Today’s Menu: Pesticide Salad, Leaded Fish with Plastic, Chemical Fruit

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Credit: UN Environment.

MADRID, Jul 10 2019 (IPS) – In case you were not aware or just do not remember: all you eat, drink, breathe, wear, take as a medicine, the cosmetics you use, the walls of your house, among others, is full of chemicals. And all is really ALL.

For instance, in your bathroom, formaldehyde often sits in your shampoo, microbeads in your toothpaste, phthalates in your nail polish and antimicrobials in your soaps, while your medicine cabinet contains a myriad of synthetic pharmaceuticals.

In your kitchen, a juicy strawberry may carry traces of up to 20 different pesticides.

The size of the global chemical industry exceeded 5 trillion dollars in 2017. It is projected to double by 2030. Consumption and production are rapidly increasing in emerging economies.

And the perfumed bin-liners and air fresheners contain volatile organic compounds that can make you nauseous and give you a headache. And the list goes on…

Who tells all these and many other shocking facts is one of the top world organisations dealing with the sources and dangers of pollution and contamination – the UN Environment, which on 29 April 2019 released its Global Chemicals Outlook.

Chemicals, chemicals, chemicals everywhere

See what Tanzanian microbiologist and environmental scientist Joyce Msuya, the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, said in her introduction to this report:

“Chemicals are part of our everyday lives. From pharmaceuticals to plant protection, innovations in chemistry can improve our health, food security and much more. However, if poorly used and managed, hazardous chemicals and waste threaten human health and the environment.

“As the second Global Chemicals Outlook lays out, global trends such as population dynamics, urbanisation and economic growth are rapidly increasing chemical use, particularly in emerging economies.

“In 2017, the industry was worth more than 5 trillion dollars. By 2030, this will double.

“Large quantities of hazardous chemicals and pollutants continue to leak into the environment, contaminating food chains and accumulating in our bodies, where they do serious damage.

“Estimates by the European Environment Agency suggest that 62 per cent of the volume of chemicals consumed in Europe in 2016 were hazardous to health.

“The World Health Organization estimates the burden of disease from selected chemicals at 1.6 million lives in 2016. The lives of many more are negatively impacted…”

Referring to the agreed objective that, by 2020, chemicals will be produced and used in ways that minimise significant adverse effects on the environment and human health, Joyce Msuya warned “At our current pace, we will not achieve the goal.”

Key findings

The following are three key findings included in the report, among many others.

One is that the size of the global chemical industry exceeded 5 trillion dollars in 2017. It is projected to double by 2030. Consumption and production are rapidly increasing in emerging economies. Global supply chains, and the trade of chemicals and products, are becoming increasingly complex.

Another one is that, driven by global mega-trends, growth in chemical-intensive industry sectors (e.g. construction, agriculture, electronics) creates risks, but also opportunities to advance sustainable consumption, production and product innovation.

And a third one is that hazardous chemicals and other pollutants (e.g. plastic waste and pharmaceutical pollutants) continue to be released in large quantities. They are ubiquitous in humans and the environment and are accumulating in material stocks and products, highlighting the need to avoid future legacies through sustainable materials management and circular business models.

The Global Chemicals Outlook covers three broad inter-linked areas building upon the findings of existing and concurrent studies:

Production, trade, use and disposal of chemicals

Both the continuous growth trends and the changes in global production, trade and use of chemicals point towards an increasing chemical intensification of the economy.

This chemical intensification of the economy derives largely from several factors, such as the increased volume and a shift of production and use from highly industrialised countries to developing countries and countries in economic transition.

Another factor is the penetration of chemical intensive products into national economies through globalisation of sales and use.

Then there are the increased chemical emissions resulting from major economic development sectors.

According to the report, products of the chemical industry that are increasingly replacing natural materials in both industrial and commercial products.

Thus, petrochemical lubricants, coatings, adhesives, inks, dyes, creams, gels, soaps, detergents, fragrances and plastics are replacing conventional plant, animal and ceramic based products.

Industries and research institutions which are increasingly developing sophisticated and novel nano-scale chemicals and synthetic halogenated compounds that are creating new functions such as durable, non-stick, stain resistant, fire retardant, water-resistant, non-corrosive surfaces, and metallic, conductive compounds that are central to integrated circuits used in cars, cell phones, and computers.

Penetration of chemical intensive products 

The Global Outlook also informs that many countries are primarily importers of chemicals and are not significant producers. Agricultural chemicals and pesticides used in farming were among the first synthetic chemicals to be actively exported to developing countries.

Today, as consumption of a wide range of products increases over time, these products themselves become a significant vehicle increasing the presence of chemicals in developing and transition economies, the report explains, adding the following information:

  • These include liquid chemical personal care products for sale directly to consumers; paints, adhesives and lubricants; as well as chemically complex articles ranging from textiles and electronics, to building materials and toys. Emissions from products pose different management challenges from those associated with manufacturing, as   they are diffused throughout the economy, rather than being concentrated at manufacturing facilities.
  • Trade in articles has been identified as a significant driver of global transport of lead, cadmium, mercury and brominated flame retardants.
  • It is often the case that electrical and electronic equipment, which contain hazardous or toxic substances, are purchased in developed countries before being disposed of or recycled in unsafe and unprotected conditions in developing states or countries with economies in transition.
  • Products such as cell phones and laptops are being purchased and used in regions of the world recently thought to be too remote.
  • Increasing consumer demand for electrical/electronic goods and materials, along with rapid technology change and the high obsolescence rate of these items have led to the increasing generation of large quantities of obsolete and near end of life electronic products.
  • These trends contribute to global electronic waste generation estimated at 40 million tons per year.

Chemical contamination and waste associated with industrial sectors of importance in developing countries include: pesticides from agricultural runoff; heavy metals associated with cement production; dioxin associated with electronics recycling; mercury and other heavy metals associated with mining and coal combustion, explains the Global Outlook.

They also include: butyl tins, heavy metals, and asbestos released during ship breaking; heavy metals associated with tanneries; mutagenic dyes, heavy metals and other pollutants associated with textile production; toxic metals, solvents, polymers, and flame retardants used in electronics manufacturing, and  the direct exposure resulting from the long range transport of many chemicals through environmental media that deliver chemical pollutants which originate from sources thousands of kilometres away.

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Credit: UN Environment.

Health and environmental effects

According to the report:

  • Chemicals released to the air can act as air pollutants as well as greenhouse gases and ozone depleters and contribute to acid rain formation.
  • Chemicals can contaminate water resources through direct discharges to bodies of water, or via deposition of air contaminants to water. This contamination can have adverse effects on aquatic organisms, including fish, and on the availability of water resources for drinking, bathing, and other activities.
  • It is common for soil pollution to be a direct result of atmospheric deposition, dumping of waste, spills from industrial or waste facilities, mining activities, contaminated water, or pesticides.
  • Persistent and bio-accumulative chemicals are found as widespread contaminants in wildlife, especially those that are high in the food chain. Some of these chemicals cause cancers, immune system dysfunction, and reproductive disorders in wildlife.
  • In some countries, the runoff of pesticides and fertilisers from agricultural fields or the use of chemicals in mining in neighbouring countries, may leach into ground water, or run into estuaries shared across national boundaries.
  • Fisheries, an important source of protein and of economic value for populations around the world, can be severely affected by chemicals. Persistent organic pollutants can accumulate in fish, especially those high in the food chain. As a result, the value of this otherwise excellent protein source is diminished or lost completely.
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals can cause or contribute to a broad range of health outcomes. These include eye, skin, and respiratory irritation; damage to organs such as the brain, lungs, liver or kidneys; damage to the immune, respiratory, cardiovascular, nervous, reproductive or endocrine systems; and birth defects and chronic diseases, such as cancer, asthma, or diabetes.
  • Workers in industries using chemicals are especially vulnerable through exposure to toxic chemicals and related health effects.

These include an increased cancer rate in workers in electronics facilities; high blood lead levels among workers at lead-acid battery manufacturing and recycling plants; flame retardant exposures among workers in electronic waste recycling; mercury poisoning in small-scale gold miners; asbestosis among workers employed in asbestos mining and milling; and acute and chronic pesticide poisoning among workers in agriculture in many countries.

In spite of these and other immense negative impacts on health and the environment, the more than 400 scientists and experts around the world, who worked over three long years to prepare the Global Chemicals Outlook, underscore that the goal to minimise adverse impacts of chemicals and waste will not be achieved by 2020.

“Solutions exist,” the 400 world experts emphasise, “but more ambitious worldwide action by all stakeholders is urgently required.”

Now Fruit Juice Is Linked to a Higher Cancer Risk

Drinking soda doesn’t just threaten to make us fat, it could be linked to a higher risk of cancer, judging from a new study. But here’s the more surprising part: so could fruit juices.

Increased daily consumption of about 3.4 ounces of soda — roughly a third of a can of Coke — was associated with an 18% greater risk of some cancers in a study published in the British Medical Journal. The likelihood of breast tumors alone rose even more, by 22%. When people drank the same amount of unsweetened fruit juice, they were also more likely to develop cancer, the researchers found.

The research, part of a broader effort carried out in France to investigate links between nutrition and health, is one of the first to find a connection between sweet drinks and cancer. The findings may also taint the image of fruit juices, which are often perceived — and promoted — as healthy.

“All beverages — either with sugar or without — are safe to consume as part of a balanced diet,” the American Beverage Association said in a statement. Beverage companies are working to provide more choices with reduced or no sugar, smaller package sizes and clear calorie information, according to the industry group.

The researchers tracked 97 beverages and 12 artificially sweetened ones, including carbonated ones, sports drinks, syrups and pure fruit juices. The correlations they found don’t necessarily mean the beverages alone lead to cancer. The study didn’t seek to understand the reason for the link, though the researchers speculated that sugar’s effect on visceral fat, blood-sugar levels and inflammation may play a role. Additives found in sodas and pesticides in fruit could also have an impact, they wrote.

“These data support the relevance of existing nutritional recommendations to limit sugary drink consumption, including 100% fruit juice, as well as policy actions, such as taxation and marketing restrictions targeting sugary drinks,” the authors wrote in conclusion.

Taxing on sweet products and labeling the front of packages can help reduce sugar consumption, especially if pure fruit juice is included in the measures, according to a study from the University of Waterloo published in May.

The French study found no increased cancer risk from sugar-free drinks, although so few of the people studied consumed them that the results may not be significant, the researchers said. Water, unsweetened tea and coffee also showed no heightened risk.

The research is part of France’s NutriNet-Sante, a web-based study following about 100,000 volunteers since 2009.

Zagreb is a Pesticide Free City: Will Varazdin Be Next?

Croatia.pngJuly 8, 2019 | by Paul Bradbury

Zagreb joined the European Pesticide Free Town network last year. Will Varazdin be next?

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One of the things I have appreciated most about moving from the island of Hvar to Varazdin in northern Croatia has been the diversity of people I come into contact with. I love Hvar (and am currently enjoying that endless sunshine) but with an economy so focused on tourism, it is not exactly representative of daily life in the rest of Croatia. And as TCN moves away from a main focus on tourism to other aspects of life, it has been fascinating to learn of various initiatives around the country, and to meet people whose passions are far away from tourism.

I have a friend who lives in Varazdin and commutes to Zagreb each day, and we have a nice chat as we drive in together on the days when I have business in Zagreb. He has introduced me to various people and ideas, including Natlija Svrtan of Earth Trek (Zemljane Staze in Croatian), an environmental group which is working on – among other things – getting rid of the use of pesticides in public places in the towns and cities of Croatia. I asked Natlija to write a piece for TCN on the subject. Here it is. Will Varazdin and other Croatian towns and cities follow Zagreb’s lead?

Pesticide Free Zagreb – safe for citizens, excellent for biodiversity

Zagreb is Pesticide Free Town – will other towns in Croatia follow the example?

Since February 2018, Zagreb has been a Pesticide Free Town – which means that Zagreb does not use pesticides in public places.

The Mayor of Zagreb, Mr. Milan Bandić has recognized this initiative as a valuable contribution to improving the living conditions of citizens of Zagreb. Therefore, Mr. Bandić signed the Pledge with which he commits to phase out pesticides in public places.  With this step, the citizens of Zagreb can enjoy lying on the grass without worrying if they are inhaling dangerous toxins, and their pets can run around without having allergies and acute poisoning from chewing the grass.

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By signing this Pledge, Zagreb has become a member of European Pesticide Free Towns Network, a network of European towns who replaced pesticides with sustainable, non-hazardous alternatives. This Network is established by PAN Europe, together with its member organizations. Pesticide-free towns have teamed up within this Network with the aim of creating a platform for linking and sharing experiences, and effectively supporting cities in transition.

The use of pesticides in public places is considered to be unnecessary. While gardeners in Pesticide Free Towns use mechanical technics such as hand weeding, or machine treatment with hot water or steam, biologists and city leaders are trying to promote the “return of Nature back to the towns”, by convincing people that, for example, plants on the pavements are not “an ugly scene”, and that native wildflowers are as beautiful as those cultivated. With accepting native plants, and by accepting so-called weeds on lawns, we are contributing to biodiversity and to the return of pollinators, besides sparing the animals of direct poisoning.

Pesticides have multiple negative effects:

  • Pesticides have a direct impact on human health, and although the effects of pesticide use do not show directly and at the moment of consumption, pesticides certainly have a significant impact on human health. They are carcinogenic, cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, affect reproductive health – conceiving problems, cause abdominal pain, obesity, diabetes, allergies, neurological problems, agitation, asthma, Parkinson’s disease, and many other diseases and disorders.
  • The application of pesticides is never limited to the area for which the pesticide application is intended, but the effects of pesticides are spread far beyond the scope of application. Pesticides spread with air and water after being washed out by irrigation or after rain. Unfortunately, in almost all tested water samples (in Western European countries) residues of pesticides were found.
  • Pesticide cause direct harm to animals and insects that inhale or digest pesticides, or eat animals and bugs that are intoxicated by pesticides; this causes the imbalance in nature by killing bugs which are, or predators, or the food for other animals; direct harm applies especially to amphibians and fish which have permeable skin and therefore absorb toxins with their whole body surface. By choosing alternatives to pesticides, the impact on soil, air and water pollution, especially the groundwater that is a source of potable water is eliminated. Animals and plants are not affected by these toxins, and the biodiversity is improved.

In 2018. the Earth Trek association conducted a campaign urging all the cities in the Republic of Croatia to follow the examples of cities in Western Europe countries. Zagreb and Ozalj are those who committed to phasing out pesticides.

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In the Town of Varaždin the use of pesticides is not banned.

Varaždin has beautiful parks and green areas which are probably treated with pesticides. An especially endangered group are children – who run around grass, roll on it and expose themselves directly to pesticides.

Since the use of pesticides is not limited only to the application spot (which was proven by taking the soil samples of children’s playgrounds), children are exposed to dangerous toxins, even if those were not applied in kindergartens, or on the playgrounds. Especially worrying is the fact that most of these toxins are endocrine disruptors and have long-term effects on health.

The town of Varaždin hasn’t responded to our request to sign the Pledge.

We haven’t received the explanation on cancelled meeting in September last year, accusations of writing inaccurate allegations on our web page, nor the promised notification after planning to ask the Town’s Utility Company for an explanation of pictures we took in May 2018.

Earth Trek wishes the best for the citizens of Varaždin. Besides the elimination of toxic substances from public areas, air, soil and ground water, the transition to a pesticide free concept would open new job positions, and would also promote the Town of Varaždin trough Pesticide Free Towns marketing tools.

We believe the health of the citizens should be everyone’s first concern, and even though it seems that the use of pesticides is the cheapest way of green areas maintenance, the externalities show that the costs of the treatment of the illness caused by the use of pesticide cost the society and the government even more.

It takes time for the pesticides to decompose, particularly for those persistent, and it takes time for nature the re-establish its balance – that’s why we need to act immediately and start applying sustainable systems, in order to leave a healthy world to our children.

EWG Calls on CDC To Monitor US Population for Monsanto’s Weedkiller Glyphosate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26, 2019  by  Alex Formuzis

WASHINGTON – Glyphosate, the most heavily used pesticide in the U.S., should be added to the list of toxic chemicals the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regularly measures in the bodies of the American people, Environmental Working Group said in a letter sent today to the CDC.

A growing body of research has found that Americans, including children, are exposed to glyphosate through food sprayed with the weedkiller, and from air and water because of the widespread presence of glyphosate in the environment.

A University of California biomonitoring study of more than 1,000 older adults in Southern California found that at least 70 percent had detectable traces of glyphosate in their bodies between 2014 and 2017. That compared to just 12 percent of participants tested between 1993 and 1996, EWG said in the letter to CDC.

The dramatic increase in exposure among the participants in the California study aligns with the growing amount of glyphosate – the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup – sprayed on cropland since the mid-1990s. More than 250 million pounds were sprayed in 2016.

Most glyphosate used in agriculture is applied on Roundup-ready corn and on soybeans genetically engineered to withstand the herbicide. Increasingly, however, glyphosate is used on non-GMO wheat, barley, oats and beans. The herbicide kills the crop, drying it out so it can be harvested sooner. EWG has conducted three rounds of tests of popular oat-based cereals and snack foods marketed toward kids, and found glyphosate in nearly every sample of food.

recent review of 19 studies of the evidence of human exposure to glyphosate globally, led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, highlighted the limitations of currently available data and concluded that additional studies are urgently needed.

In the letter, EWG urged the CDC to address the lack of nationwide biomonitoring studies of glyphosate, especially exposure of young children. “The EPA’s dietary risk assessments indicate that children one to two years old likely have the highest exposure levels, comparable with EPA estimates of exposure in occupational settings – and yet real-life data on infants’ and children’s exposure to glyphosate are missing,” EWG wrote.

Some of the most recent scientific research suggests that glyphosate exposure during pregnancy can harm the developing fetus as well as the health of newborns and young children.

In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic” to people. In 2017, the herbicide was listed by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a chemical known to the state to cause cancer.

“A national biomonitoring effort will give epidemiologists the opportunity to study the health effects associated with glyphosate exposure,” wrote Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., vice president for science investigations at EWG, and Alexis Temkin, Ph.D., an EWG toxicologist.

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Is Neem Oil Causing Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome? Pesticide Contamination?

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June 24, 2019 by Emily Earlenbaugh for Leafly

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS), a rare cyclical vomiting condition, is said to be triggered by too much cannabis. But many believe this isn’t true—and instead say the painful bouts of vomiting come from other factors, such as pesticide contamination.
Recently, the idea that neem oil (a very common pesticide) could be responsible for CHS has become a popular theory.

But is this theory plausible? While plenty of rare allergies and sensitivities to cannabis certainly exist—and some say that neem oil is the most likely cause—medical experts and CHS sufferers have concluded the theory simply doesn’t hold water. So what is the cause of CHS?

Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome Defined
Doctors first identified cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome in 2004 when a new set of symptoms starting showing up for some cannabis users.

These patients came to emergency rooms complaining of recurrent episodes of intense nausea, vomiting for hours, and unusual body temperature shifts. Prolonged vomiting dehydrates the body, and in rare cases can lead to death from kidney failure.

Strangely, for all of these patients, the symptoms could be relieved by taking hot baths or showers.

Blood toxicology showed no drugs in these patients’ systems, other than cannabis. Most sufferers used large amounts of cannabis daily—grams of extract per day, or several ounces of flower per month. So doctors suspected heavy use might play a role, and recommended stopping use entirely to see if that helped. Most of these patients stopped their use and had their symptoms subside. But those who continued using cannabis, continued to be ill.

Suddenly CHS was a thing. Even if the mechanism wasn’t fully understood, there was a clear profile of symptoms that was unlike anything else.

By 2012, more cases of CHS began to appear in the medical literature. While it is considered extremely rare, the exact numbers are hard to pinpoint. Some experts like Dr. Ethan Russo say there are only around 200 identified cases in the world. Meanwhile, there are online message boards and Facebook groups dedicated to CHS with thousands of members who believe they may have this condition.

A Neem Oil Theory of CHS Emerges
Despite the association between stopping cannabis and CHS symptoms going away, many remain unconvinced CHS can be a reaction to cannabis overuse. Some argue that the condition is actually the result of pesticide poisoning—specifically from neem oil, a pesticide commonly used by commercial and home gardeners.

Neem oil is deemed an “organic pesticide” as it comes from the vegetable oil of seed kernels from the neem tree (Azadirachta indica). Neem oil contains active ingredients like azadirachtin, nimbin, picrin, and sialin.

This theory gained prominence through CHS patients like Taeia Kaley-Dolan, who started doing her own research on the syndrome and noticed similarities between the symptoms of CHS and poisoning from azadirachtin, one of the chemicals in neem oil. Both CHS and azadirachtin poisoning can cause severe vomiting and nausea. However, azadirachtin poisonings are rare and symptoms also include not just vomiting, but seizures, acidic blood, and deadly nervous system swelling.

Kaley-Dolan shared her theory to help others with her condition understand that it might not be from cannabis, and many in the cannabis space echo the theory that CHS might really just be pesticide poisoning, or something—anything—other than cannabis.

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is sort of like the boogie man for cannabis consumers. It comes without warning and turns your ideal medicine into your worst nightmare, but it’s also rare, so many have never met someone with the condition. It’s no wonder that the cannabis community pushed back on this theory, saying it must be misdiagnosed or totally made up.

Russ Hudson, a Barcelona, Spain-based cannabis consultant who has been working in the space for 27 years agrees. “I would posit that most veterans in the cannabis industry—people with 20-plus years of experience—think that cannabis hyperemesis is a made-up or severely ‘misunderstood’ (read; misdiagnosed) condition,” he shares. Hudson says that he’s never met anyone with this condition in his entire time working in the space, and isn’t sure it’s real.

According to Hudson, “Azadirachtin poisoning seems a likely culprit, as well as other types of contamination,” such as bacteria or other pesticides. He also points to allergic reactions to terpenes or an uncomfortable reaction to being too high as potential causes.

Registered nurse Doug Rhodes is a wellness educator who has seen two cases of CHS first-hand agrees with Hudson and Kaley-Dolan, saying, “I’m a firm believer that hyperemesis syndrome is from contamination, be that neem, pyrethrum, or other products.”

So could it be that CHS isn’t a real thing? Could it be that we are just seeing pesticide poisoning and there are no cases of true CHS—cyclical vomiting actually caused by cannabinoids?

Unfortunately, this theory doesn’t line up with the evidence.

Neem Poisoning Differs From CHS
While we’d all love to hear the news that CHS could be solved by avoiding neem oil, the medical experts we talked to say this theory doesn’t make much sense. The effects of these two conditions are just too different from each other.

“As much as I decry the use of pesticides on cannabis, their toxicity profile does not match the symptom complex or time course of CHS.”
Dr. Ethan Russo, cannabis researcher

“As much as I decry the use of pesticides on cannabis, their toxicity profile does not match the symptom complex or time course of CHS,” explains leading cannabis researcher and neurologist Dr. Ethan Russo. “Neem oil and azadirachtin generally have limited human toxicity, but can rarely produce vomiting (the only symptom in common with CHS).”

Dr. Russo points to the other symptoms of azadirachtin overdose like increased salivation, diarrhea, liver toxicity, and convulsions. “The latter symptoms do not match CHS at all,” he says. “This is someone’s wishful thinking, or just another conspiracy theory.”

Furthermore, neem oil poisoning cannot be treated with hot showers, a core feature of CHS.

Jeff Raber, PhD, a cannabis researcher and organic chemist, agrees that neem oil isn’t likely to be the culprit.

“Someone sent the neem oil link to me a while ago and I was just like, ‘It doesn’t make that much sense,’” he recalls. “A lot of people use neem oil on that and on a lot of other products. We don’t see neem oil hyperemesis syndrome. I think we’d see a lot more cases because of the prevalence that neem has been used.”

These experts say that the CHS cases they’ve encountered and studied seemed to consistently respond to one major factor: cannabis use. They both believe that an overabundance of cannabinoids is causing nerve cell signalling dysfunction. The theory comports with what’s known about cannabis, based on cell, animal, and human trials. Take vomiting, for example. At low doses, cannabis can treat nausea. But at high doses—the opposite occurs.

“Phytocannabinoids such as THC are noted to produce biphasic effects, i.e., they may produce one effect at a low dose and an opposite effect at a much higher dose,” explains Dr. Russo. “THC is normally antiemetic, but perhaps in CHS this reverses after heavy chronic usage.”

Scientists know THC stimulates the body’s CB1 receptor—found in the brain and the gut. The body responds by decreasing the number of CB1 receptors on nerve cells. That’s how tolerance to THC develops. If the number of CB1 receptors falls below a certain threshold, boom, hyperemesis, scientists think.

Another factor is the TRPV1 receptor, also known as the capsaicin receptor or the vanilloid receptor 1. This receptor seems to be involved in CHS, and is activated by cannabinoids. Issues with TRPV1 could explain why hot baths help, since they are also known to activate that receptor.

Still, what’s not clear is why this condition affects only a small subset of cannabis consumers.

While both doctors said more research should be done to understand this rare condition and the exact mechanisms driving it, both were also convinced that pesticides could not account for the symptoms seen in CHS.

Patients Get CHS From Clean Cannabis
Perhaps the biggest nail in the coffin for the ‘CHS is just pesticide poisoning’ theory is the fact that some patients have gotten CHS from cannabis that was grown without pesticides, including neem oil.

“You can have too much water. So why are we trying to pretend that you can’t have too much cannabis?”
Alice Moon, CHS sufferer, Los Angeles

Take Jared Panks for example. The 39 year-old is a co-owner for Home Grown ORegonicX, a company in Oregon that teaches deaf individuals how to cultivate cannabis. He sources cannabis from his own organic garden, which is pesticide-free (including neem). So when he was diagnosed with CHS, he knew that pesticides couldn’t be the reason.

“I have all this documentation with all the genetics that I’ve grown, all the mold tests, all the pesticide tests, all that stuff, and I’m still getting sick,” he explains.

Panks’ symptoms line up perfectly with classic CHS—cyclical vomiting that increases with more cannabis use, and is relieved by hot baths and cannabis cessation. Panks’ worst attack left him unable to hold down food or water for 14 days. He needed to be hooked up to IV’s to survive the severe dehydration.

“For me, I think it’s an overload on cannabinoids,” he explains, adding that he’s tried cannabinoids other than THC, like CBD and CBN, and still had bad reactions. The only thing that has helped is lessening his intake of cannabinoids. “They can’t clinically say that anybody’s ever overdosed from it,” he adds. “I can say that I’ve overloaded. And that’s the truth.”

Alice Moon, a 29 year-old from Los Angeles with CHS, says she is also convinced that pesticides are not the problem. She put her body through the ringer hoping that pesticides might be.

The cannabis public relations person was once a cannabis edible reviewer, but had to shift her career focus when she discovered her recurrent vomiting would only stop when she ceased cannabis use. After quitting, her symptoms subsided and Moon decided to try again.

“I started smoking pesticide-free weed because so many people say CHS is pesticides,” she explains. “But I smoked pesticide-free weed and my symptoms came back after a few months.”

Her last attempt was to use hemp-derived CBD from a source she knew used no pesticides including neem. But one day, a larger than normal CBD dose sent her back to the hospital with her worst CHS bout yet—16 days of non-stop vomiting.

“I had so many moments where I was wondering if I was going to die because it was so severe,” she recalls. By the end of her stay she had three ulcers, a hernia, and a bacterial infection from the experience.

“Now, I will not be a guinea pig at all,” she explains. “I can’t do it. My body can’t do it.”

Since her own failed experiments getting rid of CHS without stopping cannabis, Moon has been outspoken about CHS and her belief that it is truly related to cannabinoid intake. “I 1,000% believe it’s not neem,” she says, adding that she even had a blood test that came back negative for any pesticides.

“I do believe people can have pesticide poisoning. I am not denying that that’s real,” Moon says. “But I do think that this isn’t that.”

Moon says that since going public with her thoughts on CHS, she’s gotten a lot of negative responses from the cannabis community.

“I get so much online hate in regards to this,” she explains. “Every other day, people are telling me, ‘You made this up. You work for the government. You work for Big Pharma.’ I’m like, ‘No dude, I just want to be able to smoke weed again.’”

Moon says she believes in the medical benefits of cannabis but wants to educate people about CHS so they’ll stop as soon as they exhibit symptoms and not risk their lives thinking pesticide-free cannabis will help. But Moon says, “People don’t want to believe it’s real.”

“You can have too much water,” she points out simply “So why are we trying to pretend that you can’t have too much cannabis?”

Are Sub-Populations Sensitive to Pesticides?
While the bulk of CHS sufferers must reduce their cannabis intake to be cured, some rare sub-groups most certainly have CHS-like symptoms related to cannabis’ many added ingredients. One such person is Leafly’s own Natalie Bernstein, a performance improvement analyst.

“It’s really difficult to say that any one answer is going to apply to everybody.”
Natalie Bernstein, neem allergy sufferer, Seattle

Bernstein moved to Washington in 2014 to use cannabis to manage her chronic migraines. In the spring of 2017, she switched from a pesticide-free, illicit market source of cannabis to store-bought cannabis. By summer of 2017, she developed what she thought might be CHS—nausea and intense vomiting following cannabis use.

While she worried she had CHS, her symptoms didn’t line up. She wasn’t a heavy smoker. And hot showers didn’t stop the vomiting. Rather, the antihistamine Benadryl controlled her nausea, she discovered by accident.

Bernstein has many allergies, and new ones can pop up seemingly out of nowhere. Suspecting a rare type of cannabis contaminant allergy, Bernstein started tracking her intake. To source neem-free cannabis, she used Washington state’s cannabis industry pesticide application data, and called growers directly.

She found a strong correlation between inhaling flowers treated with neem oil, and her nausea and vomiting. “My doctor told me that I was wrong, that it was THC, so I stopped seeing that doctor,” she said. “People say neem is ‘organic,’ but poison ivy is organic.”

By winter of 2017, she determined she could control her nausea through edibles, or inhaling neem-free cannabis.

Bernstein believes not all CHS cases are caused by heavy cannabis use. There’s probably a spectrum of CHS causes, where maybe 70% of CHS sufferers might have classic CHS, she believes, while maybe 20% have a reaction to pesticide toxicity, and 10% have rare allergies to even trace amounts of pesticides, like her.

“It’s really difficult to say that any one answer is going to apply to everybody,” Bernstein said. “I think what I have is more prevalent that what people know.”

Neem Oil Generally Not Causing CHS
So is neem oil the cause of CHS? Generally not. The bulk of early evidence points to overactivation of the CB1 receptor. The old adage “moderation in all things” holds true.

There is a long way to go in understanding CHS, and why it only affects a segment of heavy cannabis consumers. More research is needed to fully understand what factors are at play in this mysterious condition.

Still, while we’d all love to hear that CHS is just a made up condition or a misdiagnosis of something we can easily fix, the pesticide theory doesn’t match most case studies. Patients like Moon and Panks are suffering from a very real condition, one that can’t be explained by pesticides.

When pesticides are taken out of the equation, CHS remains.

What to know about PESTICIDE POISONING in wake of Dominican Republic lawsuit

By Dr. Manny Alvarez | Fox News

Last year, Kaylynn Knull and Tom Schwander were enjoying a relaxing vacation in the Dominican Republic when the couple started experiencing alarming symptoms. Now the two have filed a $1 million lawsuit against the resort called The Grand Bahia Principe La Romana.

The couple is seeking restoration for their experiences in the wake of 3 more American deaths that occurred there that same week.

TOXICOLOGIST SAYS A COLORLESS, ODORLESS ‘INTOXICANT’ COULD BE CAUSE OF DOMINICAN REPUBLIC DEATHS

According to The Sun, Knull and Schwander woke up one morning after several days at the resort, suffering from dizziness, blurred vision, drooling and stomach cramps among other symptoms.

After flying home, doctors suspected pesticide poisoning, specifically from organophosphates. That diagnosis aligned with many of their symptoms.

Knull now wonders if chemicals sprayed on plants outside the resort’s rooms were to blame, reports The Sun in an interview with the couple. Knull and Schwander wanted the resort to state the name of the chemicals used in its gardening. The two filed a lawsuit after the resort refused.

Unfortunately, last year’s cases aren’t the only episodes of tourist illness in the Dominican Republic. Investigations are ongoing for 11 recent deaths. The FBI and CDC are also investigating.

The cause of these deaths are still unknown. But media and the tourists involved speculate they could be related to harmful pesticides, spiked alcohol or tainted food.

The Problem of Pesticide Poisoning

In the United States, pesticide poisoning often happens to residents and workers around farming regions. However, the World Health Organization recognizes that poisoning does occur more often in developing countries.

Studies in Central American countries like El Salvador and Nicaragua have shown poisonings to occur twice as much in the general population as in America’s agricultural population. That amounts to 35 cases per 100,000 versus the United States’ 18 cases in the farming community, states WHO.

However, it’s difficult to pinpoint an exact number because of lack of surveillance, long-term side effects, and inconsistent study methods.

Since millions of U.S. tourists visit areas like the Dominican Republic every year, this situation could truly happen to anyone. According to The Sun, 2.7 million Americans visit the resort where Knull and Schwander stayed last June.

Signs of Pesticide Poisoning

The big takeaway is that Americans should understand pesticide poisoning and take precautions against it, especially when traveling out of the country.

Pesticides can fall into several different categories. Those include organophosphates, carbamates, and pyrethrins or pryethroids, the last of which are considered natural pesticides.

Common symptoms you should watch for:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Blurred vision
  • Chest tightness
  • Diarrhea or incontinence
  • Dizziness
  • Drooling
  • Eye irritation or tearing
  • Fluid-filled lungs
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness or lack of coordination
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Shortness of breath
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Slurred speech
  • Sweating
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Vomiting

If you experience any of the above symptoms after traveling to agricultural or international regions, you should seek medical help immediately.

What to Expect with Pesticide Poisoning Treatment

If you suspect pesticide poisoning, you should get medical help for even mild symptoms like headache or dizziness. Pesticide poisoning can have long-term effects that your doctor might help to improve.

For more serious cases, your doctor might prescribe medications to help with symptoms and an IV to hydrate and clear your body of toxins.

Because poisoning symptoms can escalate quickly, you should contact emergency help if you suspect a high level of exposure.

Bottom Line

Pesticide poisoning happens in the US and even more often in developing countries where pesticides are less regulated. In the midst of planning your exciting international vacation, watch for concerning news reports beforehand and stay on guard for poisoning symptoms while you’re abroad.

Bedbugs: What you need to know to avoid bedbugs on vacation

What to do when you check-in a hotel

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) June 10, 2019 – Don Dare – As you head out for your vacation this summer, be vigilant about checking for bedbugs. Pest control professionals report that a majority of their business is treating hotels.

Bedbugs can be found anywhere, from luxury hotels to a summer camp. Imagine you’re on that vacation you have looked forward to, only to wake up your first morning covered in bedbug bites. The insects are so tiny, they’re difficult to see, but the bites are painful.

Bedbugs can be found almost everywhere

Experts say bedbugs like to hide out in mattresses near the bed boards. Dr. Brittany Campbell is an entomologist. She studies insects for the National Pest Management Association.

“We found that 97 percent of pest control professionals were treating for bedbugs in the United States,” Campbell said. “They can be found, I know this is surprising, but almost anywhere. They will bite you. Their bite can cause an allergic reaction. It can cause a skin reaction. Everyone’s immune system is different., but you can have an allergic reaction. In severe cases, those reactions can create blisters.”

Campbell says bedbugs are resilient creatures. They’ve developed resistance to the pesticides we have on the market now.

“They’re very difficult to control yourself, so I really encourage you to reach out to a professional,” she said.

Killing bedbugs isn’t easy

Mark Nadolski with Russell’s Pest Control says bedbugs hide in the smallest places in and around beds and box springs, and killing them isn’t easy.

How to check for bedbugs in a hotel

“I would really encourage you to go to the bed, pull down the sheets. Go all the way down to the mattress. Look in the mattress seams. That’s where bed bugs are going to hide,” she said.

If you find bedbugs in your room while on vacation, take a picture of them to show to the manager and insist on another room. If you think you have brought the bugs home with you from your vacation, it’s best to get professional help to zap an infestation.

More Than 100,000 Americans Urge EPA To Restrict Unnecessary Use of Monsanto’s Weedkiller on Oats

EWG
WASHINGTON – JUNE 7, 2019 – By Alex Formuzis alex@ewg.org

This week, more than 100,000 Americans officially joined EWG and 20 companies calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to significantly restrict the use of Monsanto’s weedkiller glyphosate on oats as a pre-harvest drying agent.

A coalition of companies and public interest groups, led by EWG and Megafood, gathered 104,952 signatures on online petitions to the EPA, urging the agency to lower the tolerance limit of glyphosate in oats and prohibit its pre-harvest use.  The names of those who signed the petitions were submitted to EPA on Wednesday.

The EPA’s legal limit for glyphosate residues on oats is 30 parts per million, or ppm. The petition, first filed last September, asks the agency to set a more protective standard of 0.1 ppm, which was the legal limit in 1993.

glyphosate_plow

“Administrator Andrew Wheeler and the EPA could quickly remove one of the more concerning routes of dietary exposure to glyphosate for children by restricting the unnecessary use of glyphosate on oats,” said EWG Legislative Director Colin O’Neil. “Americans are demanding the agency act to protect the public and the food supply from being contaminated with this toxic weedkiller linked to cancer.”

“It’s hard to find 100,000 people who agree on anything,” O’Neil said. “But when it comes to feeding themselves and their families, they agree that we should not have to worry whether eating healthy, oat-based foods for breakfast could come with a dose of glyphosate.”

The petition was amended this week and submitted to the EPA docket to include additional companies that have signed on since last year.

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Bayer-Monsanto’s Roundup, is the most widely used pesticide in the world. It is largely used as a weedkiller on genetically modified corn and soybeans. But it is increasingly being used for crop management and applied pre-harvest to a number of non-genetically engineered crops, including oats.

Glyphosate kills the crop, drying it out so it can be harvested sooner than if the plant were allowed to die naturally. This is very likely one of the leading sources of dietary exposure for people who consume foods made with oat-based foods, like cereal and oatmeal.

Two rounds of laboratory tests commissioned by EWG found glyphosate in nearly every sample of oat-based cereal and other breakfast products at levels higher than what EWG scientists consider protective for children’s health with an adequate margin of safety.

On June 12, EWG will release results of its latest tests, which will include additional oat-based cereals and other foods that were not analyzed for glyphosate in the two earlier rounds.

2017 study by a team of California scientists estimate that between 2014 and 2016, at least 70 percent of American adults surveyed had detectable levels of the cancer-causing weedkiller in their bodies. That compares to 12 percent in American adults between 1993 and 1996, just before the use of glyphosate started to surge with the advent of GMO crops designed to withstand direct application of the chemical.

In 2015, 17 of the world’s top cancer researchers convened by the International Agency for Research on Cancer reviewed hundreds of studies on glyphosate and voted unanimously to classify the weedkiller as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” In 2017, California added glyphosate to its official list of chemicals known to cause cancer.

These companies are cosigners of the petition to the EPA: MegaFood, Ben & Jerry’s, Stonyfield Farm, MOM’s Organic Market, Nature’s Path, One Degree Organic Foods, National Co+op Grocers, Happy Family Organics, Amy’s Kitchen, Clif Bar & Company, Earth’s Best Organic, GrandyOats, INFRA, KIND Healthy Snacks, Lundberg Family Farms, Organic Valley, Patagonia Provisions, PCC Community Markets, Foodstirs and Kamut International, Ltd.

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The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

Glyphosate in Cereal: Monsanto’s Weedkiller Detected at Alarming Levels, Report Says

Dr_Axe.pngGlyphosate-in-Cereal_HEADER.jpg

June 12, 2019 By Christine Ruggeri, CHHC

Environmental Working Group (EWG) just released its third round of 2019 test results measuring glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, in popular oat-based cereals and foods.

When the nonprofit organization released similar results last year, two companies, Quaker and General Mills, told the public it had no reason to worry about traces of glyphosate in their products.

After three rounds of testing that proves glyphosate is in popular cereal products, it seems that’s not the case. In fact, in the newest test results, the two highest levels of glyphosate were found in Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch and Cheerios.


Glyphosate in Cereal

In the latest batch of testing that confirmed and amplified the findings from tests done in July and October of last year, all but four of the products tested contained levels of the potentially-carcinogenic weed-killing chemical above 160 parts per billion (ppb), the health benchmark set by EWG.

These findings come about one year after EWG released two series of tests measuring glyphosate in popular children’s breakfast products. That’s when General Mills and Quaker Oats Company immediately went on the defensive, claiming glyphosate levels found in its foods fell within regulatory limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

That may be true, but many public health experts believe the levels of allowable glyphosate in food are far too high and don’t properly protect human health. Previously, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculations suggest that 1- to 2-year-old children likely experience the highest exposure to glyphosate, the potential cancer-causing chemical used in Monsanto’s Roundup. And according to the agency’s risk assessment, the exposure level is 230 times greater than EWG’s health benchmark of 160 ppb.

In the May 2019 batch of testing, EWG commissioned Anresco Laboratories to test a range of oat-based products, including 300 grams each of 21 oat-based cereals, snack bars, granolas and instant oats made by General Mills and Quaker. Of the 21 products tested, those with the highest levels of glyphosate include:

  • Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch (833 ppb)
  • Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Maple Brown Sugar (566 ppb)
  • Nature Valley Granola Cups, Almond Butter (529 ppb)
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios (400 ppb)
  • Nature Valley Baked Oat Bites (389 ppb)
  • Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Oats and Honey (320 ppb)
  • Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Peanut Butter (312 ppb)
  • Nature Valley Granola Cups, Peanut Butter Chocolate (297 ppb)
  • Nature Valley Fruit & Nut Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars, Dark Chocolate Cherry (275 ppb)
  • Nature Valley Granola Protein Oats n Dark Chocolate (261 ppb)
  • Multi Grain Cheerios (216 ppb)
  • Nature Valley Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares, Blueberry (206 ppb)
  • Fiber One Oatmeal Raisin Soft-Baked Cookies (204 ppb)
  • Nature Valley Granola Peanut Butter Creamy & Crunchy (198 ppb)
  • Nature Valley Biscuits with Almond Butter (194 ppb)

These tested products contain glyphosate at levels well above EWG’s safety standard of 160 ppb.


A Look at Previous Glyphosate in Cereal Testing

Last year, EWG set a more stringent health benchmark for daily exposure to glyphosate in foods than the EPA and tested an initial batch of products. Considering EWG’s standard of 160 parts per billion (ppb), after two rounds of testing, the following products exceeded that limit in one or both samples tested, with the starred products exceeding 400 ppb:

  • Granola
    • Back to Nature Classic Granola*
    • Quaker Simply Granola Oats, Honey, Raisins & Almonds*
    • Nature Valley Granola Protein Oats ‘n Honey
  • Instant Oats
    • Giant Instant Oatmeal, Original Flavor*
    • Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar, Instant Oatmeal*
    • Umpqua Oats, Maple Pecan
    • Market Pantry Instant Oatmeal, Strawberries & Cream
  • Oat Breakfast Cereals
    • Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal*
    • Lucky Charms*
    • Barbara’s Muligrain Spoonfuls, Original Cereal
    • Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran Oat Cereal
  • Snack Bars
    • Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Oats ‘n Honey
  • Whole Oats
    • Quaker Steel Cut Oats*
    • Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
    • Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats

Companies negatively affected by these tests may point to the EPA’s legal limit for glyphosate in oats, which is 30 parts per million. But since this outdated standard was set in 2008, the International Agency for Research on Cancer labeled glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic” and the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment categorized it as a “chemical known to the state to cause cancer.”

EWG suggests that the solution is simple – keep chemicals linked to cancer out of children’s food. This may start with the EPA sharply limiting glyphosate residues allowed on oats and prohibiting the chemical’s use as a pre-harvest drying agent.

Since last August, there have been three separate verdicts against Bayer-Monsanto, the makers of Roundup. Jurors in California awarded more than 2.2 billion dollars over claims that the toxic weedkiller caused cancer and Monsanto knew about this risk for decades, but went to extraordinary lengths to cover it up.

What does this mean for our children? Without some serious changes made to the food industry and EPA standards, they’ll continue to ingest potentially toxic levels of glyphosate for breakfast. Maybe this will be the last straw for consumers?

EWG turned to Eurofins, a nationally recognized lab with extensive experience testing for chemicals. This testing involved measuring the amount of glyphosate found in popular products containing oats. What is this a big deal? I’m glad you ask …

Glyphosate in cereal - Dr. Axe

Previous research suggests that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, is linked to the development of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The bad news? Tests have detected it in all but two of 45 non-organic product samples. The list of products tested includes Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Nature Valley granola bars and Quaker oats.

Alexis Temkin, PhD, an EWG toxicologist and the author of the report, expressed her concerns about these findings. “Parents shouldn’t worry about whether feeding their children healthy oat foods will also expose them to a chemical linked to cancer. The government must take steps to protect our vulnerable populations,” she said.

Until then, EWG and 19 food companies have delivered more than 80,000 names on a petition to the EPA demanding that they sharply limit glyphosate residues in oat products and prohibit its use as a preharvest drying agent.


Why Is Glyphosate in Our Food? 

Why is there glyphosate in our food? According to the U.S. Geological Survey, 250 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed on American crops each year. Glyphosate is primarily used on Roundup Ready corn and soybeans that are genetically modified to withstand the herbicide.

Glyphosate is a systemic herbicide, meaning it’s taken up inside of the plant, including the parts livestock and humans wind up eating.

And on top of that, glyphosate is sprayed on other non-GMO crops, like wheat, oats, barley and beans, right before harvest. Farmers sometimes call this “burning down” the crops and do this to kill the food plants and dry them out so that they can be harvested sooner.


How Much Glyphosate Is Too Much? 

Why do we have to pay attention to glyphosate levels in our food? The simple answer is that glyphosate is linked to an elevated risk of cancer. In fact, the World Health Organization categorizes the weed-killing chemical as “probably carcinogenic in humans.”

So, really, any amount of glyphosate in our food is concerning, especially when it’s found in our children’s food. (And especially since children consume it during critical stages of development.)

So how did EWG come up with the limit for child glyphosate exposure? Using a cancer risk assessment developed by California state scientists, EWG calculated that glyphosate levels above 160 parts per billion (ppb) are considered too high for children. To break that down into simpler terms — a child should not ingest more than 0.01 milligrams of glyphosate per day.

How did tEWG come up with this health benchmark? Under California’s Proposition 65 registry of chemicals known to cause cancer, the “No Significant Risk Level” for glyphosate for the average adult weighing about 154 pounds is 1.1 milligrams per day. This safety level is more than 60 times lower than the standards set by the EPA.

To calculate the recommendation for children, EWG took California’s increased lifetime risk of cancer of one in 1 million (which is the number used for many cancer-causing drinking water contaminants), and added a 10-fold margin of safety, which is recommended by the federal Food Quality Protection Act to support children and developing fetuses that have an increased susceptibility to carcinogens. This is how EWG reached the safety limit of 0.01 milligrams of glyphosate per day for children.

EWG’s health benchmark concerning the amount of glyphosate that poses a threat in our food is much more stringent than what the EPA allows. Although this amount of glyphosate present in oat products doesn’t seem like much in one portion, imagine consuming that amount every day over a lifetime. Exposure to this toxic herbicide will certainly accumulate over time, which is worrisome, to say the least.

“The concern about glyphosate is for long-term exposure. As most health agencies would say, a single portion would not cause deleterious effects,” explains Olga Naidenko, PhD, EWG’s senior science advisor for children’s health. “But think about eating popular foods such as oatmeal every day, or almost every day — that’s when, according to scientific assessments, such amounts of glyphosate might pose health harm.”

And there is some controversy over whether or not we can trust government regulators to make sure the food we eat is safe. This past April, internal emails obtained by the nonprofit US Right to Know revealed that the FDA has been testing food for glyphosate for two years and found “a fair amount.” But these findings haven’t been released to the public. According to The Guardian, the news outlet that obtained these internal documents, an FDA chemist wrote: “I have brought wheat crackers, granola cereal and corn meal from home and there’s a fair amount in all of them.”

According to Naidenko, “It is essential for companies to take action and choose oats grown without herbicides. This can be done, and EWG urges government agencies such as the EPA, and companies to restrict the use of herbicides that end up in food.”


Glyphosate in Cereal: Organic vs. Non-Organic Products

What about organic cereals and oats? EWG findings suggest that organic products contain significantly less glyphosate that non-organic products. To be exact, 31 out of 45 conventional product samples contained glyphosate levels at or higher than 160 ppb, while 5 out of 16 organic brand products registered low levels of glyphosate (10 to 30 ppb). Of all the organic products tested, none of them contained a level of glyphosate anywhere near the EWG benchmark of 160 ppb.

Glyphosate can get into organic foods by drifting from nearby fields that grow conventional crops. Organic products may also be cross-contaminated during processing at a facility that also handles conventional crops.

While glyphosate was detected in some organic oat products, the levels were much, much lower than conventional products, or non-existent. So it looks like the rule still stands — to avoid increased exposure to cancer-causing chemicals like glyphosate, choose organic.


Final Thoughts on Glyphosate in Cereal

  • EWG commissioned independent laboratory tests to measure the levels of glyphosate present in popular oat-based products. Scientists found that almost three-fourths of the conventionally grown products contained glyphosate levels that are higher than what EWG considers safe for children.
  • Feeding your family clean, healthy meals may already feel like a daily challenge. We shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not our seemingly healthy choices contain toxic herbicides.
  • To join EWG to get glyphosate out of our food, take action here.

Warning signs of a bed bug infestation

bedset_bedbugs.jpgLongview News-Journal May 11, 2019  kgentsch

When traveling overnight, travelers may have their minds on any number of things. Vacationers may be focused on fun in the sun, while the minds of business travelers may be preoccupied with important meetings. Few travelers may be thinking about bed bugs, even though hotels can be vulnerable to infestations of these unwelcome creatures.

Bed bugs might be considered a pesky nuisance, but such a reputation overlooks their potential to cause serious harm. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, bed bugs can cause allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. The Mayo Clinic notes that anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that causes the immune system to release a flood of chemicals, potentially resulting in shock. During such reactions, blood pressure can drop suddenly and the airways can narrow, compromising a person’s ability to breathe.

Bed bug infestations also can contribute to skin infections resulting from bites. Such infections may include impetigo, ecthyma and an infection of the lymph vessels known as lymphangitis. The presence of lymphangitis may indicate that a skin condition is worsening, potentially causing bacteria to spread into the blood and putting people’s lives in jeopardy.

Bed bugs can infest hotels and other public places, including movie theaters. But they also can occur at home. Learning to recognize when bed bugs are present can help people avoid the uncomfortable and potentially unhealthy consequences of infestations.

Red, itchy bites:  Flat, red welts in zigzag lines or small clusters are indicative of bed bugs on humans. Bites, which may be left in straight rows as well, are often irritating, prompting many people to scratch them, which can lead to infection. Arms and shoulders, which many people tend to leave exposed while they sleep, are common areas for bed bugs to appear.

Discomfort sleeping: Bed bugs can be found in places other than beds, but they’re most often found in bed. Some people first suspect bed bug infestations after some restless nights of sleep.

Odor: Bed bugs might be tiny, but that does not mean they don’t smell. Bed bugs release chemical substances known as pheromones. When released in large amounts, these pheromones can produce an odor reminiscent of a dirty locker room.

Stains on bedding: You might need a magnifying glass and/or flashlight to see the stains left by bed bugs, which tend to be rust-colored, reddish-brown or small and brown. These stains will appear after bugs have fed on humans and are typically seen near the corner or edges of the bed.

Bed bug infestations can be uncomfortable and alarming. Learning to recognize signs of such infestations can help people evict these unwanted visitors from their homes.

SleepingSimple

Information and Perspectives on Bed Bug Prevention, Protection and Safety

Bed Bug Blog Report

Information and Perspectives on Bed Bug Prevention, Protection and Safety

Bed Bug Blog

Information and Perspectives on Bed Bug Prevention, Protection and Safety

Information and Perspectives on Bed Bug Prevention, Protection and Safety