And You Thought You Were Safe!
The "Hidden" Benefits Of Fungicides & Other Chemicals
Synthetic horticultural chemicals do not work. One study showed that since the 1940's, crop loss inflicted by insects pests have nearly doubled from 7% to 13% despite a ten-fold increase in insecticide use (crop loss due to insects was reported at only 3-4% in 1900).
Twenty-five to 50% of the air sprayed pesticide doesn't hit the field and 98% doesn't even target the pest. Most of what is applied enters the environment, contaminating the soil, water, and air, not to mention poisoning or adversely affecting non-target organisms including animals and humans.
In the 1940's before synthetic insecticides were introduced, the crop loss from insect herbivory was 31%; it is now 37%, despite a thirty-three (33) fold increase in the quantity of pesticides used and a ten-fold increase in their toxicity during the intervening half century." Noah's Garden, Sara Stein, p. 115
The EPA now says that about 70 pesticides now in use are "probable" or "possible" cancer causers. The National Academy of Science (1993) has said "exposures to pesticides early in life can lead to a greater risk of... cancer, neurodevelopmental impairment, and immune dysfunction". This means our children are in far greater danger.
A medical school study shows that children in families that use a lot of pesticides are nearly seven times as likely to develop leukemia. .....The EPA estimates that 300,000 hired farm workers and their children suffer acute illness and injuries from exposure to pesticides each year. Farm Workers Still Unprotected, New York Times 2/25/92.
Studies (4) have shown that many common pesticides used on food crops break down into estrogen as a by product and exposed women have at least a 4 times greater chance of getting breast cancer. Other studies have shown this same exposure will cause male sterility in animals. 10/21/93
Studies now suggest that even low level exposure to pesticides for several years can cause cancer. Example - Women with the higher levels of DDT in their breast tissues are 4 times more likely to have breast cancer (Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York).
The EPA has reported that the use of pesticides in the USA stands at about 1.1 BILLION pounds per year over the last 15 years--OR about 4 pounds per person per year! (1,100,000,000) Several studies have found a correlation between breast cancer and DDE (the breakdown product of the pesticide DDT). A 1990 study found a correlation in Finnish women with elevated levels of beta-hexachlorocyclohexane, the residue of a common pesticide called Lindane.
A October 1993 report, "Chlorine, Human Health, and the Environment: The Breast Cancer Warning", endorsed by 20 scientists from a wide range of disciplines, details the health risk to women due to chlorine based synthetic chemicals. There is a growing body of evidence that the over 11,000 organochlorine chemicals currently in use and produced since World War II, contribute to breast cancer. These chemicals persist for a long time in the environment, accumulate in fatty tissue and accumulate as we move up the food chain. In addition to breast cancer these chemicals are linked to infertility, hormonal problems, birth defects, neurological and behavioral problems, immune system suppression and many others. These chemicals are commonly used in agriculture and horticulture.
The WHO (World Health Organization) estimates that 1 million people around the world experience severe, accidental pesticide poisoning each year. Of those, about 10,000 die. Houston Chronicle Nov. 14, 1993.
The FDA only inspects about 1% of the 1.2 million shipments of food that enters the United States each year. The frequency of those few inspections is declining as imports continue to increase. The General Accounting Office reported last year that 1/3 of the pesticide tainted shipments studied were sold illegally to the U.S. public! St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The damage resulting from the use of toxic chemicals is the same as from nuclear radiation. Americo Mosca (chemist, winner of chemistry prize at Brussels world fair) wrote: The use of synthetic fungicides (Zineb, Captan, Phaltan, etc.) annually causes the same damage to present and future generations as atomic fallout from 29 H-bombs of 14 megatons each OR damage equal to fallout of 14,500 atomic bombs of the type dropped on Hiroshima. In the USA in the 1970's yearly use of toxic genetic chemicals was 453,000 Tons, which caused damage equal to 72,000 atomic bombs of the Hiroshima type (or 145 H-bombs of 14 megatons each). Acres, USA, December 1993
Captan, "a mild fungicide", is a member of the thalidomide family of chemicals. One molecule can so offend a protein of the chromosomes that a mentally retarded child results, or a cancer is started, or death is more painful. Acres, USA, February, 1994.
Evidence is growing that the widespread pesticide "endosulfan" is associated with an increase in the incidence of breast cancer. Also that all estrogen-imitating agricultural chemicals such as endosulfan and DDT could account for the increase in incidence of breast cancer since the 1940's. Organic Gardening, February 1994.
Fifteen carcinogenic inert ingredients, including benzene, carbon tetrachloride, formaldehyde, methylene chloride, and perchloroethylene are exempted from any pesticide tolerance requirements.
There is an estimated 45,000 human acute poisonings from pesticides each year with about 3,000 of these serious enough for hospitalization. These figures do not include complications from cancer in later years.
People who drink chlorinated water for prolonged periods of time have a much higher risk of developing cancer of the bladder or rectum. About 9% (4,200 cases/year) of all bladder cancers and 15% (6,500 cases/year) of all rectal cancers are attributed to consumption of chlorinated water. American Journal of Public Health, 1994.
One chlorine atom will destroy 100,000 ozone molecules. Chlorine is extremely active and has been referred to as chemical demon. Chlorine enters the atmosphere from many sources, out gassing of treated public water, sewage treatment plants, backyard swimming pools, and even household chlorine bleach.
Synthetic chemicals are only tested as a direct agent not in combination with other chemicals or agents. Many common gardening chemicals are many times more carcinogenic if a person has been exposed to some other agent first such as ultra-violet light or a common x-ray. The EPA (much less the chemical companies) does not check for synergistic effects. These chemicals in combination greatly increase ones chance of tumors. Since almost all of our food supply is contaminated with residual chemicals we are constantly at risk.
The country of Sweden has joined other countries in banning the use of silver/mercury amalgam in dental fillings due to mounting evidence of volatization and ingestion of mercury which is extremely dangerous to health. News Report, 1994
A side effect of the antibiotic tetracycline is to inhibit a sperm's ability to burrow through the coating of the egg, an effect that can last up to 3 months. Since the use of tetracycline in animal feeds (chicken, cows, etc.) has increased, fertility problems in couples are increasing. Questions have been raised if there might be a connection.
According to the Statistical Abstract of the U.S. Pesticides production and Sales chart #361: In 1990, the U.S. produced 1,225,400,000 lbs. of fungicides, insecticides, herbicides, and other pesticides. Testing on the 50,000+ chemicals on the market has been lax with little or no information on the thousands of chemicals utilized in food production industry as to environmental or physiological impact or consequences.
In 1993, at least 150 million pounds of pesticides whose use is prohibited in the U.S.A. were exported from this country for use elsewhere! These include pesticides that have been banned as well as those which were never allowed on the market in the U.S.A. because of their hazards for human or environmental health. Many of these chemicals come back on and in the fruits and vegetables we import as food.There are at least 10,000 (maybe up to 60,000) different pollutants/chemicals in the environment which regularly end up in our water supplies to some degree. Quality Environments, Fall 1994
A USDA study (April 94) tested 6,000 produce items (12 kinds of produce) and pesticide residues (49 different pesticides) were found on 61% of the samples. All items were prepared for human consumption (washed, peeled or cored) before being tested.
We do not and can not test for all the combinations of toxic synthetic chemicals and how they affect the environment. Example: The herbicide Dicamba is characterized as "slightly toxic" or "practically nontoxic" to fish. It has been found that this is widely variable. If Dicamba is absorbed by vermiculite (a common ingredient in potting soils) its toxicity increased by 30 times. No effects were observed on yearling Coho salmon at 100 ppm. However, it has now been found that doses as small as 0.25 ppm can kill Coho salmon as they migrate from seawater to fresh water for spawning.
ALL of the dozen or so commonly recommended lawn pesticides are suspected of causing serious long term health problems. Captan and Benomyl are carcinogens and mutagens. Many people have severe allergic reactions to Captan often requiring hospitalization. Dursban has caused chronic kidney damage in laboratory tests and 2,4D has been linked to lymphatic cancer. Many homeowners report problems with common lawn chemicals causing excruciating headaches, nausea, extreme fatigue, and other debilitating illnesses. Garbage Magazine, July/August 1990.
The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit research group, has found peeled apples that contain 8 different pesticides. A dozen different peeled fruits and vegetables were found to contain 13 different carcinogenic pesticides, 17 different pesticides that damage the nervous system, and 11 hormone-disrupting pesticides. Acres, U.S.A., October 1994.
Male fertility has decreased dramatically over the last 50 years while abnormalities of the male reproductive system have increased. Researchers believe this is due to endocrine disrupters or environmental hormones of which some are pesticides such as DDT and other organoclorides. A recent study of Danish organic farmers did not have these problems, in fact they had sperm densities about double men that did not eat organically grown food.
A report from France published in the New England Journal of Health, has found that average sperm count of Parisian men has declined by 33% during the last 20 years. The vitality or quality of the sperm was also found to have declined. This study confirms the result of other European studies. Houston Chronicle, 2-2-95.
A study reported in the "American Journal of Public Health" has found that children whose yards were treated with herbicides (weed & feed) and insecticides had four times the risk of certain cancers. Houston Chronicle, February 27, 1995.The fungicide Benomyl marketed under the name Benlate is widely used on vegetables (such as carrots and cucumbers), fruits (such as strawberries) and many ornamentals. It causes tumors, birth defects, and reduced sperm counts in laboratory animals. Regulating Pesticides in Food, National Academy of Science, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.
Scientific American put the number of mentally retarded births at 20,000 per year by 1952. In 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson cited the number as 120,000 per year. By 1968 the statistics of U.S. Pediatricians reported mentally retarded children had increased to 550,000 per year (15% of all births). Since then data is hard to come by but it is estimated that the number has increased to between 1.5 and 2 million per year.
Independent researchers say it (Benlate) must somehow turn poisonous...through a complex series of reactions...that involve the breakdown products of Benomyl or inert ingredients used... Farmers Worried as Chemical turns Foe, New York Times 1/24/93.
"More serious still, claims are still pouring in that Benlate DF makes people sick.", Cutler, K. (1993, May/June). Clematis. Harrowsmith Country Life, pp. 54-61.
"Mainstream chemical-rescue farming and horticulture is coming unglued. At the same time, organic, ecological agriculture and horticulture is taking over.", Garrett, J. H. Preface. The Garden-Ville Method
A recent research study suggests that children under 14 have four times the normal risk of contracting cancer (soft tissue sarcoma) if their gardens have been treated with pesticides or herbicides. North Carolina Center for Health and Environmental Statistics, New Scientist.
Miami researchers have found residues of the banned organochlorine pesticide dieldrin in the brains of deceased Parkinson's patients. The brains also had residues of DDT and its metabolites. "Parkinson's Disease and Brain Levels of Organochlorine Pesticides", Annals Of Neurology, 36(1), pp.100-103, (July 1994).
A 1994 report by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation has now found residues of pesticides (all herbicides) in 37 water wells in 10 different counties and is now the biggest ground water pollutant. Industrial Wastewater, July/August 1995.
Pesticides have been found in random samples of baby food from several major producers. Sixteen different pesticides were detected and 53% of the samples contained pesticides. Three of the pesticides are probable carcinogens, several are neurotoxins, endocrine disrupters, and others are just highly toxic. An EPA spokesperson said the findings accurately reflect the amounts of pesticides in baby food. The National Academy of Science has found that infants and children are more sensitive to pesticide residues than adults. Houston Chronicle (Washington Post), 7/26/95It has been found that the usual method of measuring pesticides in food by extracting them with organic solvents fails to detect "bound" residues - in some cases less than 10% will be found by this method. Avant Gardener, August 1995.
Recent studies by the University of California at Berkeley have shown that acrylic nails can contain 11 chemicals on the OSHA (Occupational and Safety and Health Administration) hazardous chemical list. Some of the chemicals are known carcinogens (formaldehyde, methylene chloride), methyl ethyl ketone is a teratogen (causes birth defects in animals), other chemicals are believed to damage developing fetuses (methyl methacrylate, toluene, xylene). Other chemicals cause depression, allergies, dermatitis, eye and lung irritation. Houston Chronicle, 7/23/95.
A new study published in The Lancet, (Vol. 345, May 6, 1995) has confirmed that chronic exposure to organophosphate pesticides damages the nervous system, causing a reduction in attention span and the ability to process information. Pesticides And You, Summer 1995.
In the Corn belt a new study (reported in the New York Times, August 18, 1995) has found that the tap water is dangerously contaminated with weed killers. Herbicides were found in 29 of the cities tested, 18 of which were above federal standards. Agronomy News, October 1995.
Pesticides have been found in remote corners of the world where they have never been used. Researchers from Indiana University studying tree bark have measured concentrations of 22 types of insecticides including DDT and chlordane. Samples were taken from 90 remote sites worldwide. Science Journal, September 1995, AAAS, Reported in Nursery Management & Production.
The word "Inert" on a can of insect spray (for example roach spray) does not mean those compounds are inactive and unreactive....it just means they do not kill roaches! Ingredients are often volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like xylene, methyl ethyl benzene, or kerosene; many of these compounds are known to cause headaches, drowsiness, nausea, as well as irritate the eyes, nose and mouth. After spraying these chemicals can remain in the air for over 24 hours! New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
The volume of hazardous pesticides used each year in the United States is staggering:
These chemicals end up in our soil, air, water, adversely impacting humans, wildlife, and other living organisms. Northwest Coalition for Alternatives To Pesticides, Fall 1995.Atrazine, a herbicide used on corn and other vegetable crops has been found contaminating drinking water throughout the Midwest is being replaced by a alleged more "environmentally more friendly" replacement for Atrazine called Chlorsulfuron (brand name Gleam)-the first in a new family of incredibly toxic herbicides called sulfonylureas (SU's). It is estimated that Chlorsulfuron is 100 times more toxic! The SU's are proving so toxic that they cannot be used safely. In one documented case SU's were sprayed on a 800 acre field and were found to have drifted and contaminated the surrounding 400 square miles! Organic Gardening May/June 1996.
Researchers at the University of Illinois have found that even very short-term exposures to the herbicide Atrazine can cause chromosome damage that can lead to certain cancers. As little as 3 parts per billion can damage chromosomes in animals within 48 hours or less. Atrazine has been found as a contaminant in many water systems in the USA at levels several times this high affecting millions of people. Organic Gardening, April.
worldwide ban of the "dirty dozen" pesticides
continues as over 90 countries have banned or
restricted use of the world's most hazardous
pesticides for a 1995 total of 689 bans. However, over
58 million pounds were exported from 1991-1994 in the
United States alone. All of the dirty dozen have been
linked to widespread human poisonings and severe
chronic health effects according to the Pesticide
Action Network of North America (PANNA). The
"dirty dozen" are: aldicarb, camphechlor,
chlordane, heptachlor, chlordimeform, DBCP, DDT,
aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, EDB, HCH/BHC, lindane,
paraquat, parathion, methyl parathion,
pentachlorophenol and 2,4,5-T. Many of these are sold
in the USA under various brand and trade names.
NCAMP's Technical Report, January 1996.
A new study by the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit suggests that a combination of genes, aging and exposure to toxins in the environment causes Parkinson's disease. An increased risk was found to patients exposed to herbicides, insecticides, and several metals. The report suggests that a person might have a genetic predisposition to develop the disease that is later activated by toxic exposure. Environmental Health Perspectives 3/96. Reported in The Green Guide 6/1/96.
Researchers have found that endocrine disrupting chemicals which have little effect when tested by themselves increased their toxicity (potency) 1,000 times when combined with another in the same chemical class. Stephen F. Arnold, et al, "Synergistic Activation of Estrogen Receptor with Combinations of Environmental Chemicals," Science 272 (7June1996),1489-92.
Note: EPA and chemical company methodology only test each chemical separately. If 2 chemicals increase toxicity 1,000 times...I wonder what happens for 3 or 4....or the hundreds of such chemicals in the environment?
Many herbicides are claimed as environmentally safe. For example assorted studies on "Roundup", a popular herbicide containing glyphosate, has found the following:
An article in the summer 1996 issue of the Journal of Pesticide Reform reports a study by the Foundation For Advancements in Science and Education (FASE). The FASE by painstakingly sifting through U.S. customs shipping records has found that U.S. Pesticide manufacturers exported 157 tons per day (YES- 314,000 pounds per day of toxic chemicals) during 1992-1994.
Many of these hazardous pesticides are banned in the U.S., some are not even registered in the U.S. Many of these are known or suspected to cause cancer, genetic mutations, or adverse reproductive effects. Some of these include DDT, silver, mirex, chlordane, parathion amongst others. Some 300 tons of DDT were shipped to Peru alone in 1992.
A new study by the Ford Health System in Detroit has found a link between Parkinson's disease and environmental chemicals. Increased risk was found by patients exposed to insecticides, herbicides and metals like lead, copper and manganese. Environmental Health Perspectives, March 1996. Other researchers believe that a person inherits a predisposition to the disease which is then activated by chemical exposure.
New research (EPA and others) shows that the new class of herbicides called sulfonylurea's (Glean, Telar,..) are more dangerous than the herbicides they are replacing. Concentrations of sulfonylureas that are so low (undetectable in normal laboratory analysis) has and will cause loss of a crops yield without loss of vegetation. These findings suggest that these chemicals will have severe effects on entire ecosystems. Journal of Pesticide Reform, Fall 1996.
More than 45 million Americans were served drinking water during 1994-95 that was polluted with unsafe levels of pesticides, toxic chemicals, parasites, lead, and other chemicals according to a report by the National Resources Council, The Environmental Working Group, and the Environmental Information Center. The full report is available at http:\\www.ewg.org
The EPA warns that pollution has made fish unsafe to eat in 15% of the lakes in 47 states. The toxins found include mercury, PCB's, chlordane, dioxin, DDT, and 41 other chemicals. Organic Gardening, March 1997.
The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology estimates that as many as 33 million Americans suffer from food poisoning each year with an annual death toll of 9,000. (Parade Magazine, 10/19/91).
People exposed to fungicides may be more than 3 times as likely to get non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a rapidly increasing form of cancer. Cancer (Vol. 85,No. 6, 1999,pp. 1353-1360).Health problems like cancer, fertility problems, mental retardation and attention deficit disorder in children, brain disorders, chemical sensitivity, etc. continue to increase. Farmers, homeowners, government and industry continue to increase their use of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers and other chemicals....Many people now wonder how strong this parallel is, coincidence OR cause and effect?Why does the public not hear more about the dangers of synthetic chemicals?
"The suppliers of agricultural chemicals have a $35 billion to $50 billion a year business to protect." Organic Gardening, December 1992.
Pesticides alone are big business with annual sales of over $ 8.5 billion in 1993! Northwest Coalition for Alternatives To Pesticides, Fall 1995.
Chemical Profits were at a "Historic High" in 1995, according to the Chemical Manufacturer Association's (CMA) annual report (November 27, 1995). First half PROFITS alone were $ 18.7 billion!
RECOMMENDED READING:OUR STOLEN FUTURE, by Theo Colborn, Dianne Dumanoski, and John Peterson Myers
Dutton, March 1996, ISBN 0-525-93982-2
Is This Your Child's World? How You Can Fix The Schools and Homes That are Making Your Children Sick
Doris Rapp, MD, Bantam Books, or Order (716)875-5578
JOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM
Northwest Coalition For Alternatives To Pesticides(NCAP)
P.O. Box 1393
Eugene, Oregon 97440 (503) 344-5044
PESTICIDES AND YOU
National Coalition Against The Misuse of Pesticides (NCAMP)
701 E. Street S.E., Suite 200
Washington, D.C. 20003 (202) 543-5450
B.U.G.S. FLYER - The Voice of Ecological Urban Horticulture
Biological Urban Gardening Services
P.O. Box 76
Citrus Heights, CA 95611-0076
Medical & Legal Briefs: A Referenced Compendium of Chemical Injury
P.O. Box 426
Williston, ND 58802-0426 (701) 859-6363
Our Toxic Times: A Monthly Publication of The Chemical Injury Network
P.O. Box 301
White Sulphur Springs, Montana 59645-0301 (406) 547-2255 (phone & Fax)
Environmental Working Group
1718 Connecticut Ave., NW, #600
Washington, D.C. 20009 (202) 667-6982 http:\\www.ewg.org
Pesticide Action Network
116 New Montgomery #810
San Francisco, CA 94105 (415) 541-9140 E-mail: email@example.com
Chemical Exposure and Human Health:
A Reference to 314 Chemicals with A guide to Symptoms and a Directory of Organizations, Cynthia Wilson, McFarland & Company, Inc., 1993, ISBN 0-89950-810-3
American PIE (American Public Information on The Environment)
124 High Street
P.O. Box 340
South Glastonbury, CT 06073-0340
1-800-320-APIENational Pesticide Telecommunications Network 800-858-7378
Would it surprise you to learn:
1) Fluoride poisoning is the cause of tip burn on many plants (University of Missouri Extension Service). A few fluoride sensitive plants include dracaenas, spider plants, ti-plant, Easter lilies, aspidistra, and ponytail palm. As little as 0.1 parts per million can cause tip burn on some plants. Fluoridated water often contains over ten times this amount! Rock phosphate fertilizers (such as super phosphate) also contains fluoride as do perlite and some peat’s.
2) The USDA has lowered the amount of protein required in a bushel of corn 4 times since 1903 to make it look like modern agricultural practices were increasing yields. The Truth About Modern Agriculture.
3) A USDA study during the summer of 1993 of 30 counties in 7 different states of 15 different food crops found that on average the organically grown crops had 400% higher nutrition levels. It has been suggested that this study was not allowed to be published since it would have been bad for business's producing synthetic chemicals for agricultural use.
4) New studies suggest that the first signs of malnutrition are aggressive and violet behavior.
5) Studies suggest that aggressive and violet behavior is triggered or aggravated by mild fluoride poisoning
6) From Health And Wellness Today, Autumn 1994, Dr. Julian Whitaker, MD
Many medical tests may be hazardous to your health.
7) It has recently been found out, that three of the leading scientists who are critics of theories on global warming and ozone depletion are receiving funding from the energy industry. Washington Post, 20 March 1996.
8) The U.S. EPA is prohibited from releasing information to the public about pesticide production, sales or distribution.
9) In 1996, in a republican led effort, a law known as the "Delaney Clause", that protected citizens from chemicals that are known to cause cancer was repealed by Congress in the Food Safety Act of 1996. Manufacturers are now allowed to use cancer causing chemicals (if it increase profits) and DO NOT have to tell you. The EPA and USDA are now prohibited from testing products and food for carcinogens. This ranges from hair sprays and deodorants to the food we eat and the air we breathe.
10) A study by the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has found that of 30,000 projects funded by the USDA, that only 34 studied organic farming (i.e. researched ways to solve problems without using dangerous chemicals).October 15, 2004.
Nature's Way Resources
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