Pesticide Poisoning, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, Lupus, Lyme, Neurological, Mold (Mycotoxin), MS, Metabolic Syndrome & All Manner of Environmental & Legal (System) Assaults Upon Human Health.
HUMAN HEALTH, ENVIRONMENTAL AND ANIMAL IMPACTS OF PESTICIDES IN GENERAL, AND ORGANOPHOSPHATES IN PARTICULAR, INCLUDING GLYPHOSATE
By Murray Thompson (EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://indiegogo.com/poisoned-people; BAppSci Environmental Health 1998, University of Western Sydney) Essay available at: http://poisoningandlegalaction.com.au/human-health-and-pesticides.htm & http://poisoningandlegalaction.com.au/reports/human-health-and-pesticides.htm
1.0 HUMAN HEALTH IMPACTS
1.1 Pesticides Affect Health & Behavior
Pesticides promote the classic symptom of abdominal pain in children (Dr. B. Grabau, 2005, pers. comm.), or, “non-specific abdominal gastric pain” (Dr. B. Grabau, 2005, Private Medical Report). This means that many aches and pains children get may not simply just be “normal”.
This represents a significant problem with regard to herbicide and pesticide use in that mild to moderate pesticide poisoning symptoms can be easily misdiagnosed as stomach-flu, bronchitis or asthma (Reeves, Schafer, Hallward & Katten 1999:17).
“Even severe pesticide poisoning in infants has been misdiagnosed as aneurysm, head trauma, diabetic acidosis, severe bacterial gastroenteritis, pneumonia and whooping cough” (Reeves, Schafer, Hallward & Katten 1999:17, citing Solomon & Mott 1998; Zweinerd & Ginsburg 1988).
Further, pesticide poisoning impacts on the mind. It can lead to aggressive behaviour and delinquency in teens (Hatherill, 1999; Tvedten, 1999, 2002:2). We should here consider pesticides’ contribution to road rage and other attacks, along with the influence of pollution in general on, particularly urban societies.
1.2 Pesticides Are Deadly & Deforming
“Hundreds of thousands of people are dying around the world each year from the effects of the use, or misuse, of pesticides” (Konradsen, et al., 2003).
And when death is avoided, we still find crippling impacts in the form of cancer, foetal death, miscarriages, and premature births (NCAP, 1999:3; Bonn, 2005; Cox, 2004).” In fact, pesticides are strongly linked to birth defects (Montague, 2001).
1.3 Rising Rates Of Disease
“Doctors at a weekend conference in Winnipeg say there is a disturbing trend when it comes to the rising rate of certain cancers. They say pesticides are to blame for the increase – especially in childhood cancers” (Sinclair & Pressinger, no date, citing Winnipeg CBC News – June 7, 2004).
“Exposure to herbicides (weed killers) before the age of one is linked to a more than four-fold increase in childhood asthma” (BeyondPesticides.org 2008, citing Boise, et al. 2004).
However, cancer and asthma is not enough for this blighted form of chemical technology: “Pesticide exposures seem to give rise to Parkinson’s (REHN #635) – a horrible degenerative disease of the nervous system. Pesticide exposures diminish children’s memory, physical stamina, coordination, and [the] ability to carry out simple tasks like drawing a stick figure of a human being. (See REHN #648.) Pesticide exposures seem to make children more aggressive. Pesticide exposures seem to contribute to the epidemic of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that has swept through U.S. children in recent years (See REHN #678.)” (Montague 2001). See: https://poisonedpeople1.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/what-the-hell-are-we-doing.jpg for an image depicting the toxics our children are exposed to.
1.4 Pesticide, Agriculture, Glyphosate & Human Disease/Neurobehavioral Deficits
A “study showed there was approximately [a] 2-fold greater risk of having a
stillbirth if the mother lived within 1 mile from an agricultural area which used
organophosphate – pyrethroid – carbamate – or chlorinated pesticides” (Sinclair & Pressinger, no date, citing Bell, et al., 2001).
And, further, in terms of organophosphates: Glyphosate… is a non-selective, systematic herbicide. This organophosphate compound is the active ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup (Royal Society of Chemistry 2009).
“Many organophosphates are also associated with irritation of the skin and upper respiratory tract… There have been reports of deficits in memory and abstraction on test batteries and subclinical decreases in vibrotactile sensitivity in workers recovering from organophosphate poisoning… Among workers who apply organophosphates but have not suffered poisoning episodes, some studies have shown similar types of subclinical neurobehavioural deficits and subclinical electroencephalographic abnormalities…” (O’Malley 1997).
Further, Glyphosate can have high acute inhalation toxicity (extoxnet.orst.edu 1996), can cause diarrhoea, shortness of breath, vomiting and weakness (pesticideinfo.org 2010), and has teratogenic (monster-making) effects in animals (Paganelli et.al. 2010).
“Two separate studies in Sweden have linked exposure to Glyphosate to Hairy Cell Leukemia and Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. These types of cancers were extremely rare, however Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is the most rapidly increasing cancer in the Western world. It has risen by 73% in the USA since 1973. Another study has found a higher incidence of Parkinson disease amongst farmers who used herbicides, including glyphosate” (Leu, 2007 citing Cox, 1998; Lehmann & Pengue, 2000; Nordstrom, et al., 1998; Hardell & Eriksson, 1999).
“Various epidemiological studies have demonstrated that individuals exposed to a single large toxic dose, or to small subclinical doses, of organophosphorus compounds have developed a chronic neurotoxicity that persists for years after exposure and is distinct from both cholinergic and OPIDN effects… Our review of the literature indicated that these studies describe a nervous system disorder induced by organophosphorous compounds which involves neuronal degeneration and subsequent neurological, neurobehavioral, and neuropsychological consequences” (Abou-Donia, 2003).
“OPs can persist in the environment for long periods of time. Indeed, OPs are detected in soils years after application… conditions can occur in soil where OPs are preserved and transferred to humans through food. A review of the literature shows that OPs are highly toxic and that human exposure is undesirable. Evidence suggests that OPs are mutagenic and teratogenic and that a large number of modern-day diseases of the nervous and immune system of mammals can be linked to these pesticides. These include BSE (mad cows disease), CJD, Gulf War syndrome, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, arguing for a thorough examination of the environmental fate and toxicology of OPs as well as their use” (Ragnarsdottir 2000).
Further still: “The possibility that organophosphorus (OP) compounds contribute to motor neuron disease (MND) is supported by association of paraoxonase 1 polymorphisms with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the occurrence of MND in OP compound-induced delayed neuropathy (OPIDN), in which neuropathy target esterase (NTE) is inhibited by organophosphorylation” (Rainier, et. al., 2008).
“Other studies show that glyphosate and commercial herbicides containing glyphosate cause a range of cell mutations and damage to cell DNA. These types of changes are usually regarded as precursors to cancer and birth defects” (Leu, 2007; my emphasis).
Roundup causes genetic mutations in cell tests (NCAP, 2000:2, citing Vigfusson & Vyse, 1980; Kale et al., 1995; Rank et al., 1993) and is linked to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (Cox, 2004; Vachani, 2007), miscarriages and Attention Deficit Disorder (Cox, 2004).
Roundup contains surfactants that are acutely toxic to humans and animals, even potentially causing death in humans (Cox, 1993:4, citing Sawada, et al., 1988; and Talbot, 1991).
It is “a known carcinogen, neurotoxin, irritant, and has been found to kill human embryonic cells, and can cause kidney and liver damage” (BeyondPesticides.org 2012).
“Now the Lymphoma Foundation of America has pulled together and summarized in a 49-page booklet all the available studies of the relationship between lymphoma and pesticides… Of the 99 human studies, 75 indicate a connection between exposure to pesticides and lymphomas… The Lymphoma Foundation’s booklet lists 12 ways that most of us are routinely exposed to pesticides in our daily lives even if we use no pesticides in our homes: routine spraying of apartments, condos, offices (and the associated lawns), public buildings and public spaces (parks, green spaces alongside highways, power line rights of way), and in motels, hotels, and restaurants…” (Montague, 2001).
2.0 ENVIRONMENTAL & ANIMAL-DISEASE IMPACTS
2.1 Pesticide Spray Drift Waste & Damage
“Glyphosate spray drift from both ground and aerial applications has been measured from 400 to 800 meters from the target site… Drift that is one thousand times less than the usual application rates has been shown to damage surrounding vegetation, including the killing of wild plants. This is an important reason why it should not be used in national parks and environmentally sensitive areas for weed control” (Leu 2007).
2.2 Glyphosate Environmental Toxicity
Glyphosate [Roundup] is persistent (NCAP, 2000:2, citing US EPA, 1993-2) and may last up to 3 years (NCAP, 2000:2, citing Torstensson et al., 1989), while its metabolite, AMPA [aminomethylphosphonic acid], may persist even longer, “with a half life in soil between 119 and 958 days” (Buffin & Jewell, 2001, citing WHO, 1994).
Glyphosate is toxic to fish, aquatic organisms, soil life (including earthworms, mycorrhizal fungi, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, micro-organisms and arthropods), plants (through disease susceptibility), and beneficial insect species (Leu, 2007; van der Werf, 1996). As well, “Glyphosate is also harmful to the environment, particularly aquatic life and water quality and has been linked to intersex frogs, and is lethal to amphibians in concentrations found in the environment” (BeyondPesticides.org 2012).
“Studies show a reduction in the species that build humus, thus [glyphosate] contributes to the decline in soil organic matter” (Leu 2007).
2.3 Roundup Leading The Way Into An Era Of Animal/Plant Pandemics & Herbicide-Resistant Weeds
Roundup has been heavily implicated in thyroid, liver and pancreatic tumours in test animals (Cox, 1993:4, citing Dykstra & Ghali, 1991). Roundup is also now shockingly linked to Mad Cow’s Disease (Rotella 2003), and to an increase in plant diseases (gmwatch.org 2010).
As if these issues were not problem enough: “Leading weed scientists are urgently appealing to Australia’s farmers to switch to an integrated weed management (IWM) system as the country records its third glyphosate-resistant weed” (ScienceAlert 2008, citing CRC For Australian Weed Management 2003). Our convenient herbicide “magic bullets” have turned back on us!
“The current massive reliance on glyphosate, which has been promoted by the rapid adoption by U.S. farmers of genetically engineered (GE) corn, soybeans and cotton, is a key factor in this epidemic of herbicide-resistant weeds. A report released in November of 2009, for instance, found that since the first 13 years of commercial use of GE crops, they have been responsible for an increase of 383 million pounds of herbicide use in the U.S. (1996-2008)”.
“In Southern states, horseweed, ryegrass and pigweed are a concern for soybean farmers, while horseweed and volunteer Roundup Ready soybeans have become problem weeds for Mississippi rice. In Australia, weed scientists have now documented cases of glyphosate resistance in rigid ryegrass across large areas and are encountering it in other weed species in different parts of the world” (BeyondPesticides.org 2012).
Pesticides in general and organophosphates and Roundup in particular are unqualified slate-wipers of normal life processes in soil, in plants and in humans and, as such, represent a chemically-mediated EXTINCTION LEVEL EVENT. We are all being poisoned slowly into oblivion. See: http://indiegogo.com/poisoned-people for my particular intersection with pesticides and its impact on my and my son’s lives.
Murray Thompson (BAppSci Environmental Health 1998, Hons I Social Ecology 1999, University of Western Sydney) (http://poisoningandlegalaction.com.au; http://murraythompsongraphics.x90x.net; email@example.com)
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