Monday, February 21, 2011

New Hampshire House Bill-495 Healthy Lawns, Healthy Kids

Check out my notes from How the Committee Meeting on Feb. 22, 2011 went.

Second year and a second chance for New Hampshire to enact what will start a change towards healthier areas for children to learn and play.  HB495 hopes to minimize the use of pesticides on the grounds of child day care facilities, schools, and state parks.  Hopefully pushing NH  towards a more organic integrated pest management practice. 19 states have already enacted IPM with some states making it mandatory to protect childrens health.

While speaking to a very knowledgeable man from the company that overlooks my own house's pest problems and performs pesticide management in the buildings of many NH schools his take on outdoor pesticide was that "They are shortcuts"  He says that the goal is to reduce pesticide levels and educate people about the threat of pests.  He added, The life threatening pest threats for children, especially those allergic are wasps and bees both on playground and soccer fields. 

"Resorting to pesticides is surrendering"

Not taking care of turf, leaves a chance for pests. If there is dusty, open spots, pest such as ground wasps and dandelions can move in. Although we may not save dramatically on organic land care due to extra maintenance, the overall goal is to improve turf.  This will have a better result that is appreciated by everyone.

That is what I heard from my pest management guys.  What do yours say?


Please support  HB0495 and the LEAH Collective who brought forth this bill.

The first meeting in front of the Environment and Agriculture committee is February 22, 2011 at 1PM in room 303 of the Legislative Office Building. YES TOMORROW! I hope to see you there!!

Is America Getting Dummer?


Authors of this comparative study took into consideration known variables that would influence a child’s growth and development.  Two groups of 4-5 year old children from the Yagui Valley of northwestern Mexico were selected with similar “genetic backgrounds, diets, water mineral contents, cultural patterns, and social behaviors.”  After these variables, only one important difference remained: exposure to pesticides.

One group of children was selected from an agrarian area, while the second group is from hills above this area, where pesticide use is avoided.  This is a landmark study, often refereed to when studying issues of pesticide exposure on child development concerning mental function

When concerning levels of pesticides were found in breast milk and the cord blood of newborns in 1990, human studies for rapid assessment of environmental problems were developed.  The Rapid Assessment Tool for Preschool Children (RATPC), were made to measure growth and development.

These two groups of children, one from an area with high pesticide use and one from an area that avoided pesticides, were compared in these tests which examined normal childhood activities.  Although growth did not seem to be effected functionality was. 
Children exposed to pesticides “demonstrated decreases in stamina, gross and fine eye-hand coordination, 30-minute memory, and the ability to draw a person.”

Why am I so concerned about pesticides and our children's health? Because both the EPA and research from our trusted science and health professionals say we should be!!!

The EPA only reviews data from the manufacturers of pesticides and rarely performs independent testing.  The criteria for “safety” of a product is based on a response that occurs suddenly or short term (within 24hours) for the lethal dose (LD) reaction on a 160 lb healthy male!

The Ontario College of Family Physicians conducted a complete overview of studies from three online medical journal databases: PreMedline, MEDLINE, and LILACS, which linked pesticide exposure and negative health affects.  A vast amount of studies were reviewed and split into two overviews: evidence linking pesticides to cancer and to non-cancer health effects.
  1.102 studies were reviewed that found evidence of pesticides exposure related to cancer: predominately brain, prostate, and kidney cancers, with increased risks reported to children.
  2. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia related studies consistently show links to pesticide exposure. Researchers also cite that some children with cancer had associations solely because their parents were exposed to pesticides at their place of employment.
    Non-cancer health effects were reviewed in 124 studies since 1992 in the second overview; conclusions find firm evidence for all neurologic and genotoxicity health effects.
  3. Neurologic effects (Long-term effects include cognitive and psychomotor dysfunction, and neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental effects) including depression and Parkinson's disease
  4. Genetic damage was commonly increased two-fold in relation to pesticide exposure.   
  5. Reproductive effects include:
Birth Defects: limb reductions, central nervous system defects and heart defects,
Fetal Death: spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, and neonatal death
Altered Growth: low birth weight, prematurity, altered fetal growth. Pyrethroid
pesticides were implicated in positive studies.
others, including altered placental quality and developmental delay


This case-control study of 201 cases and 285 controls suggests that organophosphorus and carbamate insecticides that target the nervous system in combination with a child’s reduced ability to detoxify them, may be associated with childhood brain cancers.  CBT risk increased among children exposed to residential insecticides including treatment of the home, yard, garden, pets, for nuisance pests such as ants and cockroaches and/or for lice.  Whereas among children never exposed, CBT risk was not increased.  This study specifically examined exposure to pesticides during pregnancy and childhood.  
Authors suggest, “results are consistent with the possibility that children with a reduced ability to metabolize OP and perhaps carbamate insecticides might be at increased risk of CBT when sufficiently exposed.”  At the time of this study, the insecticides, chlorpyrifos and diazinon were still unrestricted for residential use in the United States.  However, children continue to be exposed to other pesticides considered AChE inhibitors, including many used on school grounds.
Photo Courtesy of: Thomas Lekfeldt, Ekstra Bladet/MOMENT "A STAR IN THE SKY"
Vibe, only 5 years old developed a brain tumor and due to the location of the tumor it was not possible to surgically remove it. Instead, Vibe went through a treatment procedure with many chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

According to the pesticide control board , In NH we used 4,943 lbs of glyphosate in 2004 and 1,099 lbs in 2006    As well as 5,163 lbs of 2,4-D in 2006.     Our levels of Atrazine ROSE- atrazine has been basically BANNED in Europe due to negative health effects and limited strictly to corn. What are we doing?

Herbicides used in schools, such as dicamba and 2,4-D, designed to kill broadleaf weeds have exhibited birth and developmental effects. 2,4-D is also considered a “probable” endocrine disruptor by the EPA and is suspected to cause cellular mutations, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and delay in brain development in humans. It is persistent in, and moves easily throughout, the environment and accumulates in water sources. 

The Battelle Memorial Institute of Ohio, reveals after lawn application of 2,4-D, this herbicide moves to and was detected in indoor air and on all interior surfaces of surrounding buildings.  For young children, exposure levels indoors are estimated to be about 10 times higher after outdoor application.

Spraying because of West Nile?!

Research presented as recent as November 2010, conducted by 5 research centers, shows evidence that pyrethroids cause developmental toxicity, harm brain development and cause mental delay.  Prenatal exposure to pyrethroids has now been linked to intelligence loss similar to that caused by lead.

And guess what else, spraying these pesticides to kill mosquitoes and guard against West Nile kills not target organism, Dragonflies in fact- who are mosquitoes number one predator. Often the mosquitoes come back even fiercer and with less natural predation.

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