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Pesticides Found In Wild Frogs Brought By Wind And Rain

Science & Tech  (tags: animals, discovery, environment, research )

- 1786 days ago -
For years, conservationists have been warning about the potential seepage of agricultural chemicals into the ecosystem and a new report from researchers at the US Geological Survey has found evidence of pesticides in Pacific chorus frogs living miles

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Kit B (276)
Saturday July 27, 2013, 12:43 pm

And washed through the soils etc...Once the toxins are brought into the Eco sphere they can show up thousand of miles from the origin. Thanks Marty.

Roger G (154)
Saturday July 27, 2013, 2:50 pm
noted, thanks

Tim C (2420)
Saturday July 27, 2013, 4:55 pm

Aileen P (40)
Sunday July 28, 2013, 3:36 am
Noted. Thank you.

Tanya W (65)
Sunday July 28, 2013, 5:14 am
Frogs as I understand are a reliable yard stick to indicate the health of the environment!!! Man should take heed!!!

Past Member (0)
Sunday July 28, 2013, 5:48 am
This is how adverse human impact be so influential

. (0)
Sunday July 28, 2013, 10:10 am
Noted & posted

S S (0)
Sunday July 28, 2013, 11:31 am
Thank you.

Hartson Doak (39)
Sunday July 28, 2013, 12:08 pm
"Silent Spring"

Vivian B (169)
Sunday July 28, 2013, 12:49 pm
We have been poisoning the planet since we started using them. But to know that DDT is STILL present in the environment is stunning!! That shows that Roundup and other chemicals will be with us forever! We need to outlaw Monsanto now! And all kinds of chemicals used to kill whatever plant, animal or bug!!!
We are going to be seeing the effects of these chemicals from now on out!! And out is to the end of the EARTH!

Mike M (40)
Sunday July 28, 2013, 1:42 pm
The society that killed itself brilliant!

Athena F (131)
Sunday July 28, 2013, 3:34 pm
When will we learn that "quick fixes" rarely help in the long run? :(

Marty Powell (150)
Monday July 29, 2013, 1:24 pm
DDT is still being used worldwide. In the states the altered it a bit but you can still find it. They sell it as in in Africa. DDT alters the rate that living beings mature. ALL living beings. Humans as well people. It has forced girls as young as five into menses. I am old enough that I remember them spraying it. We went out and played in it because it tingled. We didnt know what we were doing to ourselves at the time.

Alice C (1797)
Tuesday July 30, 2013, 4:27 pm
Brett Middlesworth looks over the land his family farms near Marion. On one side, a work crew is pouring concrete for a new grain bin. On his other side is a field where Middlesworth grows tomatoes, a crop that has been part of the family business since 1946.

“I enjoy raising tomatoes,” he says. “It’s something different. It gets us a little bit diversified.”

Middlesworth grows about 300 acres of tomatoes each year, but last summer he saw about a tenth of his yield damaged by a single instance of pesticide drift.

It happened halfway through the growing season. His neighbor was spraying a soybean field with Roundup herbicide. The wind picked up and carried the spray across the property line and onto Middlesworth’s tomatoes.

As Roundup targets broadleaf weeds, and tomatoes are broadleaf plants, the area closest to his neighbor was a total loss.

“We disked it up. They were gone. Two and a half acres of nothing, just bare ground,” he says.

Many of the plants survived, but they slowed down. So much of their fruit was still green at harvest, which overwhelmed the picking equipment.

“We have a color sorter on the machine, and it can see the difference between dirt, green, red, and when you’re trying to overload the color sorter by kicking out ninety-five percent of the green, it’s working hard,” Middlesworth says. “You try to compensate with the speed that you’re driving, but the machines aren’t meant to kick out that much.”

The incident cost Middlesworth and his buyer, Red Gold Incorporated, more than $45,000.

A Persistent Problem

Middlesworth’s experience demonstrates how chemicals meant to control bugs and weeds can become general agents of destruction if the wind carries them beyond their intended targets.

In the last three years, three-quarters of farm pesticide violations involved drift.

There are laws that task those applying pesticides with preventing them from drifting.

But the Office of the Indiana State Chemist, the agency tasked with enforcing state pesticide laws, documented 97 cases from 2010 through 2012 where applicators spraying farms violated anti-drift laws.

Most reports of harm caused by pesticides drifting onto someone’s property involve damage to plants. But in the last several years, the state has documented a dozen violations where someone said exposure to drifting pesticides made them sick.

Growers report making headway in the last few years with voluntary efforts aimed at preventing drift damage, but produce industry leaders say they are worried the approval of new genetically modified crops could undo that progress.

Pesticide program manager Dave Scott says the law requires applicators to follow drift prevention rules on a product’s label.

Some cases are cut-and-dried. Often, pesticide labels prohibit the spraying of the chemical above or below a certain wind speed. State Chemist investigators can use wind speed data – often from a nearby airport – to determine whether an applicator followed the rules.

But Scott admits the label system needs work.

“Right now there is such a hodgepodge of drift restrictions, or allowances, or no restrictions at all, on products, for no apparent reason, it makes it difficult to talk about things uniformly,” he says.

Consider the label for Roundup Custom, a blend the Environmental Protection Agency’s approved for farm use nationwide. It runs more than 130 pages long. For most aerial sprayers, the following instructions apply:

“Drift potential is lowest between wind speeds of 2 to 10 miles per hour. However, many factors, including droplet size and equipment type determine drift potential at any given speed. Avoid application below 2 miles per hour due to variable wind direction and high inversion potential.”

If you live in California or Arkansas, though, keep reading. Crop dusters in those states must follow stricter rules, including an outright ban on spraying in winds over 10 miles an hour, than those in other states. Within California, Fresno County has yet another set of rules.

Scott says applicators can get lost in the thicket of variables. When it comes to certain chemicals, they can end up causing pesticide drift even while staying within the bounds of the label instructions because the law is too weak or too general to prevent it.

Scott is involved in an EPA working group that has proposed standardizing the label language on drift. Their proposals have inched toward approval several times, but have ultimately been blocked for what Scott calls political reasons.

Not Every Case Reported

Middlesworth says his neighbor took responsibility for the incident last summer, and arranged to compensate him right away.

“It was just one of them deals where, you know, he tried to pick a time frame to spray his crop, and, you know – it’s his crop, he’s entitled to spray it whenever he wants,” he says. “You just hope that when the guy’s spraying it, he might keep it off of your side.”

Even though his crop incurred major damage from drift, Middlesworth never reported the case to the state.

Nobody knows how many growers resolve such incidents privately, and that makes it difficult to sound out the drift problem. As mentioned, three-quarters of farm pesticide violations in the last three years involved drift. If all farmers reported their cases, that number could run even higher.
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