb and a neonicotinoid product (Biscaya) to control key pests,such as pea aphid, pea and bean weevil, pea moth and pea midge.
But, and it is a big but, weed control will be become very difficult.Already challenging after the removal of several key herbicides, theloss of pendimethalin around 2013 will be a huge blow for growers.
It is a widely used addition to pre-emergence herbicides that widensthe spectrum of weeds that can be controlled. While other herbicideswill remain available, a lower level of control will be achieved,particularly of polygonum species, such as black bindweed andknotweed.
Its loss will increase the risk of yield loss. Contamination of pulseproducts from, for example, potato and black nightshade berries, alsoremains a big concern.
Mechanical weed control is an option, but has proved unreliable intrials, particularly in wet conditions.
Fungicides are not widely used in peas, but in wet seasons leaf andpod spot and sclerotinia can be damaging and only Amistar, Switch andchlorothalonil will be left for use in peas. In beans strobilurins canbe used against chocolate spot and bean rust, but, again, the loss ofpossibly all the triazoles will increase the risk of resistancedeveloping.
HORTICULTURE Cathy Knott, independent consultant
The horticultural sector has already suffered some key herbicidelosses because they were withdrawn early or failed Annex 1 in thecurrent 91/414 review. Replacements for products, such as Dosaflo(metoxuron) for carrots, Treflan (trifluralin) for brassicas, andRamrod (propachlor) for lettuce, onions and brassicas have not beenfound. And there could be further herbicides removed before thecurrent directive is replaced.
As in other crops the potential loss of pendimethalin will have thegreatest impact. It is authorised for use on 62 horticultural cropsand is essential for onions, carrots, peas and strawberries. It isalso one of the few herbicides effective on knotgrass and blackbindweed, and there will be no replacement that controls these weedsin the foreseeable future.
The potential loss of linuron and metribuzin will be devastating forcarrots and parsnips - where there will be no broad-spectrumherbicides, and so will the loss of ioxynil for onions. Theseuncompetitive crops can soon be swamped by weeds. Brassicas will relyon metazachlor and a few other products for specific weeds.
The fungicide mancozeb has 33 approvals for use in horticulturalcrops, including in onions and lettuce for downy mildew control. It iswidely seen as vital to prevent resistance developing in otherfungicides.
Another fungicide, myclobutanil, is widely used in strawberries,blackcurrants and apples for powdery mildew control, and in roses, forblack spot, and ornamentals. Tebuconazole is also used in many crops,including controlling alternaria in carrots and brassicas.
Prothioconazole might remain to fill some of the gaps left. It isauthorised for several diseases in cabbages, plus leek rust.
The insecticides deltamethrin and bifenthrin may not be approved. Bothare widely used in brassicas for aphids, while bifenthrin alsocontrols caterpillars and whitefly. But there are alternatives thatshould still be available for these pests.
SUGAR BEET, Broom's Barn
Thee main effect on sugar beet will be the loss of most of theeffective triazole fungicides in use. Beet will also lose quinoxyfen,which gives good control of powdery mildew.
The result will be greater pressure on the strobilurin fungicides andthe remaining triazoles to control the full range of diseases –powdery mildew, rust, ramularia and cercospora. The latter has beenseen in the UK and is expected to spread in future hot summers.
Field storage of beet means that the level of disease control requiredin modern beet growing is higher than in the past. Diseased foliage,especially where rust in present, appears to be more frost-prone thanhealthy foliage. Field storage not only maximises the beet growingseason, it also offers energy use efficiencies.
The loss of glufosinate-ammonium will further restrict the options forcontrol of emerged weeds before beet emergence, meaning that for thisgrowers will be almost entirely reliant on glyphosate. Some studieshave tepraloxydim on the list of at-risk substances. It is importantfor control of blackgrass in sugar beet where growers are usingrotations to provide a resistance prevention strategy. Its loss willmean that less efficient herbicides have to be used, resulting, attimes, in inefficient control.
POTATOES Rob Clayton, Potato Council
The biggest challenge will be blight control. The potential loss ofmancozeb, which comes up for renewal in 2015, could hurt. Forty yearswithout a resistance problem means it's widely accepted as themainstay anti-resistance product and there is a mancozeb component inmore than 10 products on the market.
These products will all have to re-formulated without mancozeb andwe'll need to rethink anti-resistance. This won't be straightforward,as the Water Framework Directive (WFD) could preclude some obviouschoices.
Weed control after 2013 will present a real challenge, as linuron,pendimethalin and metribuzin are due to be reviewed. The first two aredefinitely at risk from the new legislation, while metribuzin has alsobeen included in some lists.
The industry could survive with some complicated mixtures of otherherbicides, but this will cost an extra £20/ha and we'll need to lookagain at in-crop cultivation. There is also a question mark overvarietal susceptibility to alternative herbicides that will need to beresolved over the next five years.
Previous fears over the future of PCN, aphid and slug control havebeen allayed to some extent with a concession in favour of a morepragmatic, risk-based approach combined with better use of bufferzones.
Pesticide-table.jpgWater Framework Directive warning
Another threat for pesticides – and one that might have an evengreater impact – is the Water Framework Directive. Under thisdirective, which aims to protect water quality, actives that are usedat high rates or ones at risk from exceeding environmental qualitystandards could be at risk. That might include many key herbicides,especially those used in oilseed rape, slug pellets, some insecticidesand fungicides.
* Products based on PSD/Swedish (KEMI) assessment * Hazard criteria still not fully defined * List subject to change
What now?Only the approval of the EU farm council, expected to be given inMarch, is now needed before the directive can be implemented into law.But that is not the end of the debate. A definition for the endocrinedisruption cut-off criteria, crucial for determining which azolefungicides will be approved, needs to be agreed.Also being discussed is how a derogation clause within the legislationshould apply, The idea is that it will allow products that exceedcertain hazard cut-off criteria to continue to be used for a furtherfive years, providing there is alternative available and there is aserious danger to plant health. UK representatives are thought to belobbying strongly for a flexible interpretation.
Author: Mike Abram
================================ Blog Gadgets
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 (
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
Government lax on cosmetic pesticide regulation: advocate
The Telegram (
Stokes Sullivan, Deana - Despite increased awareness about adverse health effects from pesticides, Judie Squires, a member of the Pesticide Working Group of
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 (
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 (
Judie Squires - health of your families. When
Inquiry implicates BTk
The Telegram (
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 (
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 (
pesticides. Please join me in lobbying our province for a pesticide ban Judie Squires Portugal Cove...