Tag Archives | Chemicals

The Difference Between a Farmer and a Global Chemical Corporation

500px-Dow_Chemical_logo.svgAndrea Brower writes at Common Dreams:

We are witnessing a strange, though remarkably predictable public discourse, where State lawmakers claim that those “truly serious about supporting local farmers” must abolish Counties’ rights “forever,” and transnational corporations call themselves “farmers.” Legislators attempt to contort the “Right to Farm” into a mechanism for chemical companies to evade health and environmental concerns, as water grabs by these same companies undermine the actual rights of farmers. Meanwhile, the Hawaii Farm Bureau advocates the interests of a few mega-corporations as synonymous with the interests of local farmers (despite never having asked the farmer members that they professedly speak for).

The intentional blurring in the difference between farmers, and the global corporations that use Hawaii as a testing ground for their new technologies, demands some clarity.

Dow is the largest chemical company in the US. Their list of manufactured goods includes napalm, chlorpyrifos (used as a nerve gas during World War II), plastics and Styrofoam.

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Is the USDA Really Dumb Enough To Approve Agent Orange Corn?

500px-Dow_Chemical_logo.svgJohn Robbins writes at Common Dreams:

The Obama administration announced last week that it expects to approve corn and soybeans that have been genetically engineered by Dow Chemical company to tolerate the toxic herbicide — 2,4-D. They are planning this approval despite the fact that use of this herbicide is associated with increased rates of deadly immune system cancers, Parkinson’s disease, endocrine disruption, birth defects, and many other serious kinds of illness and reproductive problems.

Weed ecologists are unanimous in warning that approval of these crops will lead to vast increases in the use of this poisonous chemical. Researchers at Penn State say that in soybeans alone, planting of crops resistant to 2,4-D would increase the amount of 2,4-D sprayed on American fields to 100 million pounds per year — four times the current level. The researchers predict a cascade of negative environmental impacts, and add that the increasing use of the herbicide would actually worsen the epidemic of superweeds it is intended to address, by causing weeds to become resistant to multiple herbicides.

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Pesticides Are Making Bees Smaller And Weaker

beesBut surely widespread pesticide usage wouldn’t have similar subtle effects on the growth and development of humans.Via the Guardian:

Bumblebees could be shrinking because of exposure to a widely-used pesticide, a study suggests.

Scientists in the UK conducted laboratory tests which showed how a pyrethroid pesticide stunted the growth of worker bumblebee larvae, causing them to hatch out reduced in size.

Pyrethroid pesticides are commonly used on flowering crops to prevent insect damage. The study, the first to examine the pesticides’ impact across the entire lifecycle of bumblebees, tracked the growth of bee colonies over a four month period.

Currently a Europe-wide moratorium on the use of three neonicotinoid pesticides is in force because of their alleged harmful effect on bees. As a result, the use of other types of pesticide, including pyrethroids, is likely to increase, say the researchers.

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FDA Readying Possible Ban On Antibacterial Soaps

triclosanWashing your hands with these hormone-disrupting products may do more harm than good. Via the Los Angeles Times:

Just days after unveiling new proposals to limit the use of antibiotic medications in livestock raised for human consumption, the FDA’s new measure takes aim at soaps suspected of promoting the development of bacteria resistant to eradication and of exposing consumers to hormone-disrupting chemicals.

If the products are not shown to be safe, effective and superior to soap and water in preventing disease spread, the FDA said manufacturers will be required to reformulate or relabel them as a condition of continued sale.

The FDA is focusing largely on triclosan (used in liquid soaps) and triclocarban (used in bar soaps). In animals, exposure to high concentrations of these compounds has been found to suppress thyroid hormone concentrations and to have estrogenic effects, including premature puberty in females and low sperm count in males.

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Substance Analysis Kits – Find out whats in any plant or drug!

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/substance-analysis-kits-down-with-adulterants

Paranoid about what substance are really on blotter? Or just itching to explore the biochemical treasures hiding within your local plants?

This non-profit harm reduction project from TLConscious is one of its kind and employs an easy to do TLC method for identifying chemicals that goes far beyond a simple test to see if your LSD is truly LSD (but it can do that to).  Its made by those with extensive experience in both the psychedelic and harm reduction community. Even the DMT-Nexus has publicly given the project its full support.

With the plethora of new and old psychoactive chemicals surging out into the cultural ocean, and the urgent need to identify more local DMT and psychoactive containing plant medicines, this project would be a huge step in furthering not only our harm reduction efforts, but our exploratory interests as well. These plants and compounds have an immense  power for unlocking humanities potential, along with deep therapeutic uses.… Read the rest

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Study Reveals Rich And Poor People Have Different Chemicals In Them

chemicalsRich people’s bodies are filled with mercury, poor people’s with lead and plastics, Gizmodo reports:

New research from the University of Exeter looks at the association of 18 different chemicals in the body and socioeconomic status. Long story short, everybody’s bodies are full of poison. Rich people poison just comes from fancier sources.

People from higher socioeconomic status showed higher levels of mercury, arsenic and benzophenone-3. Researchers think that the first two come from higher consumption of shellfish and seafood, whereas the benzophenone-3 likely comes from sunscreen.

The chemical profiles of people from lower socioeconomic status are completely different. Their bodies are full of lead, cadmium and different types of plastics. These chemicals could come from cigarette smoke but likely come from poor diet. The research is bolstered by an earlier study from Boston University that found higher levels of Bisphenol-A in poor people’s bodies, perhaps from consuming more canned food than the rich.

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These Awful Food Practices Are Banned In Europe But Normal In The United States

toxic_atrazineJust great, ruin my lunch. Alternet has a sampling of some of the poisons prominent in the American food supply:

Atrazine. A “potent endocrine disruptor,” Syngenta’s popular corn herbicide has been linked to a range of reproductive problems at extremely low doses in both amphibians and humans, and it commonly leaches out of farm fields and into people’s drinking water. Europe banned it in 2013.

Arsenic in chicken, turkey, and pig feed. Arsenic is beloved of industrial-scale livestock producers because it makes animals grow faster and turns their meat a rosy pink. Arsenic-based compounds “were never approved as safe for animal feed in the European Union, Japan, and many other countries.”

Ractopomine and other pharmaceutical growth enhancers. Fed to an estimated 60 to 80 percent of US hogs, ractopomine makes animals grow fast while also staying lean. Unfortunately, it does so by mimicking stress hormones, making animals miserable. Pigs treated with it suffer from ailments ranging from hyperactivity and trembling to broken limbs and the inability to walk.

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Flame-Retardant Chemicals May Be Linked to Lower IQs in Children

Picture: PD

Picture: PD

Chemicals once used to make furniture more resistant to flame has been implicated in childhood neurological deficits, including lower IQs and hyperactivity:

Via Scientific American:

The researchers tracked children through the first five years of their lives, looking at a battery of tests for IQ and behavior. They found that children of mothers who had high PBDE levels during their second trimester showed cognition deficits when the children were five years old as well as higher rates of hyperactivity at ages two to five. If the mother’s blood had a 10-fold increase in PBDEs, the average five-year-old had about a four-point IQ deficit. “A four-point IQ difference in an individual child may not be perceivable in…ordinary life. However, in a population, if many children are affected, the social and economic impact can be huge due to the shift of IQ distribution and productivity,” says lead author Aimin Chen, an assistant professor of environmental health at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

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Study Reveals Thirty Toxic Chemicals at High Levels at Exxon Arkansas Tar Sands Pipeline Spill Site

Pic PD.

Pic PD.

Steve Horn writes at DeSmogBlog:

An independent study co-published by the Faulkner County Citizens Advisory Group and Global Community Monitor reveals that, in the aftermath of ExxonMobil’s Pegasus tar sands pipeline spill of over 500,000 gallons of diluted bitumen (dilbit) into Mayflower, AR, air quality in the area surrounding the spill has been affected by high levels of cancer-causing chemicals.

Roughly four weeks after the spill took place, many basic details are still unknown to the public, according to recent reporting by InsideClimate News. Questions include what exactly caused the spill, how big was the spill exactly, and how long did it take for emergency responders to react to the spill, to name a few.

But one thing is certain according to the new study: For the residents of Mayflower, quality of life has been changed forever.

The chemicals found in the samples include benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, n-hexane, and xylenes. Breathing in both ethylbenzene and benzene can cause cancer and reproductive effects, while breathing in n-hexane can damage the nervous system and usher in numbness in the extremities, muscular weakness, blurred vision, headaches, and fatigue.

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Life In America Is Poisonous For Your Body

poisonous

Via TomDispatch, public health historians David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz on how the landscape of everyday life has become awash in toxins:

A hidden epidemic is poisoning America. The culprit behind this silent killer is lead. And vinyl. And formaldehyde. And asbestos. And Bisphenol A. And PCBs.

Without our knowledge or consent, we are testing thousands of suspected toxic chemicals and compounds, as well as new substances whose safety is largely unproven and whose effects on human beings are all but unknown.

While old houses with lead paint and asbestos shingles pose risks, potentially more frightening chemicals are lurking in new construction going on in the latest mini-housing boom across America. Our homes are now increasingly made out of lightweight fibers and reinforced synthetic materials whose effects on human health have never been adequately studied.

Formaldehyde, a colorless chemical used in mortuaries as a preservative, can also be found as a fungicide, germicide, and disinfectant in, for example, plywood, particle board, hardwood paneling, and the “medium density fiberboard” commonly used for the fronts of drawers and cabinets or the tops of furniture.

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