Pesticides linked to diseases

Editor:

Re: Research pesticides before banning them, letter by Margie Kaufman, published in the Williams Lake Tribune on May 26, 2011.

Editor:

Re: Research pesticides before banning them, letter by Margie Kaufman, published in the Williams Lake Tribune on May 26, 2011.

We now know enough about pesticides (includes all the “cides”) to take the appropriate actions.

Invented for military purposes, herbicide 2,4-D, together with the banned herbicide 2,4,5-T, made up the infamous Agent Orange.

Yet industry spokesmen argue that, unlike 2,4,5-T, herbicide 2,4-D had no dioxin of its own. (Dioxins are toxic products of pesticide manufacturing in the reactor).

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency whistle-blower disagreed.

2,4-D’s dioxin 2,7-DCDD (dichlorodibenzo-p-dioxin) was found to be only slightly less toxic than was dioxin 2,3,7,8-TCDD of the banned herbicide 2,4,5-T.

I am told firsthand that when asked to look into the toxicity of the less known dioxin of herbicide 2,4-D, the Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency spokesperson responded: “Too difficult.”

The agency’s conclusions are based on industry provided rat data. Rats have detoxification genes missing in humans.

There are approximately 250 toxicologists and only two epidemiologists. The PMRA is weak in examining human studies.

Using pesticides according to the label protects the applicator, but the toxicity is not diminished.

Children remain vulnerable long after the pesticide has been applied. The residues brought indoors on shoes may stay active for an entire year.

2,4-D is linked to child and adult cancer, endocrine system disruption, neurological and immune systems damage, Parkinson’s, diabetes, asthma, and behavioural and learning disabilities.

Much of the applied herbicide consists of secret, “inert” additives. Only a small portion of the final product is tested by the industry.

Moreover, combinations such as PAR III— 2,4-D, mecoprop and dicamba — are not tested, even though a synergistic (reinforcing) effect is suspected.

K. Jean Cottam

Ottawa, ON

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