Pesticides

Effect Measure

Category archives for Pesticides

Fresh flowers and spoiled lives

A story on the wires about a paper in the journal Epidemiology this month (November) confirms what other work has shown: those beautiful flowers we buy in American florist shops have an added price attached to them, paid by the children of Central America. Epidemiology is one of the top tier journals in the field…

Bug bomb illnesses and injuries

If Mrs. R. is typical, it’s a good thing there are no atomic bug bombs or thermonuclear mouse traps or our neighborhood would be a radioactive dead zone. In our case her malevolent vibrations are sufficient to sterilize the area of vermin (that and our dog) but many people resort to chemical bug bombs, called…

Lice go to the head of the class

A recent letter on the worldwide prevalence of head lice in CDC’s journal Emerging Infectious Diseases made me nostalgic for the good old days when our two kids were in daycare (they are both adults with children of their own in daycare now). In particular, I got to thinking about the days when I was…

If you aren’t in the business of figuring out if a chemical is a health hazard you might never have heard of the EPA’s IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System) database but suffice it to say it is a wealth of valuable information on the topic. Considered authoritative by many states and countries, its judgements have…

EPA gets the doubt of the benefits

We frequently observe here that almost everything in public health, from the societal level to the molecular level, is a balancing act. With most benefits comes a risk and with many risks a benefit. Of course there is a problem when the benefits and risks accrue to different parties as when the public runs the…

” . . . and breathe normally.”

After 2,629 days of George W. Bush in office, it’s a little comforting for Americans to know our country doesn’t have a monopoly on sheer stupidity. We now give officials in New Zealand their well earned share of the World’s Biggest Morons Award (hat tip Boingboing):

Poisons by the barrel full.

Pesticides are one of the few kinds of chemicals specially designed to kill living things that we intentionally put into our environment in high volume. A large class of pesticides are the organophosphates (OPs), agents that affect the normal process of nerve impulse transmission. What we call pests are one kind of organism they can…

Fumigating the soil before planting pretty much kills any pests that might be in it. Unfortunately the fumigant tends to seep up through the soil and expose workers and others nearby. When the highly toxic fumigant methyl bromide was banned under the Montreal protocol as a greenhouse gas an ozone depleting gas, growers started looking…

DDT has a checkered history, to be sure. Many of us remember walking through clouds of it in our childhoods, as it was sprayed willy-nilly for nuisance mosquitoes. The discovery that it was persistent in the environment (didn’t break down) and harmed birds by thinning their egg shells (Rachel Carson’s “silent spring”) eventually led to…

I get misty

Here’s a great idea for your home. Install a sprinkler system that sprays pesticide mist twice a day, all summer long to control nuisance mosquitoes. The system uses quarter inch tubing a metal spray nozzles buried in the yard like a lawn sprinkler. A small tank and attached pump operate for 30 seconds at dawn…