Tuesday, June 1, 2010

methyl iodide spray in California-

This showed up in my email this week-
being a bit of an organic nut anyway it caught my eye-

Hi Cailin,

Odds are good you've eaten fruits or veggies grown in California in the past week, but soon you might want to think twice before slicing a strawberry for your cereal. 

The world's largest pesticide company is lobbying California officials to approve methyl iodide spray, a known neurotoxin that can damage developing fetuses.

June 14th is just days away -- that's the deadline to speak out against spraying our food with pesticide that causes lung tumors in lab animals »

An independent panel of scientists said spraying methyl iodide "would result in exposures to a large number of the public and thus would have a significant adverse impact on public health."

Growers in California produce nearly half the nation's fruit, nuts and vegetables. It's important they hear as many voices as possible opposing methyl iodide.

The public can weigh in -- but only until June 14th. Take action and demand toxin-free fruits and vegetables »

Thanks for making a difference.

Andrea W.

I decided to look up "methyl iodide"
this is what Amazon.com turned up:

and google found this:
Wikipedia says:

Toxicity and biological effects

Methyl iodide has an LD50 for oral administration to rats 76 mg/kg, and in the liver it undergoes rapid conversion to S-methylglutathione.[6] It is a possible carcinogen based on ACGIH, NTP, or EPA classification.
Breathing methyl iodide fumes can cause lung, liver, kidney and central nervous system damage. It causes nausea, dizziness, coughing and vomiting. Prolonged contact with skin causes burns. Massive inhalation causes pulmonary edema.

Pesticide Action Network North America says:
Methyl iodide is so reliably carcinogenic that it’s used to induce cancer in the lab. Even so, Tokyo-based Arysta LifeScience Corporation is pushing for methyl iodide to be widely used outdoors. Arysta seeks approval for the use of methyl iodide as a soil fumigant - injected into the fields of communities across California and the United States.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) first registered methyl iodide as a pesticide on October 5th, 2007, despite a letter from dozens of distinguished chemists saying that it is “astonishing” that the EPA is considering “broadcast releases of one of the more toxic chemicals used in manufacturing into the environment.” EPA initially limited its approval, registering methyl iodide for only one year. Then, during the final months of the Bush Administration, EPA quietly removed the time limits on its decision, effectively giving Arysta a green light for entry into the United States' market.

However, on September 25, 2009, U.S. EPA agreed to reopen its decision on methyl iodide, pending results of a California Scientific Review Committee. The science is in. The Committee's final report (PDF), which found (PDF) that "any anticipated scenario for the agricultural...use of this agent would...have a significant adverse impact on the public health," was posted on DPR's website on February 11, 2010. On March 31, groups from around the country submitted a petition to U.S. EPA to reopen their decision.

Taken from Profiles in Poison - survivor stories:
Marilyn Lynds
Every morning I wake up and look out my front door at the field just 25 feet away and wonder, “Will today be the day that they fumigate?”
In 2007, despite objections from my neigh- bors, the abutting agribusiness injected the toxic trio of chloropicrin, methyl bromide and Telone into the soil. These soil fumigants are remnants of bygone wars and are associ- ated with a myriad of serious adverse health effects, including cancers and neurological disorders.
We were forced to flee our homes, with our neighbors, and spend the night in hotels and at friends’ homes.
We had thought we would be safer when we got home. But because of wind and the fog along the coast, the chemical was transported into our homes. Tests later revealed that the chemical had drifted into our homes and remained there. So we, my family and many
others, were forcibly exposed to chemicals linked to cancer.
Despite efforts to pursue litigation, and despite incredible support from California Rural Legal Assistance and other pro-bono attorneys, we’ve struggled to match the power of an industrial grower.
We’ve tried to work with the grower to put the land into an agricultural trust, or even grow other crops more safely, but he has refused to engage with us to find a solution that maintains the agricultural legacy while protecting our health.
I hope that some day there will be protec- tions for communities like mine, so that chemicals like the toxic trio aren’t created in the first place, and that protection zones exist to make sure pesticides never reach my front door step. Registering another dangerous pesticide like methyl iodide is a giant step in the wrong direction.

Taken from California's DPR site:

Case study of acute methyl
iodide dermal exposure
• 49yroldmalehadregularjobofcarryingand loading tanks of MeI onto a truck
• Worechemicalprotectivesuitandair-supplyfull- face respirator
• Atendofshiftsawbreachinsolesofsuit
• Rashongenitalia,innerthighs,groin
• FaintedandinERsevereburnsbegantoshow on torso,, back, lower extremities
• Developed memory,concentration and task performance problems
Source:Schwartz AJIM 47:550-556 (2005)

One wonders, why (?) would the EPA allow this?  I understand that the agricultural industry is focused on the bottom line.  What is the EPA focused on?
It is well know and documented that chemicals that enter our bodies through our skin move into our systems faster than those ingested.  If we ingest chemicals they move through filters (kidneys & liver) when they pass through our skin they are absorbed into our blood stream.  I am not a chemist but I am smart enough to know that this is not a good idea.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

Wow, that was an eye-opener for sure! It still surprises me (although at this point, I guess it shouldn't) that stuff like this is in/around our food. Makes you want to question just about everything you put into your mouth...