Document 18571

,
JOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/SUMMER 2001 • VOL. 21, NO.2
•
FRO M
THE
NORTHWEST
EDITOR
•
As obvious as this idea may seem,
it is hard to find objective evidence to
support it. However, NCAP recently
learned that the u.s. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) reviewed tests
of genetic damage provided by pesticide manufacturers and those published in scientific journals.} Consider,
for example, what the EPA review
found for the herbicide atrazine. None
of the manufacturer's studies showed
that atrazine caused genetic damage,
while fourteen studies from the published literature did. (See "Atrazine:
Toxicology," p. 12.) It seems that the
fable about the fox guarding the
chicken coop clearly applies today to
pesticide testing.
-Caroline Cox
1.
Dearfield, K.L., et al. 1993. A survey of EPAi
OPP and open literature data on selected pesticide chemicals tested for mutagenicity. Mut. Res.
297:197-233.
ANNOUNCEMENTS
CELEBRATE!
THANKS!
NCAP's 24th annual meeting will be held on October 19th and 20th in
Eugene, Oregon.
One highlight of the meeting will be two performances of A Sense of
Wonder, an inspiring play about the life and works of Rachel Carson.
In addition, NCAP will present a workshop about the hazards pesticides
pose for threatened and endangered species of salmon.
Please lnark your calendars and let family and friends in the Eugene area
know about these events. NCAP members in Oregon will be receiving more
information from us later in the summer.
Publication of JPR is partially
funded by a donation from Royal
Blue Organics, roasters and marketers of Cafe Mam. Cafe Mam
is grown by the ISMAM Coop in
Chiapas, Mexico.
Two percent of Cafe Mam's
sales are donated to NeAP. During the past 12 years, NCAP has
received over $70,000 from Cafe
Mam.
If you would like to order this
organic, ecologically sound, and
socially responsible coffee, contact Cafe Mam by phone at 1888-CAFE-MAM, by mail at P.O.
Box 21123 Eugene OR 97402, by
e-mail [email protected] or
on the web at www.cafemam.com.
SUNSET FLOAT!
Jain NCAP for a Sunset Float of the Willamette River in Eugene, Oregon, on
July 3rd from 5:30 to.9:30 P.M.
The raft trip includes a guided tour of river ecology and a picnic dinner at
Alton Baker Park. This event is to raise funds for NCAP and to introduce our
newest campaign: Clean Water fa!- Salmon. The cost per person is $100 and
space is limited.
Contact Becky Long at (541) 344-5044 ext. 23 or e-mail [email protected]
for more information or to reserve your space.
FOR
ALTERNATIVES
TO
PESTICIDES
lOURNALOF
PESTICIDE TESTING: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
THE Fox GUARDS THE CHICKEN COOp?
As I write this editorial, schools
around the world arc giving final exams, with all the work and anxiety
that brings. But imagine, just for a moment, that schools worked the way
that pesticide registration works. Students would write, take, and grade
their own finals, then send them off
to their teachers for review and evaluation. Would the results of the exams
change? It's not hard to imagine that
the answer to this question is yes.
The u.s. pesticide regulatory system is based on testing requirements
that set up a virtually guaranteed conflict of interest. Pesticide manufacturers, for the most part, conduct the
tests that are used to determine the
health and environmental hazard!; of
the products they sell. Should we then
be surprised that these tests miss important hazards? Hardly.
COALITION
PESTICIDE·REFORM
SUM,MER
.TABLE
OF
2001
VOLUME
21,
NUMBER
2
CONTENTS
News from NCAP
Food News
Herbicide Factsheet .
2
6
12 Atrazine: Toxicology
2
3
l\1oney Matters.: Oregon's
Pesticide Tracking Falters
Thanks for All Your Snrvey
.
Responses!
Spreading a Sustainable Message
among Tie-dyes, Neck Ties, and
Slide Ties
6
Roundup Tolerant Soybeans:
More Pesticides, Fewer Beans
Organic Agriculture Yields
Tasty Fruit and Fertile Soil
News from Around
7
News from the Northwest
More Hazards of Pesticides for
Children's Health
Profile
4· "The Retriever" Promises Less
Herbicide Use on Oregon Roads
4 Good News for Northwest Schools
5 Union Boycott Succeeds!
5 Pesticides Linked to Dedines of
Threatened California Frogs
8
21 . "Inerts" and Health
-22 Contracting for Pest Control
Skills
Services
Reviews
Restoring Wedands in West
Eugene (Almost) without
Pesticides
.
. 22 Chemical Pesticide Markets,
Health Risks and Residues
Letters to the Editor
Alternatives
24 From Our Readers
10 Protection from Mosquito Bites
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES
P.O. BOX t393; EUGENE, OREGON 97440-1393
The Journal of Pesticide Reform Is published by the Northwest
Coalition for AlternatIves to Pesticides. NCAP is a nonprofit taxexempt organization. Donations are tax-deductible.
The NCAP office is located at 1249 Willamette 81.; Eugene, OR
97401-. Phone: (541) 344-5044. E-mail: [email protected] Fax: (541)
344-6923. NCAP's web page address is http://www.pesticide.org.
JPR is printed on recycled paper.
Permission Is granted to reproduce any information found in this
publication, except reprinted or copyright articles. Please credit
NCAP and the Journal of Pesticide Reform.
Postmaster: Send address changes to NCAP, P.O., Box 1393,
~~~~~8~3~3~~tJ°-1393.
Research
Editor
Caroline Cox
Contributing Authors
Kit Kirkpatrick, Jeff Levy, Mlnriie
Sagar, Lucy Vtnis, Irene Wolansky,
and NCAP staff
Graphic Design and
Production
Kate Pryka
Cover Artist
Mary Rounds
Contributing Photographers
City of Eugene, U.S. Department
of Agriculture, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and NCAP members
and staff
NCAP Staff
Norma Grier, Director
Becky Long, Development Director
Edward Winter, Financial Manager
Kay Rumsey, Librarian
.
Aimee Code, Right to Know
Pollyanna Lind, Clean Water
Megan Kemple, Public Educatipn
Jeff Rast, Sustainable Agriculture
Caroline Cox, Editor and Staff Scientist
NCAP's Board of Directors
Jim Barngrover Dahinda Meda
Lucy Rosas
Jean Cameron
Annie Fulkerson Erika Schreder
Gail Gutsche
Elizabeth Tan
Kathy Hanson
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P.O. BOX 1393, EUGENE, OREGON 97440 I (541)344-5044
------ -I
1
~OURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/ SUMMER 2001 • VOL. 21, NO.2
•
NEWS
FROM
NeAP
MONEY MATTERS: OREGON'S
PESTICIDE TRACKING FALTERS
Sitting at my desk on this quiet
morning it is hard to believe I was
submerged in fast paced budget discussions at the capitol yesterday. As I
reflect on all I have learned working
on Oregon's p'esticide tracking law far
the past year, .one very vah.~able lesson rises to the top: It is extremely
important to follow through on work
until the end. That seems .obvious
enough, but sometimes ,it is hard to
determi;ne when the end is.
In' the case of a law, passing the
law is far from the end of the fight,
especially for a complex program like The workgroup establish_ed by Oregon's govpesticide tracking. The law was signed ernor to implement the state pesticide tracking
law has struggled with a variety of contentious
by Oregon's -governor in September, issues this year, includh1g funding for the
1999, but almost two years later we program.
are still fighting to assUre its ·impleimportance of funding was the theme
mentation.
Late last year one part of the work of Oregon Conservation Network's
on the pesticide tracking program was Environmental Lobby Day' on May
nearing closure; most of the reporting 14th, and it' rings true -for, many envimethods were decided. Yet, NCAP and ronmental laws. Pesticide tracking ,is
its allies needed to remain focused no exception.
As with so many laws, people who
because the next phase was soon to
come, funding. The funding of a pro- don't want to see the law implemented
gram is a legislative test of whether .of . work to limit funding. Without suffinot a law will truly come to life. The cient funding the tracking program will
do very little good for researchers or
the general public who want to know
about. pesticide use in, Oregon.
AImee 'Code is NeAP's righl-to-know coordinator.
•
•
NEW 5
FROM
NeAP
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR SURVEY
RESPONSES!
NCAPmembers who have provided
us with an e-mail ~ddress received a
survey about the journal of Pesticide
Reform in May. The. purpose of the
survey was to find out if NCAP mem-
•
Caroline Cox Is JPR's editor.
2
bers would like to see changes in our
magazine and also to find out about
topicS that could be covered in future
issues of the magaZine that would interest our members. Many thanks to
all NCAP members who responded to
the s:unrey!
'
The results of the. survey will be
In January of this year, the Oregon
Department of Agriculture proposed a
budget for the pesticide tracking program far below the amount needed
for a successful program. Then the department increased the budget to reflect the needs of the program but
this action left it open to attack.
People who do not want to see an
effective pesticide tracking program
took the opportunity tQ hack away at
the substance of the program. Suddenly legislators began sending multiple recommendations to the department about how to cut costs. Each cut
had severe repercussions. With every
newly proposed budget cut we had to
make sure that legislators, the governor, and all of our allies u-nderstood
the ramifications of the suggested cuts.
Many of NCAP's Oregon members
helped Qut by sending letters to the
governor and your legislators. Thank
you . Your efforts made the needed
impact.
We are still in battle; but are hanging on and hoping that the program
will guarantee that Oregonians know
about the pesticides used in their
neighborhoods,· at their local schools,
and elsewhere.
By the time you're reading this article, Oregon's legislative session will
likely be over and the funding issues
will be settled. The next part of implementing this law is administrative·
rulemaking. We'll need your voices to
ensure that all we have fought for does
not slip away. You'll be hearing from
us soon!
-Aimee Code
helpful as NCAP tries to make . the
magazine something ti:!at all of our
members find irreplaceable. The sections of the magaZine that members
fQund most useful were the articles
summarizing the health and environmental hazards of pesticides, articles
summarizing nonchemical strategies for
managing ~ommon household p~sts,
and pesticide-related news articles.
About two-thirds of our members prefer to continue receiving a paper and
ink Journal and not an electronic one,
although most of you would be happy
if we could put more of the magazine
on the web.
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P.O. BOX'1393, EUGENE, OREGON .97440/ (541)344-5044
~OURNAL
OF PESTICIDE REFORM) SUMMER 2001 • VOL. 21, NO.2
Topics proposed by members for
future issues include' pest -,control
techniques,-used in 'grocery stores; effects of pesticides on songbirds; brief
articles about the hazards of pesticides
t6 share with neighbors, s<;:hools, and
others; foods likdy to be contaminated
.'NEW$
FROM
with pesticide reSidues; and nonchemical management of vegetation _on
roadsides and utility rights of way, We
hope to cover some' of these topiCS in
the near future,
'
If you did ,not receive a survey,
send your e-mail address to NCAP at
[email protected] and we'll send one
to you. Or, if you prefer regular mail,
send us a postcard and we'll mail you
the sutvey.
Thanks again for all your thoughtful and, informative responses.
.
-Caroline Cox
NeAP
SPREADING A SUSTAINABLE MESSAGE AMONG
TIE-DYES, NECK TIES, AND SLIDE TIES
Not that I consider myself a Johnny
Appleseed of sustainable agriculture,
but it just seems to work out that way.
Wherever I go, I scatter the seed. And
this year, -my journeys have taken me
literally from coast to coast, and from
one unique culture ,to another.
I started my travels in January at
. the ever-motivating Ecological Farming Conference Ca. k! a: EcoFarm) in
Pacific Grove, California. Via an educational display, I pmmoted NCAP's
sustainable agriculture work with the
Fort Hall Shoshone-Bannock reservation and our outreach ptograms associated with the Magic Valley Farmer
Network.
On Valentine's Day, I headed to
Washington, D.C. to help develop a
final draft of national policy recommendation~ to- promote, agricultural
sustainability. Funded by the Kellogg
Foundation, this project is directed by
the Henry A. Wallace Center for Agricultural and Environmental Policy, part
of the nonprofit organization Winrock
International. As a regional co-coordinator, l' was invited to help complete
this national effort. The report 'is entitled "Making Changes-Turning Lo'cal Visions into National Solutions.""
You can learn more about the report
by checking Winrock's web site. at
www.winrockorg.
In March, I spoke about our Fort
Hall sustainable cropping systems·
project at the Northwest Intertribal
Agriculture Cbuncil Conference in
"eft Rast is NeAP's
. gram coordinator.
•
su~tainable
'
agriCUlture pro-
NeAP and Idaho Organic Alliance board member Kathy Hanson at the Eagle Island Experience.
Pocatello, Idaho. The conference ing organic foods and food system isbrought in representatives from pu- . sues. Culturally, the event had strong
merous tribes throughout the United hippie roots. Being a master of disStates. Following my presentation, a guise, though, I dre'ssed in "normal"
couple of people asked' what would Idaho clothes. But at the end of the
be involved in establishing similar festival, one of the organizers gave
projects on their reservations.
me an official tie-dye shirt so that I
And the most recent stop on my could be more appropriately dressed
Johnny Appleseed meanderings was next time.
the Eagle Island Experience near Boise,
What a journey! It didn't matter
Idaho. This first annual two-day event whether the people were wearing exfeatured dIverse cultural entertainment - pensive silk ties, tie-dye t-shirts or slide
as well as educational exhibits on sus- ties with beadwork, all audiences -Were
tainable living such as solar power, receptive. The seeds of agricultural
straw bale construction, and the like. sustainabllity are finding good soll and
In addition to promoting NCAP, I also are beginning to bear fruit.
helped with several exhibits highlight-jeff Rast '
NORTHWEST COALITION FORALTERNATIVES'TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P. O. BOX '·393, E W G ENE, 0 REG 0 N 97440 I (54 1 ) 3 4 4 - 5044
3
~OURNAL
~OURNAL OF PESTICIOE REFORM/SUMMER 2001· VOL. 21, NO.2
•
NEW S
FROM
THE
NORTHWEST
"THE RETRIEVER" PROMISES LESS
HERBICIDE USE ON OREGON ROADS
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is using a new tool
called "The Retriever" to control roadside vegetation and condition road
shoulders. The Retriever promises to
reduce the amount of. pesticides used
by the state agency by improving techniques for roadside management.
The Retriever is attached to a tractoe It churns and mulches roadside
soil and vegetation with a set of rotating disks. Material is then pulled up
onto the shoulder and put into position by a mounted blade. Material left
on the. pavement is cleaned up by a
sweeping vehicle that follows behind.
A standard shoulder conditioning
operation requires three separate
passes, one to churn roadside material, one to pull it to the edge of the
shoulder, and one to sweep off the
road. The Retriever cuts thts down to
•
.Jeff Levy is an intern at NeAP.
The Retriever.
two. passes! it churns, ,mulches, and
distributes' material in one pass and is
followed by a sweeping vehicle, By
adding a mulching step to the operation, the Retriever reduces or' eliminates the use of contact herbicides.
According to ODOT research coordinator Betty Coste, the machine will
reduce ODOT's use of the herbicide
Roundup.
The Retriever offers a variety of advantages over more common methods
of roadside vegetation management.
While drastically reducing the need for
usage of a contact herbicide in some
areas, the Retriever also does the job
faster and cheaper. The Retriever
moves more than twice as fast and
costs 'about one-third the price of conventional machinery. In addition,_ it alIQws for work to be done on much
steeper grades and can be installed
quickly and easily onto a variety of
equipment.
ODOT Corvallis area maintenance
coordinator Alan Mitchell is pushing
for use of The Retriever statewide.
Currently, only one ODOT district
owns a Retriever. Mitchell says the cost
of the Retriever is reasonable and it
could easily pay for itself in four years
with the money saved in herbicide reduction.
Currently, however, ODOT has no
plans to purchase more Retrievers although the reduction in cost, time, and
herbicide usage makes this a possibility. Mitchell has invited interested parties to come and watch the Retriever
in action td' promote expansion of its
use.
-jeff Levy
Oregon Department of Transportation. 2001. Improving maintenance practices. ODOT Research Notes
RSN 01-05, ·Mar. www.odot.oLus/tddresearch .
•
NEW S
FROM
NEWS
FROM
THE
THE
NORTHWEST
UNION BOYCOTT SUCCEEDS!
Bon Appetit, the fourth largest
food service provider in the U.S.,
agreed iri May to stop using products
marketed by the Oregon vegetable
cooperative NORPAC. NORPAC has
been the target of a boycott by
Pineros y Campesinos Unldos del
Noroeste (PCUN), Oregon's farmworker union. 1
Bon Appetit proVides foop service
for 70 universities across the country,
•
NEW S
FROM
THE
as well as in the dining facilities of
many corpo.rate headquarters. 1
PCUN asks its supporters to boycott NORPAC to support ,the union's
efforts to organize workers at Kraemer
Farms, a prominent NORPAC grower.2
Several university campuses had
earlier agreed not to use NORP AC
products, including California State
University Monterey Bay and Southern Oregon University. However, ,Bon
NORTHWEST
PESTICIDES LINKED TO DECLINES OF
THREATENED CALIFORNIA FROGS
A new study iinplicates agricultural
pesticides a~ a cause of declining
popUlations of the California redlegged frog. The study, conducted by
researchers at the University of
California, Davis, the U.S. Geological
•
Caroline Cox Is JPR's editor.
•
OF PESTICIOE REFORM/ SUMMER 2001 • VOL. 21, NO.2
Survey, and the California Academy of
Sciences, "strongly suggests that windborne agrochemicals may be an important factor in declines." The study
also found evidence that increases in
ultraviolet radiation due to' the deplec
tion of stratospheric ozone and urbanization of frog habitat are factors in
the decline of frog populations.
NORTHWEST
policy for the district. The policy requires the district-to "reduce and eliminate where feasible the use of chemical pesticides.'" Principals will be told
about planned applications so that they
can "notify the school community by
notice and posting"2 before and' after
schools. Schools must notify parents pesticide treatments. 2
Certainly the Washington law and
and employees annually about their
pest control practices. In addition, the Portland policy could go further
schools must, notify interested parents in protecting children from toxic
before treatments are made' and post chemicals. However, as the Washingsigns when applkations are made. ton Toxics Coalition,' a leader in get-There are some exemptions: notifica- ting the Washington law passed, wrote,
tion is not required for baits, nor if . such laws and policies are "an excel-Caroline Cox
school will not be in session for two lent first step."3
days following treatment. Records of
pesticide applications must be avail- 1. State of Washington Substitute Senate Bill 5533.
www.leg.wa.gov:
able to parents l
2
Portland Public Schools. 2001. Sustainable busi-.
ness practices. (Policy.) Adopted May 21.
In Portland, on May 21, 2001, the
www.pps.k12.6r.us.
school board adopted a sustainable 3. Washington
Toxics Coalition. 2001. Governor
business practices policy that e'stabsigns children's pesticide rlght-to-know bill, May
15. www.watoxics.org.
lishes an integrated pest managen:ent
GoOD NEWS FOR NORIHWEST
SCHOOLS
The state of Washington and the
Portland (Oregon) school district have
recently taken steps that will improve
communication with parents about the
pesticides used in school buildings and
on school grounds 1,' Both the state
and the district deserve congratulations
for taking these steps.
In Washington, on May 15, 2001,
Governor Gary LocKe signed, into law
a -bill that requires notification and
posting of pesticide applications in licensed day care centers and public
•
Caroline Cox Is JPR's editor.
4
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIOES/NCAP
P.O. BOX 1393, EUGENE, OREGON 97440 I (541)344~5044
The California red~leggedl frog, a threatened species, has disappeared from much of its historic
range. A new analysis sHows that pesticides may be an ,important ca,use.
Appetit is the first food service company to stop using NORP AC products
company-wide. 1
NCAP supports the PCU]\[ boycott
because farmworkers have Significant
exposure to many of the pestiCides_
that are used in conventional agriculture. Union contracts are one of the
few avenues for farmworkers to protect themselves from these chemicals.
-Caroline Cox
1.
2.
Pineros y Campesinos Unidos' del Noroeste.
2001. Bon Appetit no longer uses any NORPAC
products. Woodburn OR. www.pcun.org.
"California-based lood service firm will stop carrying NORPAC prod~cts. " 2001. The .oregonian, May ,1 B.
The California red-legged frog was
once abundant, but now has disappeared from about seventy percent of
its former range. It is listed under the
U.S. Endangered Species Act as a
threatened species.
Dr. Carlos Davidson and his colleagues looked at 237 sites across California where red-legged frogs had been
observed prior to 1975. On about half
of the sites, red-legged frogs were now
absent.
The researchers then looked at the
percentage of agricultural land in a
triangle 150 kilometers (90 miles)long .
upwind of the red"legged frog site.
They compared this percentage in sites'
where the frog had disappeared and
in sites where the frog survived'. There
was 6.5 times _more upwind agricultural land near sites where the frog
was absent than near 'sites where, the
frog was present.
To test whether habitat changes due
to agriculture were responsible, rather
than pesticides or other agrochemicals
that are transported by wind, the re- .
searchers did a similar _analysis using
triangles oriented in random rather
than upwind directions. No association with frog declines was found
when ra,ndom directions were used.
The study provides sobering evidence of the complex damage caused
by agricultural pesticides.
-Caroline -Cox
Davidsoll, C., H.B. Shaffer, and M.R. Jennings. 2001.
Declines of the California red-legged frog: Climate,
UV-B, habitat, and pesllcides hypotheses. Ecol. Appf.
11 (2): 464-479.
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P.O. BOX 1393, EUGENE, OREGON 97440 I (54i)344~5044
5
dOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/ SUMMER 2001 • VOL. 21, NO.2
•. F 0 0 D
JOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/ SUMMER 2001 • VOL.
r---~c_---------------,~~
NEWS
o
•
OJ
::J
ROUNDUP TOLERANT SOYBEANS:
MORE PFSTICIDFS, FEWER BEANS
multiple Roundup applications and ap-'
plications of multiple herbicides. The
end result is more herbicide use.
Benbrook_ also reviewed soybean
yield trials conducted by agricultural
researchers in Illinois, Minnesota, and
Nebraska. Overall, most studies show
that Roundup tolerant soybeans have
lower yields than conventional
varieties. In the highest yielding varieties this "yield drag" is up to ten
percent,
Finally, Benbrook reviewed new research that explains the causes of the
yield drag. Applications of Roundup
to young Roundup tolerant soybeans
reduce. the ability of the plants to fix
nitrogen (transform nitrogen into a usable form). In addition, a 1999 study
at the University of Missouri showed
that Roundup treatment of Roundup
tolerant soybeans increases their sus-
•
20 percent higher in the organic plots
than in the conventional plots. Yields
. were similar, but taste tests found the
, organic apples to be sweeter. Cumulative energy input (labor, fuel, fertilizers, and pest control) were about 15
percent less fcir the organic plots than
post, mulches, mowing,' cultivation, the conventional plots.
The organic plots were more profinsecticidal bacteria, mating disruption, .
itable than the conventional ones beand manual thinning.
The organic system outperfo1111ed. cause prices for organic apples ,averthe' conventional system in a variety aged about 50 percent more than
of ways. Soil quality ratings were about ,prices for, coiwentional apples. However, the authors calculated that the
price premium that would be required
in order for organic production to be
as profitable as conventional produc. tion was only 12 percent.
. The Nature article concludes by urging policy makers to take up thechallenge of "supporting food producers
in their attempts to employ both economically and environmentally
sustainable practices." -Caroline Cox
N E W.S
ceptibility to disease-causing fungi.
Both problems will reduce yield.
"In managing weeds," concluded
Benbrook, "keeping a few steps ahead
of Mother Nature is the ultimate measure of succ.ess and one that appears
beyond the reach of today's RR
[Roundup tolerant! soybean system."
-Caroline Cox
Benbrook, C. M. 2001. Troubled times amid commercial success for Roundup Ready soybeans.
AgBioTech InfoNet Tech. Paper No.4, May 21.
www.biotech-Info.net.
ORGANIC AGRICULTURE YIELDS
TASTY FRUIT AND FERTILE SOIL
Organic apple prodUction produces
sweeter apples than conventiorial practices, is more profitable, requires less
energy,. and results in higher soil quality. These conclusions of a new study
from Washington State University are
good news for organic growers and
for people who buy and eat their produce.
The new study, published in the
prestigious journal Nature, looked at
six years of apple production 09941999} in an experimental orchard. The
conventional plots used synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and chemical fruit
thinners. The organic plots used com-
•
Caroline Cox is JPR's editor.
6
FROM
NO.2
study was able to look specifically at
applications made during the part of
pregnancy (the third to the eighth
, week) when orga.l!-s are forming. The
largest risks for fetal and newborn
death due to birth defects were found
when pesticide exposure occurred during this' time. 2
cide applications and fatal birth deIn addition, because the reporting
fects, was conducted in ten agricul- system has relatively precise geographitural California countie.s, California has cal information; the study_ was able to
several state programs that make this 109k at several definitions of "proxim-,
kind of study possible, a reporting sys- ity." Narrowing the potential area of
tem to track pesticide',applications and exposure to the square mile surtOl.,mda vital statistics registry that provides ing the mother's home produced a
information about the cause of death. stronger association than when the
potential area .of exposure was a nine
'
"'§ square mile area. 2
~
A major stre(1gth of this study is
jg that the assessment of pesticide expo:E sure' did not use a questionnaire or
~ interview that relied on parents' reg
calL (This is commOn in many studies
::J
of pesticide exposure and' disease.)
Instead" the state reporting system provided an objective method for estimating of each mother's exposure. 2
The, concerns raised -by these two
studies are intensified by monitOring
results released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in
March. The monitoring was the first
ever conducted in U.S. residents for
five chemicals that are breakdown
products of organophosphate insecticides. The CDC survey found that three
of the five breakdown products were
found in over 90 percent of the people
tested. 3 Since the 'monit9ring study
looked at people from the ages of 6
to 59, this suggests that exposure of
children and pregnant mothers to pesticides may be startlingly common.
There is growing 'concern about the effects of
pe.sticides on children's health.
, The simplest way to summarize
these new studies is just to call them
The study looked at all deaths caused a call to, action. For all children's sake,
by birth defects of fetuses in the last it's time to put an end to our chemihaif of pregnancy and infants who died cally dependent pest management.
in the first day after birth. Overall, the
- Caroline Cox
study found that "in ten agricultural
Daniels, J.L. et al. 2001 . .Residential pesticide
counties of 'California, proximity to 1. exposure
and neurobla'stoma. Epidemiology
commercial pesticide applications was
12:20-27.
associated with an elevated rate of fe- 2. BaH, E.M., I. Herza-Picciotto, and J.J. Beaumont.
2001. A case-control study of pesticides and fetal death due to congenital abnormalital death due to congenital, anomalies. Epidemi·
ties [birth defects!.'"
ology 12:148-156 .
Because the' California reporting sys- 3. Centers for Disease Contr.ol and Prevention.
2001. National report on hUman exposure to
tern has inforination about the day'
environmental chemicals. Atlanta, GA, Mar.
when each application was made, the
www.cdc.gov.
AROUND
MORE HAzARDs OF PESTICIDFS FOR
CHILDREN'S HEALTH
A new analysis of 1].S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA) and other research data shows that soybeans genetically engineered to be tolerant of
the herbicide Roundup, used on 60
percent of U.S. soybean acreage, require more herbicides than conventional soybeans and produce fewer
bushels of beans per acre. Charles
Benbrook, from the Northwest Science
and Environmental Policy Center, is
the author of the analysis.
Using data collected by. USDA in'
1998, Benbrook showed, on average,
that thirteen percent more herbicides
(measured as pounds per acre) were
applied to Roundup tolerant soybeans
than conventional soybeans. Due t6 a
shift in the species of weeds found in
Roundup tolerant soybean fields, and
the development of weed resistance
to Roundup" farmers are having to usc:
F 0 0 D
NEWS
~1,
I
I
I
I
How do pesticides damage chilc;lren's health? Fatal birth defects and a
childhood' cancer are 'recent- additions
to, the growing list of answers to~ this
questions. According to two studies
recently published in the journal Epidemiology,I,2 use of home and garden
pesticides' is associated with an increased incidence of neuroblastoma, a
nervous system cancer, and -living near
agricultural pesticide applic;atibns is
associated with an increased risk of
fatal birth defects.
Neuroblastoma is the most common
cancer in children under one year of
age. One of the new studies looked at
over 500 children diagnosed with neuroblastoma between 1992 and 1994
throughout the U.S. and Canada. The
parents of. these children were interviewed about any :home and garden
pesticide treatments made from the
time just before conception until the
diagnosis of 'neuroblastoma. 1
Over all, home pesticide use, garden pesticide use, and use of professional -exterminators were all associated with neurobJastoma. -The m'ost
common home pesticide treatments
were for ants and roaches; these treatments were specifically associated with
neuroblastoma. In the garden, herbicide use was morv strongly associated
with neuroblastoma than insecticide
:use. The strongest associations between neuroblastoma and pesticide use
were for children diagnosed after one
year in age. 1
The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute and done in
cooperation with the Children's Cancer Group and the Pediatric Oncology
Group, clinical trial groups that see
nearly 95 percent of children diagnosed
with neuroblastoma in the U.S 1
The. second study, looking. at the
association between agricultural pesti-
Re'ganold, J.P. et al. 2001. Sustainability of three
apple production systems. Nature 410: 926-930.
Caroline Cox Is JPR's editor.
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P.O. BOX 1393, E,UGENE, OREGON 97440./ (541)344-5044
NORTHWEST COALITION .FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P.O. BOX 1393, EUGENE, OREGON 97440/ (541)344-5044
7
~OURNAL OF PESTICIOE REFORM/ SUMMER 2001 • VOL. 21, NO.2
•
PROFILE
REsTORING WETLANDS IN
WEST EUGENE (ALMOST)
WITHOUT PESTICIDES
In the 1970s two government mandates headed for a collision in west
Eugene. The 2500 acre area, now
shared by three owners, the federal
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ,
the City of Eugene, and The Nature
Conservancy, is the home of the
Fender's blue butterfly, a federally
listed endangered species, and includes
one of the last remnants of Willamette
Valley prairie.
But nobody knew that in the 1970s.
"The area was the future for Eugene's
economic <,ievelopment expansion," recalls Scott Duckett of Eugene's engineering ,depart~ent. About the same
•
Lucy Vinls is a Iree lance writer.
time that the city was developing its
growth plans, the federal government
enacted the Clean Water Act stipulating that cities with a population greater
than 100,000 develop plans for reducing pollutant discharges in water. A
key feature _of stormwater protection
is the enhancement of wetlands, which
can filter pollutants, cool water temperatures, and help break down pesticides.
At the time, no one really thought
west Eugene had wetlands. The area
looks like a dry, grassy wasteland to
the lay person. "In 1987, our consultant went out there' and said 'I see a
Jot of wetlands.' We knew in the future we were going to face an issue/'
says Duckett.
dOURNAL OF PESTICIOE REFORM/SUMMER 2001· VOL. 21, NO.2
Not only was the city faced with
the demand to protect the wetlands
from too much development, they
needed to restore sections that were
no longer functioning effectively as
water filters because of fill and the
invasion of nonnative species.
Enter The Nature Conse'rvancy and
the city's integrated pest management
program. "In a lot of places,· creating
new wetlands is a popular strategy for
improving runoff quality," says Duckett.
"But we focus on the restoration and
enhancement of existing wetlands."
Tools for Restoration
According to Duckett, the on-the-·
ground t6'01s for restoration vary by
scale and, ownership in west Eu,gene.
On BLM land, the use of pesticides is
not an option, For both the city and
The Nature Conservancy "pesticides are
in the tool bag of options," says
Duckett, but they are rarely used. The
city had adopted an integrated pest
management ([PM) prQgram for all of
its parks in 1980, so "they ci'me with
an IPM lens,'! recalls Duckett.
Under restoration activities, Duckett
lists the use of heavy earth moving
equipment like bulldozers and excavators that' can remove fill material, or
fill in a ditch. Enhancement activities
focus on the composition of the plant
community and require a more methodical, time-consuming, and longrange commitment.
Mowing, mechanical removal, and
controlled burns all come into play.
But so do hours of surveying, hand
weeding, and seed collection. Different areas of the wetlands are troubled
by different problems. In some areas,
according to Ed Alverson, project director for The Nature Conservancy, "the
biggest issue is the ecological succession 'which has, proceeded in the absence of tire and other factors that
previously prevented woody species
from developing." In mostcases, these
trees, which include English hawthorn
and fruit trees like apple and pear, are temoved by crews with hand saws
or chain saws. In some cases, larger
groves of trees might be cleared with
heavy equipment.
'
Preventing Spread of Problem
Species
The city's ownership includes many
An aerial view of west Eugene's wetlands. -Photographs courtesy Cify of Eugene.
8
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES:rO PESTICIOES/tiCAP
P. O. B a x 1 393, E U G ENE, 0 REG a N 97440 / (54 1 ) 344 - 5 044
small tracts and narrow strips of land.
They include "lo\s of edge" says
Alverson, and face ~ bigger issue with
nonnative sp~cie§ than does The
Nature Conservancy. "Our biggest
problems," says Duckett, "are commercial agricultural crops like. ryegrass.
Grass seed is aggressive and dominant and can be nearly impossible to
. remove short bf digging up all the top
soil. "
Last year the city contracted with a
graduate student from Oregon State
University to map the ryegrass incursions and enable the city to target areas where the grass is likely to spread.
"Ol,.lr goal is to minimize the spread to
newly restored areas," he says.
"There are over 100 nonnative species out there, but really only a small A Northwest Youth Corps employee removes
nonnative vegetation from a wetland area.
sub~et of those are potentially habitat
modifying," explains Alverson, "Prevention is the key-chaving a pretty good "The crews have to tover tens of
process for identifying the problem acres," says Duckett. "it's really labor
species and dealing with them before intensive. It might be a higher cost,
they become problems. If you do that, but it's certainly' more selective."
then you're less likely to be put in a
In addition to weeding, many of
situation where you have no choice." the areas require reseeding with naMost weeds, whether ryegrass or tive species. "We've restored between
Scotch broom, are weeded by hand. 400 and 500 acres, but we're limited
The city contracts with seasonal ,em- by the seed/' note.":! Duckett. 'Trews
ployees and youth crews who work collect seed by hand from within 20
in ~eams of between four and six un- . miles of wetlands to create specific
der the supervision of a trained bota- mixes." At a rate of 40 to 60 newly
nist. The youth crews are affiliated with restored acres per year, the task keeps
a local organization, the -Northwest growing. "It's a long-term commitment,
Youth Corps, that proVides outdoor so we have to.. be careful about how
employment opportunities for teens. much we bite off."
-Lucy Vinis
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO. PESTICIDES/NCAP
P.O. BOX 1393, EUGENE, OREGON 97440/ (541 )344-5044
9
JOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/SUMMER 2001· VOL. 21, NO.2
JOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/SUMMER 2001 • VOL. 21, NO.2
•
plastics, rayon, spandex, other synthetic
fabrics" leather, and painted or varnished surfaces. 1
ALTERNATIVES
PROTECTION FROM MOSQUITO BITES
By MEGAN KEMPLE
MSqUitoes can keep us indoors
on a lovely summer evening, or keep
us from venturing to our favorite wilderness area or campground. The standard approach to personal protection
from mosquitoes has been the use of
repellents, which can be toxic and. are
usually applied directly to the' skin.
This article provides information about
how to protect yourself from mosquito
bites using prevention or avoidance
of large mosquito populations, netting,
traps, and least toxic repellents.
as" they are in other areas. 4,5 Co~thu­
nity control of mosquitoes, and common sense are the best protection
,against mosquito-borne disease.
Prevention
If you have a mosquito problem
around your hqme,_, chances are the
mosquitoes are breeding 'in your yard.
The elimination of all standing water
1s the best way to reduce populations.
Empty containers which colled -rainwater such as buckets, wading pools,
clogged gutters, and bird baths.'
Biology
Mosquitoes require stagnan't water
for their eggs and juvenile stages. 1 This
can be a puddle, a swampy, area, a
children's wading pool, a birdbath, or
a clogged gutter. Offspring don't stray
far from this water source even as
adults.' Adult females bite because they
need blood to produce their eggs, They
are attracted to humans by compounds
that are released from our breath and .
skin, including carbon dioxide and
lactic acld,l
Three .con.unon kinds ,of mosquitoes are Anopheles, Aedes, and Culex.
Anopheles are common in the Pacific
Northwest at low elevations, Aedes are
common in the mountains, and northwest Culex feed primarily on birds. 3
Mosquitoes
and~
Disease
In some parts of the world mosqui-·
toes are a serious health threat. They
transmit malaria, yellow fever, dengue
fever, epidemic polyarthritis, and several forms of enc~phalitisl Two mosquito-borne diseases, st. Louis encephalitis and western equine encephalitiS, have been reported in the Pacific
Northwest, but they are not as common
•
Megan Kemple is NCAP's public education
coordinator.
10
of the bed. The net must either be
tucked in beneath the 'mattress or be
in complete contact with the floor, so
that mosquitoes aren't able to get in.
It is also possible, especially if the
netting size 'is too large, for mosquitoes to ,bite if- a person sleeps up
against the nettlngY
Traps
The Dragonfly is' a mosqUito control device which combines a heat
source and a lure that releases carbon
dioxide and octenoL It was developed
in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. lO In field tests, it
captured mosquitoes as well as standard mosquito ttaps which use a pesticid,e stripY Because of its lure, the
Dragonfly attracts mostly mosquitoes
and midges .. It uses a low pulse of
electricity, so there is no splattering of
insect parts into the air.10 The Dragonfly is produced by BioSensory, Inc.
and sells for $645 (for the standard
mo(lel).12
DEET
A familiar pest
at work.
To prevent mosquitoes from entering your home, make sure window
screens' and screen doors seal well 'and
are free from holes 6 When camping
choose a campsite away from stagnant wate.!.?
Clothing and Netting
When mosquitoes are a problem,
wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, and
keep ankles and feet covered. Use
light-colored clothing 8 Clothes made
of mosquito netting are available from
outdoor stores. These include head
nets, hats with pull-down netting, netted shirts and pants.
Bed nets are' a,lso, effective if used
properly. Mosquito netting can be~hung
over a bed, using four posts at each
comer to support the net or using a
single su pport hung above the center
DEET (N, N-cliethyl-meta-toluamide)
is a commonly used repellent. The u.s.
Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) estimates that about 30 percent
of the United States population uses
DEET every yearl3
Health problems from use of DEET
include irritation of eyes, skin' blisters,
(followed by severe s'carritig in some
cases); and toxic encepalopathy. ·Symptoms of the toxic encepalopathy, which
occurs mainly in children who have
been "intensively treated,,,14 include
headaches, irritability, loss of consciousness, and seizures.1 4 EPA recommends that "great caution should
. be exercised in using DEET on children" and that "applications should be
limited to exposed areas of 'skin, using as little repellent as possible and
washing off after use.,,14
In ac;ldition to' being toxic, repellents containing DEET can damage
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NeAP
P.O. BOX 1393, EUGENE, OREGON 97440 I (541)344.5044
Alternatives. to DEET
Citronella is a common ingredient
in natural mosquito repellents. Studies
testing whether citronella is an effective mosqUito repellent have variable
results. Tests by manufacturers of citronella products show that they are
effective, but their repellency lasts for
a shorter time than DEET, ' Repellency
is greatest in the first 40 minutes after
application. Similar'results were found
by Consumers Union when this nonprofit consumer group tested mosqu'ito
repellents. '5 Backpacker (an outdoor
magazine), in a small test, found a
citronella product to be as effective as
lower-concentration DEET products 16
However, a study using yellow fever
mosquitoes found "essentially no repellency" for two citronella products 17
Citronella has not been extenSively
tested for its health hazards, but is
mildly irritating to the skin, mouth,
and' throat. It can be a sensitizing agent
and -act as a sedative. I8
Eucalyptus is another natural mosqUito repellent. NCAP reviewed four
studies which' indicated that components in Eucalyptus oil (in particular
the compounds p-menthane-3,8-diols
and eucamol) a're as ~ffective as
DEET.19~22 One medical 'review indicates that eucalyptus oils may cause
seizures, one of the toxicological problerns caused by DEET.'3 Eucalyptus oils
have also caused skin irritation and
sensitization. 24 ,25
Take Care with
Natural Products
Net clothes and window screens offer effective, nonchemical protection from mosquitoes.
ingr~dients" or doesn't identify all ingredients, choose another product.
Summary
You can c'ope with mosquitoes without poisons! If you have a mosquito
problem, firs( consider how you can
get rid of any standing water. Empty
containers, and drain puddles or other
water bodies. Clothing and screens are
effective, nonchemical protection from
mosquito bites. Use repellents. only
when necessary. ...
References
1.
2.
3.
4.
Caution should be taken when purchaSing and using any repellents. As a
pesticide EPA has classified as "minimal risk," citronella is exempt from
registration, which also makes it -exempt from the testing for health and
environmental hazards _nonnally done
on pesticides. 26 Eucalyptus oil is
resgistered, but has not been tested
for its ability to cause cancer or reproductive effects: 25
NCAP does not (recommend purchasing products un tess all ingredients
are identified. If the label lists "inert
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Fradin, M.S. 1998. MosqUitoes and mosquito
repellents: A clinician's guide. Ann. Intorn. Med.
128:931-940.
Service, MW. 1999. Medical entomology for stu·
dents. Cambridge, U.K.,: Cambridge Univ. Press.
p.12.
Persor:l.al communication with Phil ROSSignol,
Oregon State Unlv. Dept. of Entomology, May
2000.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
National Genter for Infectious Diseases. -Division of Veclor·Borne Infectious Diseases. Undated. Human SI. Louis ,encephalllls cases by
state, 1964-1998. www.cdc.gov.
.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
National Center for Infecllous Diseases. Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases. Undated. Confirmed WEE cases, human, United
States, 1964-1997, by state. www.cdc.gov.
U.S. EPA. Office of Pesticide Programs. 1998.
Mosquitoes: How 'to control them. www.epa.gov/
pesticides, Apr.-28.
Grainger, J. and C. Moore. 1991. Natural'insect
repellents for pets, people and plants. Austin,
TX: The Herb Bar. p. 29.
Bales, M. 1949. The natural hIstory of mosqul·
toes. New York: Tht;! Macmillan Co. p.70.
Rozendaal. J. 1997. Vector control: Methods for
use by individuals find communities. Geneva, Switzerland~ World Health Organization. Pp.75-77.
10. Agricultural Research Service, 1999. New mos·
quito trap in time for summer. News release.
www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/1999/990713.htm
11. Bi0Sensory. Undated. Summary of findings. Vero
Beach Florida. Dragonfly. www.biosensory.com.
12. Bios_ensory. 20q1. Products. www.biosensory.com.
13. U.S. EPA. Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. 1998. Reregistration' eligibility decision
(RED): DEET. p.3.
14. Reigart, J.R., and J.R. Roberts. 1999. Recognition, and management of pestiCide pOisonings.
Washington, D.C: U.S. EPA. Office' of Prevention,
Pesticides, and Toxic Substances. pp. 80-81.
15. Consumers Union. 2000. Buzz off! Consumer
Reports (June): 14-17.
16. Holmes, H. 1996. The battle of the bug. Backpacker (Apr.): 68-72.
17. Chou, J.T., PA. ROSSignol, and JW. Ayres.
1997. Evaluation of commercial insect repellents
on' human skin against Aedes aegypt/ (Dpltera:
Culicidae). J, Med. Entomol. 34:624-680.
18.' Hazardous Substances Data Bank. 2001. Clt~
ronella!. http://toxnE!l.nim.nih.gov.
,
19. Watanabe, K. et al. 1993. New mosqUito repellent from Eucalyptus camaldulensis. J. Agric.
Food. Chem. 41: 2164-2166.
20. Satoh, A. et al. 1995. Absolute configuration of
a new mosqUito repellent, (+)-eucambl and the
repellen~ activity' of its epimer. Biosci. Biotech.
Biochem.59:1139-1141.
21. Trigg, J.K. 1996. Evaluation of a eucalyptusbased repellent against Anopheles spp. in Tanzania. J. Am. Mosq. Control Assoc. 12:243-246.
(Abstract.)
22. Schreck, C.E.' and B.A. Leonhardt. 1991. Efficacy assessment of Quwenllng, a mosquito repellent from China. J. Am. Mosq. Control Assoc:
7:433-436. (Abstract.)
23. Burkhard, P.R. 1999. Plant-induced seizures: reappearance of an old 'problem. J. Neurol.
246:667-670.
24. Schaller, M. and H.C. Korting. 1995. Allergic airbome contact dermatitis from essential oils used in
aromatherapy. Clin. Exper. Dermatal. 20:143-145.
25. ,U.S. EPA. 2000. Blopesllclde rereglstration'eliglbllity document: p-menthane·3,8-diol.
www.epa.gov/pesticides .
26. U.S. EPA. 2000. Pesticide registration notice 20006. Minimum risk pesticides exempted under FIFRA
Section 2S(b) clarification of Issues. Washington,
D.C., ,May 7. www.epa.gov/pesticides.
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR AL TERNATI\lES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P.O. BOX 1393, EUGENE, OREGON 97440 I (541)344·5044
11
~OURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/ SUMMER 2001 • VaL. 21, Na. 2
~OURNAL OF PESTICIOE Rl'FORM( SUMMER 2001 • V.QL. 21, Na. 2
•
WDG, Atrazine Plus, and several "we~d
and feed" fl.trazine praducts "cause eye
irritatian"; and Atrazine 90DF Atrazine
90, Atrazine 4L, Atia-5, Atr~zine 80,
Atrazlne 80W, and Atrazine SF cause
"mDderate eye irritatian.,,4
FACT SHEET
HERBICIDE
ATRAZINE: TOXICOLOGY
Atrazine, a triazine herbicide, is one of the two most ~ommonly used agricultural pesticides in the U.S.
According to the National Toxicology p~ogram, atrazine is "immunotoxic," disrupting the function of the immune
system. For example, it decreased the production of interferon, a molecule that fights viral infection.
Exposure to atrazine also disrupts hormone systems. Detailed research, much of it done by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), showed that testosteronll, prolactin, progesterone, luteinizing hormone, estrogen, and a
thyroid hormone are all affected by atrazine.
A study conducted by researchers at the University of Iowa found that more babil's were born with low birth weight
(for their gestati'onal age) and birth defects in Iowa communities whose water supply was contaminated with
abaz.ine than in other Iowa towns. The atrazine contamination did not exceed EPA drinking water standards.
In laboratory tests, atrazine delays puberty. In addition, inflamed prostates occur more often in the offspring of
mother animals that were fed atrazine while they were nursing than in the offspring of unexposed mothers.
Atrazine has caused genetic damage in a variety of labor'atory studies. -For eXCimple, researchers from the University
of Illinois found that atrazine at concentr_alions found in drinking water increases chromosome damage in hamster
cells. In addition, a study of workers at -an atrazine production facility found that "occupational exposure to atrazine
causes a significant increase in the percentage of chromosomal damage" -in the workers' blood cells.
Whether or not atrazine causes cancer has be.en a controversial subject. Although both laboratory studies and
studies of exposed people have found an association between atrazine exposure and the incidence of certain'
cancers, EPA and an international agency disagree about how to classify its ability to cau·se cancer.
plant is unable to grow and dies 7
By CARaLINE Cax
Figure 1
Atrazine
Figu~e
Arazine (see
1) is a widely
used herbicide in the triazine family.
Certain crops (primarily corn and related crops) are tolerant of atrazine,
and it is used to kill weeds without
c~ap death in thase situations. I Atra~ine was first registered in the U.S. in
1959 2 Currently, the major' manufacturer is Syngenta (formerly Novartis
Crop Pratectian, Inc.),3 'but it is marketed by many companies 4 Use of
atrazine has been the subject of sig. niflcant cancerns because it is .one of
the; mast cammaniy detected pesticide
cantaminants .of rivers, streams, and
wells"
Use
Atrazine is "one .of the twa mast
widely used agricultural pesticides in
•
Caroline Cox is NCAP's staff scientist.
12
Although herbicides, including atrazine, are nat generally expected ta be
toxic to the nervaus system, researchers
at the University of Sassari in Italy demanstrated that "atrazine exerts a taxjc
action on [the] ce1.1tra1 .nervaus system, ,,8 Atrazine treatment .of rats decreased the electrical activity of certain' cells in the cerebellum (the part
of the brain cancerned with matar
function, the contral of muscle tone
and .me maintenance of balance9), and Effects on the Immune
decreased the electrical respanse of System
the sam.e cells when they were stimuFDur, studies have shown that atralated by a nerve. These effects oc- zine can disrupt narmal immune syscurred following a dose of 100 milli- ,tern functian, enhancing the risk .of
grams per kilogram (mg/kg), the only infectiaus dlsea'se .or cancer.
dase tested. R
In 'ra~s fed atrazine for three weeks,
Figure 2
.
Atrazine Reduces the Activity of the Immune System
100
Inert Ingredients
CI
N).,N
CH 3CH,HN
Effects on the Nervous
System
Atrazine alsa has effe,cts an the nervous system that are related ta the
major effects'the herbicide has an-harmane systems. (See "Effects on Harmanes," p.14.) Atrazine alters central
nervous system, production .of twa
chemkals, dapamine ?-nd riarepinephrine.lO Bath transmit nerve impulses
between nervaus system cells, and act
as hDrmanes. 9 Altered' praductian of
these chemicals, in turn, alters levels
a~ twa hormanes, prolactin and lutein~
izing harmone,lo
The major breakdown products of
atrazine (hydroxyatrazine, deethylatrazine, deisoprapylatrazine, and
diaminachlarotriazine) alsa alter the
synthesis of dopamine and norepinephrine in the central nervaus system. 11
)l,J..,.
N
NHCH(CH 3),
2-chloro-4-elhylamino-6-isopropylaminos-triazine
'
the U.S.',6 according to the u.s. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Estimated annual use is between 64 and
75 million pounds. The primary crops
an which atrazine is used are carn,
sorghum, and sugar cane. 6
Mode of Action
Atrazine kills plants by blocking
photosynthesis, the process by which
green plants use sunlight, carbon dioxide (from the atmosphere), and
water ta make sugars and related
molecules. Without this "food," the
Like most pesticide products, commercial atrazine prac;lucts 'contain ingredients other than atrazine. Misleadingly called "inerts," the identity of
most of these compounds is nat publicly available. For toxicological informatian about _some' inert ingredients
that have been identified, see "Inert
Hazards," p. 13.
Most of the taxicDlagical tests used
in the registration, of a pesticide are
dane with the active ingredi~nt only;
when possible, the following summary
of atrazine's toxicology will identify
whether a particular study used atrazine alane .or was dane with cammercial products (atrazine plus inerts).
Eye Injury
Some atrazine-cantaining herbicides
cause eye injury. Atrazine 90DF causes
"substantial but temporary eye
irritatian"; Atrazine 80 WP, Atrazine 90
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
p.a. Bax 139.3, EUGENE, aRE.GaN 97'440 I (541)344-5044
o
Unexposed
Exposed to atrazine
6.5
65
650
(concentration in parts per billion)
Source: Hooghe, R.J., S. Devos, and E.L. Hooghe-Peters. 2000. Effects of selected herbicides
on cytokine production in vitro. Life Sci. 66: 2519-2525.
I
.
. trazlne reduces the production of interferon by blood cells. Interferon is a protein used' by the
A
Immune system to fight viral infections.
'
lymphopenia (a reduction in the
number of white blood cells, cells that
fight infectiDn and disease9) was "pronounced"l2 at a dose of 100 fig/kg
per day, the lowest dose tested 12 This
study cDmpared immune systerp_ effects .of 17 pesticides, and atrazine was
one .of five pesticides to which the
immune system was most sensitive. 12
In human 'blaad cells, treatment
with atr 4 zine decreased the praductian of interleukin,13 a regulatary
pratein in the immune system 9 ; interferan,13 an immune system pratein that
fights viral -infectiDns 9 ; and tumor
necrosis factar, 13 a pratein that kills
tumor cells.' (See Figure 2.)
INERT HAzARDs
Publicly identified inerts in
atrazine, products include ethoxylated nonyl phenol, ethylene glycol, and,sadium sulfite. 1 ,2 -These
chemicals pase the follawing haz:..
ards:
Ethoxylated nonyl phenols
reduce fertility in labaratary tests 3
and act as ca-carcinagens,· in. creasing the patencies of other
carcinDgenic cDmpounds. 3
Ethylene glycol can reduce
fertility, damage nerves, and damage the kidney. Symptoms of
expasure include nausea and
headaches.'
.
Sodium sulfite may cause
vamiting, diarrhea, abdominal
pain, and intestinal bleeding. Ex,
pasure ta small amDunts can
cause severe allergic reactions. s
1. U.S. EPA. 2001. LeUer from Calvin Furlow
to Caroline Cox,_'May 1.
2. Novartis Crop Protection, Inc. 2000.
Material safety data sheet: Aatrex Noneo Herbicide. www.cdms.net.
3. Talmage, S.S. 1994. Environmental and
human safety of major surfactanfs: alcohol
ethoxylates and alkylphenol ethoxylates.
Boca Raton: Lewis Publishers. Pp. 311315, 320~321
4. Sigma Chemical Co. -1998. Material safety
data sheel: Ethylene glycol. St. Louis MO.
www.sigma-aldrich.com.
5. Hazardous Substance Database. 2001.
Emergency medical _treatment: Sodium
sulfite. hL1p:lltoxnet.nim.nih.gov.
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P. a. B a x 1 393, E U G ENE, aRE G a N 97440 I (541) 3 44- 5 044
13
-----
-----~-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------,----------------------------------------------------------~-----------------
dOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/SUMMER 2001' VOL. 21, NO.2
Cultures of spleen cells treated with
atrazine produced fewer ~-lympho­
cytes,14 immune system cells that pr:oduce antibodies,15 than untreated
cells.14
A National Toxicology Program
study of immune system function in
mice concluded that "atrazine was
found to adversely affect the immune
system and, thus, is considered to be
an immunotoxic compound. ,,16 .
Effects on the Liver and
Kidneys
Atrazine can damage both the- liver
and kidneys.
In a study of female pigs fed atrazine at a dose of 2 mg/kg per day for
19 days, researchers noted degeneration
of the liver.17 Liver degeneration also
occurred in experiments with rats, but
at higher doses, IS
A study of kidney function found
evidence of dysfunction, an increase
in the protein con~ent 6f the urine,
in rats treated for 14 days with 10 mg!
kg of atrazine per day 19
Effects on the Heart
The "major treatment-related findings" in a dog feeding study were
related to the heart. Electrocardiograms
were altered, and degeneration of the
heart muscles occurred. 20
The atrazine breakdown prod~ct
diaminochlorotriazine also damages the
heart. In a dog feeding study, adverse
effects included enlargement and softening of the heart, thickened valves,
and lesions. 21
Effects on Hormones
The impact that environmental pollutants can have: on the normal function of human and animal hormone
systems has been a significant concern, in the past -decade. 22 Hormones
are biologically active molecules that
control growth, development, behavior, and reproduction and thus are
crucial to many important life functions. 23 Atrazine disruptS a stunning
variety of hormone systems includirig
the following:
Figure .3
Effect of Atrazine on a Hormone.transforming Enzyme
2.4
0;
0
.c
Qica.'a:;
"15
w
2.0
~
iO'E"-
~~~
ca C =
Q)
1.6
i!:! ~
t3-;c;
1iic~
E 0
o E~
<~~
oE
1.2
.8
EQi
0"-
0
E
~
.4
0
0
2
4
Concent'ration of atrazine (ppm)
6
Source:
Sanderson, J.T. et at. 2000. 2-chloro-s-triazine herbicides induce-aromatase (CYP19) activity
in,H295R human adrenocortical carcinoma cells; A novel mechanism for estrogenicity?
Toxieol. Sci. 54: 121-127.
Atrazine, in cultures of human cells, increases the activity of aromatase, an enzyme that transforms androgens (male sex hormones) i.nto estrogens (female sex hormones).
14
• Testosterone. Often called the
"male" sex hormorie, testosterone
promotes the development of male
sex characteristics. 24 It is converted
into biologically active forms in various organs. A series of studies
showed that atraZine inhibits this
conversion in 'male, laboratory animals, reducing the amount of the
active forms in the pitutitary25,26 and
the hypothalamus,2, A single dose
of 1 mg/kg was sufficient .to cause
this inhibition,25 and the atrazine
breakdown product deethylatrazine
had similar effects.'6 In addition, the
number of -testosterone receptors in
the prostate gland was reduced by
atrazine exposure 27 in both young
adult'rats and older rats. 28 Atrazine
also reduces the abiiity of an active
'form of testosterone to bind to receptor molecules in the prostate. 29 ,
Atrazine exposure, of mothers dur-:
ing pregnancy and nursing affects
testosterone levels in their offspring:
exposure during pregnancy increases
the amount of the active form of
testosterone in the pituitary of the
female offspring, but exposure during bmh pregnancy and nursing reduces these levels in male offsprihg.
In addition, exposure to either atrazine or deethylatrazine during nursing decreased t,he number of test-:
osterQne receptors in the prostate of
male offspring.30
• Prolactin. Prolactin stimulates the
production of breast milk in nursing
females. 9 Atrazine inhibits "surges"
of prolactin that occur during nursing .and in response to release of
estrogen, ("female" sex harmones);31,_32
• Progesterone. Involved in the regulation of,menstruation, progesterone
also is important during pregnancy.,24
In female rats, exposure to atrazine
induced "pseudopregnancies" in
which, although the rats were not
pregnant, their progesterone levels
were high and the animals did not
cycle through sexually active phases
as they usually do. 33
• .Luteinlzing honnone. Luteinizing
hormone is produced in the pituitary
gland and regulates the secretion of
other sex hormones. 24 Atrazine
blocks the "surge" of luteinizing hor-
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P.O" BOX 1 39 3, E U GENE, 0 REG 0 N 97440 / (54 1 ) 3 4 4 - 5 044
dOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/SUMMER 2001' VOL. 21, NO.2
mone that occurs before ovulation. 33 ,31
Figure 4
Associations between Atrazine.contami~ated I)rinking Water,
• Estrogens, Often called "female"
Birth Defects, and Low Birth Weight
sex hormones, estrogens regulate the
development of sex characteristics
and the menstrual cycle, help mainCommunities with
Birth Defects
tain pregnancy, and prepare the
uncontaminated
24
water
breasts for nursirig. Atrazine is not
estrogeniC; that is, it does not cause
certain physiological activities that
Communities with
estrogens cause. Atrazine does not
atrazinecause increases in uterus weight, as
contaminated
water
estrogens do, nor does it cause cell
division that normally occurs in response to estrogens. 3S However, atraCommunities with
zine does have estrogen-related acLow Birth Weight
uncontaminated
tiviti~s. It increases the activity of an
water
(based on
'enzyme called aromatase that congestational age)
verts testosterone' and related hormones to estrogens, and thus could
Communities with
increase estrogen levels. 36 . (See Figatrazine·
contaminated
ure 3.) In a yeast that was genetiwater
cally modified to produce the hu-,
man estrogen receptor, atrazine dis2
3
o
placed estrogens from the estrogen
Relative Risk
receptor at low estrogen concentraSources:
Munger, R. et al. 1992. Birth defects and pesticide·cdntaminated water supplies in Iowa. Amer.
tions, but not at high ones. 37 In adJ. Epidemiol. 136:959. (Abstract.)
\
dition, the atrazine,breakdown prodMunger, R. et al. 1997. Intrauterine growth retardation In Iowa communities with herbicidecontaminated drinking water supplies'. Environ. Health Persp. 105:.308·314.
uct, deethylatra~ine, has some
estrogenic activity.3H
• Thyroid hormones. In rats, atra- Birth defects and low birth weight babies (based on their gestational age) were more common in
zine caused a decrease in the blood Iowa communities with atrazine-contaminated drinking water than in other Iowa communities.
levels. of the thyroid hormone tri- The average atrazine contamination was less than EPA's drinki~g water standard.
iodothyronine,39 a hormone that
Iowa water supplies. The average atra- found atrazine in breast milk and cerregulates metab,olism and growth.
zine ,contamination level in this reser": vical muCus in 20 percent (2/10) of
Effects on· Reproduction
voir was 2.2 parts per billion (ppb), the subjects tested. 43
Studies of exposed people and labo- just below the federal drinking water . Effects on reproduction have also
ratory tests show that atrazine and atra- standarc;l of 3 ppb. Elsewhere in the been demonstrated in female laborazine-containing herbicides reduce the state levels averaged 0.6 ppb. Research- tory animals. Female rabbits which
ers found that the incidence of what were fed atrazine had smaller litters
ability to reproduce successfully.
Studies of exposed people have is 'called intrauterine growth retarda- and more miscarriages than unexposed
looked both at farmers and' residents tion (IUGR), babies with low birth rabbits. The lowest dose causing these
weight for their gestational age, was effects was 75 mg/kg per day. In mulof agricultural areas .
In the Ontario [Canada] Farm Fam, , about double the incidence of IUGR tigenerati6nal studies with rats, aniily Health Study, the incidence of pre- in towns with less contaminated wa- mals fed atrazine had offspring which
mature birth in families in which the ter.41 In a companion study, research- weighed less than the offspring of unI father
applied atrazine on the farm ers found that the incidence of birth exposed animals. The lowest dose
was nearly double that of families in defects was more than double that in causing these effects was 40 mg/kg
which the father was not exposed to towns with less contamin;;:tted water. per day.44 At slightly higher doses (50
pesticides. 40 The incidence of prema- (See Figure 4.) The incidence of limb mg/kg per day), atrazine caused comture birth was even higher in families reduction defects increased the mosr.!J2 pletepregnancy loss (loss of the full
A study that documented atrazine litter) in rats of one laboratory strain
where atrazme was used in the yard. 40
Another study, conducted by the contamination of various tissues related (F344); similar results in other strains
University of Iowa, studied communi- to reproduction 'increases the concerns occurred at higher doses, 45
Atrazine also disrupts the normal
ties whose drinking \water came from raised by the research summarized in
an Iowa reservoir that was more con- the previous paragraphs. Researchers function of the male reproductive sysLaminated with herbicides than other at the University of Bonn.in Germany tem in laboratory animals. In rats,
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P. O. BOX 1 3 9 3, E U G ENE, 0 REG 0 N 97440 / (541) 344 - 5 0 4 4
15
JQURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/SUMMER 2001.• VOL. 21, NO.2
Figure 5
Atrazine and Prostate Inflammation
w
JOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/SUMMER 2001· VOL. 21,.NO. 2
Figure 6
Atrazine and Chromosome Damage
50
3.5
ID
~
ID"
N~
e
0"0
ID
E
ro
"iii
40
~
~
e:g
30
fiE 3.3
-e
o~
cu
~
c
·c
0W
>to
0
0_
+=>0
ro_
";:: c
roo 3.2
>0
-E
'<;ro
cw
.9:'! ~
Uo 3.1
[i:(/)
ID"
OID
20
ID
"'0E
C
10
ID
~
ID
"-
(\j
IDE
Ero 3.4
0"0
WID
°E
Eo
".s
o
o
3.0
6.25
12.5
25
50
Atrazine (mglkg) given to mothers twice
Unexposed
daily, during nursing
Source: Stoker, T.E., C.L. Robinette, and R.L. Cooper. Maternal
exposure tp alrazine during lactation suppresses suckling-induced
prolactin release and results in prostatitis. Taxicol. Sci. 52:68-79.
Exposed
(3 ppb of atrazine)
Source;: Taets, C., S. Aref, and A. L. Rayburn. 1998. The
clastogenic potential of triazine herbicide combinations found in
potable wate(supplies; Environ. Health Persp. 106:197-201.
Exposure to atrazine during nursing causes inflamed prostates in the offspring. In addition, exposure of cells to concentrations of atrazine allowed
in drinking water causes chromosome damage.
atrazine caused a reduction in the abil- exposure to atrazine before birth.48
pregnant rats were exposed to atraity of sperm to move and a reduction
Becau~e feeding atrazine at relatively
zine between the fifteenth and ninein the number of sperm in the epid- high doses reduces the weight of labo- teenth day of their pregnancies, their
idymis, the part of the testes in which ratory animals, it is possible that these male offspring also developed inflamed
sperm mature. These effects were effects on development could be re- prostates. 51
caused by a dose of 60mg/kg given lated to reduced body weight rather
twice a week. 46
- than a direct effect of atrazine. To. test Mutagenicity
The atrazine breakdown product this possibility, the EPA researchers in
EPA recently evaluated tests of
diaminochlorotriazine also reduces suc- the studies of delayed puberty included atrazine's' mutagenicity, its ability to
cessful reproduction, -Rats fed diamino- in their experiments rats whose food cause genetic damage. This 'review inchlorotriazine during pregnancy had was reduced so that their weight would cluded tests submitted to the agency
offspring that weighed less than off- match the weight of the atrazine-fed as part of the registration process andspring of unexposed mothers and their animals. In males, puberty was not -tests published in the scientific literabone development W;;tS also altered. 47 delayed in the food-deprived animals ture. 52 EPA concluded that "the availas much as it was in the atrazine-fed able evidence did not indicate a muEffects on Development
animals 48 Puberty of food-deprived tagenic effect of atrazine exposure. "53
Recent studies have shown that atrJ.- females was not delayed. 49 Thus, a~a­
'However, the EPA review omitted
zine can affect juveniles as they de- zine directly affects the timing of pu- studies that raise serious' concerns
velop into adults. In studies conducted 'berty.
about atrazine's mutagenicity. A 1998
by EPA scientists, sexual maturity is
In addition, atrazine can affect the study of chromosome damage in blood
delayed in rats fed atrazine from the development of the prostate. When cells of workers in an ,atrazine protime they are weaned until puberty. mother rats were treated with atrazine duction facility found that "occupaIn males a dose of 12.5 mg/kg de- for the first four days after they gave . tional exposure to atrazine causes a
layed puberty while a higher dose (50 birth (this is during the time that they significant increase in the percentage
mg/kg per day) was required to cause are nursing their offspring), their male of chromosomal damage. ")
a delay in females. 48,4Y In males, the offspring were more likely to develop
Also omitted from the EPA analysis
primary breakdown products of atra- prostate i~flammation. The dose re- were studies that looked at the ability
zine have caused the same delay in quired to cause inflammation wa's, 25 of atrazine to cause genetic damage at
puberty that atrazine doesso 'as has mg/kg per day 31 (See Figure 5,) When the concentrations at ,which atrazine
16
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P.O. BOX 1393, EUGENE, OREGON 97440/ (541)344-5044
has been measured in drinking water.
The studies used cultures of cells from
hamster ovaries, a standard cell culture for mutagenicity tests. The first
study found that the incidence of chromosome breakage increased at concentrations less. than -3 parts per billion,55 the legally enforceable public
drinking water standard 56 A second
~ study, using a similar protocol, found
increased breakage of the largest chromosome at an- atrazine concentration
of 3 ppb (with borderline statistical
significance) and a statistically significant increase at a concentration of 18
ppb. The highest atrazine concentration detected in Illinois water samples
is . 18 ppb. 57 The third study in this
series found similar results: atrazine
increased the frequency of chromo,.
,some damage at concentrations of both
3 and 18 ppb 58 (See Figure 6,) These
studies measured a kind of genetic
damage not studied- in any research
included in the EPA analysis.
The EPA analysis omitted consideration of the role that "inert" ingredients play in the mutagenicity of atrazine-containing herbicides. The tests
submitted to EPA as part of the atrazine regIstration process are all te~ts
using atrazine alone, 59 as are most of
the publishe<;l studies. NCAP has identified one 'study that compares: a commercial atrazine product with atrazine
alone. In this study, the commercial
product caused about tWice as many
mutations as did atrazine. 60
In addition, EPA failed to consider
the implications of the atrazine derivative called N-nitrosoatrazine. Nnitrosoatrazine. is fonned in the human
digestive system when both atrazine
and nitrate are present. 61 Because both
compounds are common water contaminants 62 , "there 'is much coricern
that' this will increase the exposure to
nitrosamines [N-nitrosoatrazine]. ,,63
Both atr:izine and N-nitrosoatrazine can
damage chromosomes in -human blood
cells. However, while concentrations
of 1 part per million (ppm) of atrazine
caused damage, much lower levels (0.1
ppb) of N-nitrosoatrazine caused damage. 63 N-nitrosoatrazine was also
"strongly mutagenic"iin hamster cells. 64
EPA also omitted consideration of
synergistic effects with other herbi-
cides. In a study in which human
blood cells were exposed to low concentrations of Hnuron and atrazine (indiVidually and together), both atrazine
(at 1 ppb) and linuron (at 1 ppm)
increased the frequency of broken
"One study compares
a commercial
atrazine product
with atrazine alone.
In this study, the
commercial product
caused about·twice
as many mut.ations
as did atrazine."
chromosomes, but not significantly.
The combination, at lower concentrations (0.5 ppm oflinuron and 0.5 ppb
of atrazine), caused a significant increase in broken chromosomes. 65 A
study of chromosome breaks in the
bone marrow cells of mice drinking
water containing atrazine and/or the
herbicide alachlor had similar results.
Neither atrazine and alachlor alone (at
concentrations of 20 ppm) caused
chromosome damage, but the combination (10 ppm of each) did 66 Like
atrazine, alachlor, is a common water
contaminant. 5
Although tests on cells from humans 'or - other mammals should be
most relevant to human hazards, EPA
has given little consideration to the
type of organism used in the mutagenicity studies they evaluated. In the
tests using bacteria' and yeast! only a
few (5/23) ,were positive (showed genetic damage). However,.in the tests
using cells from humans or rodents a
much larger proportion (10/23) were
positive. 52 An older (1980) review for
the Europe¥' Community of a smaller
number of studies also noted that the
type of organism was important: most
positive result& in this -review were in
mammals and in whole-animal rather
than 'cell culture tests. 67
Finally, the differences between daDl
provided EPA by atrazine manufacturers and data available in the published
scientific literature are striking. A
. review published by EPA in 1993
found that all of the 8 studies submitted for registration purposes were
negative, but 14 out of 39 published
studies were positive 68 (See Figure 7.)
Figure 7
.
Comparing the Results of Mutagenicity Studies Conducted by ,
Atrllzine Manufacturers and Published Studies
o
Studies conducted by
atrazine manufacturers
no evidence of genetic damage
Studies published in
scientific journals
•
evidence of genetiC aamage
Source:
Dearfield, K.L., et al. 1993. A survey of EPA/OPP and open literature data on selected
pesticide chemicals tested ,for mutage~iclty. Mut. Res. 297:197-233.
An' 1993 EPA teview of atrazine mutagenicity studies found that while studies conducted by
atrazine manufacturers showed no evidence of genetic damage, many (14/39) studies published
in 'scientific Journals found that atrazine did cause genetic damage,
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P.O. BOX 1393, EUGENE, OREGON 97440/ (541)344-5044
17
----~------~----------------------------------------~--~--------~----~--------~---------------------1
JOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/ SUMMER 2001 • VOL. 21, NO.2
JOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/ SUMMER 2001 • VOL. 21, NO.2
Supporting evidence for the'
mutagenicity of atrazine comes from a
study of a protein called p53 in rats
fed relatively low doses of atrazine
(2.7 mg/kg per day). This protein plays
a central role in "DNA repair and survival after DNA damage." (DNA is the
molecule from which genetic material
is made.) The percentage of blood cells
containing the p53 protein increased
dramatically (about 20-fold) in the animals that were fed atrazine. 69
cancer as 'unexposed womenJo
of wells and drinking water and the
• Researchers from the University of
incidence of six types of cancer in
Kentucky studied the association beOntario, Canada. They found the intween the incidence of breast cane
cidence of stomach cancer in both
cer in Kentucky and a composite
males and females increased with
measure of triazine exposure. (The
increasing atrazine water contamiindex was based on well and drinknation. 73
ing water contamination data,. acreAtrazine has caused cancer in the
age of corn production, and esti- following laboratory studies:
mates of triazine. use.) The study .• In the Sprague-Dawley strain of labofound that breast cancer risk was
rq,tory rats, atrazine caused breast
higher Cl.I'l.2-fold) in counties with
tumors in females.7 4
medium and high levels of triazine • In the F344 strain of rats, atrazine
Carcinogenicity
exposure than it was in counties with
caused breast tumors in males. In
-Whether Of 'not atrazine is carcinolow exposure. 71 (See Figure 8.)
females, atrazine call-sed cancers of
genic (causes cancer) is a controver- • The Cancer Registry of Central Calithe uterus, leukemia, and lymsial subject that. has been studied in
fornia looke4 at correlations between
phoma. 75 (Another study 0\ F344 rats,
both people and laboratory animals.
atrazine use in California (by county)
submitted as part of atrazine's regiSStudies of exposed farmers and
and the incidence of six types of
tration found no increases in tumors
farmworkers that have demonstrated
cancer. The study found that for His-or cancer?4)
an association between atraZine expopanic males, the incidence of leukeOne final laboratory study is not a
sure ,and cancet include the following:
mia was associated with the' use of standard carcinogenicity study but
• Researchers from the Italian National
'atrazine. ;For black men, the' inci- rather a study of cancer-causing mechaCancer Institute studied the associadence of brain and testicular cancer nisms. In this study, using cell cultion between triazine use and ovawas associated with the use of .atra- tures from rat intestines and human
zine,72
.
rian cancer in women corn f~rmers.
colons, atrazine caused cells to prolifThey found that women who applied .. Researchers from the University of erate, to increase in number. Human
triazlnes, Of cultivated fields where
Prince Edward Island and the Uni- cells were more sensitive to atrazine
triazines had been used, were more
versity of Guelph studied associa- than rat cells. Proliferation of colon or
than twice as likely
have ovarian
tions between atrazine contamination intestinal cells is part of the develotment of colon or intestinal cancer?
EPA's evaluation· of these studies
Figure 8
concluded
thatatrazine is "not likely
Triazine Water Contamination and Breast Cancer in Kentucky
to be carcinogenic in humans." With
respect to_ the studies of exposed
1.2
people, the .agency stated that "there
is no supporting evidence or a sound
argument of biological plausibility that
these cancers may result from exposure to atrazine. Also, the, lack of confirming studies indicates that the human investigations by themselves do
not make a strong case for an association between atrazine" exposure and
human cancer."77
Note:
With respect to the laboratory studAn odds ratio of one indicates
ies, EPA concluded, based on detailed
no increased risk
studies, that "it is unlikely that
atrazine's mode of cancer action in
SD
[Sprague-Dawley] rats is operative
O.BL----;---~-"_ _ _ _ _-'-_~_:_---J
in humans." The agency' believes that
Low
Medium
High
atrazine causes cancer in Sprague(summary index of triazine exposure, by. county)
Dawley rats by weakening surges of
Source:
luteiniiing hormone (See "Effects on
Kettles, MA et al. 1997. Triazine herbicide exposure and breast Cancer incidence: an ecologic
Hormones," p. 14). This initiates the
study of Kentucky coun~ies. Environ. Hearth Persp. 105: 1222-1227.
equivalent of menopause earlier than
it occurs in unexposed rats. During
Breast cancer risk is increased'in Kentucky counties where triazine-contaminated water is common.
"menopause" in the Sprague-Dawley
to
Figure 9
Absorption of .Atrazine
through .Iuvenile an!!
Adult Skin
10
B
'0
m
-eozwc
.em
~~
Co.
6
5E'
'"
4
2
adult
juvenile
Source:
Shah, P.V. et al. 1987. Comparison of
the penetration of 14 pesticides lhrough
the skin of young and adult rats. J.
Taxieol. Environ. Health 21: 353-366.
Skin of juvenile laboratory animals absorbs more
atrazine than adult skin. This suggests that children may be particularly at' risk from activities
that bring their skin into contact with atrazine,
such as taking a shower in'contaminated water.
with other herbicides than ,it does alone.
Another example con.cerns dinitrotoluene, a chemical that is transformed
in the intestine of laboratory animals
into' carcinogenic and mutageniC comSpecial Susceptibility of
pounds. Exposure to atraz.ine increased
Children
the formation of these mutagenic
Atrazine may pose particular haz-' molecules. 83 "+
ards to children, not only because of
Jhe effects on reproduction and devel- References
1. Ware, G.W. 2000. The pesticide book. Fresno
opment identified abov~, but because
CA: Thomson Publications. p. 129.
they are more exposed to this herbi2. U.S. EPA. 1994. Atrazine, simazine, and cyan-.
cide. A laboratory study conducted by
azine: notice of initIation of special review. Fed.
Reg. 5.9: 60412-60443.
EPA researchers found that absorption
3. U.S: EPA. Office of Prevention', Pesticides and
of atrazine through the skin was greater
Toxic Substances. 2000. Transmission of preliminary human health risk assessment for atrafor juveniles than for adults. 79 (See Figzine in supporL of the reregistration, tolerance
ure 9.) This is the kind of exposure
reassessment, and special review. LeHer from R.
that might occur if, for example, a
Dumas, EPA, to J. McFarland, Syngenta, Dec. 1.
child bathed in atrazine-contaminated 4. U.S. EPA. 2001. California Environmental Protectlon Agency - Dept. of Pesticide Regulation:
water ..
USEPAJOPP pesticide product database query.
The same study also showed that a
www.cdpr.ca.gov/epa/m2.htm.
5. U.S. Geological Survey. 1999. The quality of
higher proportion of the atrazine was
our nations's waters-nutrLenls and pesticides.
absorbed when low concentrations of
USGS Circular 1225'. Pp. 60·61.
atrazine touched the skin,- as opposed 6. U.S.' EPA. 2001. Atrazine: HED's revised preliminary human health risk assessment for the
to medh)m or high concentrations?9
reregistratlon eligibility decision (RED). WashChildren are als.o exposed to more
ington D.C. Pp. 5,7. www.epa.gov/oppsrrd1/
reregistration/atrazine/index.htm.
atrazine -than 'adults because, for their
7. Ref. #1, p. 194.
.
size, they drink more water than adults.
8. Podda, M.V. et al. 1997. Effe_ct of atrazine adAccording to EPA's standard estimates
ministration on spontaneous and evoked cerebellar activity in the rat. Pharmacol. Res. 36:
for water consumption children's con199-202.
sumption is 126 percent of an adult
9. CancerWeb. 1995-1998. The on-line medical dicmale, and infants' consumption is 540
tionary. www.graylab.ac.uk.
10. Das, P.C., W.K. McElroy, and R.L. Cooper. 2000.
percent of an adult male 80
Differential modulation of catecholamlnes by
open for further studies. NCAP believes
that IARe's conel,llsion is more
appropriate and more protective of
human health than EPA's conclusion.
I
Synergy
rat levels of the hormone estrogen
ar~ high, which causes breast tumors.
In humans,' menopause causes low levels of estrogen, so that the SpragueDawley rat results are not relevant. 77
EPA's analysis leaves a critical qu'estion unanswered: if the hormonal effects of atrazine that cause breast cancer in Sprague-Dawley rats do not occur in humans, what is the effect' on
humans of this compound which appears to cam~e such sJgnificant disruption of hormone systems? What 'experiments can answer this question?
Before giving atrazine a "not likely"
cancer classification, shouldn't EPA find
out what the "effects in humans are
likely to be? The International Agency
for Research on Cancer (IARe)
evaluated ~ssential1y the same set of
studies and concluded that "atrazine
is· not chissifiable as i to its carcinogenicity to humans, ,,7H leaving the door
Synergy occurs when the combination of two chemicals is more toxic
than either chemical alone. In terms
of acute toxidty, atra~ine is synetgistic with a common class of insecticides, the organophosphates. A study
using fruit' flies as ,a test animal found
that atrazine was synergistic with the
organophosphate insecticides paratbion, diaiinon, dyfonate, and phorate. 81 A second study, using aquatic
midges as a test animal, found that
atrazine was synergistic with the organophosphates trichlorfon, malathion,
chlorpyrifos, and methyl-parathion. 82
An insecticide in another chemical
family, carbofuran, was' also synergiStically toxic with atrazine to fruit flies. 81
Atrazine can,laiso act synergistically
with respect to effects other than acute
toxicity. As mentioned' above (see
"Mutagenicity," p. 17), atrazine causes
more genetic damage in combination
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
thlorotriazine herbicldes In pheochromocytoma
(PC12) ,cells in vitro. Toxicol. Sci. 5\3.324-331.
Das, P.C., W.K. McElroy, and R.L:Cooper. 2001.
Alteration of catecholamines in pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells in vitro by the metabolites of
chlorolriazine herbicide. Toxicol. Sci. 59:127-137.
Vos, J.G. and E.1. Krajnic. 1983. Immunotoxicily
of pesticides. In Hayes, A.W., R.C. Schnell, and
T.S. Miya. (eds.) Developments in the science
and 'practice of toxicology. Proceedings of lhe
3rd International Congress on Toxicology, San J
OIego CA, USA. Aug. 28 - Sept. 3,1983. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier Scientific Publishers. Pp. 229-240.
Hooghe, R.J., S. Devos,and E.L. Hooghe-Peters. 2000. Effects of selected herbicides on
cytokine production in vitro. Life Sci. 66: 25192525.
Bacher, M., T. Boldicke, and F. Sasse. 1993.
Cytotoxic eHect of atrazine on murine B-Iymphocytes in vitro. Sci. Tot. Environ. 132: 429433.
U.S. EPA. Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. 1998, Health effects tests guideline.s:
OPPTS -870.7800 immunotoxici1y. Washington,
·D,C. www. epa.gov/pesticides.
National Toxicology Program. 1994. NTP report
on the immunotoxiclly of atrazine (CAS no. 191224-9) in female 86C3F1 mice (IMM94002). http:/
/ntp-server. ni e hs. ni h. gov/htdocsJlT -studi es/
IMM94002.html.
Gojmerac, T. et al. ,1995. Serum biochemlca.1
and histopathological changes 'related to the
hepatic function in pigs following atrazine treat-
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
18
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P. O. 8 OX 1393, E U G ENE, 0 R E GO N 97440.1 (541) 344-5 044
P. O. BOX 1 393, E U G ENE, 0 REG 0 N9 7 4 4 0 / (541) 344 - 5 04 4
19
dOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/SUMMER 2001' VOL. 21, NO.2
ment. J. Appl. Taxico/. 15: 233-236.
18. Santa Maria, C., J. MorslJo, and JL LopezCampos. 1987. Hepatotoxicity induced by the
herbicide atrazine in the rat. J. Appl. Taxicol:
7:373-378.
19. Santa Maria, C., e1 al. 1986. Subacute alrazine
treatment effects on Jat renal functions. Bu/{.
38.
Environ. Cantem. TaxieD!. 36:325-331.
20. U.S. EPA. Office of'Prevention, Pesticides and
Toxic Substances. Office of Pesticide Programs.
Health Effects Division. 2001. Atrazine PC'Code
080803: Toxicology disciplinary chapter for the
reregistration eligibility decision document.
Washington, D.C. www.epa.gov/oppsrrdl!
39.
40.
reregistrallon/atrazine/index.htrn. pp. 14-15.
21. Ref. #20; p. 45.
22. National Research Council. Commission on Life
Sciences. Board on Environmental Studies and
Toxicology. Committee on Hormonally ,Active
Agents In the I;:nvironment. 1999. Hormonally
active agents in the environment. Washington,
D.C,: National Academy Press, p. 10.
23. U.S. EPA. Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program.
2000.· Report to Congress. Washington, D.C.
www.epa.gov/scipoly/oscpendollndex.htm. p. 4.
24. Eubanks, M.W. 1997. Hormones and health.
Environ. Health Persp. 105: 482-487.
25. Kniewald, J., p, Mildner, and Z. Kniewald. 1979.
Effects of s-triazin'e herbicides on hormone-receptor complex formaUon, 5a.-reductase and 30;hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity at the anterior pituitary level. J. Ster. Biochem. 11 :833838.
26. Babic-GoJmerac. 1989. Testosterone metabolism
in neuroendocrine organs in male rats under
atrazlne and deethylatrazlne influence. J. Ster.
Bioehem.33:141-146.
,
27. Kniewald, J. et a!. 1995. Effect of s-triazine compounds on testosterone metabolism in the ral
prostate. J. Appl. Toxieol. 15:215-218.
28. Slmlc, B. et al. 1991. Reversibility of the inhibltqry effect 01 atrazine and lindane on cytosol
5a-dihydrolestosterone receptor complex formation in rat prostate. Bull. Environ. Contam.
Toxicol. 46:92-99.
29. Danzo, B.J. 1997. Environmental xenobiotics
may disrupt normal endocrine fUnction by interfering with the binding of phYSiological ligands
to stf;!roid receptors ,and binding prolelns.
Environ. Health Persp. 105:294.301.
30. Kniewald, J. et al. [email protected] Indirect influence of stralzines on rat gonadotropic mechanism at early
post natal period. J. $ter. Biochem. 27: 100951100.
31. Stoker, T.E., C.L. Robinette, and R.L. Cooper.
1999. Maternal exposure 10 atrazine during lactation suppresses suckling-induced prolactin release and results in prostatills in the adult offspring. Toxicol. ScI: 52:68-79.
32. Cooper, R.L. et al. 2000. Atrazlne disrupts .Ihe
hypothalamic conlrol 01 pituitary-ovarian funcIlon. Toxicol. Sci. 53:297-307.
33. Cooper, R.L. at al. 1996. Effect of atrazine on
ovarian function in the rat. Repro. Toxlcol. 10:
257-264.
34. Cooper, R.L., J.M. Goldman, and T.E. Stoker.
1999. Neuroendocrine and reproductive effects
01 contemporary-use pesticides. Toxlco!. !ndust.
Health 15:26-36.
35. Connor, K. at al. 1996. Failure 01 chloro~s-Irlaz­
ine-derived compounds. to induce receptor-mediated responses in vivo and in vitro. Fund. App!.
Toxico!. 30:93-101.
36. Sanderson, J:T. et al. 2000. 2-chloro-s-lriazine
herbIcides induce aromatase (CYP1.9) activity
in H295R.human adrenocortical carcinoma cells:
A novel mechanism for estrogenicity? Toxlcol.
Sci. 54: 121-127.
37. Tran, D.O.' et al. 1996. The inhibition of estrogen receptor-mediated respOnses by chloro-s-
20
41.
42.
43.
44.
45.
46.
47.
48.
49.
50.
51.
52.
53.
54.
55.
56.
57.
58.
59.
triazine-derived compounds is dependent on estradiol concentration in yeast. Siochem. Biophys.
Res. Comm.227:140-146.
Hanioka, N.. et al. 1999. In vitro metabolism of
slmazine, atrazine, and propazine by hepatic
cytochrome P450 enzymes of rat, fnouse and
guinea pig, and oestrogenic activity 01
chlorotrlazines and their main metabolites.
,Xenobiotiea 29:1213-1226.
Kornilovskaya; I.N. 1~94. Thyroid·mast cell heterogeneity in rat functional properties in response
to the herbicide atrazine In rat. Eur. J. Endocrino!.
130 (Suppl. 2): 129. (Abstract.)
Savl.tz, D.A. et al. 1997. Male pregnancy exposure and pregnancy outcome. Amer. J.
Epidemiol. 1"46: 1025-1036.
'
Munger, R. et at 1997. Intrauterine growth retardation in Iowa communities with herbicldecontaminated drinking waler supplies. fEnviron.
Health Persp. 105:308-314.
Munger, R. et aL 1992. Birth delects and pesticide-contaminated water supplies In Iowa. Amer.
J. Epldem/ol. 136:959. (Abstract.)
Wagner, U. et al. 1990. Detectlon 01 phosphate
ester pesticides and Ihe triazine herbicide "atrazine" in human milk, cervical mucus, follicularand sperm fluid. Fresenfus J. Anal. Chern. 337:
77-78.
Ref. #20, pp. 9-11.
Narots.l<y, M.G. et al. 2001. Strain comparisons
01 atrazlne-Induced pregnancy loss In the rat.
Repro, Toxico/' 15:61,-69.
Kniewald, J. et al. 2000. Disorders of the male
reproductive tract under the inlluence of atrazine. J. Appf. Toxicol.' 20: 61-68.
Ref. #20, p. 46.
Stoker, T.E. et at 2000. The effect 01 atrazlne
on pubertyJn male Wistar rats: An evaluation in
the protocot for the assessment 01 pubertal development and thyroid runction. Toxico'. Sci. 58:
50-59.
Laws, S.C. e\ al. '2000. The effects of atrazine
on female Wistar rats: an evaluation of the protocol for assessing pubertal development and
thyroid function. Toxicol. Sci. 58:366-376.
Guldlcl, D.L., T.E. Stoker, and· R.C. Cooper.
2001. The effect of atrazine metabolites on puberty in the male Wistar rat. Toxicologist 60:252.
Fenton, S.E. and G.L. Youngblood. 2000. Gestational exposure to atrazine induces pro,statitis
and epidIdymal fat pad masses in Lo·ng Evans
male offspring. BioI. Reprod. 62 (Suppl. 1): 187188.
U.S. EPA. Office of Pesticide Programs. Health
Effects DivisIon. 2000. Hazard· and dose-respon'se assessment and characterization: Atrazlne. (Preliminary draft.) Appendix. hltp:11
www.epa.gov/scipoly/sap/2000/index.htm.
'1
Ref. #20, p. 15.
Zeljezic, D. and V. Garaj-Vrhovac., 1998. Cytogenellc effect 01 atra.:zJne on the peripheral blood
lymphocytes of workers employed in herbIcide
production. Cytogenet. Cell Genet. 81:159-164.
(Abstract.)
Biradar, D.P. and A.L. Rayburn. 1995. Flow cytogenetic analysis of whole cell clastogenicity of
herbicIdes lound In groundwater. Arch. Environ.
Contam. Toxicol. 28: 13-17.
U.S. EPA. Office of Water. 2001. Current drinking water standards. www.epa.gov/safewater/
mcl.html.
Biradar, D.P. and.A. L Rayburn. 1995. Chromosomal damage induced by herbicide contamination at concentratlof')s observed in public waler supplies. J. Environ. Qual. 24:1222-1225.
Taets, C:, S. Aref, and A. L. Rayburn. 1998.
The clastogenlc pOtential of triazine herbicide
combinations round in potable water supplies.
Environ. Health Persp. 106:197-201.
Ref. #20, pp. 15-18.
60. Mathias, M., J. Gilot-De!halle, and J. Moutschen.
1989. Mutagenicity of, atrazine in Schizosaccharomyces pombe Lindner with and without metabolic activation by maize. Environ. and
Exper. Bot. 29:237-240.
S1. Cava, D. et al. 1996. N-nitrosation of triazines
in human gastric· juice. J. Agric. Food Chern.
4:2852-2855.
62. Ref. #5, p. 35, 60.
63. Meisner, L.F., B,.o. Roloff, and D.A. Belluck.
1993. In vitro effects of N-nitrosoatrazlne on
chromosome breakage. Arch. Environ. Contam.
Toxieol. 24:108-112.
64. Weisenburger, S.S. et: aL 1988. Mutagenesis
tests of alrazine and N-nitrosoatrazine. compounds of special interesl to the Midwest. Proc.
AACR 29:1 06. (Abstract.)
65. Roloff, B.D., D.A. Belluck, and L.F. Meisner.
1992. Cytogenetlc studies of herbicide Interactions In vUro and iii vivo using atrazine and
linuron. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 22: 267271.
66. Meisner, L.F., D.A. Belluck, and B.D .. Roloff.
1992. Cytogenetic effects of alachlor and/or atrazine In vivo and in vitro. Environ. Mol. Mutag.
19:77-82.
.
67. Adler, I.-D. 1980. A review of the coordinated
research effort on the comparison of test systems for the detection of mutageniC eHects, sponsored by the E.E.C. Mut. Ros. 74: 77-93.
68. Dearfield, K.L., et al. 1993. A survey of EPA!
OPP and 'open literatl,.lre data on selected pesticide chemicals tested fOr'mu'tagenicity. Mut. Res.
297:197-23,3.
69. Cantemir, C. et al. 1997. p53 Protein expression
in peripheral lymphocytes from atrazlne chronically intoxicated rats. Toxicol. Lett. 93:87-94.
70. Donna, A. et al. 1989. Triazine herbiCides and
ovarian epithelial neoplasms. Seand. J. Work
Environ. Health 15:47.53.
71. Kettles, M.A. et.al. 1997. Triazine herbicide exposure and breast cancer incidence: an ecologic study of Ken,tucky counties. Environ. Health
Persp. 105: 1222-1227.
72. Mills, P. K. 1998. Correlation analysis of pesticide use data and cancer incidence rates in California cou'nlles. Arch. Environ. Health. 53:410413.
73. Van Leeuwen, J.A. et al. 1999. Associations
between stomach cancer incidence and c,lrinking water contamination with atrazine and nitrate in Ontario (Canada) agroecosystems. !niern. Epidemiol. Assoc. 28: 836-840.
74. Ref. #20, pp. 11-13.
75. Pinter, A. et al. 1990. Long-term carcinogenicity
bioassay of ,the herbicide atrazine. Neoplasma
37: 533-544.
76. Greenman, S.B. e1 al. 1997. Herbicide/pesticide
effects on intestinal epithelial growth. 'Fnviron.
Res. 75: 85-93.
77. Ref. #20, pp. 56-57.
78. International Agency for Research on Cancer.
1999. Atrazine. IARC Monographs 73: 59-113.
79. Shah, P.V. et al. 1987. Comparison of the penetration of 14 pesllcldes through the skin of
young and adult rats. J. Toxicol. Environ. Health
21: 353-366.
80. Ref. #6, p. 66.
81. Lichtenstein, E.P., T.T. Liang, and B.N. Anderegg. 1973. Synergism of insecticides by herbicides. Science 181: 347-349.
82. Pape-Llndstrom, P.A. and M.J. Lydy. 1997. SynergistiC toxicity of atrazine and organophosphate
insecticides contravenes the response addition
mIxture model. Environ. Toxicol. Chern. 16:
2415-2410.
83. George, S.E. ,et al. 1995. Atrazine treatment potentiates excretion of mutagenic urine in 2,6dinilrotoluene-treated Fischer 344 rats. Environ.
Mol. Mutag.26:178-184.
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P.O. BOX 13~3, EUGENE, OREGON 97440/ (541)344-5044
dOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/ SUMMER 2001 • VOL. 21, NO.2
•
RESEARCH
"INERTS" AND HEALTH
three-year-old son developed respiratory symptoms and the parents developed respiratory problems, headaches,
and impaired reproductive capacities.
The. New York Department of Health
found the inert ingredients benzene,
trimethyl ben~ene, and xylene in both
the Trimper's basement and in the
Dursban TC5
The health risks associated with the cides. His mother, Linda MCElver, reso-called "inert" ingredien~s in pesti- ported that he "has large quantities of
cides, those that are not identified on. pesticide inerts in his body"3 and was
product lahels, have not been well diagnosed with toxic encephalopathy.' Conclusion
Health problems caused by the sodocumented or investigated. There are,
called inert. ingredients in pesticides
however, some pesticide poisohing in- Unexpected Symptoms
A poison control center received a 'may be quite common but are rarely
cidents in which inert ingredients seem
to have played a significant role. Con- call about an incident in which a fam- documented because there is so little
,ily set off several bug bombs in their publidy available information about
sider" the following stories:
apartment, and then left. Fumes from them. NCAP is collecting reports of
Pneumonitis
the bombs traveled into neighboring such problems and we need your help.
A 42-year-old mechanic was admit- apartments. Physician~ t~eating some If you have experienced· incidents simited to the emergency room of an Israeli of the exposed people noted that the 'lar to those described in this article
-Minnie Sagar
hospital. He had heen repairing equip- ingredient listed on the pesticide label please contact us.
ment used, to spray the herbicide "wouldn't be expected to ·cause the
Roundup. His complaints' were' short- symptoms the people were experienc- References
ness of breath, dizziness, and throat ing.,,4 By elimination, .then, the symp- 1. Pushnoy, L.A., K.S. Avnon, and A.S. Carel. 1998.
,Herbicide (F:!oundup) pneumonitis. Chest 114:
discomfort. The treating physicians di- toms seemed to be caused by the inerts
1769-1771.
2.
Crozier, J. 2000. Summary of facts.
agnosed "massive. pneumonitis"l and in the product.
www.polsonedinparadise.com .
eventually identified an inert component
3. Personal communication with Minnie Sagar, Aug.
of Roundup, polyoxyethylene amine, as Respiratory and Fertility
15,2000.
'
Problems
4. Darcey Publications. 2000. Inert ingredients:
the cause. 1
Database access denied to most, disclosure
In 1996, Terminex International Co.
workgroup told. Pesticide Report 3:2-3, Mar.
Respiratory and Neurological
twice applied a termiticide, Dursban
29.
Problems
TC, to the crawl space of a house 5. Darcey Publications. 1999. Dursban TC inerts
benzene, trlmethylbenzene, suspects in boy's illIn November, 1996, the CroZier fam- helonging to the Trimper family in
ness following termiticide mishap. Pesticide Report 3:3-4, June 12.
ily moved into a new home in Rotterdam, New York. The Trimper's
Scottsdale, Arizona. At the time, both
Mr. and Mrs. Crozier and their son
James were healthy. Within a few
months the entire family developed
respiratory and neurological problems.
Diagnostic tests run on the whole family determined that they had abnormally high levels of xylene in their
blood. Xylene· is an inert ingredient
commonly found in pesticides. The
previous owner had hired an extermination company that had applied more
than seven hundred gallons of pesticides in'the home's foundation. 2
Asthma
A young boy from San Luis Obispo,
California, developed asthma after play:
ing on baseball fields that had been
treated with Roundup and other pesti-
•
Minnie Sagar is a masters i,in public health student
at Oregon Stale University.
Workers decontaminate a New York home after termite treatments. The New York Department
of Health identified'several toxic inert ingredients in the termiticide that was used to treat the
house. The same compounds were also found in air samples taken in the home.
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P. O. B a X 1 393, E U G ENE, ORE G a N 97.440 / (541) 344 - 5 0 4 4
21
JOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/ SUMMER 2001 • VOL. 21, NO.2
JOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM/ SUMMER 2001 ; VOL·. 21, NO·. 2
•
SKILLS
than one year old, chemically sensitive, asthmatic or elderly. Give information about all the pets that live with
you, too ..
There are often things that the
homeowner can' do to alter the envi-.
ranment to eliminate the pest or _' discourage its return. Ask the exterminator what measures might be taken. Is
On one of the first fine mornings
a feaky gutter or roof creating a'moisof spring you trundle into the kitchen
ture problem? Is soil/wood contact
for coffee and you find the whole
encouraging a, pest infestation? Someroom is crawling with huge, ardent
times taking the proper measures elimiants looking for something sweet to
nates the need to use chemicals at alL
eat. Though your first impulSe maybe
Ask the exterminator what his apto phone a pest control company, your
proach will be. Pest control compamind is also flooded with. a Vision of
nies earn money all year long by enmen dressed for a- moon walk spraycouraging customers to sign contracts
ing toxic chemicals. Don't panic! The
for multiple sprayings of the interior
best course of action is to spend some
walls or the base ,of the house. Contime gathering information on the alsidering that ants are dormant during
ternatives available.
the cold months, how can it possibly
make
sense to spray during the winDO You Need a Pest Control
ter?
When
carpenter ants are generally
Operator?
Pest control operator'Kit Kirkpatrick.
confined to just one area of the house,
Familiarize yourself with the steps
why is it necessary to spray into all of
that the homeowner can take to elimi- your proplem and make it clear that the wall voids of the house?
nate or minimize a pest problem. you are looking for the least-toxic ap'Inquire about what you will have
(NCAP can help!) It is worth the effort proach to controlling the pest in ques- to do to prepare, the house for a treatto learn a bit about the life cycles and tion. Ask for a detailed description of ment. How long will you and your
habits of pests. In some cases, merely how the company might approach the family (pets too!) have to be out of
a thorough cleaning will solve what problem and get material safety data the house? Explain that you want to
appears to be a daunting problem. In sheets (MSDS) for the chemicals that research the chemicals that they use
any scenario, some research will al- might be used. Are they willing to and will, 'make a de.cision once you
low you to ask incisive questions when target the pest or do they spray the have all the facts. Do not allow the
the, pest control company arrives.
·whole structure? If they give you a company representative to rush you.
Locating a Pest Control
firm price quote over the phone for a Call NCAP or visit NCAP's web site
Company .
complex problem, you can bet that (www.pesticide.org) for more informathe company will not be flexible. Find· tion about the chemicais that are proLet's assume that your~ research has at, least two companies that are inter- posed for use.
led you to decide that hiring a pest ested in meeting your needs and make
Once you have chosen a pest concontrol operator is necessary. Open- appointments to have them come to trol company, be sure to alert your
ing the Yellow Pages reveals a daz- your house to make a bid.
neighbors about the treatment if there
zling ana y of ads featuring seriousis any rteason to be concerned about
looking guys wielding spray cans and When an Exterminator Visits
their wa.ndering pets. Once the work
flashlights. Look for the listings that· . IJpon arrival, the pest control op- is dpne, air out the house and do not
mention something about "ecological" "erator will want more details about return to rooms with a lingering odor.
methods and a willingness to tailor the pest problem and will inspect the Be sure you know which surfaces must
pest control to the needs of the premises, to learn more about the nui- be cleaned to eliminate residues. Call
individual.
sance or the ,damage that has' been the pest control company if you have
Talk to at least three companies and done. Once the inspection is complete, any concerns. Retain the pesticide inbe sure that the person on the phone she or he should take you on a tour formation and the company~s receipt,
actually makes the applications (jr is to explain how and why the pest is which should include a description of
the owner of the company. Describe entering the structure, and where the the work that was done as well as
peSt is lodged.· She or he shOUld ask names and quantities of the pesticides
you about the dwelling and the people used. Then, rest easy because you have
Kit Kir~patrick owned a least-toxic pesl control
living there. Let the operator know if done your homework welL·
company in El,lgene, Oregon.
anyone in the house, is pregnant, less
- Kit Kirkpatrick
CONTRACTING FOR PEST
CONTROL SERVICES
•
•
BOO K
REVIEW
CHEMICAL PESTICIDE MARKETS,
HEALTH RIsKS AND REsIDUFS
JEREMY HARRIS. 2000, (BIOPESTICIDES SERIES
No, 1.) CABI BIOSCIENCE (UK CENTRE).
AsCOT, U,K., CABI PUBLISHING, 54 PAGES.
$35,00,
Chemical Pesticide Markets,
Health .Risks and Residues, written by
J. Harris, is a compact compilation of
numerous studies concerning pesticides. Compiling information arid examples fr6m many other organizations
and from, areas' around the world,
Harris's book is a great resource for
anyone needing a quick and factual
resource, guide.
The use of toxic pesticides, many
of which have been classified as "hazardous" or '~extremely dangerous" to
humans by the World Health Organization (WHO), has been on the rise in
developing countries recently. For example, Thailand's market for pesticides
saw an annual growth rate of 8.8 percent between 1982 and 1992. Over 60
percent of Thailand's imported pesticides in 1992' fell into the WHO categories of extremely hazardous (Class
la) and highly hazardous (Ib).
Chemical. Pesticide Markets, Health
Risks and Residues also ,provides statistiCs showing that large quantities of
banned 'or sev~rely restricted chemi:cals are exported each year from developed to developing countries. In
1996 alone, over 12,000 metric tons of
pesticides designated extremely
hazardous (Class la) by the WHO,
were exported from the US.; a 500
percent increase over the 1992 total of
over 2400 metric tons. Many of these
pesticides are forbidden in the U.S.,
such as DDT, of which over 270 metric tons were ,exported from ·the U.S.
to Peru in 1992.
•
Irene Wolansky is an NeAP intern, and Is currently enrolled at the University of Oregon, wheTe
'she is a senior majoring in environmental studies.
"The Chilean fruit
export business is
very important to
the national
economy. and these
producers have
responded to the
requirements of the
western market for
'quality' and
quantity. In turn, this
has led to an
increase in the
pesticides used.
Many of the
pesticides used are
WHO class la
'extremely
hazardous.' "
This book dlscusses how farmers,a
majority of whom have received little
or no training in safe application or
storage of these pesticides, reuse pesticide containers for their food, or store
food alongside pesticides within their
homes. This is in addition to not wearing safety equipment when spraying
in the field. The resulting health
problems of workers and farmers ate
astounding: fatal poisonings, miscarriages, cancer" physical and mental
problems, children born with deJormities, sterilization, paralysis of the limbs
of children, ·daily nausea and headaches, among many other results, are
common.
Indeed, the book presents data
showing that 50 percent of all pesticide-related illness and over 70 p"rcent of recorded fatal pesticide poisonings occur in developing count,ries,
even though these countries only account for 25 percent of the total pesticide amounts used worldwide.
Once the health of farmers and their
families has been endangered, crops
treated with these chemicals are then
shipped back to the U.s. and other
developed nations, adding to the
amount bf pesticides we consume
every day. This book gives alarming
statistics on the ensuing health effects
to consumers, espe¢ially children and
infants. (These statistics are totals for
both imported and domestic food.) For
example, over a million children' eat a
dose of. organophosphate insecticides
every day that exceeds the U.s. Environmental Prote~tion Agency's (EPA's)
acceptable consumption level. For
100,000 of these children, consumption exceeds EPA's acceptable level by
a factor of ten or more.
Chemical Pesticide Markets, Health
Risks and Residues addresses pesticide
markets, their health effects, their residues, and obsolete pesticide stocks still
in use. 'It does this l,in a concise, clean,
and easy to read format. It also follows
the use of pesticides on a global level,
discussing the effects.of pesticides on
both the farmer and the consumer.
This is a great resource guide for anyone desiring a compact, user-friendly
information source filled with facts
from both underdeveloped· and
developed countries.-Irene Wolansky
"
22
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P. O. BOX 1 393, E U G ENE, 0 REG 0 N 97440 I (541) 344 - 5 0 4 4
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P. O. BOX 1 393, E U G ENE, 0 REG 0 N 9 7 4 4 0 / (54 1 ) 344·5044
23
~OURNAL
~OURNAL
OF PESTICIDE REFORM/ SUMMoR 2001 : VOL.21 , NO.2
•
•
LETTERS
TO
THE
24
NCAP'S
STUDENT
ASSISTANTS
AND
VOLUNTEERS
EDITOR
Blowing Roof Moss
I have some experience to share
about coping with a mossy roof. We
live on i lot in' Seattle surrounded on
three sides by Douglas fir and cedar
.over 80 feet tall. Our roof gets little (if
any) sun. We have used a leaf blower
between four 'and six times 'per year
to both clean the gutters, and remove
moss from the roof. This method 'is
We grew about 100 acres of sweet
effective on both dry anel wet moss, corn, conventionally, with synthetic
although it's more effective when the fertilizers, atrazine, and. insecticides
moss is dry,. We usually do the job applied with a high clearance sprayer,
wh~n the roof is dry, and have been
for 25 years. Tony did all of that field
able to keep moss t9 a minimum for work himself and rarely allowed any
many years. We use neither water nor of the rest of us to help,
chemicals.
In June 1982, Tony came down sudWe prefer this method to h()sing denly with mysterious symptoms: elthe roof hecause we, suspect, that US~ evated respiratory and heart rates. In
ing water ofl:' the roof may encourage the intensive, care unit~ the doctors fimoss reproduction (since we get no nally cut open his chest and found
sun in many spots on the roof). -In that .his lungs were totally inflamed.
addition, while using a gas-poo/ered Prednisone reduced the inflammation
blower has its own environmental con- and Tony was back to work a week
sequences, the job rarely takes' more later. The doctors had no clue what
t1:tan 20 minutes. And conserving wa- caused this condition.
ter is a high priority for us, Perhaps a
However, when the same symptoms
compromise incorporating both meth- recurred in S_epternber, they reread the
ods is an o'ptimal solution.
biopsy and decided he had non-hisCarrie lJowman tiocytic lymphoma. Chemotherapy
Seattle, Washington "cleared" the cancer by January 1983
and Tony got through most of the next
growing season. In the fall, the sympAtrazine and Lymphoma
toms recurred, and this time the
When my husb~nd,Tony Newcomb, oncologists said that they were sorry,
and I started growing sweet corn in but there was nothing more they could
the early 19605, we followed recom- do. He died on April 18, 1984.
mendations from Virginia Tech and'
A few weeks later, I read in the
used atrazine. At the time, we tried to Washington Post about two studies that
learn about any harmful effects of us- showed a very strong cqrn;lation being atrazine and found no literature tween the use of atrazine and this rare
and no advice from EPA.
form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma,
I sold my high clearance sprayer
and couldn't bring myself to ask anyJPA welcomes leiters to the editor. We publish as
one, else to' spray herbicides with the
many as space allows. Leiters may be shortened or 'tractor-pulled rig. We went back to
edited for clarity before publication. We are espemechanical cultivating and quit spraycially interested in hearing abQut alternative pest maning SeVin or Lannate for the worms.
agem!?!nt techniques you have tried. Ple~se write us
My daughter and I still grow and
and let ,us know what works and what doesn't.
sell vegetables; both our farms are cerrilied organic, We have loyal, appreNeAP: P.O. Box 1393; Eugene OR 97440.
ciative customers and thousands _of
(~41) 344-5044.
schoolchildren and parents, who come
E-mail: [email protected]
to the farm for deliCious, wholesome
•
OF PESTICIDE REFORM/SUMMOR 2001' VOL. 21, NO.2
food, and to learn how and why we
gro~ it without atrazine or any other
pesticides.
_
HiuNewcomb
Vienna, Virgi1'lia ,
.Just Let MosS' Grow!
I read the' "Coping with a Mossy
Roof" article in your spring issue with
interest, as I have been working on
development of intentionally moss-covered "living roofs" for ,our region, a'nd
,~a~ interested what evidence you ha~
uncovered concerning the question of
whether moss is hannful to a roof.
1 contacted Malarkey Roofing Co,
in Portland, a major regional manufacturer 'of composition shingles, and
asked their technical, representatives if
moss was harmful to roofs. They replied that they did ·not see. that moss
constituted a hazard. Its roots grow
horizontally, and they were not aWiue
6f any· failures caused by moss roots.
Your source ·at the Oregon Extension Service, when contacted, indicated
that their observations of moss roof
hazards were only anecdotal, but there
was no hard evidence. '
.
What potential harm might, exist to
a composition· roof is likely to be more
than offset by unquestionable benefits
from the moss: less temperature variation,' less overheating, and blocking of
sun damage. The evidence I've seen
to date 'suggests that moss is not harmful to composition roofs.
On woo~ shake roofs', moss_ growth
on the butt of shakes does certainly
over time lead to rotting of the shake.
My experience with our own shake,
roof (just replaced) on the coast was
that when moss growth occurred, the
shakes were already reaching the end
of their life-span. I would say that there
is more likelihood of service life reduction on wood products, but that
the evidence is not conClusive.
My inclination at this point is to
suggest an additional option to your
readers, "LET IT GROW!"
Tom Bender
Nehalem, Oregon
NORTHWESt COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P.O. BOX 1393, EUGENE, OREGON 97440 I (541)344-5044
THANK You
NCAP is grateful to students from
the University of Oregon who make
up NCAP's program support staff:
Lisa Igoe, Jennifer Glowacki, &
Liz Vollmer-Buhl were invaluable to
NeAP's information services program,
answering questions from people
around the world.
Ezra Mannix, Loren McClenachan,
and Michelle Wallace were NCAP's
lrbrary assistants and helped add over
1000 entries to NCAP's library database!
Pete Haws, a former staff member
newly returned from the Peace Corps,
provided some priceless help.
Alix Kantargis assisted both the
pesticide use rep011ing program and
the clean water for sahnon cmnpaign.
In addition, NCAP has had an excellent group of interns and volunteers during the past academic year:
Jeff Levy helped the clean water campaign with outreach to potential allies.
•
NCAP'S
Usa Igoe.
Liz Vollmer-Buhl.
Irene Wolansky compiled resources for chemically sensitive people.
Anne Nelson helped with research
for NCAP's Endangered Species Act
lawsuit.
David Nonnan did research for the
pesticide use reporting program.
Holly Knight and Paige Martin
volunteered to write articles for JPR.
Each year NCAP also has volunteers that pitch in around the office.
Jeff Levy.
Irene Wolansky.
Special thanks to Judy Volem, Widya
Kok, Elizabeth London, Carissa
Albin, and Alexandra Forrester_
More thanks to our great Portland
volunteer crew, Alan Hingston, Vicki
Neland,Janine Bulgrin, and Barbara
Hingston, and to Susan Wechsler for
arranging for a camera donation.
Thank you all. We could not have
done it without you!
-Pollyanna Lind
STAFF
INTRODUCING MEGAN KEMPLE
Megan Kemple likes people, making her a good fit for the job of public
education coordinator at NCAP. This
position links NCAP to many of our
members, the media, and other concerned people who want to know
more about the hazards of specific
pesticides and alternative solutions for
managing unwanted pests. Megan's job
is to oversee the process to ensure
that you get the information and referrals that you need.
The job is huge, and it's good that
Megan brings us many skills that were
honed at previous jobs involving public education both with nonprofits and
on an organiC farm. Her job requires
many activities that all need to happen at the same time. Since Megan
works with many of NCAP's volunteers, mterns and .,-orkstudy students,
she is very appreCiative of the gifts
Megan Kemple.
that their efforts contribute. "A lot gets
done with good help," says Megan.
Megan's amazed at the wealth of
resources at her fingertips to help her
in her job, including NeAP's extensive
library and the knowledge of the other
staff. "I'm able to surprise people with
good inforn1ation," she says. "It's nice
to get thanked all day for the help I
provide."
Megan is extremely concerned about
the state of the world and issues related to food security. She sees these
issues connecting the environment and
social justice. She's glad that her job
here at NCAP lets her directly link these
concerns. In her spare time, Megan
senres on the board of an all-volunteer organization that twice a week
provides low-cost, organic food to Eugene-area residents. She also is working with a group that is trying to establish an organi~ garden in every
school in the Eugene area.
The NCAP staff is very pleased to
have Megan on our team. The next
time you call or e-mail NCAP, we hope
you have ,the pleasure of interacting
with Megan!
-Norma Grier
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES/NCAP
P.O. BOX 1393, EUGENE, OREGON 97440 I (541 )344-5044
-r------- ------------------~,-----------------------------------------------------------------,
•
LITERATURE
AVAILABLE
FROM
NeAP
ea., unless otherwise noted)
INFORMATION RESOURCES
PESTICIDE FACTSHEETS ($3.00
Altering Oregon's Destiny: Hormone Disrupting Pesticides In the Wiflametle River.
Neva Hassanein, Katie Jo Keppinger, and Caroline Cox, 1997. 9 pages, $3.00.
Diminishing Retums: Salmon Decline and Pesticides. Richard Ewing, PhD, 1999.
52 pages, $7 .00 Executive Summary. 7 pages, $3.50.
Lethal Lawns: Diazinon Use Threatens Salmon Survival. Caroline Cox. 2000. 20
pages, $5.00.
Pesticides and Children's Health: What Every Parent Should Know. Laura Weiss
and Caroline Cox. 1998. 21 pages, $5.00 .
TrackIng Progress: Alternatives to Pesticides on the Farm. Lucy Vin ls. 1999. 36
pages, $5.00 .
Unthinkable Risk: How Children Are Harm ed Wh en Pesticides Are Used at School.
Becky Ailey. 2000. 27 pages plus appendices , $7. 00.
Aldicarb.
Alrazine.
B.t. (Bacillus thuringiensis).
Carbaryl.
Chlorolhalonil
Chlorpyri fos. ($4.00)
Chromated Copper Arsenate.
Clopyralid.
Cyfluthrin .
Cypermethrin.
DC PA (Dacthal) .
ALTERNATIVES FACTSHEETS ($2.00 ea., unl ess otherwise noted)
Basic Information about Pesticides
Inert Ingredients in Pesticides: Who's Keeping Secrets?
Farmwo rkers and Pesticides: Worki ng with Poison on the Farm
Pesticide Registration: No Guarantee of Safety
School Pesticide Use Reduction: Where There's a Will The re's a Way
Pesticides and Male Fertility
Pesticides, Hormones, and Wildlife In the Pacific Northwest
Pesticides in Rentals and Condominiums
Outdoor Pests
Preparing a Landscape Site
without ChemicalS
Restoring a Lawn without Chemicals
Polson Oak and Ivy Management
Lawn Care without Pesticides
Landscape Weed Control
Solving Blackberry Problems
Coping with Slugs and Snails
Managing Mosquitoes Without Poisons
Community Mosquito Control ($2.50)
Indoor Pests
Dealing with Head Lice
living with Carpenter Ants
Sane Cockroach Management ($2.50)
Getting to Know ·Splders
A Aat- and Mouse-free House
Subterranean Termites
Drywood Termites
Coping with Ticks
Solving Yellowjacket Problems
Managing Crane Flies in Lawns
Encouraging Ladybugs
(for managing ga rden pests)
lacewings, Nature's Little Helpers
(for managing garden pests)
Least-toxic Management of
Rose Diseases
Coping with a Mossy Roof
Diazinon.
Dlcamba.
Dichlobenil.
1.3-Dichloropropene.
2,4-0. ($4.00)
Glufosinate.
Glyphosate. ($4.00)
Imazapyr.
Im ldacloprid.
Malath ion.
Metam Sodium.
Nonyt Phenol.
Paraquat.
Pentachlorophenol.
Permethrin.
Picloram.
Sulfometuron methyl.
Sulfuryl fluoride.
Triclopyr.
ARTICLES ($3.00 ea.)
BOOKS
Common Sense Pest Control: Least-roxic Solutions for Your Home, Garden, Pels,
and Community. W. Olkowski , S. Daar, and H. Olkowski, 1991. 700+ pages, $39.95.
Managing Fleas without Poisons
($3.00)
Solving Housefly Problems
Managing Fruit Flies without Poisons
Least Toxic Aphid Management
PESTICIDE CHEM ICAL INFORMATION PACKET
Compiled by T racey Parker. Updated 1999. $30.00.
(A complete set of NCAP's pesticide fac tsheets)
BACK ISSUES OF THE JOURNAL ($4.00 per issue)
Complete volumes of back issues can be ordered for $12.00 per volume.
VISIT NCAP'S WEBSITE
ALL PRICES INCLUDE DOMESTIC POSTAGE.
MINIMUM CHARGE $5 .00 FOR MEMBERS, $10.00 FOR OTHERS .
Ou r web address is www.pestlcide.org . Most of our publications are avai lable on
ou r webs ite for free viewing or downloading.
VOL. 21, NO, 2
[" YES! I'd like to be a member of NCAP (includes subscription to the Journal of Pesticide Reform)
Basic Member $25
(j
limited Income $15
0 Associate Member $50
U Sustaining Member $ 100
U YES! I'd like to su bscribe to the Journal of Pesticide Reform
r Subscriber/Individual; $15/4 issues
:J Joumal Sustainer $25
C Subscriber/Institution; $25/4 issues
Joumal Donor
..J $ 100 n $50 L
L Subscriber/Canadian and other foreign countries; $25 (U.S.)/4 Issues
YES! I'd like copies of the literature f've marked on the order form below:
o
,
$ --
o
-+________T_o_la_l--1
Q~~__~-clto
~m
-c____________________________________________________________________~_u_n_;1_P_'_
IC_O______
Send the materi als I have ordered to:
Total enclosed (minimum charge $5.00 for members, $10.00 for others)
(
Name
j
r
~
Address
NORTHWEST COALITION FOR
ALTERNATIVES TO PESTICIDES
P.O. BOX 1393
EUGENE, OREGON 97440-1393
Address Service Requested
Zip
)
Phone
NONPROFIT ORG
US POSTAGE
P A ID
EUG ENE OR
PERMIT NO. 672