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Friday, March 06th, 2009 | Author:
Banned Products in Canada(Beyond Pesticides, March 4, 2009) The Ontario government is set to announce sweeping new regulations that will prohibit the use of 85 chemical substances, found in roughly 250 lawn and garden products, from use on neighborhood lawns. Once approved, products containing these chemicals would be barred from sale and use for cosmetic purposes.

On November 7, 2008, the Ontario government released a proposed new regulation containing the specifics of the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, passed last June. Then, Ontario joined Quebec in restricting the sale and cosmetic use of pesticides but environmental and public health advocates said then that the new law preempted local by-laws and actually weakens protections in some municipalities with stronger local protections. There are over 55 municipalities in Canada where the residential use, but not sale, of pesticides is banned. The prohibition of these 85 substances is the latest step in this Act. The proposal contains:

• List of pesticides (ingredients in pesticide products) to be banned for cosmetic use
• List of pesticide products to be banned for sale
• List of domestic pesticide products to be restricted for sale. Restricted sale products include those with cosmetic and non-cosmetic uses (i.e., a product that’s allowed to be used inside the house but not for exterior cosmetic use), and would not be available self-serve.

The 85 chemicals to be prohibited are listed under “Proposed Class 9 Pesticides” of the Act. Among the 85 pesticides banned for cosmetic use include commonly used lawn chemicals: 2,4-D (Later’s Weed-Stop Lawn Weedkiller), clopyralid, glyphosate (Roundup Lawn & Weed Control Concentrate), imidacloprid, permethrin (Later’s Multi-Purpose Yard & Garden Insect Control), pyrethrins (Raid Caterpillar & Gypsy Moth Killer), and triclopyr.

However, golf courses and sports fields remain exempt. The use of pesticides for public health safety (e.g. mosquito control) is also exempt. The proposed regulation would also allow for the use of new ‘notice’ signs to make the public aware when low risk alternatives to conventional pesticides are used by licensed exterminators, such as the use of corn gluten meal to suppress weed germination in lawns.

The prohibition, once passed, would likely take effect in mid-April. Stores would be forced to remove banned products from their shelves or inform customers that the use of others is restricted to certain purposes. Residents must then dispose of banned products through municipal hazardous waste collection, and use restricted products for only prescribed purposes. Errant users would first receive a warning, but fines would later be introduced.

By 2011, stores will be required to limit access to the pesticides, keeping them locked behind glass or cages and ensuring that customers are aware of limitations on use before taking them home.

In light on impeding legislation to restrict pesticide use, the Canadian division of Home Depot announced on April 22, 2008 that it will stop selling traditional pesticides in its stores across Canada by the end of 2008 and will increase its selection of environmentally friendly alternatives. Other garden supply and grocery stores have already stopped selling certain pesticides in Ontario.

This proposed prohibition would have the most impact on 2,4-D, the most popular and widely used lawn chemical. 2,4-D, which kills broad leaf weeds like dandelions, is an endocrine disruptor with predicted human health risks ranging from changes in estrogen and testosterone levels, thyroid problems, prostate cancer and reproductive abnormalities. A recent petition filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and supported by Beyond Pesticides calls for the cancellation of 2,4-D, its products and its tolerances in the U.S.

Other lawn chemicals like glyphosate (Round-up) and permethrin have also been linked to serious adverse chronic effects in humans. Imidacloprid, another pesticide growing in popularity, has been implicated in bee toxicity and the recent Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) phenomena. The health effects of the 30 most commonly used lawn pesticides show that: 14 are probable or possible carcinogens, 15 are linked with birth defects, 21 with reproductive effects, 24 with neurotoxicity, 22 with liver or kidney damage, and 34 are sensitizers and/or irritants.

Reference: http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/news/2009/030401.php

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008 | Author:

Today’s juicy find on da Net delivered via google news alert came from a little story in the Meadville Tribune which included a reference to MAAREC, “a regional group focused on addressing the pest management crisis facing the beekeeping industry in the Mid-Atlantic Region.”

“The focus of MAAREC research has been on the identification of alternatives to chemical controls and promotion of less reliance on chemical pesticides for mite control. (More) http://maarec.cas.psu.edu/

New On This Site:

  • New! “How to Live With Black Bears” by Craig Cella, June 2005 Am. Bee Journal (Part 1, Part 2)
  • New! Participate in NASA sponsored climate and scale hive study (3/11/2008)
  • New! Pesticide Residue Testing (3/11/2008) - (see copy of PDF below)
  • New! Online Beekeeping Course – University of Delaware (3/11/2008)
  • New! Häagen-Dazs recently presented a gift to Penn State to support entomology research and education on the honey bee crisis. (press release) The ice cream company has unveiled a new interactive website promoting honey bee education and research on colony collapse disorder. (2/22/2007)
  • Mid-Atlantic Beekeepers’ IPM Priorities Survey


Pesticide Analysis of Honey Bee Hive Products and Matrixes

Many beekeepers have expressed an interest in having their hive products or other materials within the hive, such as pollen, wax or nectar, tested for pesticide residues. Because these pesticide analyses are costly, we are working with potential funding agencies to generate monies that would allow us to share the cost of the analysis with beekeepers. This program to share the cost of the analysis would have additional benefits. The information from individual samples would become part of a large centralized, and confidential database maintained at Penn State. Pesticide preparation

We could then provide individual beekeepers with their information in light of all samples analyzed up until that point in time (their levels compared to the average levels in the entire data base). We could also provide additional information about the pesticides detected, such as their relative toxicity to bees (LD50).

To date we do not have the monies to fund this program, however we are working to obtain these funds. In the meantime, beekeepers who wish to have samples analyzed can send them directly to the USDA-AMS-National Science Laboratory (see directions below). If you are willing to allow your data to be available to the Penn State research group working on pesticides for inclusion into the overall database, please state this in writing when you send your sample(s) to the NSL. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Maryann Frazier at mfrazier@psu.edu or by phone at 814-865-4621.

Direct testing through the USDA-AMS-National Sciences Lab

USDA-AMS-National Science Laboratory (NSL)
801 Summit Crossing Place, Suite B
Gastonia, NC 28054

The NSL can provide fee-for-service pesticide residue testing of honey bee hive products, including honey, wax, pollen, royal jelly, bees, brood, and bee bread. We can also test other sample types upon request and consultation.

The fee schedule is as follows: Comprehensive pesticide residue testing of 170 pesticides and metabolites – $252.00

Focused pesticide residue testing of Amitraz and its metabolites (2,4-dimethyl aniline and 2,4-dimethylphenyl formamide), Coumaphos and its metabolites (Coumaphos oxon, Chlorferon and Potasan), and Fluvalinate – $126.00

Samples can be submitted directly to the laboratory address above with the attention to Roger Simonds.

The information needed for any sample submittal is as follows:
• Sample type
• Unique identifier
• Type of testing desired
• Contact information of sample submitter

The results will be reported directly to the sample submitter unless permission is given in writing with the sample that PSU or any other party is to also receive the results.

The sample size should be no less than 1 gram if possible, and preferably greater than 10 grams. A larger sample size is more representative and also allows us to subsample and save some of the original material in case a re-extraction is necessary due to a problem during analysis. Samples should be submitted in very clean, leak-proof, crush-proof (preferably not glass), containers.

Does anyone know of other pesticide testing labs and pricing? Comment here.

Amitraz Tick collar
Etofenprox and Methoprene collar
ZODIAC pet warning… yikes!
Carbaryl flea collar
Permethrin Flea collar
Propoxur flea collar

Incidentally, I was in a feed store/hardware store in Mendocino County, CA on March 1, and noticed the flea collars, and remembered reading about neonicotinoids being suspected of lowering honey bee immunity and causing “CCD” and how they are in flea collars and pet products. Well, I took some pics for later research. Turns out fipronil is the active ingredient in FRONTLINE cream, and that was a substance banned in France in 2004 for killing bees! Is this substance under EPA and public scrutiny? Imagine where all those used collars end up… landfills, garbage cans, places where insects and worms are supposed to thrive and do the work of breaking down our waste. Imagine all the places your dogs and cats wander around outdoors, laying, rubbing against, scratching away hairs that contain residues of this chemical. How long does the chemical survive? Is it one of those found in water supplies across the U.S. by the Associated Press Investigative team (followup)? Who’s got a report back on the EPA status of this “active ingredient, fipronil?” A 10 second google search found this public discussion… Comment, please.

Flea collar with fipronil - product name “FRONTLINE”