• Learn to Manage Pests Naturally
  • SNAP Display at Event
  • Weeds Can Be Managed Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Learn To Manage Weeds Without Chemical Pesticides
  • Learn About Pesticides in Foods
  • SNAP Tour of Organic Vegetable Garden
  • Grow a Lush Garden Organically
  • Learn to Keep Insects Out of your Crops
  • Link to SK Organic Resources
  • LIving Near Fields Increases Pesticide Exposure

Exposure to Pesticides

Saskatchewan studies

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Detection of selected herbicides in human blood plasma specimens from Saskatchewan farm families and other rural Prairie residents. Semchuk, KM,et al. Fourth international symposium "rural health and safety in a changing world".October 18-22 1998, Chemicals Exposure, Toxicology and Human Health - presentation O 16. Human body presence of herbicides 4-5 months after the last agricultural herbicide application in the region

The Prairie Ecosystem Study (PECOS) Environmental Pesticide Exposure and Human Health: Characterization of Exposure by Questionnaires. McDuffie HH, Semchuk KM et al.. University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, S7N OW8, Canada. Fourth international symposium "rural health and safety in a changing world".October 18-22 1998, Chemicals Exposure, Toxicology and Human Health - presentation P 126. The most commonly used chemical classes of herbicides were phenoxyacetic acids, carbamates, organochlorines, trifluralins, glyphosate and organophosphorus compounds and among insecticides: carbamates, organochlorines and organophosphates. Accidental spills on skin and/or clothing (50% of applicators) and accidental inhalation into the lung (30%) were frequent.

Testing for Exposure

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Glyphosate found in human hair as unique testing project releases first results   (Sustainable Pulse, 18 October 2018)   'The unique project, which began in July 2018, has already discovered the world’s most used herbicide, glyphosate, in a number of hair samples at over 66 parts per billion (ppb), which is a much higher level than the average urine level of 3 ppb reported by the University of California San Francisco in 2016. The main metabolite of glyphosate, AMPA, was also found in some of the hair samples at even higher levels than glyphosate itself.'

Hair: A New Era for Pesticide Testing

It is only recently that new developments in laboratory technology and science have enabled pesticides to be tested accurately in hair. Hair testing is now set to replace urine and blood as the preferred matrix for public pesticide testing for the following reasons:

  • Hair testing shows your exposure to pesticides over a period of 90-120 days, whereas
  • Urine Testing shows your exposure for approximately 14-21 days and
  • Blood Testing shows your exposure for 2-3 days

    'Dr. Vincent Peynet, Director of Kudzu Science, stated; “Our initial testing involves 33 of the most ubiquitous pesticides used in the home and 32 of the most ubiquitous pesticides used in agriculture. You can receive online results within 15 days of your hair samples being received by the Kudzu Science laboratory.”'

    “This is just the start, we are developing a variety of hair tests for the public, which will be released over the coming months,” Dr. Peynet added.

The article links to hair test. Also link for testing your food and water for glyphosate using new affordable strip tests 

 Also see Household pesticide use, body burdens, children, food, and health sections.

Study of Rural New York State Homes Finds Pesticides in Every Sample Tested  (Beyond Pesticides, October 18, 2018)   'Researchers focused in on 132 households in rural counties of New York State that agreed to test for pesticide residue inside their home. Wipe samples were collected from both carpeted and non-carpeted areas, and tested for pesticides used commonly as part of agricultural production in the region. The pesticides analyzed included 15 compounds ranging from organophosphates like chlorpyrifos and malathion, to synthetic pyrethroids like resmethrin, the triazine herbicide atrazine, and the widely used herbicide 2,4-D...Every single compound tested for was discovered in every home examined.' SNAP COMMENT: Pesticides are easily tracked indoors and, once there, they hardly break down. If anyone had the interest and money to repeat the test in SK, they would likely find the same results for whatever products are used in our area. However, SK has no current pesticide sales or use database, which makes it hard to know what to test for. Recently, researchers have been using the Manitoba pesticide data as a surrogate. 

Military Base Has Legacy of Pesticide and Other Toxic Chemical Exposure and Harm  (Beyond Pesticides, September 19, 2018) “‘Don’t get pregnant at George Air Force Base’” was the advice imparted from one female Air Force member to another in 1975 at that base...Among the many contaminants found at George AFB and other military sites are organochlorine-based pesticides (OCPs), such as DDT, dieldrin/aldrin, heptachlor, lindane, endrin, chlordane,mirex, toxaphene, hexachlorobenzene, chlordane, and others. (all those listed are insecticides)  SNAP Comment: I don't know if Canadian military bases ever used as many chemicals as some US ones, but there has certainly been use of Agent Orange, Agent Purple and other military herbicides at CFB Gagetown. (archived document from National Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces). Trichloroethylene (TCE), a common industrial solvent, had seeped into the underground water table from the adjacent Canadian Forces Base Valcartier. (What made Shannon so sick? Solvent in water table: 'Don't drink it, don't bathe in it, don't breathe it,' health officials warned. Charlie Fidelman, Montreal Gazette) There is likely more if one searches. 

Common Bug Killers Used in Homes Persist for Over a Year  (Beyond Pesticides, July 7, 2017) The active ingredients in commonly used bug sprays such as RAID leave significant residues that persist for over a year in the home, according to a study published by Brazilian researchers in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. The pesticides tested, synthetic pyrethroids, have been linked to a range of health effects, most notably in children. In the recent study, researchers compared the breakdown time of two synthetic pyrethroids, cypermethrin and beta-cyfluthrin, between laboratory conditions and those in an average home. Under lab conditions, with temperature controlled and without sunlight or ventilation, both active ingredients broke down little within the 112 day test period observed. However, the test house, where insecticides were applied according to indoor label conditions, displayed breakdown times similar to the lab results during the first 112 days. Researchers continued their observation of pyrethroids in the home for up to a year, finding after that period 44% of beta-cyfluthrin and 70% cypermethrin remained in household dust samples from the singular, original application.

Study Reveals Extent of Pesticide Contamination in Medical Marijuana (Beyond Pesticides, November 2, 2016) The results reveal that 84% of samples tested positive for pesticide residues...This data is significant in that it looks specifically at the medical marijuana market and the impact pesticide-contaminated marijuana may have on medical marijuana consumers, who are often individuals suffering from chronic disease or illness. In its analysis, Steep Hill found residue of the chemical myclobutanil, a key ingredient in pesticide Eagle 20, in more than 65 percent of samples tested during a 30-day period. Eagle 20, a fungicide, has not been approved for use on marijuana, and its active ingredient myclobutanil is an endocrine (hormone) disruptor classified as “toxic” by Beyond Pesticides. Myclobutanil is also listed as a reproductive toxicant in the California Environmental Protection Agency Proposition 65.

New evidence of pesticides in Calgary air, soil (Bridget Brown, CTV Calgary, June 10, 2015}  An environmental testing facility has found pesticides that are expected to dissipate in a matter of days persisting in Calgary’s soil and air for months after lawn and garden season has ended...In Calgary soil, Paracel found the pesticides 2,4D and Dicamba. Both are used to control weeds by the City of Calgary, golf courses and lawn care companies. The amount of Dicamba exceeded provincially regulated safe levels. In the air, the scientists found 2,4D, as well as Atrazine, which is an herbicide used by farmers. SNAP NOTE: Pesticides don't just disappear after applied as inferred by this article. A part evaporates, another degrades to other chemicals, some of which being more toxic or lasting longer in the environment. They get carried by water, soil particies,rain and wind, circle the earth and concentrate in winter cold areas like mountain ecosystems and the Arctic where they fall with the snow.

Fish from Alaskan Wilderness Contaminated with Banned Pesticides (Beyond Pesticides, April 15, 2014)  "Alaskan fish were more likely to have traces of older chemicals, while those in the lower 48 tended to be dominated by newer chemicals. The most commonly detected chemicals are PCBs, endosulfan, sulfate and p,p’-DDE, a breakdown product of DDT. Some of these long-banned chemicals actually exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) guidelines for human subsistence on fish and wildlife."

Glyphosate Testing Full Report: Findings in American Mothers’ Breast Milk, Urine and Water. Interesting. Glyphosate (RoundUp) contamination in the US, in spite of most participants purchasing non-gmo or organic food. Apparenty breast milk contamination indicates the potential to bioaccumulate. Worth reading.(April 72014

Hormone-disrupting chemicals found in water at fracking sites
(www.latimes.com, Dec. 16, 2014) Water samples collected at Colorado sites where hydraulic fracturing was used to extract natural gas show the presence of chemicals that have been linked to infertility, birth defects and cancer, scientists reported Monday. These are secret chemicals exempt from Safe Water Drinking Act, a number of which are pesticides or biocides of some kind to preserve the quality of the petrochemicals. Out of 700 potential fracking chemicals tested, 100 are endocrine-disrupting...

Nanosilver Migrates Out of Fabric in Study (Beyond Pesticides, May 3, 2010. Posted in Nanotechnology)  This study raises concerns about human exposure to nanosilver through skin absorption. “Silver nanoparticles (or nanosilver) are now widely impregnated into a wide range of consumer products, including textiles such as socks, sportswear, underwear and bedding, vacuums, washing machines, toys, sunscreens, and a host of others.” Current regulations fail to guarantee consumers that these new technologies are safe to use. Silver nanoparticles meet the definition of a pesticide and should and must be regulated by the EPA as a pesticide but is not registered as a pesticide. However EPA has done little to regulate or evaluate the potential health and environmental impacts these particles may cause. NOTE: A PMRA label search (Oct. 2012) shows no silver or silver nanoparticle products registered as pesticides either.

Northern Exposure Acute Pesticide Poisonings in Canada by the David Suzuki Foundation. (2007)   322 Sask residents are acutely poisoned every year.

 Pyrethroid pesticides found in homes and daycare centers. November 3, 2008

Report Finds Toxic Pesticide Combustion in Grass Seed Production   (Beyond Pesticides, March 30, 2009)  In Saskatchewan, burning crop stubble is still common practice. In spite of extensive medical evidence of health problems identified by at least one Commission studying the problem in the past, burning is still common place. While the number and frequency of pesticide used may not be as high as it is in grass seed production, I am certain that pesticide residues are attached to the stubble burning smoke. Not only is the smoke an issue in itself, the negative healh effects are worsened when it contains pesticides.

Phenoxy Herbicide Residues In semen of farmers. Arbuckle TE et al. 65 % semen samples exceeded the detection limit of 1.0 ppb. Fourth international symposium "rural health and safety in a changing world".October 18-22 1998,  click on Chemicals Exposure, Toxicology and Human Health - presentation O 72.
PEI: Pesticide Exposure IslandBy Sharon Labchuk. Prevent Cancer Now. Three fungicides -mancozeb, chlorothalonil and metiram - represent 80% of PEI agricultural pesticide use, by weight of active ingredient. All three are classed as carcinogens by various agencies. Everyone lives near a field. Fields are sprayed more than 20 times most summers. Environment Canada found the air laced with pesticides, even in their control area on the end of a wharf away from potato fields. Chlorothalonil, especially, was found everywhere and in very high concentrations.