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The Maine Report

THE LEAH ADVOCACY GROUP 7 Moose Way, P.O. Box 424 Waterville Valley, NH, 03215 (603)-236-8269
The LEAH Advocacy Group was honored to testify on behalf of LD 837, an act to prevent the use of pesticides outdoors on school grounds in Maine to safeguard children’s health. We focused our testimony on asthma. Below is a report of statistics regarding Maine’s school populations, asthma prevention efforts, the cancer burden, endocrine disruption, turf maintenance and a discussion on IPM laws. We call it, The Maine Report. As you will read below the world of cancer prediction is complex. At The LEAH Advocacy Group we review a myriad of scientific and medical research as far back as Ward and Zahm’s 1998 cancer studies to current studies which were the lead story on Earth Day (April 22, 2011- on NPR.) These three discussed studies show a change in IQ, neurodevelopment and cognitive development of children who were exposed to pesticides. In enacting LD837 as it was written, sponsored by Representative Mary Nelson, Maine would join a growing number of states from the Northeast, such as NY, CT, NJ and eventually NH who agree that preventing pesticide exposure at schools is a good public health precaution. This legislation prevents possible exposures to pesticides resulting in increased asthmatic episodes, learning and behavioral conditions such as ADD/ADHD and forms of cancer such as leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. We hope you find this information helpful as you deliberate LD837. Please use this report as a research manual. In choosing an area of interest such as asthma or endocrine disruption, a medical explanation is provided with a summary of the reviewed literature on the health consequences of pesticide exposure to children. Thank you for your concern in this very serious public health issue. Ellen Fine Director The LEAH Advocacy Group


Maine School Statistics Children’s Vulnerability to Pesticides Pesticide Registration and Ingredients Asthma Causes vs Triggers Maine Asthma Statistics Review of Medical Literature The Burden of Cancer in Maine The Maine Comprehensive Control Plan: 2011-2015 Cancer Prevention Childhood Cancer Research Literature Review Childhood Leukemia Literature Review Endocrine Disruption Literature Review Lawn and Land Care Ornamentals and Turf Management A Note about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Articles on Turf and other Pesticides 3 5 6 7 9 10 10 13 16 17 20 22 25 27 31 34 35 38 40

Water Quality and Aquatic Species Water Quality Salmon Conclusion

50 52 54 57

* Green Star indicates an important article, explanation of

Maine School Statistics and LD837
We begin with statistics on the approximately 236,000 Maine school children, teachers, coaches, administrators and other staff who would be directly benefit from this law and countless others such as parents who would benefit indirectly, if the LD837 is passed in the original language.


An Idyllic Photo of The Raymond Elementary School by Norma Richard

According to the website, there are 453 child day care listed in the State of Maine. The Maine Public School Directory includes statistics on Maine high schools, Maine middle schools, and Maine elementary schools in the following table:

Maine School Districts: 328 Maine Public Schools: 710 Number of Students: 201,651 Total Students Pre-K - 12 Grade: 201,549 Total Staff: 35,865 Maine Elementary Schools: 414 Maine Middle Schools: 121 Maine High Schools: 138 Maine Private Schools: 145 Number of Private School Students: 19,093 Total Students Pre-K - 12 Grade: 201,549 Total Staff: 35,865



When The LEAH Advocacy Group started researching children’s susceptibility to pesticides we enlisted the research skills of Bonnie Curry, who is a nurse and has been a medical advocate for family members and is currently working as our lead medical researcher. She posed the following question and answers gleaned from the medical literature. Question: Why are children particularly susceptible or vulnerable to the dangerous effects of pesticides? [1] Since a growing child’s internal organs are immature, three systems (enzymatic, metabolic, and immune) afford less natural protection compared to an adult. [2] Human development has certain milestones or what are called “critical periods,” and it is thought that exposures at these junctions can permanently change or alter the way a child will develop and function. [3] Since children ingest more food and drink as a percentage of their body mass than do adults, pesticide exposure is greater and has a more significant impact. [4] Children are more likely to come into direct contact with pesticides due to recreational activities on grass and playing fields (major sources of exposure for children). Likewise, exposure is enhanced by the hand-tomouth behavior frequent in young children. Source:

Pesticide Registration Concerns and Ingredient Issues
‘Inert’ or ‘inactive’ ingredients of trade name pesticide products, are not considered chemically, biologically or toxicologically inert by many researchers, and are minimally tested. Thus inert or inactive ingredients often render the products more toxic to humans. For example, the surfactants of Roundup, the most popular broadleaf herbicide on the market, increase the permeability of cell membranes. This means the cells will absorb more glyphosate than they would without the inert ingredient. Pesticide Testing done by Manufactures not EPA: Most Americans are under the false assumptions that pesticide testing is done by the EPA.


Typically the manufacture is required to prove that only the active ingredient, which can be as low as 2% of the entire formula, is safe in a according to the lethal dose method. Lethal Dose Method: The lethal dose approach is a somewhat outdated scientific method, which extrapolates from the amount of chemical required to kill usually 50% of a population within a 24-48 hour window, the relative toxicity of that chemical. This does not include children, adolescents, women, especially pregnant women, anyone with a compromised immune system, or the elderly or anyone who is not a healthy white male who weighs a 160 pounds. In essence, this is the vast majority of us. This focus on lethal dose testing tends to downplay the long term effects of pesticides including cancer risk, developmental defects, neurological damage, and chronic illnesses. The EPA is currently in a very lengthy re-registration process of pesticides under the FIFRA regulation. This process takes into consideration the particularly delicate developing immune and endocrine systems of children. However, there are obvious flaws in the system. Dr. Alex Lu, a Harvard professor who sits on the EPA’s FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel, in testimony to the NH Environment and Agriculture Committee stated, “The EPA is five years behind in a process of reregistering pesticides with criteria focused on those most vulnerable such as children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.” With the thousands of pesticides registered, whose labeling and potential harm needs to be reevaluated, along the amount of time manufacturers take to complete new research and then the EPA to properly review such, it is time we take precautionary measures on our children’s behalf. The thousands of pesticides registered, whose labeling and potential harm need to be reevaluated, along with the amount of time manufacturers take to complete new research and then for the EPA to properly review such, takes years. Imagine a child born today in Maine, should we wait years during which this child is subject to acute and cumulative pesticide exposure before the federal government enacts legislation that has been enacted in NY, CT, NJ and the provinces of Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia; legislation which protects children from the damages of lawn pesticides.


Our neighbors to the North have enacted the precautionary principle, as enunciated in the Supreme Court of Canada Decision based on a suit brought against Hudson, Quebec by pesticide applicators Chemlawn. On June 28, 2001, The Supreme Court of Canada upheld Hudson’s by-law 207, which prohibits pesticide use on public and private property for cosmetic (purely aesthetic) purposes. The LEAH Advocacy Group realizes that Americans care about the health and safety of their children which is why we advocate for legislation like the original language of LD837 to prohibit the use of pesticides on school playing fields and grounds.

Asthma used to be a condition that occurred in childhood that many grew out of as they approached adolescence or adulthood. In 2005, 14.9% of Maine children had had asthma, while 10.6% still suffered from it. One in ten adult Maine residents suffer from asthma, almost two and a half percentage points higher than the United States average. An asthma


attack can be a frightening experience for a child, especially if an inhaler is not within reach. For children, who are constantly moving and playing on athletic fields this problem can be more difficult because the broadleaf weed herbicides in combination with insecticides exacerbate asthmatic episodes. In Maine and New Hampshire, athletic fields are typically fertilized with “weed ‘n feed”, a synthetic pesticide and herbicide product that contains 2,4-D, dicamba and MCPP. While less independent research has been performed on dicamba and MCPP, many are aware that 2,4-D is an ingredient of Agent Orange which was used during Vietnam.

*Symptoms of Asthma: wheezing, chest tightening, shortness of
breath, and coughing. For some children having asthma is a simple nuisance, but for others with severe asthma, it can be life-threatening.



The cause of asthma is the underlying reason for the illness while the triggers of asthma are what provoke an asthma attack. Asthma causes are linked to cigarette smoke, allergens and air pollution including dust from pesticide laden fertilizers and pesticides applied in spray formulations. Known triggers of asthma include cigarettes smoke, perfume, dander and allergens. Pesticides are strongly suspected along with cigarette smoke and other environmental toxins to be a cause of asthma; they have been shown to be a trigger of asthmatic episodes that can cause sufferers numerous trips to the emergency room. Pam Lein, PhD who is a researcher with The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health “found evidence that certain pesticides may increase airway hyper-reactivity, thereby initiating or aggravating an asthma attack.” Furthermore, she writes that when pesticides are present, normal stimulus that causes constriction of the airway creates a greater reaction suggesting “that the pesticide somehow alters the nerve function controlling the smooth muscle lining the airway. It contracts, and restrains airflow, which is a hallmark feature of asthma." thma.html


Maine Asthma Statistics
“THE BURDEN OF ASTHMA IN MAINE 2008” is a report compiled by Mills, D.A, et. al. of The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Division of Chronic Disease, Maine Department of Health and Human Services. In the next section we reference its statistical data in relationship to pesticide use. %20Publications/2008%20Burden%20Report.html


 About 60% of kindergarteners and third graders with current asthma had to limit normal activities due to asthma in the past year  47% of fifth graders with current asthma had to limit normal activities due to asthma in the past year  Sleep disturbances due to wheezing were reported for nearly 60% of kindergarteners and third graders with current asthma and 40% of fifth graders with current asthma  60% of children with current asthma in kindergarten and third grade and 44% of fifth graders with current asthma reported sleep disturbances due to dry cough  Asthma rates in Maine are higher than the US average in both children and adults.


Maine’s Asthma Council released the 2009 Statewide Asthma Plan which addresses the need to reduce school absences and hospital visits due to asthma and increase the proportion of persons with asthma who receive formal education. The asthma plan specifically emphasizes “outdoor air” quality and “asthma friendly schools”; LD837 would address some of these issues by improving outdoor air quality and helping to reduce asthmatic incidences. %20Publications/2009%20Statewide%20Plan.html

Pesticides as Asthma Triggers on School Paying Fields
In an article entitled “PESTICIDES AND PLAYING FIELDS: Are We Unintentionally Harming Our Children?” by Eileen Gunn and Chip Osborne, the authors state, “Common herbicides, 2,4-D, mecoprop, dicamba (often found together as Trimec, a common fertilizer combination) and glyphosate (Round Up) are respiratory irritants that can cause irritation to skin and mucous membranes, chest burning, coughing, nausea, and 11

vomiting.” They add that “a 2004 peer-reviewed study found that young infants and toddlers exposed to herbicides (weed killers) within the first year of their life were four and half times more likely to develop asthma by the age of five, and almost two and half times more likely when exposed to insecticides.” A particularly concerning report by The National Academy of Sciences states that “children are more susceptible to chemicals than adults, and estimates that 50% of lifetime pesticide exposure occurs during the first five years of life.” %2FPesticideandPlayingFieldsltrhead.pdf&rct=j&q=pesticides%20and%20playing %20fields&ei=R_RiTc63NZHQgAejsbn5AQ&usg=AFQjCNEcntlAEwXPqKA50uLCWyf3Hb5jg&cad=rja


AIRWAY HYPERREACTIVITY Fryer A.D. et al., American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 286(5):L963-L969,


(2004) sid=848e9882-c458-43c9-b649-055d3afdd9aa Researchers from Johns Hopkins University, The Bloomberg School of Public Health tested the suspected hypothesis that pesticide exposure is a contributing factor to the rise of asthma rate in industrialized nations, including the US. Particular concern arises since the increase of asthma and the use of insecticides (both agricultural and residential) have parallel growth curves over the same period. The evidence is strong; multiple studies have shown widespread human exposure to pesticides therefore adults and children in both rural and urban settings are showing increased rates of asthma due to pesticide exposure. For this study, airway hyperactivity was measured, using an animal model, after exposure to the widely used pesticide, chlorpyrifos (trade names Dursban, Lorsban). Chlorpyrifos was injected subcutaneously at two doses, 70mg/kg and 390mg/kg, and observed over 7days and 24 hours respectively. The authors used a subcutaneous injection because it “allows gradual release into the systemic circulation, which closely resembles human exposures, approximating the organophosphate exposures typically observed in humans.” Researchers sought to determine whether chlorpyrifos would induce bronchoconstriction by inhibiting the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), altering neuronal M2 muscarinic receptors or altering smooth muscle M3 muscarinic receptors, increasing the amount of acetylcholine. The authors state that prior research has shown M2 receptors are dysfunctional in patients with asthma and animal models of asthma. Observations found that “Acetylcholine induced bronchoconstriction was significantly increased in animals treated with 390 mg/kg of chlorpyrifos.” Dr. Lein and her team warn that chlorpyrifos may have biological consequences due not only to occupational exposure but environmental exposure at much lower doses as well. In addition, organophosphate insecticides may affect receptors not only in the lungs but in the brain and heart as well, leading to more problems beyond the scope of this study. This research is furthered by an article in the journal of Toxicology Sciences by Lein, P.J. and Fryer A.D. (2005) “Organophosphorus Insecticides Induce Airway Hyperreactivity By Decreasing Neuronal M2 Muscarinic Receptor Function Independent Of Acetylcholinesterase Inhibition”.


This study was in response to claims to the original article that most organophosphate insecticides do not affect the neuronal M2 muscarinic receptors and therefore the transmission of nerve impulses mediated by these receptors, Dr. Lein tested two more organophosphates, parathion and diazinon, to determine whether the findings could be generalized to other OPs. The findings demonstrated that a generalization about OP insecticides is well founded; organophosphates affect the receptors that inhibit neurotransmitter release from the parasympathetic nerves that supply the smooth muscle tissue of the airway.

FINDINGS FROM THE CHILDREN’S HEALTH STUDY. Salam, M. et al., Environmental Health Perspectives, 112(6):760-765 (2004) This study of early childhood onset asthma was conducted to determine whether environmental factors such as exposure to pesticides, including herbicides would trigger asthma under the age of five. The authors conclude that there is a significant increase in childhood asthma when exposed to these risk factors, especially pesticides. Compared to children never exposed to herbicides and other pesticides, those exposed before the age of one had a significantly higher risk of asthma. When exposures consisted of herbicide and other pesticides simultaneously, those exposed within the first year of life had a 2.53 fold risk of developing asthma.

PESTICIDE–INDUCED AIRWAY HYPERREACTIVITY. Proskocil, B.J., Environmental Health Perspectives 116(3):381-388 (2008) %3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.10694 Eighty percent of asthmatic children have increased sensitization to allergens including dust, dander and air pollution. This study revealed 14

that sensitization to allergens also leads to airway hyperactivity in response to contact with airborne organophosphorus pesticides (OPs) in environmentally relevant doses. Therefore, allergen sensitive children have an increased risk of suffering an asthmatic episode when exposed to pesticides. Common uses of OPs include applications on buildings, ornamental plants and lawns. Products containing OPs include Dursban and Lorsban (containing the OP chlorpyrifos), Spectracide (containing the OP diazinon), and Sevin (containing the carbamate carbaryl).

While the term burden can be a loaded word, The Maine Cancer Consortium uses this term to refer to the elevated levels of cancer in Maine which has caused a great deal of concern. What is particularly alarming is that the state of Maine per population has the highest rate of cancer in the country adjusted for age. Three important sources that discuss the issue of cancer and the environmental causes, specifically pesticides are the following, The Presidents Cancer Panel Report concerning the environmental causes of cancer was made public in 2010; this is an annual cancer report that focuses on an issue within cancer research and/or epidemiology. Also, The Canadian Cancer Society %20position%20on%20cosmetic%20use%20of%20pesticides.aspx? sc_lang=en contains in depth information—preventing cancer by the elimination of lawn pesticides is one of its suggestions. Finally, please take a moment and review The LEAH Advocacy Group’s Healthy Children’s Report compiled for the state of New Hampshire. Also, look for our forthcoming online on our website, for our report on adult health concerns and pesticide use such as adult cancers, Parkinson’s Disease and reproductive health issues. According to the CDC and National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) Maine has significantly higher rates of most cancers than the US average.



This plan, produced by the Maine Cancer Consortium (MCC), outlines cancer awareness and prevention as a high priority. Below are statistics from this document.


CANCER INCIDENCE in Maine’s population
Approximately 8,200 residents of Maine were diagnosed with cancer in 2007. This calculates out to be 515 cases per 100,000 Mainers, the highest age adjusted cancer incidence rate in the nation.

“Maine’s age-adjusted cancer death rate was 194 per 100,000. The national cancer death rate was 181 per 100,000.” Age-Adjusted Rates: Because cancer affects older people more often than younger people an “age-adjusted rate” gives a more accurate picture of the problem and a means to compare Maine to populations across the country. A state such as Maine, with an older and aging population tends to show a much higher cancer rate than other states where the average age of the populace is lower. Age-adjusted cancer rates eliminate bias due to age and help us understand the degree of Maine’s cancer burden compared with other states and the nation in an “apples-to-apples” comparison.

Incidence of CHILDHOOD CANCER in Maine
Among Maine’s population under the age of 20, approximately 62 new cases of cancer and an average of 12 deaths due to cancer are reported every year. According to The Maine Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan, “More than half of the childhood cancers in Maine can be attributed to leukemia, lymphoma, and cancers of the central nervous system.”


Sections from THE MAINE COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CONTROL PLAN: 2011-2015 are referenced below that may pertain to pesticides but are not addressed by the authors. The authors discuss prevention: “Researchers are learning more every day about its causes; what is known now is that over half of all cancers may be preventable through lifestyle changes and screening. When individuals and communities engage in cancer prevention, they are taking steps to promote healthy lifestyles through behavior changes, policies, and their environments.”

Goals of Maine Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan
1. Tobacco Reduction The plan includes managing potential causes of cancer such as tobacco exposure because, in Maine, the leading cause of cancer deaths continues to be lung cancer. 2. Reducing Environmental Toxins The “Maine Cancer Plan” discusses a reduction in cancer rates by addressing environmental health. It states “The world today presents many different substances and chemicals, some of which may be carcinogenic. Researchers work to understand which ones are dangerous at which levels. Daily exposure to certain chemicals may increase the risk of certain cancers.” The LEAH Advocacy Group finds many aspects of the Maine Cancer Control Plan to be thoughtful and it has very important goals for cancer reduction. However, we feel pesticides should be of concern. For instance in section two of the goals of the Maine Cancer Plan elucidated above, only arsenic and radon are addressed. Though arsenic levels are sometimes elevated when pesticide toxicity is suspected in the body, the overall concern of cancer as related to pesticides is not discussed in the plan. By contrast, it is important to note that The Canadian Cancer Society considers the elimination of the use of lawn pesticides important in the prevention of cancer, especially amongst children. Many studies link pesticide exposure and children with cancer: including outdoor and agricultural exposure, household exposure and exposure via parents


whether through breast milk or on clothing. Pesticide exposure in childhood can lead to increased cancer risk later in life. Furthermore, studies show that outdoor spraying of pesticides can become a persistent indoor risk. (See “The Presidents Cancer Panel Report” and the Leah Collective’s “Healthy Children Report”)



The LEAH Advocacy Group, along with The Canadian Cancer Society, Beyond Pesticides, many notable scientists, researchers and physicians, considers decreasing exposure to pesticides endemic to cancer prevention. The Canadian Cancer Society’s position on cosmetic pesticides is as follows: The Society calls for a ban on the use and sale of cosmetic pesticides. Our position is based on the current body of evidence suggesting a connection between pesticides and cancer. Moreover, the cosmetic use of pesticides may cause harm and provides no health benefit. According to the precautionary principle, “When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some causeand-effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.” Our call for a ban does not apply to using pesticides in agriculture to grow food, ensure public health and safety or prevent environmental damage. In these instances, the issue is much more complex since there can be health benefits in controlling pests. The Society supports the use of safer ways to maintain and improve the appearance of lawns, gardens, parks and other green spaces. The Society does not support the use of Integrated Pest Management for cosmetic purposes. Read more: %20around%20you/Pesticides/Our%20position%20on%20cosmetic%20use%20of %20pesticides.aspx?sc_lang=en#ixzz1KgZZLdz8

The following is an excerpt from the President’s Cancer Panel Report. It warns that active and inactive ingredients of pesticide products are toxic, are major contributors to water pollution and all Americans are exposed to them on a daily basis.


2008–2009 Annual Report President’s Cancer Panel: REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL CANCER RISK What We Can Do Now U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute (2010) The entire U.S. population is exposed on a daily basis to numerous agricultural chemicals, some of which also are used in residential and commercial landscaping. Many of these chemicals have known or suspected carcinogenic or endocrine-disrupting properties. Pesticides (insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides) approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contain nearly 900 active ingredients, many of which are toxic. Many of the solvents, filers, and other chemicals listed as inert ingredients on pesticide labels also are toxic, but are not required to be tested for their potential to cause chronic diseases such as cancer. In addition to pesticides, agricultural fertilizers and veterinary pharmaceuticals are major contributors to water pollution, both directly and as a result of chemical processes that form toxic by-products when these substances enter the water supply. Farmers and their families, including migrant workers, are at highest risk from agricultural exposures. Because agricultural chemicals often are applied as mixtures, it has been difficult to clearly distinguish cancer risks associated with individual agents. For more information refer to the Presidents Cancer Panel Report. Decreasing pesticide exposure can be part of a responsible public health policy that can decrease cancer risk and similar public health policies have been adopted in New York, Connecticut, Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and many municipalities (some in Maine) as well as the countries of Denmark and Sweden.


AGRICULTURAL PESTICIDE USE IN CALIFORNIA: PESTICIDE PRIORITIZATION, USE DENSITIES, AND POPULATION DISTRIBUTIONS FOR A CHILDHOOD CANCER STUDY. Gunier RB et al. Environmental Health Perspectives 109(10):1071-8 (2001) The Environmental Health Investigations Branch has developed a method to calculate pesticide exposure in humans based on location. Applying pesticide-use amounts into a GIS system has enabled researchers to observe exposure per year in census blocks. With data from 1991, high amounts of childhood exposure can be observed and potentially linked to childhood cancer.

*HOME PESTICIDE USE AND CHILDHOOD CANCER: A CASECONTROL STUDY. Leiss, J., et al., American Journal of Public Health, 85:249-252 (1995) This study published in the American Journal of Public Health indicates a strong correlation between household pesticide usage with certain childhood cancers: leukemia, brain tumors, lymphomas and soft tissue sarcomas. The use of pest strips, yard treatments and home exterminations were considered during three exposure periods: the last three months of pregnancy, birth through two years of age and exposure two years prior to prognosis. In particular, yard treatments were strongly associated with soft tissue sarcomas following birth and preceding diagnosis. The most likely pesticides used in yard treatments were carbaryl, 2,4-D and Diazinon. Pest strips using the insecticide Dichlorvos showed consistent relation to leukemia and brain tumors.


CHILDHOOD HEMATOPOIETIC MALIGNANCIES: THE ESCALE STUDY (SFCE). Rudant, J., et al., Environmental Health Perspectives,115(12):1787-1793 (2007) This large study included a total of 764 cases of acute leukemia (AL), 130 of Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL), 166 of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma(NHL), and 1,681 controls. Results found household usage of pesticides plays a role in the etiology of childhood hematopoietic malignancies. Insecticide use during pregnancy was significantly associated with childhood leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and mixed-cell Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The authors conclude that it is advisable to prevent pregnant women from using pesticides due to the potential for producing childhood cancers.

NEOPLASTIC RESPONSE OF MOUSE TISSUES DURING PERINATAL AGE PERIODS AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE IN CHEMICAL CARCINOGENESIS. Vasselinovitch, S. et al., Perinatal Carcinogenesis, 51 (1979) A series of studies pertaining to perinatal carcinogenesis have been reviewed for this report. The main objective was a development and definition of a biological sensitivity model for carcinogenicity screening. Tumor response of mice treated during specific perinatal age periods with DEN, BP, aflatoxin B1, benzidine . 2HCl, DDT, dieldrin, and safrole were analyzed. The results revealed that the age of the animals at the time of carcinogenic exposure was the most effective modulator of carcinogenesis in liver, lung, stomach, ovary, and lymphoreticular tissues. 22

AND WARD’S 1998 REVIEW. Infante-Rivard,Claire, Weichenthal, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B, 10:81–99 (2007) This toxicological study indicates that children are notably at risk to pesticide exposure throughout gestation due to parental occupation and carry-home residues. This 2007 article is an update of an important review of existing studies. The authors from McGill‘s Department of Epidemiology conclude the following. “A number of epidemiological studies consistently reported increased risks between pesticide exposures and childhood leukemia, brain cancer, neuroblastoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Wilms' tumor, and Ewing's sarcoma.”

IN AGRICULTURALLY INTENSE AREAS IN THE UNITED STATES. Carozza S et al. Environmental Health Perspectives, 116(4):559-565 (2008) articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.9967 This joint study by three prestigious university public health and epidemiological centers and the National Center for Atmospheric Research indicates an alarming coincidence of childhood cancers due to pesticide drift caused by agricultural pesticide and herbicide use. The authors conclude that “results showed statistically significant increased risk estimates for many types of childhood cancers associated with residence at diagnosis in counties having a moderate to high level of agricultural activities.”


The Mayo Clinic website defines leukemia as “cancer of the body’s blood forming tissues, including the bone marrow and the lymphatic system.” According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), in 2009 there were 44,790 new cases of leukemia in The United States while 21,870 deaths from leukemia occurred in the same year. According to the NH Department of Health and Human Services, leukemia accounts for 19% of all childhood cancer incidences. There are many types of leukemia, some of which are more prevalent in children; other types are more likely to occur in the adult population. Leukemia can be defined as acute or chronic; it is classified by the speed of its progression as an illness and the type of cells that are involved. There are four common types of leukemia: Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL); Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL); Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML); and Chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML).


In general, leukemia is best characterized by an increase in white blood cells, called leukocytes, which are produced in the bone marrow (the soft, inner part of a bone cavity). Leukocytes are formed in the bone marrow; they defend the body against infection from both viruses and bacteria. Leukemia occurs when some blood cells acquire mutations in their genetic makeup or DNA – it is here where each cell receives its instructions to perform certain actions. Mutations are alterations in genes or chromosomes which alter a cell’s character, in other words genetic change. It is these mutations that cause cells to grow and to divide rapidly and also to continue to do so when otherwise they would usually cease replicating. Thus, these cells are both damaged and immature. With this increase of cells, these abnormal cells dominate and crowd normal healthy oxygen carrying red blood cells (erythrocytes), blood clotting cells (platelets) and other normal white blood cells, (leukocytes). If untreated, these abnormal white blood cells overwhelm and invade the body’s tissues. This accumulation of damaged leukemic cells, in turn, causes the common signs and expected symptoms associated with leukemia like fatigue and weight loss. Prevalence: In both the United States and Canada, leukemia is the most common form of cancer in children. The most common form of leukemia that strikes children is acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). Causes: Leukemia has a variety of causes, including environmental toxins such as exposure to pesticides. It is believed that pesticides cause genetic damage which, in turn, can contribute to the formation of cancer. All cancers begin as a mutation (loss or damage) in a cell’s DNA (genetic material). These changes or mutations occur over a person’s lifetimeare copied and inherited by future generation of cells. If these mutations lead to unregulated cell growth, these masses can turn maliginant, choking off the body’s oxygen supply and thus increasing the malignant cell growth and thereby increasing the rapidity of the leukemia. Source: Translocation: Specific errors within the DNA can take place. One change is called a translocation. A translocation means there is a transfer (a shift or displacement) of a segment of a chromosome on the same chromosome or to a different one. This can affect the normal sequencing of genes, whereby cancer promoting genes, called oncogenes might be “switched on” while cancer-preventing genes, tumor suppressors, might


be summarily turned off. Some forms of leukemia exhibit these translocations which affect the chromosome of blood cells. Source: Risk Factors: Many risk factors may contribute to DNA damage within blood cells, including age, ethnicity, radiation, chemicals (pesticides and herbicides), viruses, certain blood disorders, family history of leukemia, and genetic diseases (For example: the risk for developing leukemia is increased 15-fold for children with Down’s syndrome).

After discussing the following study with independent researchers and public policy makers in the offices of The Ontario Minister of the Environment, it was determined that the article on the review below presented convincing evidence to support phasing out chemical synthetic pesticides in the province due to their strong potential as carcinogens. This extensive study was convincing enough to encourage The Minister of Environment to codify the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban Act, a broad amendment to the Pesticides Act, which was enacted by the Ontario Parliament on April 22, 2008.


Canadian Family Physician, 53:pp1704-1711 (2007) The Ontario College of Family Physicians (an organization similar to the American Medical Association) reviewed 102 studies that were published from 1992 to 2003 that established evidence of cancer incidences related to the use of pesticides. The reviews of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia related studies consistently presented links to pesticide exposure. Studies also confirmed that exposure to pesticides by pregnant women and children were linked to cancer.


In these reviewed studies, researchers found that a number of children with cancer had associations solely because their parents were exposed to pesticides at their place of employment. These cancers included brain, prostate, and kidney cancers which were predominately linked to pesticide exposure with a strong increased risk to children.

‘LEUKEMIA AND PARENTAL OCCUPATIONAL PESTICIDE EXPOSURE. Wigle DT, Turner MC, and Krewski D. Environmental Health Perspectives, 117(10):1505-1513 (2009) doi:10.1289/ehp.0900582 This concise review recommends additional study of pesticide exposure. Conclusive results were found during the study of child exposure to pesticides via parental occupation. This study also concludes that parental occupational exposure to pesticides also significantly affects fetal development. CHILDHOOD LEUKEMIA AND PARENTAL OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO PESTICIDES: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND METAANALYSIS. Van Maele-Fabry G. et al., Cancer Causes Control, 21(6): 787-809 (2010) This concise systematic review recommends minimizing parental occupational exposure to pesticides. Researchers also recognize the need to study pesticide exposure in general. Additionally, this study states that the strongest evidence of an increased risk for this childhood malignancy pertains to maternal pesticide occupational exposure; links to paternal exposure are not as consistent and are considered weaker. CHILDHOOD LEUKEMIA AND PARENTS’ OCCUPATIONAL AND HOME EXPOSURES. R. Lowengart, et al., Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 79: 39, (1987) Risk of leukemia related to fathers' exposure to chlorinated solvents, employment in the transportation equipment-manufacturing industry, and parents' exposure to household or garden pesticides and incense remains statistically significant after adjusting for the other significant findings.


AND RISK OF CHILDHOOD LEUKEMIA. Xiaomei Ma, et al., Environmental Health Perspectives 110(9):955-960 (2002) %2F10.1289%2Fehp.02110955 The data from this study suggests that household pesticide exposure is associated with an increased risk of childhood leukemia. Households that employed professional pest control services before birth and up to three years showed a significant increased risk for childhood leukemia. Professional pest control services included “insect repellents, and the use of various products to control ants, flies, cockroaches, spiders, termites, and plant/tree insects.” Moreover, the highest risk was demonstrated during the second year of exposure. Furthermore, early exposure (three months before attaining pregnancy, being pregnant, and the first three years of life) to insecticides appears to be more harmful than exposure later in life. In addition, the more frequent the exposure (i.e. dose response relationship), the greater the associated risk to develop leukemia. This study recommends further analysis of household pesticide exposure as it relates to childhood leukemia, the etiology of which will be better understood when the timing and location of the pesticide exposure is given more weight as a credible risk factor. HOUSEHOLD EXPOSURE TO PESTICIDES AND RISK OF CHILDHOOD ACUTE LEUKEMIA. Menegaux F. et al., Occupational And Environmental Medicine., 63(2):131-134 (2006) The data from this study suggests certain types of residential insecticide exposure are associated with an increased risk of acute childhood leukemia, especially during pregnancy. The same holds true for the use of both insecticides and fungicides used in the garden although the risk is not as significant. Also, exposure to insecticidal shampoos (which contain a variety of insecticides) to treat head lice is associated with acute childhood leukemia, and should therefore be investigated.



Environmental Health Perspectives. 118(1):33-41 (2010) This study concludes there is a positive association between residential pesticide (including both insecticides and herbicides) exposure during three critical windows, namely preconception, pregnancy, and childhood, with the subsequent development of childhood leukemia. The strongest link was shown with exposure to insecticides. This systematic review recommends continued examination to elucidate "potential mechanics of action and pesticide interactions." According to the authors, there is also a need to study the uses of pesticides indoors which are currently not addressed in Canadian cosmetic pesticide by-laws.

CHILDHOOD LEUKEMIA AND PARENTAL OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE TO PESTICIDES: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND METAANALYSIS. Van Maele-Fabry G. et al., Cancer Causes Control, 21(6): 787-809 (2010) This concise systematic review recommends minimizing parental occupational exposure to pesticides. Researchers also recognize the need 29

to study pesticide exposure in general. This study states that the strongest evidence of an increased risk for this childhood malignacy pertains to maternal pesticide occupational exposure; links to paternal exposure are not as consistent and are considered weaker.

The endocrine system is a network of ductless glands that secrete hormones to regulate bodily functions. These glands include the pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, thymus, pancreas, ovaries, and testes. By secreting specific amounts of hormones into the bloodstream these glands, manage and regulate general metabolic processes, growth, development and maturation, as well as many organs.


Endocrine Disruptor An endocrine disruptor is any synthetic chemical absorbed into the body that disrupts normal bodily functions by mimicking or blocking hormones. Disruptors may alter normal hormone levels, either halting or stimulating production, or by changing how the hormones travel throughout the body, thus affecting what functions the hormone was sent to control. Methods of Exposure Endocrine disruptors can be absorbed by direct contact or ingestion of contaminated water, food or air. Workers may be exposed to many chemicals, including detergents, pesticides, resins, and plasticizers, that have endocrine disrupting qualities. Disruptors may also enter the air or water as byproducts of chemicals and processing. Many endocrine disruptors are found to be persistent in fat cells, contaminated fish and the environment. Examples: Many chemicals, particularly pesticides and plasticizers are suspected endocrine disruptors. Chemicals known to be human endocrine disruptors include diethylstilbesterol (the drug DES), dioxin, PCBs, DDT, and some other pesticides. Chemicals suspected of acting as endocrine disruptors are found in insecticides, herbicides, fumigants and fungicides that are used in agriculture as well as in the home.

Endocrine Disruption, Weight Loss and Cancer Prevention
We are living in a time where the term obesity epidemic is often used; most national, state and local programs address weight reduction by only cutting calorie intake and exercise. The issue of environmental toxins such as endocrine disruptors has been greatly under exaggerated as a causative factor in obesity. In addition, according to the “Maine Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan: 2011-2015” the increase in obesity corresponds to an increase in cancer rates. It states: “Weight makes a difference in cancer prevention. A 2003 study from the New England Journal of Medicine showed that being overweight or obese is associated with increased risk of developing certain


cancers, and most likely, an increase in the risk of death from all cancers.xiv It is estimated that 90,000 deaths in the U.S. due to cancer could be prevented each year if people maintained normal weight. This study showed that overweight and obesity were found to account for an estimated 14% to 20% of all cancer-related deaths.”

Endocrine Disruption:
Many pesticides used in lawn care and turf management are considered endocrine disruptors and alter the balance of hormones in the body. When endocrine disruptors alter hormone secretion and therefore hormone balance, consequences may include obesity, especially by disruption to the thyroid, which controls metabolism as well as digestion and assimilation of food. In addition, conditions like pancreatitis, cessation of menstrual cycles or difficulty in conceiving may arise. According To The EPA, probable and suspected endocrine disruptors include Malathion, Permethrin, Allethrins, 2,4-D, Atrazine, and Pronamide.

Risk for Children:
Children have a greater risk of developing problems from endocrine disruptors because the developing vital organs and hormonal systems of infants, children and fetuses are more vulnerable to pesticide exposure. Parental exposure to certain chemicals may affect the developing fetus.


Hormone Disruptors:
When endocrine disruptors alter hormone secretion and hormonal balance, consequences may include obesity, diabetes, and bone decalcification. A hormonal imbalance is also linked to cancers because of over secretion or under secretion and therefore altered cell life. Breast, prostate, and testicular cancer as well as endometriosis are all consequences of hormonal imbalance.


ASSESSMENT AND ANALYSIS. Crisp TM. et al., Environmental Health Perspectives 106(1):11-56 (1998) This ‘effects assessment and analysis’ is a thorough recommendation for further study of the effects of pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides, primarily focusing on their disruption of the human endocrine and nervous systems. Endocrine disruptors include any outside substances that act like hormones in the endocrine system. Endocrine disruption is significant because it affects the pituitary, thyroid, pancreas, ovaries and testes and


all functions that they are related to, thus the mechanisms for all biological systems in the human body.

ALTERATIONS IN MICE EXPOSED TO LOW DOSES OF CHLORPYRIFOS IN UTERO. Haviland, J.A., Butz, D.E., Porter, W.P. Reproductive Toxicology, 9(1):74 (2010) The organophosphate insecticide, chlorpyrifos phosphorothioate, is commonly found in human urine samples. Results of this study, where mice are exposed in utero to this insecticide, find increased thyroid hormones in females as well as “learning latency and reduced learning ability” during training. Data therefore suggests an alteration of neuroendocrine cells.

UNREGULATED BY EPA Harriot, N, et al. Pesticides and You, 28(1):1113 (2008) m In 2001, the EPA was legally obliged to evaluate the dangers of 73 pesticides. There are 56 known or suspected pesticides that disrupt the endocrine system in humans. Of these 56, the EPA chose to study only 29 of them, although the EPA claims that it will eventually test all pesticide chemicals. Endocrine disruptors have major implications for the reproductive ability of mammals and have been detected in many of the hormone centers in humans. As of June 2010, only a few of the proposed test procedures have been accepted, and no testing has been performed. Some of the chemicals that are scheduled to be tested are 2,4-D, Lindane, Diazinon, Carbaryl, and Chlorpyrifos. THE PYRETHROID PESTICIDE ESFENVALERATE SUPPRESSES THE AFTERNOON RISE OF LUTEINIZING HORMONE AND DELAYS


PUBERTY IN FEMALE RATS. Pine, M.D., et al., Environmental Health Perspective, 116(9):1243–1247 (2008) articleURI=info:doi/10.1289/ehp.11119 This study by Texas A&M University studies the effects of one of the most commonly used classes of pesticides, pyrethroids, and it’s suggested estrogenic quality. A pyrethroid is a chemically synthesized version of the toxin, pyrethrin, which is produced by the chrysanthemum flower and thus the ingredient is marketed as benign. Researchers build on the concept that pyrethroids are estrogenic, therefore supplying environmental estrogens to humans. Results of lab tests using the pyrethroid, Esfenvalerate (ESF), reveal that the chemical inhibits hypothalamic control of prepubertal hormone secretion, as well as, significantly delaying the onset of female puberty. The insecticidal properties of pyrethroids paralyze and insect’s nervous system. Effects are similar in humans, causing damage to the nervous, pulmonary and others systems. Side effects include elevated pulse rates, severe asthmatic episodes, wheezing and near heart attack-like symptoms. Exposure can also result in the following health consequences: mild to severe facial flushing, tremors, convulsions, unbalancing the sodium levels thus causing problems to the heart, etc.



Photo by: Analisa Suderov

NOFA OLC, GRASSROOTS Environmental Education and The LEAH Advocacy Group suggest the incorporation of organic and pesticide-free programs on school lawns, grounds and playing fields. The Northeast Organic Farming Association, Organic Land Care (NOFA OLC) developed from the perceived need by state groups in the Northeast like The Maine Organic Farming and Gardening Association (MOFGA) for an organic course and approach to landscaping and lawn care. Since 2002, NOFA OLC has trained 1,100 professionals and 500 student landscapers and nursery workers in the basic principles of organic landscaping such as top dressing with organic compost, applying good quality compost tea, incorporating organic soil amendments, over seeding and cultural practices like raising the mowing heights. The Grassroots Environmental Education Organization has re-trained most of NY and CT school facilities managers, subcontracted landscapers and lawn care employees in their EPA award-winning ChildSafe School Program and their Grassroots Healthy Lawn Program. These trainings


occurred after laws have been passed in Connecticut and New York, phasing out the use of synthetic chemical pesticides on school properties. The instructor of these free or minimally priced courses, Chip Osborne, is a nationally recognized expert in organic turf management. The courses stress the use of the above mentioned techniques as well as information on where, when and how to buy organic amendments, compost, and how to clean landscaping machinery used in pesticide applications For more information on the benefits of environmentally friendly lawn care please visit which was founded by Paul Tukey, of Maine, the author of The Organic Lawn Care Manual (Storey Books, 2007).

A Typical Chemical Lawn Care Program:
1. Early spring season: pre-emergent weed control: (barricade, dimension) or 2. Post-emergent weed control like trimec or threeway, which include: 2,4- D, MCPP, and dicamba. 3. Surface insect controls like bifenthrin, a pyrethroid, and a subsurface insect control preventative such as (imidicloprid, a neonicotinoid) will be applied. Chemicals like Imidicloprid are implicated in bee colony collapse disorder.

4. Subsurface insect control curative like trichlorfon, an organophosphate.


5. Glyphosate (Roundup) will be used on school walkways, as a broadleaf spot treatment weed control or on ornamental beds. (Synthetic pesticide sample schedule provided by Tom Kelly of FireBelly Organics, former co-founder of Lawn Dawg, one of the New England’s largest chemical lawn care companies).



While The LEAH Advocacy Group commends Maine’s very detailed IPM law, we are left wondering if it has accomplished what is intended by IPM systems: a reduction of the amount and toxicity of pesticides applied at Maine’s schools. Questions and Some Answers… 1. Although it is required of licensed pesticide applicators to keeps records of what is applied, is this information readily available to parents, and school staff? It doesn’t appear to be. 2. Is this record required to be reported to the Pesticide Control Division? According to the current Director, the answer is NO. 3. What is the incentive for pesticide applicators to NOT use pesticides? Currently there is no incentive or best practices manual developed by Pesticide Control or other agencies 4. Is notification indeed going out to all parents, caregivers and school staff in the state of Maine providing something like the following: that TRIMEC with active ingredients 2,4-D, dicamba and MCPP will be used on April 23rd at The Reiche School in Portland at approximately 10am? It is difficult to know because there are so many schools in Maine and the Pesticide Control Division does not keep records of pesticides applied at Maine Schools.


In reviewing the law, there is a section requiring the recording of pesticide applications on school properties, however there is no requirement of reporting. Although there is an IPM coordinator, there is no part of the law that questions what the applicator will choose, ie there is no best practices program or manual suggested by the IPM Coordinator. Under section 4 notification is posted on walls and given to parents, schools, officials and staff at the beginning of the year. According to Section 4.B, EPA trade name and registration number of products, approximate time and date, location and reason is to go to school staff and parents. However when parents read Threeway or Trimec as a tradename, they are not informed that the active ingredients in those products are 2,4-D, dicamba and MCPP. According to Maine’s IPM the reason for the application is also required. Do parents, caregivers or school staff know WHY pesticides are being applied? Do they get a choice if they will be applied and will parents be allowed to keep the student home to avoid exposure to possible cancer causing chemicals or asthmatic triggers out of concern for that child’s health, safety and wellbeing? Though some applicators apply pesticides when school is not in session, many do not and students are often school properties after hours for sports and clubs. Signs are posted for 48 hours. We ask, what is the actual half life of these products? Is a child safer after 2 days when a product like Glyphosate according to Monsanto’s own testing only biodegrades 2% in one month? We have enclosed a document with various IPM definitions from several organizations including: UNH Co-operative Extension, RISE, Safelawns and Beyond Pesticides - they vary widely. Once again we refer to Tom Kelly, on the subject of IPM. Kelly used to own one of New England’s largest chemical pesticide lawn care companies. He says, “IPM means business as usual for many lawn care professionals, which means all the pesticides that they used before the IPM law they will still use….”

“What's Bugging Our Schools?: Pest Concerns and Pesticide Use in Maine Public Schools.” Murray, K., (2000) port.pdf


According to this report on Maine Public schools a survey was sent to public school faculty and “the overwhelming majority said that their schools either lack [Pest Management Policy’s] (47%) or that they were unaware of any policies (37%). Only 5% said they have a pest control policy and just 8% indicated that they have a pesticide-use policy.” Even more troubling “53% said that none of their pesticide using staff are licensed.” In addition, Fifty percent of respondents said they were either unaware of a notification policy or the school didn’t have one. Even though IPM is state law, 54% of respondents indicated that IPM is not used in their school. And since the passage of the most recent IPM law, exactly what responses to these questions has changed if there is no uniform policy or best practices or actual practice It is the opinion of The LEAH Advocacy group that Maine’s IPM laws lack enforcement capabilities, are too easy to sidestep, and are not communicated well enough to the schools that are meant to adopt these policies. It is for this reason, that we recommend that LD837 be past in its original language so that the pesticides and herbicides that are so dangerous for our children will no longer be used on our fields at our schools and best practices will be taught to those who used to apply pesticides in these scenario so that there is a uniform consistency or protection and prevention for children.

EVALUATION OF TWO AGRICULTURAL BY-PRODUCTS FOR CONTROL OF DANDELION IN TURF J.B. Ross and M.A. Anderson This three year study prepared to test two safer alternatives to chemical pesticides by first using a “Killex” to clear dandelions from plots. Corn gluten and soybean meal were being researched for the control of dandelion in turf and are considered to be pre-emergent bioherbicides that are only effective if they are applied prior to weed seed germination.


Areas were first eradicated by spraying test sites with “Killex” containing the active ingredients 2,4-D, mecoprop and dicamba. The herbicide was at first thought to be effective after spring and summer application because dandelions had reduced to between 2 and 5 plant per square meter. However, by the fall, dandelion counts had increased to 30 dandelions per m2 and it was suggested that the herbicide only “burned off” the plant leaves rather than effectively controlling the roots of the plants. In this case, a control (for dandelions) is considered acceptable if dandelions are reduced by 80%. Reduction of dandelions for the herbicide treatment of “Killex” (0.3mls/m2 and 32.5mls/100m2) was only 50% and considered unacceptable and not significantly better than an untreated plot. Similar products to the lawn herbicide mixture “Killex” are “Weed B Gone MAX", "PAR III", "Trillion", "Tri-Kil", and "Weedaway Premium 3-Way XP Turf Herbicide"

LOW-DOSE AGROCHEMICALS AND LAWN-CARE PESTICIDES INDUCE DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY IN MURINE PREIMPLANTATION EMBRYOS. Greenlee, A. et al., Environmental Health Perspectives, 112(6): 703-709 (2004) articleURI=info:doi/10.1289/ehp.6774 * This murine embryonic study found that parental exposure to pesticides could profoundly effect the development of embryonic cells. Results conclude that occupational exposure to pesticides may increase infertility, spontaneous abortion, preterm delivery, and congenital anomalies. Combinations of pesticides meant to mimic formulations of pre-emergent herbicides (those that prevent the germinating weeds from establishing) and post-emergent herbicides showed cell death similar to that of the individual pesticides dicamba and pendimethalin and dicamba, 2,4-D, and atrazine. However, combinations mimicking insecticides (chlorpyrifos, terbufos, and permethrin), and lawn-care herbicides (dicamba, 2,4-D, and MCPP) show increased cell death as well as reduced blastocyst development which is the next stage after a zygote stage of embryo development. This occurs on day five or six so if there is an exposure to lawn care pesticides this 41

might simply not occur. Furthermore, effects on mice reveal 58–65% fewer embryos incubated with the mixture of lawn herbicides (dicamba, 2,4-D, and MCPP) progressed to the blastocyst stage.

According to the EPA’s Pesticides Industry Sales and Usage 2006-2007 report, 2,4-D and Glyphosate are the most commonly used pesticide active ingredients. Market estimates of 2,4-D use range 8-11 million pounds in the Home and Garden Market and 19-22 million pounds in Industry/Commercial/Government Market in 2001. Market estimates for Glyphosate trail 2,4-D by only about 3 million pounds in the Home and Garden Market. In 2007, over 200 million pounds of Glyphosate was sold or applied in the US including home, lawn, turf and agricultural and invasive species control. This herbicide is commonly used on school grounds to control weeds, including broadleaf, grasses, sedges and woody plants. Herbicides used in schools, such as dicamba and 2,4-D, designed to kill broadleaf weeds, have exhibited birth and developmental effects. 2,4-D is also considered a “probable” endocrine disruptor by the EPA and is suspected to cause cellular mutations, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and delay in brain development in humans. It is persistent in, and moves easily throughout, the environment and accumulates in water sources. Some commercial names for products containing 2,4-D include WeedtrineII, Aqua-Kleen, Barrage, Plantgard, Lawn-Keep, Planotox and Malerbane. All of these products are labeled DANGER indicating high toxicity. Trade names for products containing glyphosate include Gallup, Landmaster, Pondmaster, Ranger, Roundup, Rodeo, and Touchdown. The Battelle Memorial Institute of Ohio, reveals that after lawn application of 2,4-D, this herbicide moves to and was detected in indoor air and on all 42

interior surfaces of surrounding buildings. For young children, exposure levels indoors are estimated to be about 10 times higher after outdoor application.

NECROSIS IN HUMAN UMBILICAL, EMBRYONIC AND PLACENTAL CELLS. Benachour, N, et al. 2009. Chemical Research in Toxicology 22(1):97-105 A landmark toxicological study on the various formulations of glyphosate (Roundup) found that, even while using dilute levels of active and inactive ingredients, cell death occurred within 18 or 24 hours in human umbilical, embryonic and placental cells. The authors from the University of Caen, France suggested further dilution and stricter monitoring standards. In important findings, they discover that most glyphosate-based pesticides endanger fetal health.

INTRACELLULAR TRANSPORT, MICROTUBULES AND ACTIN FILAMENTS IN XENOPUS LAEVIS MELANOPHORES Hedberg D., Wallin M. Toxicology in Vitro. 2010, 24(3):795-802 Results of this study show that glyphosate compounds inhibit intracellular transport, but are pH-dependent. However the surfactants of Roudup increase the permeability of cell membranes allowing increased uptake of chemical substances at normal physiological pH. Therefore the surfactant ingredients of chemical formulations should be considered when regulations are proposed.

PESTICIDE FORMULATIONS IN AN IN VITRO NEUROTOXICITY TEST Axelrad J.C., Howard C. V. and McLean W. G. Toxicology. 2002, 173(3):259-268


This study seeks to determine if combinations of the organophosphate pesticides diazinon and chlorpyrifos, as well as the additives in commercial compounds, cause cell damage directly. The researchers used live cells that are sensitive to neurotoxicity and were able to determine that certain combinations may cause synergy, or greatly enhanced, direct neurotoxicity to live cells. This data suggests that although some chemicals on their own are non-toxic or somewhat toxic, combinations, such as those found in commercial pesticide products, may be much more dangerous, and require more research.

NEW EVIDENCES OF ROUNDUP (A (R)) (GLYPHOSATE FORMULATION) IMPACT ON THE PERIPHYTON COMMUNITY AND THE WATER QUALITY OF FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS. Vera MS, et al., Ecotoxicology 19(4): 710-724 (2010) This study found that Roundup (A (R)) significantly increases the total phosphorus in freshwater systems leading to eutrophication, (“the gradual increase in the concentration of phosphorus, nitrogen, and other plant nutrients”) and a shift in the water typology. Roundup also delayed the colonization of periphytic organism colonization (consult diagram on previous page). The eleven authors of this study conclude: “Based on our findings it is clear that agricultural practices that involve the use of herbicides such as Roundup affect non-target organisms and the water quality, modifying the structure and functionality of freshwater ecosystems.”


Painting By: Andy Curran, 5th generation Westbrook farmer and artist


THE CARP CYPRINUS CARPIO UNDER QUINALPHOS INTOXICATION IN SUBLETHAL DOSES. Chebbi SG and David M. Scienceasia 36(1):1217 (2010) The authors of this study from Karnatak Science College, India introduce their study by stating: “The pollution of rivers and streams with chemical contaminants has become one of the most critical environmental problems of the century.” The researchers add that even though exposure of aquatic ecosystems by organophosphates is difficult to assess because of their “low solubility and rapid degradation”, “Monitoring of these insecticides is important because they are highly toxic to aquatic organisms” and they are the most widely used insecticides. The carp in this experiment were bought healthy from a state fishery and quinalphos from a local market in India. Researchers first experimented and found the acute toxicity of quinalphos to be .0000075 liter per liter of water and claim: “It is evident from the results that the quinalphos can be rated as highly toxic to fish.” Fish were then exposed for 15 days which concluded with many results including death.


One simple finding was that “fish moved to the corners of the test chambers, which can be viewed as avoidance behaviour of the fish to the quinalphos.” Fish also gulped for air at the surface possibly due to oxidative stress. Results of this study conclude that sub-lethal concentrations of the commercial grade organophosphate insecticide, quinalphos, caused common carp to exhibit “irregular, erratic, and darting swimming movements, hyper excitability, and loss of equilibrium and sinking to the bottom.” Caudal bending and altered respiratory rates are the primary damage that occurs. All actions exhibited by the once healthy carp increase predation. “Of all, easy predation phenomenon is one of the most critical damages caused by a pollutant on sensitive species like fish, which ultimately decide the species survival in a given ecosystem.” So, if fish mortality does not occur from the chemical itself, elimination of the species could still be caused by side effects.

Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) Image courtesy of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, who stated with approved use of their images “Your intended use is consistent with DEC's mission”.


2,4-D is one of the most commonly used broadleaf herbicides in North America. 2,4-D has a variety of uses not limited to simply broad leaf weed control as it is often mixed in with other herbicides. Its relative toxicity is comparable to lindane, paraquat, and endosulfan which places it in a WHO class II of what are considered 'moderately hazardous' pesticides. Symptoms due to 2,4-D exposure range from serious eye and skin irritations to a variety of neurotoxic effects such as inflamed nerve endings. Visual disturbances (temporary loss of vision) have been noted as well as weakness and fatigue. Of particular concern, is the severity of the side effects of 2,4-D exposure and how long lasting they can be. The report referenced below also delves into the chronic effects of exposure to 2,4-D. Some animals seem to be relatively unaffected, others have died. Moreover, people, who are exposed to phenoxy acid herbicides, which contain 2,4-D, are at greater risk for developing soft tissue sarcomas. Furthermore, 2,4-D has fallen under the classification of an endocrine disruptor. Likewise, 2-4,D exerts chromosomal damage in cultured human cells. On the land and in the water, 2,4-D is widespread in ground water samples, exceeding safety standards in Europe. 2,4-D exposure has seriously reduced honey bee fecundity. Of particular note is the article by Dr. Meg Sears of The Children’s Hospital of Ontario who testified in front of the New Hampshire environmental and agriculture committee who testified on her research in 2,4-D. It is recommended that 2,4-D be continually evaluated because there are some serious gaps concerning reliable information especially concerning long range adverse effects for both people and the environment.


OVERVIEW OF THE TOXIC EFFECTS OF 2,4-D Sierra Club Of Canada Ottawa, ON (2005) This detailed report provides an overview of scientific evidence demonstrating 2,4-D's (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) toxic effects. One study in mammals states the 2,4-D causes cellular mutations, which, in turn, can cause cancer. Another report confirms that 2,4-D depletes the body of its primary energy production molecule. Other studies link 2,4-D to an increased risk among farmers to develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In household use, exposure to 2,4-D causes malignant lymphoma in canines. Another study indicates that 2,4-D also interferes with neurotransmitters causing brain development delay and altered behavior. The report concludes with the concern that 2,4-D is a moderately persistent chemical in the environment. It has negative impact of wildlife causing reproductive problems in birds and contributes to depleting their sources of food. The bio-accumulation of 2,4-D, demonstrated in fish, raises concerns . By-products from the breakdown of 2,4-D are also very toxic to earthworms. Apparently, the fertility of beneficial insects is reduced as well. The authors of this review believe that the use of 2,4-D has impacted both agriculture and wild life negatively. Thus, the Sierra Club of Canada insisted that 2,4-D be discontinued, from that they assert that cancer rates would decline like in Sweden where phenoxy herbicides have been banned.

RESIDENCES AFTER LAWN APPLICATIONS: COMPARING EXPOSURE ESTIMATES FROM VARIOUS MEDIA FOR YOUNG CHILDREN. Nishioka MG, et al., Environmental Health Perspectives 109(11):1185-1191 (2001) After lawn application of 2,4-D, this herbicide was detected in indoor air and on all surfaces of homes. Estimated post-application indoor exposure levels for young children from non-dietary ingestion are estimated to be about ten times higher than the pre-application exposures.


HOME TURF Sears, M. et al., Pediatrics and Child Health. April; 11(4):229–234 (2006) 2,4-D is the most common herbicide used to kill weeds in the US. Epidemiological research, which is the study of patterns of health and illness and associated factors at the population level, suggest “that 2,4-D can be persuasively linked to cancers, neurological impairment and reproductive problems.” Authors suggest these health problems may occur from 2,4-D alone, breakdown products, dioxin contamination, or from a combination of chemicals. “Dioxins are bioaccumulative chemicals that may cause cancer, harm neurological development, impair reproduction, disrupt the endocrine system and alter immune function.” The World Health Organization considers dioxins to be unwanted by products of manufacturing of some herbicides and other pesticides. Authors of this study, from the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Medicine, Ontario suggest that medical doctors play an important role in educating the public on concerns regarding pesticides and until landscaping pesticides are reduced nationally that it is necessary for local regulation to protect public health.

PERTURBATION OF LIPIDS AND GLUCOSE METABOLISM ASSOCIATED WITH PREVIOUS 2,4-D EXPOSURE: A CROSSSECTIONAL STUDY OF NHANES III DATA, 1988-1994. Schreinemachers DM. Environmental Health 26;9:11, 2010 This study reviews data from The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) pertaining to dichlorophenoxy acetic acid (2,4-D) exposure, a chlorophenoxy herbicide. This herbicide is known for risk factors that are linked to the pathogenesis of acute myocardial infarction and type-2 diabetes, such as dyslipidemia and impaired glucose metabolism. Urinary 2,4-D was found to be associated with decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and “increased levels of triglycerides, insulin, C-peptide, and thyroid stimulating hormone”. Therefore linking 2,4-D with changes in biomarkers that are associated with “risk factors for acute myocardial infarction and type-2 diabetes.” 49


The LEAH Advocacy Group has compiled a section of articles on the connection between pesticides and diminished water quality, the dangers to aquatic life, fisheries and large marine mammals. The following is a very small sample of this research. While pesticides might be applied in what seems like small amounts, if you add up all the pesticides applied on Maine Schools and began to think of all the waterways and drinking water that would be affected the result becomes quite large.

“Before the mid-1970s, it was thought that soil acted as a protective filter that stopped pesticides from reaching ground water. Studies have now shown that this is not the case. Pesticides can reach waterbearing aquifers below ground from applications onto crop fields, seepage of contaminated surface water”.

“The effects of past and present land-use practices may take decades to become apparent in ground water. When weighing management decisions for protection of ground-water quality, it is important to consider the time lag between application of pesticides and fertilizers to the land and arrival of the chemicals at a well.”



GROUND- AND SURFACE WATER AND THEIR EFFECTIVENESS; A REVIEW Reichenberger S. et al., SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT 384(1-3):1-35 (2007) In this review strategies for reducing pesticide runoff into surface and ground water and their effectiveness are considered. Nearly 180 publications considering the reduction of pesticide run off into bodies of water were studied. Grass and riparian buffers around fields, constructed wetlands, subsurface drains and more are considered. However, they can be ineffective and have varying results. Researchers suggest the “only feasible mitigation measures are application rate reduction, product substitution and shift of the application date.” As well as, “increasing awareness of the farmers with regard to pesticide handling and application, and encouraging them to implement loss-reducing measures.”


Our summary of articles on water quality and the negative impact of pesticide support the U.S. Geological Survey’s opinions that soil does not dissipate or control pesticides and that they remain in the ground for prolonged periods and travel considerable distances. This article by Reichenberger S. et al. “Mitigation Strategies To Reduce Pesticide Inputs Into Ground- And Surface Water And Their Effectiveness; A Review” is especially important to consider, as it suggests that the only reliable way to decrease pesticides in ground and surface water is to reduce usage and further educate those handling and applying them. Many studies measure the presence of pesticides in our environment: particularly water, whether urban or rural. When a watershed becomes toxic it has a large impact on the surrounding ecosystem. Not only is the quality of water affected but all levels of organisms residing therein. From Zooplankton, to invertebrates and fish to marine mammals; pesticides trigger anything from impeded developmental stages to fatality. These studies also demonstrate that even after application has ceased, pesticides linger and persevere in anaerobic conditions and once exposed, recovery and detoxification of those creatures living in our waterways, usually does not occur. As a result, our sensitive fresh water resources become increasingly toxic year by year. From our delicate wetlands to our irreplaceable urban ground water, each year our pesticide footprint becomes more evident and increasingly difficult to reverse.


Environmental Protection Agency. Announcements & Index (GRA&I), Issue 07 (2009) High_Priority_Pesticides.pdf

This EPA study revealed that chlorine drinking water treatment, used for disinfection and softening, reacts with (OP) organophosphorous pesticides to create oxons even more toxic than the parent compounds. These subgroups of OP pesticides proved to be more potent are found to act as inhibitors of “acetlycholinesterase, an enzyme necessary for regulating nerve impulse transmission between nerve fibers.” The study proposes our water treatment methods are not adequate to deal with pesticides in drinking water sources.

Graph courtesy of “The Quality of Our Nation’s Waters: Pesticides in the Nation’s Streams and Ground Water, 1992–2001” By Robert J. Gilliom et al. (2007)


SPATIAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN WATER QUALITY AND PESTICIDE APPLICATION RATES IN AGRICULTURAL WATERSHEDS. Hunt JW et al. Environmental Monitoring And Assessment 121(1-3): 24562 (2006) The study found a significant positive correlation between pesticide application intensity and toxicity in adjacent watersheds. Twelve watersheds representative of a range of pesticide usage areas were sampled. Correlations observed between pesticide application rates and in-stream pesticide concentrations and toxicity conclude that pesticides are leaching into watersheds and creating toxic environments after application.

CONTAMINATION. Beyond Pesticides Publication. (2003) The organization Beyond Pesticides has compiled evidence showing that pesticides are contaminating the nation’s water sources at an unprecedented rate. The US Geological survey found at least one pesticide was detected in all water bodies included in their study. In a similar study, 100% of surface water tested, and one-third of underground aquifers contained at least one detectable pesticide. In 2006, the Environmental Working Group found 77 pesticides in tap water serving 231 million people.



Image courtesy of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation


*The following is a section on salmon, mostly Atlantic salmon and the
destruction of their habitat from pesticide exposure. Of particular concern is the damage to the delicate endocrine and immune systems from the exposure to atrazine, mostly used in agriculture but also used in lawn care for St. Augustine type grasses. In Maine the Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) is considered Federally Endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. “Fewer than half of the 34 historic “salmon rivers” in Maine now have Atlantic salmon returning to them. For each river except the Penobscot, adult returns are currently less than 25 fish annually (USASAC 2005).” Saunders, R., Hachey M.A., Fay, C.W. “Maine’s Diadromous Fish Community: Past, Present, and Implications for Atlantic Salmon Recovery” Fisheries 31(11):537-547 (2006)

EFFECTS OF HEXAZINONE AND ATRAZINE ON THE PHYSIOLOGY AND ENDOCRINOLOGY OF SMOLT DEVELOPMENT IN ATLANTIC SALMON. Nieves-Puigdoller K. et al., Aquatic Toxicology, 84(1): 27-27 (2007) The herbicide atrazine causes non-regulatory growth and endocrine disturbance in juvenile Atlantic Salmon. This is concerning because atrazine is a widely used herbicide along rivers in the United States, and Atlantic Salmon have been listed as an endangered species.


ASPECTS OF REPRODUCTION IN ATLANTIC SALMON (SALMO SALAR L.). Moore A. and Waring C.P. Aquatic Toxicology, 52(1):1-12 (2001) The pyrethroid pesticide cypermethrin demonstrated disabling of male Atlantic Salmons’ ability to fertilize eggs. The pesticide is a known contaminant of tributaries supporting Atlantic Salmon, hindering their reproduction and putting Atlantic Salmon stocks at risk.

ENDOCRINE FUNCTION IN MATURE MALE ATLANTIC SALMON (SALMO SALAR L.) PARR. Moore A. and Lower N. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part B: Biochemistry And Molecular Biology. 129(2-3): 269-276 (2001) Male Atlantic Salmon rely on an olfactory response to fertilize female eggs. The pesticides simazine and atrazine both impaired the male salmon’s ability to know when and where to fertilize. Furthermore, the amount of sperm released is lowered with exposure to these pesticides.

SHORT-TERM EXPOSURE OF CHINOOK SALMON (ONCORYHNCHUS TSHAWYTSCHA) TO O,P-DDE OR DMSO DURING EARLY LIFEHISTORY STAGES CAUSES LONG-TERM HUMORAL IMMUNOSUPPRESSION. Milston R.H. et al., Environmental Health Perspectives, 111(13):1601–1607 (2003) This study, by the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University, found that exposure to xenobiotic chemicals (which includes pesticides) during early life stages cause negative effects “on the longterm immune competence of chinook salmon (Oncoryhnchus tshawytscha).” Salmon eggs were immersed in what is considered a nominal concentration of o,p-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene at


ferlilization and following hatching. One month later, concentration of the treatment was undetectable but effects were evident. Researchers conclude: “In this experiment, a brief period of exposure to o,p-DDE or DMSO during early development was able to induce long-term effects on humoral immune competence of chinook salmon. Such immunosuppression may increase susceptibility to disease, which may in turn be critical to regulating the population.”

Chart: Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP)


The LEAH Advocacy Group has spent the past year and a half researching scientific and medical literature on all things related to pesticides. We have compiled over 300 studies that show strong causational evidence linking pesticides to long and short term health consequences as well as serious environmental hazards. A multitude of scientists, institutions and universities, specializing in diverse fields of medical toxicology, chemistry,


environmental sciences, zoology, biology, etc. provide unbiased research to properly judge the effects of pesticide use and exposure. Pesticide sales and labels can be deceptive. Let us explain; use is calculated solely by the amount of the active ingredient which is sold. Once again, we refer to Roundup because it is the best known pesticide in the US used in both landscaping and agriculture. According to the EPA, in 2007 over 200 million pounds of Glyphosate, (Roundup’s active ingredient), was bought and used in the US, while approximately 8 million pounds were used in the home and garden market. However, in the formula “Roundup Weed and Grass Killer” which is currently on special at Home Depot, only 2% of the formula is Glyphosate, so total sales for nonagricultural use of the formula Roundup is approximately 400 million pounds rather than 8 million pounds of glyphosate. There is no guarantee that inert ingredients are benign; data on inert ingredientsit is not peer reviewed by the EPA, groups like Beyond Pesticides or The LEAH Advocacy Group and even independent researchers do not have access to the pesticide manufacture’s data. But, when you look at the work of people like Prof. Nora Benachor and Gilles Eric Seralini, which shows cell death of fetal, umbilical and placental cells within 18-24 of all formulations of Roundup, it is appropriate to link these inert ingredients with strong hazardous potential for disease to the human system.

World and U.S. Pesticide Expenditures User Level by Pesticide Type, 2007 Estimates


World and U.S. Pesticide Expenditures at User Level By Pesticide Type, 2006 and 2007 Estimates Year Type Herbicides (1) Insecticides Fungicides Other (2) Total World Market Mil $ 14,247 10,259 7,987 3,320 35,814 % 40 29 22 9 100 U.S. Market Mil $ 2006 5,673 4,091 1,165 855 11,784 48 35 10 7 100 40 40 15 26 33 % U.S. Percentage of World Market

Herbicides (1) Insecticides Fungicides

15,512 11,158 9,216

39 28 23

2007 5,856 4,337 1,375

47 35 11

38 39 15


Other (2) Total

3,557 39,443

9 100

886 12,454

7 100

25 32

According to the USDA and EPA, the United States spends tens of millions of dollars a year, nearly half of the world’s expenditures, on pesticides. While environmental programs in the United Nations, for example, suggest banning certain pesticides, the US simply reregisters or restricts its use. The LEAH Advocacy Group is working on a report comparing the US EPA with others around the world, to understand why we are continuing to use some products that other countries deem an unacceptable risk to humans and the environment. Many US researchers have been known to advocate a more cautionary approach. Because quite simply, the amount of Roundup, Trimec, Threeway or any other herbicide, used for broadleaf weed control on over seven hundred schools in Maine accumulates in a child’s environment and can have devastating health consequences in the short term, intermediate term and long term consequences for that person’s health. Also, the expenses of the millions of dollars for health care costs for even one child with cancer be they paid with private or public dollars is all the more economic incentive to prohibit cancer causing substances where children play and congregate. Overall, it is important to consider a lifetime exposure to pesticides and other toxic chemicals and the effects on human health. According to Dr. Alex Lu, who sits on the Scientific Advisory Board to the EPA a group charged with overseeing the re-registration of pesticides, we need to imagine our resistance to pesticides as an empty cup/full cup metaphor. If we are continually exposed to pesticides the cup will fill. However if the cup overflows, our body suffers almost irreparable damage. However, we can easily fill our risk cup 80% through pesticide residues. With continuous exposure, more and more individuals are becoming sensitive to the chemical overload, either in acute or chronic situations of chemical sensitivity that exacerbates nervous system responses, vision, olfactory and eventually lead to endocrine disruption and potential cancers. In Maine, there is a possibility to practice prevention, reduction of a lifetime exposure to pesticides, and the strong potential for prevention of


such conditions and diseases as asthma, ADD/ADHD, cancer, and the myriad of problems that disrupted endocrine systems may cause. We at The LEAH Advocacy Group appreciate the time you have spent addressing the issue of children’s health and pesticides and deliberating over the issue which includes reading of what we feel is an important report, The MAINE Report.

Ellen Fine, Senior Editor, Director Kaija Starck, Lead Editor, Lead Researcher Bonnie Curry, Medical Researcher Duke Potter, Website Design and Research Cameron Fen, Editor, Chemical Research Danielle Francis, Environmental Research Tom Kuzbik, Environmetal Research Amy Manzelli, Legal Research Matt Snyder, Legal Research Susan Aron, Illustrations The LEAH Collective The LEAH Advocacy Group May, 2011