Posts Tagged: chlorpyrifos
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has formed a work group to find alternatives to the pesticide chlorpyrifos that will help farmers manage insect pests when a state ban on the chemical goes into effect, reported Kerry Klein on Valley Public Radio.
Klein interviewed David Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension entomology advisor and a member of the work group.
“This is an important topic,” Haviland said. “Chlorpyrifos has had a lot of benefits to agriculture for many years. At the same time, it does have some negative issues associated with it that were the reason that the product has been proposed to be discontinued.”
Chlorpyrifos is a common insecticide used under the trade names Lorsban, Lock-on and generic formulations to control ants, stink bugs, aphids, whiteflies and other pests. UC IPM coordinated a comprehensive report on chlorpyrifos in 2014, commissioned by DPR, outlining critical uses of the pesticide in alfalfa, almonds, citrus and cotton. The report details the insecticide's use patterns as compared to other pest control tactics, such as resistant varieties, mating disruption, field sanitation and other insecticides.
The new work group will develop short-term and five-year action plans to identify safer, more sustainable pest management tools, practices, and alternatives in a wide array of crops. They will seek solutions that are safe for workers, communities and the environment, able to adequately control targeted pests, and cost effective. In addition, the work group will consider the issues of efficacy, soil health and climate change.
The solutions might include combinations of other pesticides to help protect the dozens of crops on which chlorpyrifos is used. Haviland says the group will prioritize the most urgent needs first: “Who's really going to take a hit from the ban, and from there, what is the best way to go forward,” he said.
Chlorpyrifos is widely applied to many crops for pest control; the highest percentage on almonds, citrus, alfalfa and cotton. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed cancellation of its use in agriculture.
"Chlorpyrifos is a tool and over reliance on that tool to help us solve pest problems is going to have environmental impacts and potentially could impact human populations as well," said UC ANR Cooperative Extension advisor David Doll in the Valley Public Radio story.
Romero also spoke to Selma almond grower Bill Chandler at the meeting.
"Don't give up the ship, there's help," Chandler said. "That's why they (UC IPM) had this meeting to say, listen gentlemen, there's these problems. Let's learn how to work with them and see what we can use differently."
More UC IPM meetings on the issue will be held in the coming weeks at the following locations:
Jan. 12 – Citrus in San Joaquin Valley
8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
UC ANR Cooperative Extension office, 4437 S. Laspina St., Tulare
Jan. 21 – Alfalfa in Imperial Valley
8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Farm Credit Services Southwest, 485 Business Parkway, Imperial
Jan. 26 – Almonds in Southern San Joaquin Valley
8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Kern County Agricultural Pavilion
3300 E. Belle Terrace, Bakersfield
Feb. 5 – Almonds in Northern California
8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m
Chico Masonic Lodge, 1110 W. East Ave., Chico
For more information contact Lori Berger, UC IPM chlorpyrifos project coordinator, at email@example.com or (559) 646-6523.
Children who were exposed to certain types of organophosphate pesticides before birth could have lower levels of childhood intelligence, according to a UC Berkeley study reported on by the Salinas Californian.
The study examined the effects of pesticide exposure in the Salinas Valley for more than 10 years. The researchers, representing UC Berkeley and the Center for the Health Assessment of Mothers and Children of Salinas, found that every 10-fold increase in the amount of the pesticides found in the mother during pregnancy corresponded with a 5.5 point drop in IQ scores when the children were 7.
"These associations are substantial, especially when viewing this at a population-wide level,” a UC Berkeley news release quoted principal investigator Brenda Eskenazi, professor of epidemiology and of maternal and child health. “That difference could mean, on average, more kids being shifted into the lower end of the spectrum of learning, and more kids needing special services in school.”
The UC Berkeley study is one of three showing an association between pesticide exposure and childhood IQ published online April 21 in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, the news release said.
Mt. Sinai researchers sampled pesticide metabolites in maternal urine, and researchers at Columbia looked at umbilical cord blood levels of a specific pesticide, chlorpyrifos.
“It is very unusual to see this much consistency across populations in studies, so that speaks to the significance of the findings,” said lead author Maryse Bouchard, who was working as a UC Berkeley post-doctoral researcher with Eskenazi while this study was underway. “The children are now at a stage where they are going to school, so it’s easier to get good, valid assessments of cognitive function.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that some of the data are not as conclusive as they might seem at first glance.
". . . Let’s be cautious—the IQ differences were small, and some only appeared by looking at the data in a certain way," said the article written by LA Times reporter Marissa Cevallos. "Women in the Berkeley study, for example, had their urine measured for traces of pesticides twice—once in the first half of pregnancy and once in the second half. The researchers found no correlation between IQ and pesticide markers in the first urine test or in the second urine test. But then when they averaged the two, voila—a correlation."
The story was picked up widely by the news media, including:
Organophosphate pesticides are approved for use in agriculture. Increasing evidence suggests that prenatal exposure to pesticides may have health impacts in later years.