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New Report Calls Into Question the Use of Nanomaterials in Our Food Chain

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, April 25, 2013) A new report by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) finds that nanomaterials added to soil via fertilizers and treated sewage waste used to fertilize fields could threaten soil health necessary to keep land productive. The report, Nanomaterials in Soil: Our Future Food Chain?, draws attention to the delicate soil food chain, including microbes and microfauna, that enable plant growth and produce new soil. Laboratory experiments have indicated that sub-molecular nanoparticles could damage beneficial soil microbes and the digestive systems of earthworms, essential engineers in maintaining soil health. Other recent peer-reviewed scientific research showcasing potentially negative impacts of nano-fertilizers on public health and the food supply has been documented. Last month, Duke University published research which finds that low concentrations of silver nanoparticles in sewage sludge can cause significant disruptions to natural ecosystems. In February, a Dutch study revealed the harmful effects of silver imbued sewage sludge on earthworm health. “In light of published research, the Obama administration should institute an immediate moratorium on fertilizing with biosolids from sewage treatment plants near nanomaterial fabrication facilities. A moratorium would give researchers time to determine whether nanomaterials in soil can be made safe and to […]

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Study Shows Brain Tumors in Children Caused by Parental Pesticide Exposures

Friday, April 12th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, April 12, 2013) A study released this month on termite pesticide applications reveals that women exposed within a year of pregnancy are almost twice as likely to have a child that develops a brain tumor. Research was led by Professor Elizabeth Milne, PhD., head of the cancer epidemiology group at the Telethon Institute for Child Research. Published in Cancer Causes and Control, the article, “Exposure to Pesticides and the Risk of Childhood Brain Tumors,” studies whether exposure to pesticides a year prior to conception, during pregnancy and exposure during childhood were likely to augment the risk of brain tumors. Instead of examining household applications by homeowners, the study examines the role of pesticides applied by professional pest control applicators particularly to eradicate termites, spiders, and insects. “The findings confirm what has been found in previous studies but we have been able to go a little bit further,” Professor Milne said. Interestingly, “The increased risk associated with termite treatments may be as high as twofold, while the increased risk with other pesticides may be about 30 percent.” The study accounted for 303 cases of those that were exposed to pesticides and 941 families that were not exposed. Data came […]

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Minnesota State Agencies Will No Longer Purchase Products Containing Triclosan

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, March 6, 2013) The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced on March 3rd that state agencies have been ordered by Governor Mark Dayton to stop buying products that contain triclosan, a synthetic, broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent that has become ubiquitous in consumer products ranging from face-washes to fabrics. This ban, which will go into effect in June, comes as the debate over the efficacy and necessity of triclosan intensifies in the Minnesota State legislature. A bill banning triclosan’s use outside of medical settings is expected to be introduced this week, and the legislature conducted a hearing Tuesday on the possible human health and environmental consequences of the chemical. The state government, about 100 school districts, and local governments together currently buy about $1 million worth of cleaning products annually through joint purchasing contracts. Many of these products contain triclosan, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration concluded in 2010 that products containing triclosan are no more effective than plain old-fashioned soap and water. “There are alternatives, and they are at the same price,” said Cathy Moeger, sustainability manager for the Minnesota’s Pollution Control Agency. “If it has an environmental benefit, why not do it?” Triclosan has been used for over […]

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Triclosan and Its Toxic Breakdown Products Found Polluting Freshwater Lakes

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, January 29, 2013) A new study has discovered the anti-bacterial chemical triclosan and several of its toxic derivatives in sediment samples taken from freshwater lakes. Research published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology reveals the chemical to be present in increasing concentrations since it was first invented in the 1960’s. The results of this study put increased pressure on lawmakers and cosmetic companies to remove this chemical from consumer products. Beyond Pesticides and other groups, which have petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remove triclosan from a vast array of consumer products, continues to urge cosmetic companies to take action on the chemical in the face of inadequate regulation to protect human health and the environment. Scientists tested  eight sediment samples from freshwater lakes across Minnesota, including Lake Superior. Bill Arnold, Ph.D.,  co-author of the study and professor at University of Minnesota notes, “We found that in all the lakes there’s triclosan in the sediment, and in general, the concentration increased from when triclosan was invented in 1964 to present day. And we also found there are seven other compounds that are derivatives or degradation products of […]

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Toxic Contamination Remains Widespread In the Chesapeake Bay

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, January 23, 2013) A new federal report finds toxic contamination remains widespread in the Chesapeake Bay, with severe impacts in some places, which health and environmental advocates say lends support to their push in Maryland for legislative action on pesticides and other hazardous chemicals. In spite of some cleanup, the health of the Bay has not significantly improved. The report, “Technical Report on Toxic Contaminants in the Chesapeake Bay and its Watershed: Extent and Severity of Occurrence and Potential Biological Effects” is based on a review of integrated water-quality assessment reports from the jurisdictions in the Bay watershed (Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.), Federal and State reports, and articles in scientific journals. It notes that nearly three-fourths of the Bay’s tidal waters are “fully or partially impaired” by toxic chemicals, with people warned to limit fish consumption from certain areas. Contamination is severe in a handful of “hot spots” around the Bay, including Baltimore’s harbor, largely a legacy of past industrial and shipping activity. Previous reports have called on federal, state and local government to accelerate research into what threats chemical contamination may pose to the Bay, and to step up efforts […]

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Study Shows Children at Risk from Cumulative Exposure to Pesticides

Monday, November 26th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, November 26, 2012) The U.S Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) risk assessment process does not account for cumulative dietary exposure to the multitude of pesticides on conventional foods. The agency typically analyzes the exposure risk associated with each pesticide on an individual basis, except for those determined to have a common mechanism of toxicity. In light of these gaps in America’s regulatory process, researchers at UC Davis and UCLA in Cancer and non-cancer health effects from food contaminant exposures for children and adults in California: a risk assessment conducted an analysis of the toxics children and adults are exposed to through a normal diet. Rainbow Vogt, Ph.D., lead author of the study published in the journal Environmental Health, explains, “We focused on children because early exposure can have long-term effects on disease outcomes.” Researchers preformed their risk assessment by estimating exposure to food contaminants based on self-reported food frequency data for eleven toxic compounds- acrylamide, arsenic, lead, mercury, chlorpyrifos, permethrin, endosulfan, dieldrin, chlordane, DDE, and dioxin. Data was drawn from the 2007 Study of the Use of Products and Exposure-Related Behavior, which examines behaviors that influence exposure to toxicants in the home environment. Normal consumption patterns were then measured […]

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Local Incidents Raise National Concerns Over Safety of Sewage Sludge as Fertilizer

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, October 9, 2012) Sewage sludge is big business in Channahon, IL, but many residents who live near fields treated with the fertilizer believe they’re the ones paying the price. Farms in the area began applying the “biosolids” in 2010, and residents say that’s when their health issues began, according to Morris Daily Herald. Biosolids, otherwise known as sewage sludge, are composed of dried microbes previously used to process wastewater in treatment plants. The material is increasingly being used in conventional agriculture, but its application is explicitly forbidden in organic production. This is because the sludge can contain high concentrations of toxic contaminants, such as pesticides, detergents, estrogenic hormones, antibiotics, dioxins, PCBs, flame retardants, and heavy metals. Past research gives credence to Channahon residents’ claims of adverse health effects as a result of living near sludge coated fields. A 2002 study revealed the material to be associated with an increased prevalence of Staphylococcus aureus infections, a condition known to cause skin rashes and respiratory problems, for people located in close proximity to biosolid application sites. “What they are doing is making a toxic dump of our area. It’s disgusting,” said Channahon resident Pat Budd in an interview with Kris […]

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Researchers Show Impaired Muscle Function from Antibacterial Chemical, Call on Regulators to Reconsider Consumer Uses

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, August 16, 2012) The antibacterial chemical triclosan, found in popular personal care products such as Colgate ® Total toothpaste and Dial ® Liquid Hand Soap, hinders muscle contractions at a cellular level, slows swimming in fish, and reduces muscular strength in mice, according to scientists at the University of California (UC) Davis, and the University of Colorado. UC Davis’s press release explains that the chemical’s effects are so striking that the study “provides strong evidence that triclosan could have effects on animal and human health at current levels of exposure.” The study, “Triclosan impairs excitation—contraction coupling and Ca2+ dynamics in striated muscle,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, enlarges a growing body of work linking triclosan to human and environmental health issues. In “test tube” experiments, triclosan impairs the ability of isolated heart muscle cells and skeletal muscle fibers to contract. Specifically, researchers evaluated the effects of triclosan on molecular channels in muscle cells that control the flow of calcium ions, creating muscle contractions. Normally, electrical stimulation (“excitation”) of isolated muscle fibers under experimental conditions evokes a muscle contraction, a phenomenon known as “excitation-contraction coupling” (ECC), the fundamental basis of any muscle movement, including […]

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U.S. to Clean Up Sites in Vietnam Contaminated with Agent Orange

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, August 15, 2012) After decades of denying Vietnamese requests for assistance in a cleanup, the United States launched its first major effort to address environmental contamination brought on by its use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War, this according to the New York Times. Agent Orange is a toxic herbicide which contains dioxin —a known carcinogen- used by the U.S. military to defoliate Vietnamese forests, which left a legacy of cancer, birth defects, and environmental contamination, with an estimated 3 million Vietnamese people exposed.

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Condominium Residents Win Fight Against Pesticide Use

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, August 8, 2012) Residents of a large condominium in New Jersey have won their fight against the use of pesticides on the complex’s lawn. The homeowner’s association agreed with residents’ pleas to alter its treatment of lawns, instituting an integrated pest management (IPM) policy to avoid using toxic pesticides.In June, several residents at the Society Hill complex in Bernardsville, New Jersey, went public in challenging their homeowners’ association’s decision to use pesticides for lawn care, saying the chemicals have left their children with skin rashes, have sickened, and even killed family dogs. They took their pleas to the Environmental Commission, the Township Committee, The Bernardsville News and even New Jersey 101.5 FM radio. Officials from the Environmental Commission said they could only encourage, not force, private homeowner associations to use organic lawn treatments. Last week, the residents won their battle when the association decided to enact a new pesticide policy. The policy applies integrated pest management (IPM) that avoids pesticides when possible. The association plans to put IPM in all future maintenance contracts so as to maintain consistency. IPM, as defined by Beyond Pesticides, is a program of prevention, monitoring, and control that offers the opportunity to eliminate […]

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Growing Body of Research Shows Gynecological Diseases Linked to Environmental Contaminants

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, August 1, 2012) New research is adding to the evidence that some pesticides and industrial chemicals may increase women’s risk of uterine and ovarian diseases, such as endometriosis. The research supports the decades old theory that hormone-mimicking chemicals impact human reproductive systems. Scientists have long suspected a link between estrogen-mimicking pollutants and gynecological diseases. According to Environmental Health News, research investigating a link between hormone-disrupting chemicals in the environment and gynecological diseases has had mixed results. But a new study, “Persistent Lipophilic Environmental Chemicals and Endometriosis: The ENDO Study,” from researchers at the National Institutes of Health and others, found that two groups of women in the Salt Lake City and San Francisco areas — one group with pelvic pain and the other with no symptoms — were more likely to be diagnosed with endometriosis if they had high blood levels of the estrogen-like pesticide hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH) than women with low levels. HCH, a persistent organic pollutant (POP), and a byproduct of the production of the insecticide lindane (head lice treatments), has been banned as a crop pesticide in the United States but it persists in the environment and remains in some food supplies. Endometriosis is a female […]

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Pesticide Companies Seek Canadian Approval of Herbicide-Tolerant GE Crops

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, May 15, 2012) Dow AgroSciences and Monsanto have filed paperwork for Canadian approval of corn and soybeans genetically engineered (GE) to withstand heavy applications of potent herbicides, reports the Ottawa Citizen. The chemical companies are seeking Health Canada and Canadian Food Inspection Agency assessments for the introduction of four varieties of GE corn and soybeans engineered to tolerate the highly toxic herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba. In the U.S., the federal Department of Agriculture (USDA) is in the process of reviewing Dow’s application for its 2,4-D-tolerant corn, as well. Beyond Pesticides and others recently submitted comments to USDA challenging this approval. Dow’s GE corn is modified to be tolerant to 2,4-D, which is contaminated with dioxin and linked to cancer, birth defects, and more. The company is introducing the new GE corn variety because weeds are becoming resistant to Roundup, the previous chemical of choice for herbicide-tolerant plants. However, solving herbicide resistance with a new, more toxic chemical is like using gasoline to put out a fire. It will cause even more damage to health and the environment, and in a few years, the pesticide industry will be marketing their next “solution” to the growing resistance problem. Dow states […]

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Citing Lack of Efficacy, EPA Orders Hospital Disinfectant Removed from Market

Monday, April 30th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered the manufacturer of an antimicrobial disinfectant intended for use in hospitals to remove the product from sale. Citing a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA issued a Stop Sale, Use, or Removal Order (SSURO) on April 16 to Zep, Inc. for its product “ZEP Formula 165.” EPA determined through its Antimicrobial Testing Program (ATP) that this antimicrobial disinfectant was, contrary to label claims, ineffective against the debilitating and potentially fatal human pathogen Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (pictured right). EPA identified multiple FIFRA labeling violations after analyzing a sample of the product, which it collected on May 26, 2011. FIFRA requires a pesticide labeled as an antimicrobial pesticide to “disinfect, sanitize, reduce or mitigate growth or development of microbiological organisms.” When laboratory analysis established that “ZEP Formula 165” used in accordance with the label instructions was not effective against Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, the false label claim constituted a FIFRA violation. EPA cited the manufacturer for a second violation after determining that the sample it collected contained an amount of the active ingredient Para-tertiary-amyl phenyl that exceeded the upper certified limit that was established for that ingredient in […]

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Take Action – Tell USDA to Deny Dow’s 2,4-D Tolerant GMO Corn

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, April 24, 2012) Dow Chemical has asked USDA for approval of genetically engineered (GE) corn, modified to be tolerant to the highly toxic 2,4-D herbicide, which is contaminated with dioxin and linked to cancer, birth defects and more. We know from experience that herbicide-tolerant crops are a bad idea. They increase toxic pesticide use, contaminate organic and non-GE farms, and contribute to herbicide-resistance. In fact, Dow introduced a new GE corn variety because weeds are becoming resistant to Roundup, the previous chemical of choice for herbicide-tolerant plants. However, solving herbicide resistance with a new, more toxic chemical is like using gasoline to put out a fire. It will cause even more damage to health and the environment, and in a few years, the pesticide industry will be marketing their next “solution” to the growing resistance problem. Read Beyond Pesticides full comments to USDA for Dow’s petition to approve 2-4,D-resistant GE corn. Tell USDA to stop this toxic experiment and deny Dow’s petition for 2,4-D tolerant corn. Sign your organization or business onto Beyond Pesticides’ comments or submit comments directly to the USDA docket. The deadline to sign on is Friday, April 27 at noon. Background: In a radio […]

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Canada To Declare Triclosan Toxic to Environment

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, March 28, 2012) The Canadian government is set to declare the bacteria killer found in many toothpastes, mouthwashes and anti-bacterial soaps as toxic to the environment, a move which could see the use of the chemical curtailed sharply in Canada. Triclosan, the chemical in question, has been linked to numerous human and environmental health effects and has been the subject of petitions calling for its ban from consumer products. Health Canada has been probing the effects of triclosan on the body’s endocrine system and whether the antibacterial agent contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance along with the effect of widespread use on the environment. The draft risk assessment finds triclosan to be toxic to the environment but but does not find enough evidence to say it is hazardous to human health. The formal proposal to list the chemical as toxic to the environment will be published Friday. Triclosan exploded on to the marketplace in hundreds of consumer products ranging from antibacterial soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, fabrics, toys, and other household and personal care products. While antibacterial products are marketed as agents that protect and safeguard against potential harmful bacteria, studies conclude that antibacterial soaps show no health […]

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With Industry Objecting, EPA Sets Dioxin Exposure Limits for Acute Effects

Monday, February 27th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, February 27, 2012) For the first time since its initial evaluation almost 30 years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revised, despite objections from the chemical industry, its dioxin exposure assessment for acute human health risks –setting an “acceptable” level of 0.7 picograms per kilogram per day. Environmentalists said EPA’s estimated average exposure, currently at 0.5—3 picograms per kilogram per day, puts a portion of the population above the EPA danger threshold. Work on updating the health assessment began in 1991 and was partially completed with the February 12 release of the Final Non-Cancer Dioxin Science Assessment. While EPA characterized the findings as showing that “generally, over a person’s lifetime, current exposure to dioxins does not pose a significant health risk,” the Assessment establishes a daily “acceptable” exposure threshold, or reference dose, which the agency says is comparable to levels which people routinely experience. Beyond Pesticides reviewed the underlying chemistry and historical exposure patterns, including diet and human health effects of dioxins, in a recent Daily New blog entry leading up to the Assessment’s release. EPA’s decision to adopt its recommended reference dose of 0.7 picograms of dioxins per kilogram of body weight per day that […]

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Under Pressure From Industry Dioxin Guidelines Delayed By EPA

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, February 8, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency missed a deadline to release federal guidelines on the dangers of excess dioxin chemicals in the food supply and environment, giving ammunition to critics who are urging the agency to change course. EPA was scheduled to release standards in January 2012 that would for the first time set a maximum human-exposure level for dioxins. The delay comes amid criticism and pressure by food and chemical industries that argue the guidelines are too strict. The January 31, 2012 cut-off was part of a reassessment process that has stretched out for 20 years, but the agency has promised to finalize its guidelines “as expeditiously as possible,” although it gave no new deadline. In August 2011, EPA announced a plan for moving forward to complete the dioxin Reanalysis, Volume 1, which is to contain an evaluation of all the scientific literature on dioxin dose-response, including information published since the release of a previous draft Reassessment, and post it by the end of January 2012. EPA was then to post Volume 2 of the Reanalysis soon thereafter. These efforts have been met with resistance from the American Chemistry Council, the International Dairy Foods Association, […]

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New Research Links Pesticides to Cardiovascular Disease

Friday, October 14th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, October 14, 2011) Researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden have found that environmental toxicants such as dioxins, PCBs, and pesticides can pose a risk for cardiovascular disease. The results of the study, entitled “Circulating Levels of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and Carotid Atherosclerosis in the Elderly,” show a link between exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including several organochlorine pesticides, and the development of atherosclerosis, which can lead to heart disease. The study will be published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, and a version of it is available online ahead of print. Cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes, are the most common cause of death in industrialized countries, and the most important underlying cause of these diseases is atherosclerosis. Unbalanced blood fats, diabetes, smoking, and high blood pressure are traditionally recognized risk factors for atherosclerosis. Previous studies have also reported possible links between cardiovascular disease and high levels of persistent (long-lived and hard-to-degrade) organic environmental toxicants, such as dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and pesticides. These compounds are fat-soluble and can therefore accumulate in vessel walls. However, no earlier studies have investigated possible links between exposure to these compounds and atherosclerosis. Of the POPs that were screened […]

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Triclosan Among Chemicals Detected in Narragansett Bay

Friday, September 30th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, 9-30-11) Researchers from the University of Rhode Island (URI) have detected the antimicrobial triclosan and other toxic chemicals in the waters of Narragansett Bay off the coast of Rhode Island. The chemicals are a group of hazardous compounds that are common in industrial processes and personal care products but are not typically monitored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Rainer Lohmann, Ph.D., associate professor of chemical oceanography, and graduate student Victoria Sacks, with the help of 40 volunteers, tested for the presence of the chemicals in 27 locations throughout the bay. The compounds were found at every site. “Being exposed to these compounds is the hidden cost of our lifestyle,” said Dr. Lohmann. “It’s frustrating that as we ban the use of some chemical compounds, industry is adding new ones that we don’t know are any better.” Although the chemicals were detected at very low levels, research has shown that many chemical compounds can still be quite toxic, even at low doses. Additionally, since triclosan is an antimicrobial agent, low concentrations provide the perfect environment in which to breed and select for bacteria that resist the effects of the chemical. “By themselves, none of these results makes […]

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EPA, DOJ Reach Settlement With Dow Over Midland Plant

Friday, August 5th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, August 5, 2011) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last week that Dow Chemical Company (Dow) has agreed to pay a $2.5 million civil penalty to settle violations of the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) at its chemical manufacturing and research complex in Midland, Michigan. In addition to paying a penalty, Dow will implement a comprehensive program to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) from leaking equipment, such as valves and pumps. These emissions —known as fugitive emissions because they are not discharged from a stack, but rather leak directly from equipment— are generally controlled through work practices, such as monitoring for and repairing leaks. The settlement requires Dow to implement enhanced work practices, including more frequent leak monitoring, better repair practices, and innovative new work practices designed to prevent leaks. In addition, the enhanced program requires Dow to replace valves with new “low emissions” valves or valve packing material, designed to significantly reduce the likelihood of future leaks of VOCs and HAPs. Past waste disposal practices, fugitive emissions, and incineration at the Midland plant […]

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Persistent Organic Pollutants Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, July 5, 2011) Recent findings add to a growing body of evidence that persistent organic pollutants (POPs) might drive changes in the body that lead to diabetes, researchers say. A new study finds that environmental exposure to some POPs substantially increased risk of future type 2 diabetes in an elderly population. POPs are lipophilic (fat-loving) chemicals that accumulate mainly in adipose tissue and have recently been linked to type 2 diabetes. This current study, “Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Organochlorine Pesticides in Plasma Predict Development of Type 2 Diabetes in the Elderly: The Prospective Investigation of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS) Study,” sought to follow up on previous findings that had linked these chemicals with type 2 diabetes and was performed to evaluate prospective associations of type 2 diabetes with selected POPs among the elderly. The team recruited a group of 725 diabetes-free elderly adults in Sweden and took blood samples to measure their levels of the pollutants. Then, the researchers followed them for the next five years. Thirty-six of the study participants were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes over that time. Nineteen POPs (14 polychlorinated biphenyl [PCB] congeners, 3 organochlorine pesticides1 brominated diphenyl ether, and 1 dioxin) were […]

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EPA Urged To Ban Toxic Antibacterial Chemical Linked to Hormone Disruption and Widespread Water Contamination, as Comment Period Closes

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, April 13, 2010) In response to a petition submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling for a ban on the non-medical uses of triclosan, Beyond Pesticides is again urging the agency to halt the use of the antibacterial triclosan in consumer products. Citing recent scientific evidence detailing hormone disruption, impaired fetal development, water and crop contamination, the petitioners state that given the emerging science and the violation of numerous environmental statues by triclosan’s use constitutes placing a ban on the chemical. In comments submitted in support of the petition, Beyond Pesticides state that such a dangerous chemical has no place on the consumer marketplace. “The nonmedical uses of triclosan are frivolous and dangerous, creating serious long-term health problems and environmental hazards associated with its continued use. EPA has a responsibility to ban consumer triclosan use in a marketplace where safer alternatives are available to manage bacteria” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. Triclosan’s impact on the consumer market has been aided by a false public perception that antibacterial products are best to protect and safeguard against potential harmful bacteria. However, research into triclosan’s health and environmental impacts shows triclosan does more harm than good, […]

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Antibacterial Soap Suspected of Making Patients Sick

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

(Beyond Pesticides, February 22, 2011) After witnessing a patient’s condition improve upon discontinuing the use of antibacterial products containing the active ingredient triclosan, Gerard Guillory, M.D. of Denver, Colorado believes that several of his patients are experiencing health problems caused by daily exposure to the chemical. Dr. Guillory told local ABC 7 News: Denver Channel that he was treating his patient, Mary Lou Simanovich, for hyperthyroidism and asked her about antibacterial soap, which she had been using for years. After Ms. Simanovich stopped using soaps containing triclosan, both she and Dr. Guillory noticed improvements in her condition and overall health. “I feel better now. That’s all I can say and I think there’s an association,” said Ms. Simanovich to the Denver Channel. Antibacterial agents like triclosan, found in many antibacterial products, are linked to a host of adverse health and environmental effects including hormone disruption, possible impaired fetal development, and water and food contamination. Triclosan is an endocrine disruptor and has been shown to affect male and female reproductive hormones and is also shown to alter thyroid function. “My suspicion is that if it’s damaging the thyroid, it’s probably damaging other organs in the body,” said Dr. Guillory to the […]

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