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

Latest News...

Friday, January 22, 2021

Ethanol Plant Processing Pesticide Coated Seeds Contaminates Nebraska Town

seeds treated with neonicotinoids

view details »

Ethanol Plant Processing Pesticide Coated Seeds Contaminates Nebraska Town

US info. (Beyond Pesticides, January 13, 2021)  Under FIFRA (the Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act), a clause known as the “treated article exemption” permits seeds to be coated with highly toxic pesticides without any requirement for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to assess environmental or public health effects of their use.This allows hazardous pesticides (primarily insecticides and fungicides) to be used indiscriminately with no effective oversight. Research finds that over 150 million acres of farmland are planted with toxic seeds, including nearly four tons of bee-killing neonicotinoids each year.

The AltEn plant is unique in that it is accepting unused treated seeds for farmers, advertising the site as a “recycling” facility, according to The Guardian. Apart from biofuel production, ethanol plants usually sell their spent, fermented grains to livestock farmers for feed. Processing toxic seeds has made that product too hazardous for cattle, so AltEn has been selling it to farmers as a soil amendment.

The neonicotinoid clothianidin was found in a waste mound at an astounding 427,000 parts per billion (ppb). A wastewater storage pond found high levels of three neonicotinoids – imidacloprid, cloathianidin, and thimethoxam. Thiamethoxam was discovered at 24,000 ppb, over 300 times higher than its acceptable level in drinking water (70ppb), and roughly 1,300 times higher than the level considered safe for aquatic organisms by EPA (17.5ppb).

Expectedly, pollinators near the plant are dying off. Judy Wu-Smart, PhD, bee researcher at University of Nebraska documented a sustained collapse of every beehive used by the university for a research project on a farm within a mile of the AltEn plant.

SNAP Comment: SK apparently has two ethanol plants with several more in Canada. I hope we donot make the same mistake under the idea of recycling. Why not? Because we did it about treated wood, allowing it to be used or burnt in an unsafe manner under the guise of 'recycling" and 'reusing.' Let's face it,some products are just too toxic for tha

filed under neonicotinoids and safety
 

Friday, January 22, 2021

EPA Confirms Widespread PFAS Contamination of Pesticides, Announces “Investigation,” Stops Short of Action to Protect Public

view details »

EPA Confirms Widespread PFAS Contamination of Pesticides, Announces “Investigation,” Stops Short of Action to Protect Public

(Beyond Pesticides, January 20, 2021) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has confirmed that PFAS (per and polyfluorinated alykyl substances) ‘forever chemicals’ are contaminating containers that store pesticide products, and subsequently the products themselves.

According to EPA, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) containers used to store and transport pesticides are commonly treated with fluoride in order to create a “chemical barrier” that will “prevent changes in chemical composition.” The fluorinated container is supposed to be more stable, and “less permeable, reactive, and dissolvable.”

Testing so far has been limited to one pesticide product supplier (likely the company Clarke, maker of Anvil 10+10), but resulted in detection of 9 different PFAS chemicals at levels the agency has not yet released. Earlier testing found PFAS chemicals well above safety limits established by states, as well as EPA’s health advisory.    There are also indications that fluorinated HDPE containers may have other storage uses, such as food packaging. EPA announced that it is subpoenaing the company that fluorinates HDPE containers under the Toxic Substances Control Act, but has done little else from a regulatory standpoint.    Contamination of widely used storage and transportation containers with chemicals that have been linked to cancer, liver damage, birth and developmental problems, reduced fertility, and asthma is a scandal without compare. It is unclear how long such a practice has been commonplace without any regulatory oversight. 

filed under Formulants/Inerts and Contaminants/ Contaminants

Friday, January 22, 2021

Alternatives to CCA-Treated Wood

view details »

Alternatives to CCA-Treated Wood (PANNA Green Resource Center)

'Pressure-treated lumber is used in applications where decay and insect damage are of concern, such as for playground equipment, decks, telephone poles, building foundations, picnic tables, landscaping ties, wharfs, retaining walls, and fence posts. Preservative treatment chemicals make the wood inedible for fungi, insects, and other organisms that can destroy wood. Until its use for residential applications was voluntarily restricted by industry in January 2004, copper chromated arsenate (CCA) was the most common wood preservation treatment that a typical homeowner would encounter.' (same timeline in Canada)

Rubbing a cloth on the CCA treated wood in a playground collected toxic levels of arsenic and chromium.

When arsenic treated wood is new, it tends to have a greenish tint. When CCA wood is older, it is harder to tell. 

filed under treated wood/CCA 

Friday, January 22, 2021

Study Finds Link Between Pesticide Exposure and Rare Blood Cancer Predecessor (MGUS)

view details »

Study Finds Link Between Pesticide Exposure and Rare Blood Cancer Predecessor (MGUS)

(Beyond Pesticide, January 14, 2021) Long-term exposure to permethrin and legacy organochlorine pesticides (aldrin, dieldrin, and lindane) increase the risk of developing monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), a blood disease that likely precedes multiple myeloma (MM)—a type of blood cancer,    This study highlights the importance of understanding how pesticide use can increase the risk of latent diseases, which do not readily develop upon initial exposure. Study researchers state, “Our findings provide important insights regarding exposures to specific pesticides that may contribute to the excess of MM among farmers.

The presence of abnormal proteins (monoclonal M protein) in the blood within bone marrow is a characterization of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance. Although MGUS is benign (non-cancerous) and largely asymptomatic, it can be premalignant or a precursor for cancer development. Annually, one percent of individuals with MGUS will develop cancers like multiple myeloma, lymphoma, or amyloidosis. However, the cancer risk increases in people whose protein levels are abnormally high, which can occur upon repeated exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, like pesticides. Moreover, multiple myeloma is a rare type of blood cancer of the plasma cells, killing nearly 40 percent of 32,270 people it afflicts in the U.S. annually.

filed under cancer/ links between individual pesticides and cancer.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Genetically Weakened Skin Barrier Allows for Easier Absorption of Toxic Chemicals

view details »

Genetically Weakened Skin Barrier Allows for Easier Absorption of Toxic Chemicals

Genetically Weakened Skin Barrier Allows for Easier Absorption of Toxic Chemicals   (Beyond Pesticides, January 21, 2021)  (I)ndividuals with genetically weakened skin barrier protection experience higher rates of toxic chemicals (i.e., pesticides) absorption through the skin. Studies provide evidence that filaggrin genetic mutations can exacerbate the impacts of chemicals upon dermal (skin) exposure, causing various skin diseases like dermatitis and other chemical-related effects like asthma and cancer. Filaggrin is a protein that is critical to skin cell structure or epidermal homeostasis.   Dermal exposure is the most common pesticide exposure routes, compromising 95 percent of all pesticide exposure incidents. Furthermore, many pesticides contain chemicals that act as sensitizers (allergens). Therefore, it is essential to mitigate direct skin contact with these toxic chemicals and enforce proper application protocol.      Researchers find that pesticide levels are two times higher in individuals with FLG null mutations. Therefore, increased chemical absorption can have implications for human health.   FLG null mutations are relatively common, especially among people of European descent.

filed under Exposure and Skin

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Long-Term Roundup Exposure Found to Harm Keystone Wildlife Species

view details »

Long-Term Roundup Exposure Found to Harm Keystone Wildlife Species

(Beyond Pesticides, January 6, 2021)  “The problem is that much of the evidence is rooted in outdated toxicity tests which only look at the number of animals that die on exposure to extremely high concentrations of these chemicals,” Dr. Orsini said. “These tests also overlook the pathological effects arising from long-term exposure to low doses. What we’re proposing is that toxicity is measured by looking at what happens to the animal at a molecular and fitness level following long-term exposure, which encompasses the entire animal life cycle.”

Changes in fitness were seen for every trait except mortality. Roundup delayed average age of sexual/reproductive maturity, reduced size at maturity, decreased the total number of offspring produced, and increased developmental failure – as determined by the number of aborted eggs, and juveniles borne dead..  Researchers also observed damage to DNA, with glyphosate and Roundup showing only slight differences in affected pathways      Roundup and glyphosate were also found to indirectly alter both the makeup and total number of microbiota in the water flea’s gut. These changes were correlated with alterations to the way fat and carbon are metabolized, as well as the animal’s detoxification pathways.

filed under glyphosate and wildlife/aquatic organisms  

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Federal Court Blocks EPA from Weakening Farmworker Protections

US story.

view details »

Federal Court Blocks EPA from Weakening Farmworker Protections

(Beyond Pesticides, January 5, 2021) 'In the waning days of 2020, a federal court provided a hint of hope that farmworkers will retain basic buffer zone protections from toxic pesticides. The District Court for the Southern District of New York  issued in late December a temporary restraining order against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), prohibiting the agency from implementing industry-friendly rules that weaken application exclusion zones (AEZs) for farmworkers.'

SNAP COMMENT: The work is never done...

filed under Legislation/Regulatory/ USA

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Pesticides and Road Salt: A Toxic Mixture for Aquatic Communities

view details »

Pesticides and Road Salt: A Toxic Mixture for Aquatic Communities

(Beyond Pesticides, January 7, 2021) Insecticides and road salts adversely interact to alter aquatic ecosystems, reducing organism abundance and size, according to a study in the journal Environmental Pollution. Pesticide use is ubiquitous, and contamination in rivers and streams is historically commonplace, containing at least one or more different chemicals.

Researchers performed a toxicity evaluation of six insecticides from three chemical classes (neonicotinoids: thiamethoxam, imidacloprid; organophosphates: chlorpyrifos, malathion; pyrethroids: cypermethrin, permethrin). Additionally, researchers note the potentially interactive effects of these insecticides with three concentrations of road salt (NaCl).   Researchers find that differing pesticide classes directly impact aquatic communities, and exposure to insecticides indirectly alters the food web in freshwater communities.    Although pesticides and road salts individually impact aquatic communities, this study is the first to demonstrate their interactive effects. 

filed under wildlife/aquatic organisms

Sunday, January 10, 2021

In support of the city of Prince Albert purchasing a Thermal Weed Control machine

view details »

SNAP letter in support of Parks Manager Tim Yeaman's proposal to buy a Thermal Weed Control option to diminish pesticide use in the city.

In support of the city of Prince Albert purchasing a Thermal Weed Control machine 

filed under publications

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

New Test Will Help Researchers Understand Pesticide Threats to Wild Bat Populations

view details »

New Test Will Help Researchers Understand Pesticide Threats to Wild Bat Populations

(Beyond Pesticides, December 10, 2020) 'A new test developed by a team of Mexican and Canadian scientists will help field researchers detect early warning signs of pesticide exposure in wild bat populations.

The test in question is referred to as a micronucleus test. Although it does not measure the level of pesticide contaminating a bat’s body, it can assess genotoxicity (the effect of pesticides and other chemical agents that damage genetic information in a cell). This is done by taking blood samples of bats, and testing for the presence of micronuclei formation, which are materials in blood that contain damaged chromosomes not incorporated into a cell after cell division. 

What little research that has been conducted on the harm pesticides cause to bats shows significant cause for concern. Agricultural pesticide use results in a large proportion of a bat’s insect diet being contaminated with highly toxic chemicals. Bats are particularly sensitive to pesticides that bioconcentrate in fat (lipophilic pesticides); they develop large stores to use while migrating or hibernating, and high concentrations of toxic pesticides in this fat can result in significant poisoning as the body burns it off.  Despite the unique ways in which pesticides harm bats, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not evaluate a pesticide’s effect on bats prior to registration.   Because bats are unusually long-lived for animals their size — lifespans range from 20 to 40 years — their bodies can accumulate pesticide residues over a long period, exacerbating adverse effects associated with those pesticides that can accumulate in fatty tissue.' A bat's 'consumption of large volumes of pesticide-contaminated insects can mean that these compounds may reach toxic levels in their brains — making them more susceptible to White Nose Syndrome.'.

ffiled under wildlife/mammals and monitoring pesticides