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

Risk Assessment

Farmworker Advocates Call For Suspension of Highly Toxic Pesticide (EarthJustice, 21 September 2016) Advocates from across the country ( USA) urge EPA to swiftly ban chlorpyrifos citing unacceptable risks to farmworkers and their families.                Meantime in Canada, 29 chlorpyrifos insecticides are still registered (23 September 2016) including 3 technical products which leaves 26 for commercial use. One product, Lorsban (registration number 29650), can still be used in agriculture for most grain and vegetable crops with time between last application and harvest from 7 (potatoes) to 90 days (beets), PESTS OFORNAMENTALS (COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION ONLY) - GREENHOUSES AND NURSERIES ONLY, and PESTS OF TURF (SOD FARMS ONLY). It can also be used by aerial application with lots of restrictions on wind speed, nozzle type and conditions of application. This particular product is not approved use for mosquito control that I saw. The label identifies it as TOXIC to birds, wild mammals, bees and certain beneficial insects with accompanying use restrictions. This fall 2016, thankfully, neither the City of Regina or Wascana Center Authority have yet reported basal tree spraying of elms for Dutch Elm Disease control (with chlorpyrifos), which they have been doing yearly for over a decade.                                                                                                   With so many rules and restrictions, and so few federal PMRA inspectors to ensure the pesticides are used according to label, who is really checking that the million of annual pesticide applications follow the label description (i.e. the legal document) Chances of getting caught are close to 0Who can honestly say or imply that, because a pesticide is registered, it's safe?

Despite Known Hazards, EPA Waits Decades for Manufacturers to Withdraw Pesticide (Beyond Pesticides, July 8, 2015) Once a pesticide has its foot in the regulatory door in Canada and the USA, it is mind-bogglingly difficult to restrict or ban it,even when it was first registered as conditional without the appropriate testing done. This story is about propoxur (59 products still registered in Canada) including pet flea collars, roach and hornet products and cockroach control as well as garden use and fogger for mosquito and blackflies.' Last week, after decades of review and known toxic hazards, especially to children, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accepted a proposed cancellation for a number of indoor uses (including food establishments) and tolerances of propoxur, a carbamate insecticide known for its toxic effects to children.... It should be noted that EPA engages in lengthy negotiations with pesticide manufacturers, as is the case with propoxur (see recent announcement on chlorpyrifos), rather than pursuing rigorous regulatory standards through its cancellation or imminent hazard authority.' I guess the 'rigorous regulatory standards' are getting harder and harder to enforce because of all the Free Trade agreements which allow companies to sue a country for regulating their product.

Failure to regulate: Pesticide data fraud comes home to roost (GM Watch, 29 April 2015) The EPA originally registered atrazine, Roundup (glyphosate), 2,4-D, and hundreds of other poisons based on fraudulent or nonexistent industry safety studies, their real effects concealed by the EPA and industry for 50 years. Now the fraud and lies are coming home to roost.Referring to the IBT scandal of the late 1970s and early 1980s, The result of the EPA's post-IBT "don't ask, don't tell" policies is that "Most chemicals enter the market without testing," says former EPA scientist Evaggelos VallianatosThus EPA collusion and lies have enabled the pesticide industry to become too big to regulate or even try to control.

Major Pesticides Are More Toxic to Human Cells Than Their Declared Active Principles  (BioMed Research International Vol. 2014, Feb 26, 2014), Three each of herbicide, insecticide and fungicide formulations were individually tested for measured mitochondrial activities, membrane degradations, and caspases 3/7 activities. Fungicides were the most toxic from concentrations 300–600 times lower than agricultural dilutions, followed by herbicides and then insecticides, with very similar profiles in all cell types...Roundup was among the most toxic herbicides and insecticides tested. Most importantly, 8 formulations out of 9 were up to one thousand times more toxic than their active principles. Results challenge the relevance of the acceptable daily intake for pesticides because this norm is calculated from the toxicity of the active principle alone. Chronic tests on pesticides may not reflect relevant environmental exposures if only one ingredient of these mixtures is tested alone.

Three new Environmental Health Criteria (EHC) documents published by the World Health Organization (WHO) identifies major lacks in current risk assessment of chemicals (including pesticides). The lack of information in all three important health areas emphasizes the need for the precautionary principle to dictate decisions, rather than the current inadequate risk assessment procedures not taking into account any of the following evidence.

  • Elemental Speciation in Human Health Risk Assessment (EHC 234)   Different forms (speciation) of each chemical have different biological effects. “Until now, this issue has not been a part of most hazard and risk assessments.” “The effects of individual elements on biological systems are best understood through the effects of elements on biochemical structures and processes, described at the cellular and molecular levels.” The current end-points of risk assessment are much cruder than that and mostly do not reflect such effects. “Biological monitoring is of particular value, because the method integrates the exposure from all sources and by all routes of entry.
  • Principles and Methods for Assessing Autoimmunity Associated with Exposure to Chemicals (EHC 236)   “when all autoimmune diseases are combined, the estimated prevalence is high (3–5% of the general population), which underlines their importance to public health.” “Environmental factors are believed to be a major factor responsible for their increased prevalence.” “Currently, the risk assessment for agents that are suspected of inducing or exacerbating autoimmunity or autoimmune diseases is hampered by the fact that appropriate information is not available….”  “The burden on health and heavy costs of autoimmune diseases highlight their importance with regard to risk assessment.
  • and Principles for Evaluating Health Risks in Children Associated with Exposure to Chemicals (report specifically on environmental chemical exposures) (EHC 237)   One third of the world population are children. “(WHO) estimates that over 30% of the global burden of disease in children can be attributed to environmental factors.” “Traditional risk assessment …have focused mainly on adults and adult exposure patterns… There is a need to expand risk assessment paradigms to evaluate exposures relevant to children from preconception to adolescence.”  Most chemicals have not been assessed for potential toxicity to children, nor have the most vulnerable subpopulations of children been identified.” The reports identifies several areas in which research is needed. “Protection of children is at the core of the sustainability of the human species. It should be a priority of all countries and international and national organizations to provide safe environments for all children and reduce exposure to environmental hazards through promotion of healthy behaviours, education, and awareness raising at all levels, including the community, family, and child.

Designing Safer Chemicals.Linda S. Birnbaum. Environ Health Perspect 121:a9–a9 (2013). Online 1 January 2013
.Scientists of many disciplines introduce a Tiered Protocol for Endocrine Disruption (TiPED). TiPED, which focuses explicitly on detecting the endocrine-disrupting potential of a new chemical early in the design process, will be useful for companies wishing to respond to this consumer interest. However, it is a voluntary approach, not a regulatory program. This means it is not yet part of the testing required for pesticides.