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Archive: Pesticides and Herbicides in Our Environment (2015)

Please note: Research continues on this topic. Updates since the writing of this post, preserved for our archives, are available below for current information.


Pesticides and Herbicides in Our Environment (2015)

The Issue - Gaining Visibility On Earth Day (April 22) 2015, NYS Senator Brad Hoylman proposed a statewide moratorium on the sale, distribution or use of products that contain glyphosate.

The Issue Exposure to pesticides and herbicides in the environment is associated with impaired development in children and neurological syndromes in adults.

  • The Preservancy is leading a community effort to stop the use of the herbicide glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup, on public land in New York City.

  • Usage of glyphosate has increased since the enactment of Local Law 37 in 2005 prohibited the use of other pesticides, herbicides and insecticides.

  • Research suggests that all of us are contaminated by pesticides, plasticizers, phthalates and flame retardants.

  • The safety of glyphosate is questionable; recent reports connect it to breast cancer and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Annual Meeting Kick-off, April 3, 2014 The Preservancy hosted a panel discussion - People.Pets.Environment:how to keep a non-toxic home on pesticides and herbicides and their effects on human health. Experts discussed current science on the damaging effects of toxins on the body and ways to reduce exposure. They identified the main sources of exposure as food and outdoor spaces that are treated with pesticides and herbicides.

Initiate discussion in City Council and Community Board, October and November 2014 The Preservancy wrote to Councilman Andrew Cohen and the Community Board in October 2014 and addressed the Bronx Community Board 8 Environment & Sanitation Committee in November 2014 to express the community’s desire that the NYC Parks Department no longer use the herbicide glyphosate, commonly known as Roundup, in city parks. The Preservancy's statements are available below.


Pesticides 2014 AC
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Pesticides Env & Sanitation 2014
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On Earth Day (April 22) 2015, NYS Senator Brad Hoylman proposed a statewide moratorium on the sale, distribution or use of products that contain glyphosate.


Children (2015) In children, exposure to pesticides and herbicides is associated with impaired development, including attention deficits, autism, and lower IQ scores. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued a technical report (see references, Roberts et al.) and policy statement (see references) highlighting the danger of cumulative exposure posed by normal exploratory behavior in children given the persistence of pesticide residues in the air and on outdoor surfaces.


Adults (2015) In adults, exposure to pesticides and herbicides increases over fivefold the occurrence of adult neurological syndromes including Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Reproductive and other hormonal functions in both men and women are impacted by these chemicals, which cause genetic damage with multiple effects including increased incidence of cancer.


References

Roberts JR et al, Pesticide Exposure in Children: Technical report for the American Academy of Pediatrics, Council on Environmental Health, Pediatrics, Vol 130:6 1765-?, December 2012


Pesticide Exposure in Children: Policy Statement for the American Academy of Pediatrics, Council on Environmental Health, Pediatrics, Vol 130:6 1757-64, December 2012


Updates 2021-

The scientific community has continued to gather information on the safety of glyphosate.

"One international organization (the International Agency for Research on Cancer) concluded that glyphosate may be a carcinogen, while several others, including the European Food Safety Authority and the Joint Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO) Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR), have determined that it is unlikely to be a carcinogen." Read the most recent FDA information here.


See this 2019 article, "Safe Or Scary? The Shifting Reputation Of Glyphosate, AKA Roundup" from NPR for additional updates.


See also this 2019 article, Whether or not Roundup is safe, the gardener has better options, from the Washington Post which provides instruction for gardening alternatives to pesticide use.


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