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

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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Israeli invents device that can test pesticide residues on food in real time  (GM Watch,:27 April 2019)   'Incubated at The Kitchen FoodTech Hub in Ashdod, Inspecto’s portable system can be tailored to detect specific kinds of chemical contamination in real time, in the field or indoors at any point along the production line.' Apparently, it is only for ready commercial interests and not consumers at this point.

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 usepesticide poisoningsbody burdens, children, food, and health sections as well as  soils and pesticide drift 

Mosquito fumigation may have caused mystery 'Havana syndrome', study says   Trump administration had charged that cognitive ailments of Canadian and US diplomats were caused by use of a secret weapon (BBC News, 20 September 2019)   'The patterns of brain injury "all raise the hypothesis of recurrent, low-dose exposure to neurotoxins", the report said. Specifically, the results were "highly suggestive" of something called cholinesterase inhibitor intoxication...The study notes that tests carried out on 28 participants - seven of whom were tested both before and after being posted to Havana - support a diagnosis of brain injury acquired by diplomats and their families while in Cuba.'  Unnamed pesticide in the story, likely an organophosphate because of the mode of action. I would like to add that this is not the first time people get sick from fumigation oversees. Many tourists came back from Cuba with neurological symptoms related to mosquito fumigation which apparently occurred nightly in touristy areas. Other tourists sickened and some died when hotel rooms or other accommodations have been fumigated. In many tourist destinations, the fact is that there are still many more acutely toxic pesticides registered, and very little oversight. Not that we have much oversight here in SK, with 1 PMRA and 1 provincial inspectors for 33-36% of Canadian pesticide applications...And more coverage by the Guardian- no new information. 

Study Documents Playgrounds Contaminated with Pesticides from Neighboring Chemical-Intensive Ag Land  (Beyond Pesticides, June 7, 2019)

'45% are contaminated with a single pesticide, and 24% by more than one. Study authors note that the playground contamination will likely grow worse over the course of the growing season.'   'The compounds found across the four study sites were the pesticides phosmetimidacloprid,chlorpyrifos-methylmethoxyfenozide, and cypermethrin; fungicides fluazinamdodinedifenoconazolepenconazoletetraconazole, and penthiopyrad; and the herbicide oxadiazon. Among those, only dodine has no association with endocrine function. Cypermethrinoxadiazon and tetraconazole are confirmed endocrine disruptors; chlorpyrifos-methylfluazinampenthiopyrad, and methoxyfenozide are suspected endocrine disruptors; and difenoconazoleimidaclopridpenconazole, and phosmet are endocrine-active substacomment: nces, or potential endocrine disruptors.  SNAP Comment: PMRA registrations as of 7 June 2019: 3 phosmet labels, 96 imidacloprid, 28 chlorpyrifos, 2 methoxyfenozide, and 9 cypermethrin; 4 fluazinam, 3 dodine, 29 difenoconazole, 0 penconazole, 5 tetraconazole, 6 penthiopyrad; and 2 oxadiazon. Seems like we have the same problem here. Many small towns are surrounded by sprayed crops.

Study Finds High Levels of Pesticide Exposure among Teenage Girls in California’s Salinas Valley  (Beyond Pesticides, April 26, 2019) 'Ranking the highest for prevalence among the studied pesticides is fipronil sulfide, a breakdown product of the insecticide fipronil, detected in 86.6% of the analyzed wristbands. Fipronil is a known endocrine disruptor and has been shown to disrupt thyroid function...perhaps most concerning is the degree to which discontinued pesticides – including some that have been out of use for nearly five decades – are still detected at high frequency.''The COSECHA study quantifies exposure to 72 pesticides, captured through volatile-trapping silicone wristbands, across 97 teenage girls living in various areas of the Salinas Valley region. Of the 72 pesticides analyzed, authors report that subjects are exposed to as many as 20 and an average of 8 pesticides over one week of routine indoor and outdoor activity. Given the well-documented dangers of pesticide co-exposures, these multiple-exposure findings are particularly concerning.'

Organic diet intervention significantly reduces urinary pesticide levels in U.S. children and adults   (Environmental Research, Volume 171, April 2019, Pages 568-575)   An organic diet was associated with significant reductions in urinary excretion of several pesticide metabolites and parent compounds. This study adds to a growing body of literature indicating that an organic diet may reduce exposure to a range of pesticides in children and adults. Additional research is needed to evaluate dietary exposure to neonicotinoids, which are now the most widely used class of insecticides in the world.

The herbicide glyphosate persists in wild, edible plants: B.C. study (RANDY SHORE, Vancouver Sun, February 20, 2019)  'Wood found unexpected levels of glyphosate in new shoots and berries of plants that survived an aerial herbicide application made one year earlier... The 10 species tested were selected for their importance as traditional-use plants, because some First Nations had expressed concerns about the long-term effects of glyphosate on wild plants, said Wood...Glyphosate is typically broken down in soil by microorganisms over a period of months, but how long it persists in living plant tissues is unknown, she said.'

Glyphosate and other toxins in throw away diapers. Du glyphosate et des substances chimiques dangereuses dans les couches jetables pour bébés. Une expertise inédite de l’Anses conclut à un risque pour la santé des enfants. Le gouvernement demande aux fabricants d’éliminer ces produits.(by Stéphane Mandard. Le Monde, le 22 janvier 2019)   Le Monde is an important paper from France. For those who don't speak French, glyphosate was one of over 60 toxic substances identified in throw away diapers. There were also several other pesticides, some which have been banned 15 years ago (lindanequintozène, hexachlorobenzène).Throw away diapers also contained many problematic fragrances, PCBs and VOC (volatile organic compoinds) such as (naphtalènestyrènetoluène, etc.) (By the way, naphthalene is also an insecticide found in mothballs).

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.