Health Risks Associated with Pesticides / Herbicides

Various discussions related to Chemical Pesticides, Herbicides, Etc.

Health Risks Associated with Pesticides / Herbicides

Postby adminjt » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:26 pm

Herbicide use poses unknown risks to people

September 27, 2010

I feel your Sept. 23 article on the pruning party, "No beating around the bush," missed the point. We were out there pruning in the hot sun to demonstrate how much we care about Wellfleet's drinking water.

Your article states, "NStar hopes the herbicide program will eliminate the need for clear-cutting vegetation along the power lines, a method that can be disruptive to wildlife and problematic to landowners along the right of way." Disruptive to wildlife? How about a few words about how disruptive these five herbicides can be to human life? Their combined effect is unknown. Pregnant women and small children are especially vulnerable.

On the Outer Cape, water comes from private wells, fed by a sole-source aquifer. That means when someone uses Roundup (i.e., glyphosate) to kill a weed on Briar Lane, traces can end up in drinking water on School Street.

The President's Cancer Panel suggests filtering water to avoid environmental contaminants. From its annual report: "Our science looks at a substance-by-substance exposure and doesn't take into account the multitude of exposures we experience in daily life. If we did, it might change our risk paradigm. The potential risks associated with extremely low-level exposure may be underestimated or missed entirely."

Alexandra Grabbe

Wellfleet ... -1/NEWSMAP
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Re: Health Risks Associated with Pesticides / Herbicides

Postby adminjt » Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:47 pm

Warning Industry Propaganda Below

Mon 20 Sep., 2010

The Guelph Mercury

EditorialOpinion -

Make hay, not grass, and save a species

by Owen Roberts

Besides profitability, farmers often cite the shrinking availability of farmland as the most limiting factor for the future of food production.

And likewise, those appointed (or self-appointed) to look after endangered species say shrinking habitat is their biggest concern, too.

But what happens when the zeal to preserve both farmland and endangered species reach a crossroads — or worse, collide? Well, that’s when the province steps in with legislation to make sure plants, animals and farmers and other landowners are protected. Ontario introduced an Endangered Species Act in 2007. The challenge was, and is, to make sure legislation takes all parties’ interests to heart.

That’s no easy feat. It’s often landowners and farmers who are the unwitting hosts of endangered species. Basically, they go to bed one night, and their land is free and clear of plants and animals that are deemed to be in trouble. The next morning they wake up to find a new study has identified a problem with a species that’s always lived on their land – perhaps without them even knowing it — or more recently taken up residency. And like it or not, they’re the hosts.

In one way, it’s a privilege. Along with producing food, what could be a more important use of land than helping a struggling plant or animal survive, and knowing you had a vital and practical role in it? In the big picture, the one that looks at the way we share the planet among species, endangered species preservation is a unique opportunity to contribute to the way the world goes around.

But it’s a big responsibility, too. Society asks landowners and farmers to preserve their land for endangered species, set it aside and not disturb it, making them the first line of defence for plants and animals that are, or could be, hanging on by a thread. Public interest groups make endangered species an issue, legislation makes preservation a legal matter and enforcement officials carry out the law. But around the clock, it’s landowners and farmers who bear the constant responsibility for endangered species preservation.

So, they need to be included in the conversation when legislation is being written that concerns endangered species. Part of that discussion must include compensation. In farmers’ cases, if land is coming out of production for preservation purposes, compensation must be fair and handled in a timely way.

Both the George Morris Centre, Canada’s thinktank for agri-food policy, and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture weighed in on this matter last week. On Tuesday, the centre – which celebrates its 20th anniversary this week – released what it calls a think piece that claimed the “private suppliers of wildlife habitat” are lacking economic incentives to preserve endangered species.

The centre is calling for more dialogue between landowners and the province, which was underlined a few days later by the federation’s president Bette Jean Crews. She noted how a bird called the bobolink has been designated as threatened, and claimed that spells trouble for Ontario’s 30,000 farms. It seems the bobolink likes to nest in tall grass, but when that’s at a premium – as it is in this highly populated province – the bird takes to hay fields.

Crews wants to talk compensation. But she also wants cities to create urban habitat for endangered species, and take some of the heat off farmers and rural landowners.

“We call on our urban cousins to insist our cities plant timothy and stop cutting grass,” she says. “Not only will it provide habitat, but it will save our cities millions of dollars in grass cutting and lawn maintenance costs.”

First, a cosmetic pesticide ban, and now hay instead of grass. Ontario’s urban landscape is surely changing.

Owen Roberts teaches agricultural communications at the University of Guelph. His column appears Mondays. ... cle/688878

© Copyright 2007 Metroland Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved


Ontario Federation of Agriculture

Why Ban Pesticide Use When Responsible Use is the Goal?

Legislative History

In November 2007 the Government of Ontario committed to a strategy that will protect Ontarians from potential harmful environmental toxics.

This commitment was followed in January 2008 with a Policy Proposal Notice that legislation would be introduced to ban the cosmetic use of pesticides. The legislation was introduced in April 2008 and received Royal Assent in June 2008.

OFA Supports Responsible Pesticide Use

The OFA made it clear when commenting on this legislation that it supports the elimination of unnecessary pesticide use. It was argued that pesticides are like pharmaceuticals in that they provide great benefit when used responsibly and as directed, but there are potential risks when pesticides are used irresponsibly.

OFA Does Not Support a Ban on the Cosmetic Use of Pesticides

The OFA has great concern with a pesticide classification system that includes a ban on the cosmetic use of pesticides. The proposed approach to regulations will result in an untenable situation that deems certain pesticides to be too dangerous to apply to lawns and ornamentals, but permits their use in a food production system –
a situation that has all the hallmarks of a public relations nightmare for both the agricultural sector and the Government of Ontario.

It is poor public policy to commit to a ban on pesticides and then provide a lengthy list of exceptions to that ban, including: agriculture, forestry, golf courses, trees, natural resources, specified sports fields, and specialty turf. In addition to these exceptions the proposed regulation indicates that someone with a landscape license has access to all pesticides except fumigant gasses to perform land exterminations for the maintaining turf or ornamental plantings of residential, recreational, commercial or public land. Indeed, the language in the draft regulation does not indicate much of a commitment to a true ban on the cosmetic use of pesticide. A far better approach would be to focus on a public policy that promotes responsible use.

Agricultural Pesticide Use is Well Regulated

When introducing the concept of a ban on the cosmetic use of pesticide, the Government of Ontario acknowledged that “Ontario farmers already have stringent rules on the storage and application of pesticides”. This is true. Farmers must be trained and certified through a Grower Pesticide Training Course (GPSC) before they can purchase, transport, store or apply an agricultural pesticide. In addition, agricultural pesticides can only be sold by vendors who are certified via the Pesticide Vendor Certification Course. Both farmers and vendors are required to recertify every five years to demonstrate that they are current with regard to advancements in pest management science, safety and regulations.

Training and Certification Have Produced Tangible Results

The GPSC was established in Ontario 20 years ago at the request of farm organizations. Since that time, farmers have reduced their pesticide use by 52% due to advancements in the science of pest management. It is noteworthy that these reductions were not a function of either product bans or restrictions. These findings are contained in an OMAFRA Food Systems 2002 study. We are unaware of any corresponding study that provides insight into trends in the use of pesticides in urban and rural residential environments. It would be instructive for MOE to review pesticide sales records over the past several years to compare changes in pesticide use in urban areas with changes in pesticide use in rural areas over the same period.

Regulating Access to a Product is Different than Banning a Product

The OFA strongly recommends that the Government of Ontario revise the Pesticide Act regulations to require that anyone purchasing, storing, or transporting a pesticide must be certified through a recognized training program, similar to that available to farmers.

This strategy avoids the banning of pesticides that have been approved for use by Health Canada under the Pest Control Products Act. Ontario’s Pesticide Act has always served as a means by which to classify pesticides and then describe what qualifications were required to access the different classes of pesticide. The current approach is entirely capable of promoting the responsible use of pesticides by limiting their access to those who have acquired training to a specified standard - the more toxic the pesticide; the more rigorous the training.

This approach would signal the general public that the exception for agriculture is based on the high standard of pest management training that they have been subject to.

Ontario Federation of Agriculture © 2009



on April 25, 2009 at 11:45 pm | Reply Owen Roberts

It looks like you touched a nerve with one of your readers, Christine.

K. Jean Cottam’s passion is to be admired. I’ve seen her several times in the Guelph Mercury letters section, but I’ve never met her. I hope I do someday. I googled her, and found lots of references to letter-writing activity on pesticides, along with a blog entry from horticultural writer Art Drysdale noting she identifies herself as a PhD, but doesn’t say what she studied. A quick search turned up a back cover of a book jacket called Women in War and Resistance: Selected Biographies of Soviet Women Soldiers that says author Kazimiera Janina Cottam is an expert military translator and writer, a PhD in history from the University of Toronto. Not sure if it’s the same person.

I also googled international environmental consultant Dean M. Stanbridge of Milton, but all I could find was a reference to him being a technical consultant to a magazine called Pest Management Professional. Maybe we’ll hear more from him regarding his international activity. Environmental consultants in Ontario are bound to be a hot commodity this spring, with the new pesticide ban.

In any event, citizen journalism exercises such as yours are supposed to give citizens the opportunity to exchange views. You’ve done so. Congratulations. ... ing-ahead/


March 03, 2008

The Guelph Mercury

Farmers agree: use pesticides wisely


Ontario's proposed cosmetic pesticide ban excludes agriculture. But farmers see the writing on the wall, and the implications of a cosmetic ban on farming practices.

In a hard-hitting editorial in the latest edition of Ontario Corn Producer magazine, Jackie Fraser, executive director of the Guelph-based environmental farm group AGCare, representing some 45,000 Ontario farmers, sounds the alarm.

She says a provincial ban will send a signal to the public that pesticides are inherently dangerous, so much so that they need to be banned. "It won't take long for activities to swing media coverage towards agricultural use," she says, "as we know has always been the greater plan."

Indeed, farmers are aware that when it comes to the cosmetic pesticide issue, the horse has left the barn. No matter how much science is put forward showing product safety, it's simply too emotional an issue to expect it to go away -- especially as long as Canadians continue dying of suspected and poorly understood environmental ills.

A few years ago, CropLife Canada, an Etobicoke-based organization dedicated to advocating for the crop protection (herbicides and pesticides) industry, spent barrels of money unsuccessfully challenging Toronto's cosmetic pesticide ban.

It likewise sensed pressure on agriculture would follow. With the municipal cosmetic-ban movement having spreading across the country, Fraser is right -- it's just a matter of time before pressure is exerted on farming.

So, now what? We've made large-scale farming a part of our culture, and there's no way it can feed millions of people without crop protection products. A cosmetic pesticide-like ban in farming is out of the question.

But many people don't know that. So the agricultural sector is approaching this issue as a crossroads, trying to turn it into an opportunity to explain the considerable and effective measures it's already taken toward responsible pesticide use. It's also offering its leadership and knowledge to help the province fashion an action plan that farmers figure will be less adversarial than an outright ban.

It's calling for responsible pesticide use legislation for cosmetic applications. Farmers believe unnecessary and irresponsible pesticides use should be controlled, not the products themselves.

So, as this issue heats up with spring's inevitable arrival, you'll read about the farming sector suggesting measures that are largely based on training. The target is those who use, and sell, pesticides. It's an approach founded on Ontario's grower pesticide safety course, which the farm community voluntarily helped create some 20 years ago.

The course is mandatory for farmers, under the provincial Pesticides Act. Farmers must be trained and certified through the program to buy and use pesticides. Vendors, too, must get their ticket, and all parties have to recertify every five years to stay current.

Just like urban Canada, farmers dislike willy-nilly pesticide use anywhere, on lawns or on farms. They say only trained and certified practitioners should be able to determine the need for pesticides, if no other options are available. They're quite happy to see alternatives emerge, some of which may have applicability on farms. Who knows.

But they do know the grower-training path they've chosen has a track record of working very well.

A provincial government study by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in 2002 showed farmers have cut their pesticide use by 52 per cent in two decades, thanks to measures such as training, as well as more targeted formulations by the manufacturers. Farmers can use less product and get the same results.

They can also use fewer and more targeted products because of the emergence of biotechnology, which has led to crops that produce more and can resist specific pesticides. That's not what the cosmetic ban is about, or even the grower safety course, but it's bound to make its way into the mix as the issue intensifies.

Farmers have written the ministries of agriculture, the environment, and the premier, asking that their training-based approach get an airing.

They claim it's clean, simple and defendable. It avoids the province having to differentiate between urban and rural use, or grant exemptions, or create difficult public policy, they say.

Those who support a ban likely won't buy it. Farmers will need to defend their plan, meaning a lot of dialogue is still to come.

Owen Roberts teaches agricultural communications at the University of Guelph.

© Copyright 2007 Metroland Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved.

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ations between low-dose organochlorine pesticides -type 2 di

Postby adminjt » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:25 pm ... 311374c4a7

Strong associations between low-dose organochlorine pesticides and type 2 diabetes in Korea

References and further reading may be available for this article. To view references and further reading you must purchase this article.

H.-K. Sona, b, S.-A. Kima, J.-H. Kangc, Y.-S. Changc, S.-K. Parka, S.-K. Leea, D.R. Jacobs Jr.d and D.-H. Leea, Corresponding Author Contact Information, E-mail The Corresponding Author

a Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, South Korea

b Department of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, CHA Gumi Medical Center, CHA University, South Korea

c School of Environmental Science and Engineering, POSTECH, South Korea

d Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United States
Received 12 November 2009;
accepted 26 February 2010.
Available online 8 April 2010.


Low-dose organochlorine (OC) pesticides have recently been associated with type 2 diabetes in several non-Asian general populations. As there is currently epidemic type 2 diabetes in Asia, we investigated the associations between OC pesticides and type 2 diabetes in Koreans. Among subjects who participated in a community-based health survey, we randomly selected 40 diabetic patients and 40 normal controls. Ten OC pesticides (beta-hexachlorocyclohexane, hexachlorobenzene, heptachlor epoxide, p,p′-DDE, p,p′-DDD, p,p′-DDT, o,p′-DDT, oxychlordane, trans-nonachlor, and mirex) detectable in ≥ 70% of controls were analyzed in relation to diabetes. Most OC pesticides showed strong associations with type 2 diabetes after adjusting for age, sex, BMI, alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking. Compared with subjects in the lowest tertile of each OC pesticide, adjusted odds ratios (ORs) in the 3rd tertile ranged from 3.1 (95% CI 0.8–12.1) for heptachlor epoxide to 26.0 (95% CI 1.3–517.4) for oxychlordane. In the case of chemicals belonging to the DDT family, adjusted ORs in the 3rd tertile were in the range of 10.6 (95% CI 1.3–84.9) for p,p′-DDT to 12.7 (95% CI 1.9–83.7) for p,p′-DDE. In this exploratory study with small sample, low-dose background exposure to OC pesticides was strongly associated with prevalent type 2 diabetes in Koreans even though absolute concentrations of OC pesticides were no higher than in other populations. Asians may be more susceptible to adverse effects of OC pesticides than other races.

Keywords: Organochlorine pesticides; Persistent organic pollutants; Diabetes
Article Outline


Material and methods






Table 1. General characteristics and clinical variables between subjects with and without type 2 diabetes. View table in article

View Within Article

Table 2. Spearman correlation coefficients among wet-weight and lipid-standardized serum concentrations of organochlorine pesticides in controls. View table in article

Correlations in the lower diagonal box are for wet-weight serum concentrations; correlations in the upper diagonal box are for lipid-standardized serum concentrations.

P value < 0.01 for r ≥ 0.4 and P value < 0.05 for 0.3 < r < 0.4.

View Within Article

Table 3. Comparison of wet-weight and lipid-standardized serum concentrations of organochlorine pesticides between cases and controls. View table in article

View Within Article

Table 4. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of prevalent type 2 diabetes by tertiles of organochlorine pesticide. View table in article

Tertiles are based on control group information.
a Adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, alcohol, smoking, total cholesterol, and triglyceride.
b Adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, alcohol and smoking.

View Within Article

Corresponding Author Contact InformationCorresponding author. Department of Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, 101 Dongin-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu, 700-422 South Korea. Tel.: +82 53 420 4866; fax: +82 53 425 2447.
Environment International
Volume 36, Issue 5, July 2010, Pages 410-414
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City considers pesticide-free parks

Postby adminjt » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:35 pm

April 22, 2010

The Regina Leader-Post

City considers pesticide-free parks

By Joe Couture,

A proposal for three parks in Regina to be designated pesticide-free is going to city council without the support of the executive committee after a vote Wednesday.

Neil Vandendort, City of Regina parks and open space director, confirmed the proposal is to designate three parks -- City Hall grounds, Gordon Park and Al Pickard Park -- pesticide-free so people with sensitivities know they are safe to visit. The city can still use pesticides in extreme circumstances, but would notify the public when pesticides were required.

The designation would be a pilot project.

Costs and benefits would be analyzed to see if other parks could be likewise designated.

Pesticides are not used at many parks and the city is developing a pesticide-use reduction plan, which will come before the committee later.

The proposal for the three-park pilot project came forward Wednesday because of a council motion made last year by Coun. Fred Clipsham, who requested a report addressing the options around biocide-free spaces.

On Wednesday, the executive committee -- council sitting as a committee -- voted against recommending the designations. John Findura, Terry Hincks and Louis Browne voted in favour, but Mike O'Donnell, Michael Fougere and Sharron Bryce voted against it, defeating the motion for concurrence. Wade Murray left the room before the vote, and the other committee members were absent.

"It's not really a disappointment. It's just a matter of continuing the discussion, tailoring it to gain more support," Browne said following the meeting. "I'm in favour of a small-scale, short-term pilot so we can have the information. It's not going to cost us much to do (a pilot)."

But Fougere said "we just need to have some more information," noting issues around pesticides were considered extensively early last decade, at which time it was determined the city would incorporate best practices, but would not regulate pesticides, instead leaving that to Health Canada.

"We have a lot of knowledge that came from a previous policy that is not injected into the debate here," Fougere said. "I agree with the designation of pesticide-free parks, but I want to make sure we're doing it for the right reasons with the full knowledge behind us. We have a lot of policy we need to decide first."

Bryce said her concern was that the city already strives to limit pesticide use in all parks and she would not want it to look like the city is not making such efforts elsewhere.

The final decision rests with city council, which will vote Monday. Clipsham said he hopes it will pass and expects a good debate.

"It's something that I think is pretty important," he said.

Donna Ziegler of the Canadian Cancer Society said Wednesday she was disappointed with the executive committee's vote, but hopes council will vote differently.

"We know there is a growing connection between pesticides and cancers," she said, noting the society wants to address council before it makes its decision.

"Using potentially carcinogenic substances for making ... green spaces look pretty is not a good enough reason to put your health at risk when there are alternatives. We should be using those alternatives."

Executive committee also voted Wednesday in concurrence with a report recommending council transfer money from the general fund reserve to four dedicated capital reserves. Fougere confirmed council will consider that in its budget deliberations, in which it also will consider whether a projected surplus that is projected to increase the GFR could be used to lower the proposed mill rate. Council finalizes the budget for this year at a special meeting on Tuesday.

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