EPA Working to Reverse Ban on Dangerous Pesticide
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is attempting to reverse a court-ordered deadline to prohibit the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos: The Hill reports. This action is taken despite earlier EPA advisories that the chemical could harm children and endangered species. In 2016, the Obama administration ordered a ban on chlorpyrifos based on 30 years of data; however, under the Trump administration, the EPA filed an appeal to allow its continued use. At the time of the appeal, the individual overseeing the Office of Children’s Health Protection, who had published the document on the negative health effects of the pesticide, was put on leave.
Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate, a category of pesticides that suppresses nerve function. Before numerous studies in the nineties revealed its adverse effects, it was used ubiquitously across the country.
Natural Sugar Compound May be as Effective as Controversial Glyphosate
Some studies link glyphosate, one of the world’s most popular weed-killers, to cancer and other health maladies. The controversial herbicide is sold under many brand names, the most prominent of which is Roundup. Scientists in Germany recently found that a natural sugar compound may be just as effective without causing harm to humans or animals. This is welcome news to the millions of farmers, landscapers and home gardeners who use the chemical.
Glysophate creates a pathway that is essential to the growth of many bacteria, fungi and plants, but it’s not present in humans or animals. The advantage of targeting a metabolic process found in plants but not people makes it an ideal herbicide to manage weeds. Results were published in the journal Nature Communications.
Study: Glyphosate Increases Cancer Risk by 41%
Research from the University of Washington indicates that glyphosate weed killers raise the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, by 41%. The research came to this conclusion after reviewing studies on the health effects of the herbicide conducted between 2001 and 2019. The review was published in the journal Mutation Research.
The new findings, which have been characterized as “compelling,” are sure to add to the debate among health oversight agencies about glyphosate’s safety. While the EPA and the European Food Safety Authority have stated that it “is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans,” the World Health Organization has categorized it as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Pesticide Exposure Contributes to Faster Progression of Degenerative Disease
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that robs people of their ability to move their body and limbs. Although causes of ALS are unknown, a new study at the University of Michigan suggests pesticide exposure might advance its progression. It found increased levels of pesticides and other environmental pollutants in the blood of ALS patients. Individuals with the lowest level of pollutants survived, on average, seven months longer than those with the highest levels.
The authors expressed concern that exposure to these chemicals raises the likelihood of contracting ALS, as well as hastens the death of those afflicted with the disease. Results were published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.