Thursday, June 13, 2002

EPA OKs combining 30 pesticides
Activists complain children, some risks weren’t weighed

This story from the Associated Press points out that although the Environmental Protection Agency has signed off on the safety of all but two of 30 pesticides it studied to see whether they are unreasonably dangerous to human health when combined, the National Resources Defense Council points out that the EPA only tested dietary intake of the pesticide combinations. EPA Assistant Administrator Stephen Johnson said reviewing the cumulative risks of organophosphorus pesticides gave the agency general confidence in the safety of the nation’s food supply. But the NRDC points out that the food supply is only part of the problem.
EPA didn’t study for any of the pesticides other non-dietary routes of exposure like airborne drifts from spraying and the more frequent contact that about 1 million farm kids have with the chemicals.

       “When all the facts come in, it will become clear that EPA must take much more aggressive action against these poisons,” said Erik Olson, an NRDC senior attorney in Washington. “Kids are exposed more, and are more vulnerable to the toxic effects of organophosphates.”
Predictably, there was no comment from the poison industry, which had tried three times to have a court bar the findings from being made public.