Response to human health and ecological risk assessments of organophosphate insecticides in USA

27 Feb

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Richard Bruce sends news of a press release issued from Portland, Oregon, by the Center for Biological Diversity, a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 990,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

EPA logoIt reported that group of farmworkers, child-safety and environmental advocates has sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency urging it to ban seven organophosphate pesticides, currently under review, that are used on crops such as corn, cotton, watermelon and wheat. It was submitted in response to the EPA’s request for public comments on new releases of human-health and ecological risk assessments for organophosphate insecticides.

A recent study at the University of California at Berkeley found that an astonishing 87% of umbilical-cord blood samples tested had detectable levels of an organophosphate. Early childhood exposure to organophosphates has been linked to cognitive delay and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). An earlier study concluded that early-life exposure to OP pesticides was associated with respiratory symptoms consistent with possible asthma in childhood.

nathan donley“These pesticides pose unacceptably high risks to children, workers and wildlife, and really can’t be used safely,” said Nathan Donley, a scientist with the Center for Biological Diversity, with expertise in cancer research, cell biology and genetics.

In addition to effects on human health, organophosphates are also very dangerous to many species of wildlife. By the end of 2005, more than 1,440 bird-related incidents involving organophosphates had been recorded in North America, resulting in the deaths of more than 335,000 birds. Organophosphate use has also been linked to population declines of several amphibians in California, a state with heavy use of these pesticides.

The groups signing the letter included: Alaska Community Action on Toxics, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, American Bird Conservancy, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Environmental Health, Columbia Legal Services, Farmworker Association of Florida, Migrant Clinicians Network, Friends of the Earth, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.

To read the whole article go to:

For further information, contact Nathan Donley,


One Response to “Response to human health and ecological risk assessments of organophosphate insecticides in USA”

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