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Triclosan Linked to the Growth of Breast Cancer Cells

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

(Beyond Pesticides, April, 29, 2014) According to a recent study published in the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) journal Chemical Research in Toxicology, the chemicals triclosan and octylphenol are linked to the growth of breast cancer cells. Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal agent found in numerous commonly known household products. Octylphenol is a commercial solvent that can be found in paints and plastics, and is often used as an inert ingredient in pesticide formulations. Researchers investigated whether these two endocrine-disrupting chemicals (ECDs) contributed to the growth of cancer cells. In their study, Progression of Breast Cancer Cells Was Enhanced by Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals, Triclosan and Octylphenol, via an Estrogen Receptor-Dependent Signaling Pathway in Cellular and Mouse Xenograft Models, scientists performed both in vitro tests on human breast cancer cells in petri dishes, and in vivo tests via tissue grafts on mice. “Although the doses of EDCs were somewhat high, we did this to simulate their effects of daily exposure, as well as body accumulation due to long-term exposure, simultaneously in animal experiments,” said Kyung-Chul Choi, PhD, co-author of the research. Results of the study established that both triclosan and octylphenol interfered with the genes involved in breast cancer growth. In human […]

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Study Finds Individuals Exposed to Triclosan More Likely to Carry Staph Bacteria

Monday, April 21st, 2014

(Beyond Pesticides, April 21, 2014) A study has found that increased human exposure to triclosan is correlated with elevated numbers of individuals carrying staph bacteria. This research adds to the growing scientific literature that questions the safety and efficacy of triclosan, an anti-bacterial chemical widely used in consumer products. The study, Triclosan Promotes Staphylococcus aureus Nasal Colonization, authored by Blaise R. Boles, PhD and published in mBio, found that nasal secretions that contain triclosan is linked to higher rates of the variety of staph bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus. Dr. Boles and colleagues found that 64 percent of individuals with detectable levels of triclosan in nostrils carried staph compared to 27 percent of individuals that had little or no antimicrobial compounds carrying staph. The researchers also found that triclosan also promotes the binding of staph to human proteins making them “stickier.” This allows staph to hunker down in the nose, giving it an advantage over other nose-dwelling microbes. Triclosan also allows staph to better attach to other surfaces such as glass and plastic. Beyond the human tests, researchers found a similar link in rat experiments. They used a breed of rat known to take about a week to shake off a mild […]

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Avon Joins Other Companies in Phasing Out Triclosan from Products

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

(Beyond Pesticides, April 9, 2014)   Cosmetics giant Avon will join several other notable cosmetics and personal care companies in committing to remove the antibacterial pesticide triclosan from their products. This announcement comes months after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it will require manufacturers of antibacterial soaps and other consumer goods to prove that their products are both safe for long-term use and more effective than regular bar soap. Avon is just the latest company to demonstrate the notable market shift away from triclosan which has been occurring quietly over the past few years due to consumer awareness and government stagnation. Avon’s action marks a trend in which companies using toxic chemicals are forced by consumers to switch to nontoxic ingredients and  get out in front of regulators whose actions lags behind the science on adverse health and environmental effects. Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive began reformulating to remove triclosan from their products for a couple years now. Avon joined these companies last week, announcing  it will begin phasing the chemical out of “the few” products in its line that include it.   Avon cites customer concern as its reason for reformulating. On its […]

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Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals May Target Fish Hearts

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

(Beyond Pesticides, February 5, 2014) According to a new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, chemical contaminants in waterways that mimic estrogen -endocrine disruptors- target developing heart valves in fish and impair the growth of fish hearts. The study illustrates that these hormone-mimicking compounds, which include some pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and other household chemicals often found in sewage effluent and runoff that flows into waterways, are being linked to mounting science that show serious human and environmental adverse effects. Researchers from the Fish Health Branch of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Carnegie Institution for Science exposed zebrafish embryos to water from 19 sites in the Susquehanna, Delaware, Allegheny and Shenandoah watersheds. Water from 16 of the sites triggered proteins in the fish that were estrogen receptors, indicating that the rivers contained endocrine disrupting chemicals. These receptors are attached to DNA, which turn genes on and off. While such activity is common in the liver, this is the first experiment to show estrogenic activity in heart valves. “This tells us that endocrine-disrupting chemicals could lead to improper heart development. We were quite surprised, since this is something that others hadn’t observed before,” said study co-author Luke Iwanowicz, PhD, and research […]

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Beyond Pesticides’ Decade-Long Campaign Leads FDA to Bar Antibacterial Soaps

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, December 17, 2013) A new rule proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires manufacturers of antibacterial hand soaps, body washes, and other consumer goods to prove that their products are both safe for long-term use and more effective than regular bar soap in order to remain on the market. This announcement, though long-delayed, represents a positive step towards reining in the unnecessary use of antibacterial chemicals at a time when top-level government scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have asserted that we’ve reached “the end of antibiotics.”  With the publication of its article The Ubiquitous Triclosan: A common antibacterial agent exposed  in 2004, Beyond Pesticides began a campaign to ban triclosan because of it cross resistance with antibiotics, endocrine disrupting effects, and lack of benefits. “Numerous studies have shown that antibacterial soaps cause more harm than any of their perceived benefits,” said Nichelle Harriott, staff scientist  at Beyond Pesticides. “For the protection of human health and the environment, we urge the FDA to move quickly to get these products off of the market.” FDA’s new rule, announced Monday, will be open for public comment for 180 days and manufacturers will […]

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FDA Moves to Limit Some Antibiotic Uses in Livestock

Monday, December 16th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, December 16, 2013) A new rule published by the Food and Drug (FDA) will limit the ability for food producers to give livestock antibiotics for subtherapeutic purposes. These new regulations come after decades of pressure from environmental and public health groups to limit the nontherapeutic use of these drugs in animal production. Though these regulations are an important step in the right directions, some are critical that loopholes still exist which could make these new rules less effective than they need to be. FDA’s new rules on antibiotics ask drug manufactures to change the label of antibiotic drugs so that farmers will no longer be able to use them to promote the growth of livestock. Currently subtherapeutic doses of penicillin and tetracycline are typically added directly into animal feed and water. The new rule also requires that licensed veterinarians supervise the use of antibiotics, meaning farmers and ranchers would have to obtain prescriptions to use the drugs for their animals. Currently, farmers can go to feed stores and buy antibiotics over the counter with no regulatory oversight. These new FDA rules are an important step forward to better regulate the use of antibiotics, however loopholes within the rules […]

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Unregulated Contaminants Found Widespread in U.S. Drinking Water

Friday, December 13th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, December 13, 2013) A recent survey conducted by researchers at the U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found traces of 18 unregulated chemicals in drinking water from more than one third of U.S. water utilities. Of the 21 total chemicals found, researchers discovered among them 11 perfluorinated chemicals, an herbicide, two solvents, caffeine, an antibacterial chemical, a metal and an antidepressant. Preliminary findings were presented by scientists at an annual toxicology conference held by the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry last month in Nashville. Federal researchers took samples from 25 U.S. utilities from around the nation who voluntarily participated in the study, providing samples of treated and untreated water. Disturbingly, 18 of the chemicals found are not regulated under the Safe Water Drinking Act, meaning utility companies are not required to treat, limit, or even monitor for their presence. “The good news is the concentrations are generally pretty low,” said USGS research hydrologist Dana Kolpin, PhD. to Environmental Health News. “But,” he continued “there’s still the unknown. Are there long-term consequences of low-level exposure to these chemicals?” While there is a paucity of data on some of the contaminants, regulated chemicals such […]

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Proctor and Gamble to Eliminate Triclosan from Its Products by 2014

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, September 10, 2013) With mounting pressure from consumers and public advocacy organizations, multinational manufacturer Procter and Gamble (P&G) announced that it will eliminate the harmful antibacterial chemical triclosan from its products by 2014. P&G’s notice is the latest in a growing trend across the county, as both governments and private companies continue to move away from the use this dangerous and unnecessary substance.  In August 2012, the health care and cosmetics corporation Johnson and Johnson announced its own phase out of triclosan. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced in March of this year that all state-run agencies would stop purchasing products that contain triclosan. Colgate Palmolive announced in 2011 that it would reformulate many of its products to take out triclosan, but note that its mainstay Colgate Total brand toothpaste still contains the chemical. Triclosan is currently used in a wide variety of products, including hand soaps, clothing, kitchenware, deodorants, and cosmetics. P&G’s website does not list the specific products from which it  will be removing triclosan, instead explaining that the only remaining uses of triclosan are in the company’s antibacterial dish soap, professional hand soap, and some other personal care products (P&G is the maker of brands such […]

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Think Green, Practice Organic This Semester!

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, August 14, 2013) With another school year upon us, this can be an exciting and busy time of the year for parents and teachers as children prepare for the first day back. During this hectic time, it’s important to remember that children may face unexpected dangers at school from well-intentioned but misguided attempts to create a germ and pest-free environment through the use of pesticides. Students are better served when schools use environmentally friendly products and practice integrated pest management techniques.   Additionally, schools can further their students’ education outside the classroom by providing habitat for wildlife and growing organic food in a school garden.   By thinking green and going organic, your child’s school can become a model for the type of change that’s occurring in communities across the nation. Beyond Pesticides has put together this back-to-school guide to help safeguard your kids from dangerous chemicals at school. Use this list to start the new school year right and ensure that you are sending your kids back to a healthier and safer environment. Fight Germs Without Triclosan Because of its link to adverse health effects – including asthma, cancer and learning dis ­abilities, triclosan has no place […]

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Antimicrobials Alter Stream Communities and Lead to Resistance, Study Finds

Monday, August 12th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, August 12, 2013) A recent study on triclosan, an antibacterial pesticide found in soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, fabrics, plastics, and toys, finds that exposure changes the composition of bacterial communities in streams and also increases bacterial resistance. The study contributes to continually mounting evidence demonstrating that triclosan is toxic to human health and the environment, even as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gets ready to review the registration of the chemical. In May, EPA initiated the registration review of triclosan, an antibacterial pesticide that has been heavily scrutinized by concerned groups, including Beyond Pesticides, as well as members of Congress. Under pressure after its 2008 review, EPA announced that it would again review triclosan in 2013, five years earlier than scheduled. Over the last few years, as a direct result of pressure from consumer groups and the media regarding the need for triclosan in consumer products and the mounting scientific evidence documenting adverse health effects, including impacts to the thyroid hormone, major manufacturers have begun to quietly reformulate their products without triclosan. This study, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, took several field and artificial stream surveys, to identify the effects of triclosan on bacterial […]

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EPA Sets New Rules for Antimicrobial Pesticides

Friday, May 10th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, May 10, 2013) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on May 8 a final rule to revise and update use patterns and data requirements for antimicrobial pesticides. Though the new rule is the first revision to EPA data requirements for antimicrobial pesticide registrations since 1984,   remaining inconsistencies among data submissions and data gaps, these new rules are a step in the right direction when it comes to regulating antimicrobial pesticides, considering the proliferation of consumer products that contain these chemicals. However, even with these new rules in place, certain antimicrobial pesticides that are already in consumer products, such as triclosan, will  still present serious hazards for  human and environmental health. More than 5,000 antimicrobial products are currently registered with EPA. Initially designed for hospitals and clinics, many antimicrobial pesticides are found in products ranging from household cleaners to mattresses and bedding, cosmetics, toys, toothpaste and even chopsticks. Antibacterial products are being marketed to the health conscious without firm evidence of real benefits and amid growing concern about unintended externalities. One prime example of this is triclosan, which is formulated into hundreds of personal care products, toys and textiles. Studies show that triclosan is an endocrine disruptor, […]

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FDA to Review Triclosan After Decades of Delay

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, May 7, 2013) After 40 years of delay, the Associated Press reports that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will rule on the safety of the antibacterial chemical triclosan this year. Triclosan is present in hundreds of consumer products ranging from antibacterial soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, fabrics, toys, and other household and personal care products, appearing in some of these products in a formulation known as Microban. The agency’s review comes amid growing pressure from politicians and consumer advocates concerning the safety of this chemical in terms of both human health and the wider environment. In 1972, Congress required FDA to set guidelines for many common antibacterial chemicals found in over-the-counter soaps and scrubs. FDA published tentative guidelines for chemicals used in liquid hand soaps and washes by 1978, stating triclosan was “not generally recognized as safe and effective.” This was due to a lack of scientific research demonstrating the chemical’s safety and effectiveness. FDA published several draft guidelines over the years but never finalized the results. This has allowed companies to keep the chemical in their products. Last summer, FDA said its triclosan review would be completed by the end of 2012. The agency then pushed […]

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31st National Pesticide Forum Convenes in Albuquerque

Friday, April 5th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides,  April 5,  2013)   Beyond Pesticides’ 31st National Pesticide Forum begins tonight at the University of New Mexico, bringing together leading scientists, local activists, farmers, teachers and students to discuss organic food systems, building resilient communities, and bringing ecosystems back into balance —incorporating regional issues such as water scarcity and food sovereignty. Sustainable Families, Farms and Food: Resilient communities through organic practices will officially kick off with a performance of A Sense of Wonder, the story of Rachel Carson’s   love for the natural world and her fight to defend it, which is written, produced, and performed by Kaiulani Lee. Recently added to the lineup of amazing speakers is  The Honorable Michelle Lujan Grisham, U.S. Representative for New Mexico’s 1st congressional district. She has done remarkable work incorporating the precautionary principle into state government, by creating an advisory panel which promotes action on human health and the environment. Among the key goals for this effort are indoor air quality, and integrated pest management. We are excited to have her speak! Check out the schedule and speaker line up here. Registration is $15 for students, $35 for activists, $75 for non-members (includes a 1-year membership) and $175 for businesses. […]

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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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UN Report Declares Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals a Global Health Threat

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, February 20, 2013) A new report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified endocrine disrupting chemicals as having significant health implications for the global population. According to the report, these chemicals have the capacity to interfere with tissue and organ development and function, and therefore they may alter susceptibility to different types of diseases throughout life, and represents a global threat that needs to be resolved. The report cites insufficient reporting and information on chemicals in products, materials and goods and calls for more research and collaboration. The State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals,   a joint study by UNEP and WHO, finds that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are important environmental risk factors for endocrine diseases. Exposures during critical phases of development play an important role in the onset of many diseases, affecting future generations. Trends indicate an increasing burden of certain endocrine diseases across the globe, and it is clear from human studies that populations are exposed to perhaps hundreds of environmental chemicals at any one time. This UN study, which is the most comprehensive report on EDCs to date, highlights some association between exposure to EDCs […]

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Grassroots Organizers, Cutting Edge Scientists, Organic Solutions – The 31st National Pesticide Forum

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, February 14, 2013)   Beyond Pesticides’ 31st National Pesticide Forum brings together top national scientists with local and national activists and concerned citizens to share information on the issues local communities are facing, craft solutions and catalyze networks to advance positive health and environmental policy and change. Sustainable Families, Farms and Food: Resilient communities through organic practices will be held April 5-6, 2013 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. For more information and to register, go to www.beyondpesticides.org/forum. The 2013 conference will focus on building resilience in our food system and bringing ecosystems back to balance, incorporating regional issues such as water and food sovereignty in the Southwest. The conference is convened by Beyond Pesticides, University of New Mexico Sustainability Studies Program (UNM SSP) and La Montanita Food Co-op.Local co-sponsors include: Agri-cultura Network, Amigos Bravos, Cuatro Puerta, Farm to Table, Food and Water Watch NM, Holistic Management International, Mid-Region Council of Governments Agriculture Collaborative, New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s Organic Program, Our Endangered Aquifer Working Group, Skarsgard Farms, South Valley Economic Development Center (SVEDC). Registration is $15 for students, $35 for activists, $75 for non-members (includes a 1-year membership) and $175 for businesses. Registration covers […]

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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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Acclaimed Scientists and Activists to Convene at 31st National Pesticide Forum

Friday, January 18th, 2013

(Beyond Pesticides, January 18, 2013) Joining the list  of speakers at Beyond Pesticides’ 31st National Pesticide Forum are Tyrone Hayes, Ph.D., the biologist best known for his research on the effects of atrazine on frogs, and Isaac N. Pessah, Ph.D., the  Chair of the Department of Molecular Biosciences at the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. The conference will focus on cutting edge public health science, building resilience in our food system and communities, and bringing ecosystems back to balance, and will incorporate regional issues such as water and food sovereignty in the Southwest. The National Forum provides an opportunity for grassroots advocates, scientists, and policy makers to interact and strategize on solutions that are protective of health and the environment. The 31st National Pesticide Forum, Sustainable Families, Farms and Food: Resilient communities through organic practices, will be held April 5-6, 2013 (Friday afternoon and all day Saturday) at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, NM. Registration information can be found in our online store. The conference is convened by Beyond Pesticides, La Montanita Coop, and the University of New Mexico Sustainability Studies Program, and co-sponsored by local, state and regional public health and environmental organizations, including […]

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Happy New Year From Beyond Pesticides to You!

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Beyond Pesticides wishes our members and friends a happy, healthy, and organic New Year! Our Daily News is taking a holiday break and will return on Thursday, January 3, 2013 with renewed energy and vision to continue charging ahead. We look forward to working with you to make 2013 a fruitful, pesticide-free year for you, your family, your community and those most vulnerable. We are thankful for all our members and supporters who enable Beyond Pesticides to be a strong voice that works to protect our air, land, water, and food at home, in the workplace, and in local communities from policies that allow practices resulting in unnecessary and unsustainable poisoning and contamination. We hope you will consider a charitable donation to Beyond Pesticides. Whether you become a member, give the gift of membership, donate, or buy a gift from our online shop, your contribution can do a world of good. These unique gifts help protect human health and the environment from toxic pesticides, and will be enjoyed by your friends and loved ones throughout the New Year. As you reflect upon the passing year and contemplate your wishes for the next, we ask you to consider Beyond Pesticides vision […]

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Pesticide Exposure Linked to Rising Food Allergies in U.S

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, December 6, 2012) A study published in the December issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology finds that exposure to dichlorophenols may be associated food allergies. Dichlorophenols are used as an intermediary in the manufacturing of some of the most commonly used pesticides, such as 2,4-D, and are also used to chlorinate drinking water. This study may help explain in part why food allergies are on the rise in the U.S. and already affect 15 million Americans. Lead researcher Dr. Elina Jerschow and her associates analyzed the urine of 10,348 Americans who were participants in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of 2005-2006. Of the over 10,000 surveyed, 2,548 had detectable amounts of dichlorophenols in their urine, and 2,211 of those participants were included in the study. Out of these 2,211 people, 1,427 were found to have some form of either food or environmental allergy. Participants with higher levels of dichlorophenols are more likely to have allergies then those with low levels present in their urine. Researchers in this study argue that by consuming high levels of dichlorophenols individuals are altering the composition of bacteria in their stomachs. By over consuming dichlorophenols individuals are […]

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FDA Allows Lindane Use to Continue Despite Health Risks and Calls for a Ban

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, December 3, 2012) The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has denied a 2010 petition filed by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Pesticide Action Network North America (PAN) to ban the insecticide lindane, which is harmful to human health and ineffective in controlling lice and scabies. Pressure had been mounting on FDA to halt the pharmaceutical use of lindane as, in addition to this petition, Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, asked FDA to stop the pharmaceutical use of lindane this past summer. Because of FDA’s decision, lindane is still an active ingredient in pharmaceutical insecticide products such as lice shampoos and lotions. Lindane was formerly used in agricultural insecticides until it was banned by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use on crops in 2006. FDA regulates pharmaceuticals that contain insecticides and pesticides, such as triclosan, that are in cosmetics. Over 160 countries including the United States have signed on to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in 2001 which aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of persistent organic polluntants. Lindane along with nine other chemcials was added to this list on May 9th […]

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Tips for an Organic, Least-Toxic Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

(Beyond Pesticides, November 20, 2012) Thanksgiving offers an opportunity for family and friends to eat, drink and be thankful for the bounty of the organic harvest. Unfortunately, there are a host of pesticides, genetically engineered materials, and others in conventional Thanksgiving foods that not only impact human health, but threaten the environment. Read below for some easy tips and suggestions for a healthful Thanksgiving day feast. Organic, free-range, and local turkeys The turkey is the symbol of a traditional Thanksgiving meal. However, turkeys are often fed grains treated with pesticides, medicated with antibiotics, and engorged with steroids and hormones. Additionally, turkeys are often fed an inorganic arsenic, a known carcinogen, which is used to promote growth and for pigmentation. In order to avoid all these, your best bet is to invest in an organic free-range turkey (pictured right), which is free of hormones, steroids or antibiotics. Want to forgo the turkey altogether? Be sure to choose an organic meatless option. Avoid Genetically Engineered Food: Go Organic There are additionally, a number of Thanksgiving products that probably contain genetically-engineered (GE) ingredients (although the formulations are often considered proprietary trade secrets). According to GMO Inside, some common GE foods used during Thanksgiving […]

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