Bedbugs ruined a night at the movies in recent days for at least two sets of customers just outside of Buffalo, WIVB reports.
The bugs began biting one mother and her 3-year-old during “Alice Through the Looking Glass” at the Regal Cinemas on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, according to the report.
Taneeya Goodwin and her boyfriend were attacked by the insects Monday night during a screening of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle,” according to WIVB. Both women documented the bugs and bites with their cell phones.
Bedbugs in movie theaters are a thing. The Travel Channel puts movie theaters on its Top 10 list of places to be wary of bites and infestations. (Libraries, retail stores and churches also make the list.)
Earlier this year, WIVB reported that Buffalo ranked No. 20 on a national list of places likely to have bedbugs.
The television station reported it has received complaints about the theater for months. Regal did not respond Tuesday to the station’s request for comment.
TAMPA, Florida — May 27, 2016 – By Anastasia Dawson, Times Correspondent
The University of South Florida is dealing with an infestation of bedbugs.
But instead of invading USF’s beds or dorms, the bugs have infested its classrooms.
Six classrooms and a reception area in the Muma College of Business building are infested with Cimex lectularius — the common bedbug — USF officials said.
University employees discovered the bedbugs last week after a student complained about bugs in Room 118. They had infested chairs and furniture, and they can travel along the floors and walls.
Pest-control company Terminix treated the building, including spots where the bugs weren’t found. The area is being monitored for followup treatments.
[BedBugs are heat and pesticide resistant, carry over 40 different pathogens, including MRSA, and ARE known to transmit deadly Chagas disease. A. Steiner]
“While repulsive, bedbugs are not considered a medical or public health hazard,” College of Business dean Moez Limayem wrote in an email to faculty and staff on May 19.
In what Limayem called an “abundance of caution,” all classes in the newest portion of the Business Administration Building, where the bugs were found, have been relocated for the rest of the Summer A semester, which ends June 24.
This isn’t the first time the building has been besieged by bugs. In 2013, three classrooms were treated for bedbugs over a monthlong period. Two of those rooms saw the bugs return in this latest infestation.
A spokesman for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Travis Keels, said the agency doesn’t keep track of bedbug infestations in universities or schools, only in places that offer food and lodging. If a state inspector finds bedbugs in a hotel room, for example, a 14-day warning is issued and the specific room cannot be rented until it clears another inspection.
Bedbugs are known to be excellent “hitchhikers,” said National Pest Management Association spokeswoman Cindy Mannes. When they bite, the bugs numb the surrounding skin and can latch on without being noticed, she said. They also stick to fabric and are known to be an elusive and hard-to-control pest.
“People can bring them in with them and not even know it, and then the (bugs) can survive for 30 days without a blood meal,” Mannes said.
Bedbugs shouldn’t be viewed as a sign that an area is unclean, said Brittany Campbell, an entomologist at the University of Florida. The bugs feed off human blood, but so far haven’t been found to carry any diseases. Still, they can cause allergic reactions like blisters or, if an infestation gets out of hand, can lead to anemia from blood loss, Campbell said.
“We call them bedbugs because they’re attracted to heat and carbon dioxide,” she said, “so when you’re asleep and lying there breathing for a few hours, it’s very attractive to bedbugs.”
This year, the Tampa and St. Petersburg area ranked 31st on Orkin’s list of “Top 50 Bedbug Cities,” which ranks locations based on the number of bedbug treatments the pest-control company administered in 2015. Mannes said Chicago topped the list for the fourth year in a row, likely because of the amount of international travel in the city.
While no government agency keeps track of bedbug infestations, the National Pest Management Association’s annual surveys have found the populations grow every year as the bugs adapt.
“Bedbugs are a great pest, from a biological standpoint, because they’re really difficult to get rid of,” Campbell said. “They build up resistances and their bodies have a way of fighting off insecticides.”
The most effective treatment is to bring in external heaters and heat the affected areas to 120 degrees, she said. But reinfestation is still a risk: “Then, of course, you have to worry about bringing them back in.”
April 12, 2016 | By Ashley Hayes | WebMD Health News
Strawberries claim the top spot on this year’s “Dirty Dozen” list of produce containing pesticides, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
Apples, which had topped the annual list for the past five years, dropped to second. The list was released Tuesday.
Nearly all strawberry samples tested – 98% — had detectable pesticide residues, according to the advocacy group. Forty percent had residues of 10 or more pesticides, while some had residues of 17 different pesticides.
Some of those chemicals are “relatively benign,” according to the organization, but others may be linked to diseases, hormone disruption, neurological problems and reproductive or developmental damage.
“It is startling to see how heavily strawberries are contaminated with residues of hazardous pesticides,” says Sonya Lunder, EWG senior analyst, in a statement. The levels are acceptable under current regulations; Lunder called for government levels to be updated to reflect the latest research.
Avocadoes, meanwhile, topped the EWG’s “Clean Fifteen” list, of produce least likely to be tainted by pesticides.
The group bases its analysis on testing of more than 35,000 samples by the USDA and FDA. USDA washed and peeled the produce to mimic what consumers do at home.
The annual report has received criticism, with some experts saying the rankings are arbitrary and there’s no need to fear conventionally-grown produce .
The “Dirty Dozen” list has been “discredited by the scientific community,” the Alliance for Food & Farming, a nonprofit group including about 50 agricultural associations, commodity groups and individual growers and shippers, in a statement Tuesday.
The EWG bases its report on the USDA Pesticide Data Program report, the Alliance for Food & Farming says, but the USDA has said those findings “pose no safety concern.”
Before a pesticide can be used, the EPA must determine “that it will not pose unreasonable risks to human health or the environment.”
For its part, the EWG says on its website it “always recommends eating fruits and vegetables, even conventionally grown, over processed foods and other less healthy alternatives.”
Also of note, according to the EWG, are leafy greens such as kale or collard greens and hot peppers. While those foods did not meet traditional ranking criteria for the Dirty Dozen list, they are “frequently found to be contaminated with insecticides toxic to the human nervous system,” according to the report.
April 5, 2016 | by Michael Howell | Bitterroot Star
Local wildlife rehabilitator Judy Hoy is one of the authors cited in a study recently published in the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine which claims to demonstrate that even low doses of glyphosates, a chemical ingredient in many pesticides, can be considered a serious health problem. Lead author of the study is Nancy Swanson, PhD from Abacus Enterprises in Washington state, and Stephanie Seneff, from the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. The article is entitled: “Evidence that glyphosate is a causative agent in chronic sub-clinical metabolic acidosis and mitochondrial dysfunction.”
The article claims that it is a well-established fact that ingesting large amounts of glyphosate causes metabolic acidosis and other pathophysiologic changes. Clinical signs of acute glyphosate poisoning include severe acidosis determined by low blood pH, hyperkalemia, hypernatremia, raised creatinine and blood urea levels, hypotension, hypoxemia and reduced serum bicarbonate. Severe poisoning causes dehydration, pneumonitis, oliguria, altered level of consciousness, hepatic dysfunction, pulmonary edema and dysrhythmias 1, 2, 3.
The authors go on to claim, however, that available scientific reports and records from the CDC examined and compared in their study provide overwhelming “circumstantial evidence” that ingestion of glyphosates in low doses also has serious health effects which are being overlooked in toxicology evaluations and public policy.
“How much evidence is needed?” they ask in the article.
“Taken together, this evidence suggests that glyphosate, in the doses equivalent to allowed residues in food ingested over a long period of time, causes a low-grade, chronic acidosis as well as mitochondrial dysfunction,” states the study.
They also provide evidence from the literature supporting the biochemical pathways whereby this occurs by extracting the reports for symptoms and diseases associated with glyphosate from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Adverse Event Reporting System database. These are compared to the symptoms and diseases reported in the database for drugs that are known to cause mitochondrial dysfunction. They call the results “startlingly consistent.”
Finally, they hypothesize that many modern diseases are primarily acquired mitochondrial disorders caused by chemical pesticides, pharmaceutical drugs, food additives and industrial chemicals.
March 30, 2016 | by Cherise Hoak | Wicked Local Westport News
It seems as though the divide between the beekeepers and the state is still growing and the big elephant in the room is the use of pesticide poisoning.
Although the beekeepers have seen firsthand the effects of the pesticides on their hives, it seems the state is still in denial when it comes to the truth.
Currently, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is attempting to adopt a “Pollinator Protection Plan” and is holding “listening” sessions in various locations in order to get input from the various beekeepers and farmers that this plan would impact.
The beekeepers, on one hand, have written up their own “Pollinator Protection Plan” and are asking the state to adopt their plan instead of what the state is trying to implement. Each plan has its own merits and each group thinks their plan is for the best practice. It does not seem, in the long run, that either side will get anywhere in the near future.
On March 21, MDAR held one of its “listening” sessions at Bristol Aggie and invited those interested to come and talk so that MDAR could listen and take notes on their concerns regarding the draft plan by the state.
Several beekeepers came to this meeting along with the superintendent-director of Bristol Aggie, and many of the beekeepers voiced their concerns regarding the lack of regulation regarding pesticide usage, which is one of the main problems facing the beekeepers to date. Without concrete proof that pesticides, namely neonicotinoids, are the cause of bee die-offs, the state’s regulations fall short in protecting the bees and beekeepers from hive losses.
The beekeepers have tried and continue to try to get the state’s attention on this matter, especially when they have perfect hives one day only to find thousands upon thousands of dead and dying bees in front of their hives the next day.
The beekeepers have done what is expected of them by calling in the state’s apiary inspector when this occurs.
But according to some of the beekeepers, nothing has come out of this reporting to their satisfaction.
From what I gathered at this “listening” session, the state has not provided or cannot provide concrete proof that the bee die-offs are directly related to pesticide poisoning. One way or the other, the burden of proof should lie on the state and should be mandated by the state to prove that pesticides are harmful to our pollinators.
The beekeepers, as I have seen firsthand, have already seen the destruction of these poisons on their beehives. And you have to ask yourself, if other countries around the world are banning these pesticides from being used and now some of the states in the United States, most recent being Maryland, are banning these pesticides, then why is Massachusetts not doing their due diligence in helping both the farmers and beekeepers alike in finding the truth.
My only concern in this matter came unexpectedly in the “listening” session on March 21 when the superintendent of Bristol Aggie spoke up and was the only person in this meeting to have doubts on the validity of the pesticide damage to the bees. But then again, if your school is partnering with Monsanto on the “AG and STEM” Symposium (http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/pages/education.aspx), I guess you have no choice in the matter with regards to the educational value that you might be getting from one of the biggest chemical companies.
As for the farmers, I have great respect for them and I firmly believe that they are not intentionally harming the bees. They, of all people involved, have more to lose than anyone else in this game of chemicals and money.
My biggest concern is that the chemicals provided to the general public are one of the most dangerous things that could ever have happened. This is like boxing up hand grenades and selling them as gopher removal and telling the public it’s safe to use!
Until the state puts regulations on these chemicals that are so readily available to the public, in my opinion, I think the farmers are going to continue to get blamed for the bee kills instead of handing the blame directly to those that sell the pesticides to the public and to the independent contractors who have no knowledge on how to use them let alone when the proper time is to use them. Until such time as all parties can come to an agreement on the danger of pesticides, efforts first and foremost should be toward educating our public on the dangers of pesticides and the proper use of them.
A pest-control company has agreed to pay $10 million in penalties for using a dangerous pesticide at a U.S. Virgin Islands resort where a Delaware family fell critically ill, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Terminix International Company LP and its U.S. Virgin Islands operation agreed to plead guilty to four counts of violating federal pesticide law in a deal with prosecutors that still needs to be approved by a judge.
According to information filed Tuesday in federal court in the U.S. District Court of the Virgin Islands, the Wilmington family was staying at the Sirenusa resort in St. John last March when they were exposed to methyl bromide, which had been sprayed in an adjacent unit.
Stephen Esmond, an administrator at the Tatnall School in Wilmington, his wife, Theresa Devine, a dentist, and their two teenage sons, were hospitalized. The sons spent weeks in medically induced comas.
The family was blessed by Pope Francis at a brief meeting at Philadelphia International Airport as the pontiff was leaving the city following his weekend visit in September.
Methyl bromide can cause convulsions, coma, and cognitive deficits. The indoor use of products containing the chemical was banned by the federal government in 1984 and the remaining uses are highly restricted.
As part of the plea deal, Terminix agreed to make good faith efforts to cover medical expenses for the family through a separate civil proceeding. If the expenses are not resolved, prosecutors said they may reopen the sentencing proceedings.
The four criminal counts cover the illegal use of methyl bromide twice at the St. John resort, once in St. Croix, and once in St. Thomas.
“The facts in this case show the Terminix companies knowingly failed to properly manage their pest control operations in the U.S. Virgin Islands, allowing pesticides containing methyl bromide to be applied illegally and exposing a family of four to profoundly debilitating injuries,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden.
ServiceMaster Global Holdings Inc., the parent company of Terminix, filed a notice Tuesday to investors about the plea agreement. Citing the judge’s pending decision on the plea deal, a company spokesman declined to comment.
[ServiceMaster Global Holdings Inc. owns Terminix, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic, American Home Shield, AmeriSpec, ServiceMaster Clean and ServiceMaster Restore.]
The $10 million in penalties include $8 million in fines, $1 million in restitution for the government’s response and cleanup at the St. John resort, and $1 million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to fund training for pesticide applicators in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Vol. 30, No. 2, Summer 2010 | Pesticides and You | by Kagan Owens, Jay Feldman
and John Kepner
Beyond Agricultural Pesticide Exposure – Asthma, Autism, ADHD, ADD, Birth Defects, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Brain Cancer, Breast Cancer, Leukemia, Learning Disorders, Parkinson’s and on and …
While agriculture has traditionally been tied to pesticide-related illnesses, of the 40 most commonly used pesticides in schools, 28 can cause cancer, 14 are linked to endocrine disruption, 26 can adversely affect reproduction, 26 are nervous system poisons and 13
can cause birth defects. Of of the 30 most commonly used lawn pesticides, 19 can cause cancer, 13 are linked to birth defects, 21 can affect reproduction and 15 are nervous system toxicants. A number of published studies using animal toxicity data and human cells/tissue laboratory data also show that pesticides are linked to several major public health problems.
Epidemiology: The Challenge of Finding Patterns of Harm
Despite evidence to the contrary, chemical industry critics of epidemiologic studies linking pesticides to major diseases argue that they are of limited value because of their reliance on records and study participants’ memory, among other issues. In fact, the correlation
of patterns of chemical use with an effect is difficult to establish in epidemiology and therefore may underestimate hazard effects. When a correlation is established it raises serious concern. The epidemiologic studies in the Pesticide-Induced Diseases Database show an overall pattern that links pesticide exposure to major diseases.
Common household products –detergents, disinfectants, plastics, and pesticides– contain chemical ingredients that enter the body, disrupt hormones and cause adverse developmental, disease, and reproductive problems. Known as endocrine disruptors, these
chemicals, which interact with the endocrine system, wreak havoc in humans and wildlife.
The endocrine system consists of a set of glands (thyroid, gonads, adrenal and pituitary) and the hormones they produce (thyroxine, estrogen, testosterone and adrenaline),
which help guide the development, growth, reproduction, and behavior of animals, including humans. Hormones are signaling molecules, which travel through the bloodstream and elicit responses in other parts of the body. Endocrine disruptors function by: (i) Mimicking the action of a naturally-produced hormone, such as estrogen or testosterone, thereby setting off similar chemical reactions in the body; (ii) Blocking hormone receptors in cells, thereby preventing the action of normal hormones; or (iii) Affecting the synthesis, transport, metabolism and excretion of hormones, thus altering the concentrations of natural hormones. Endocrine disruptors havebeen linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, early puberty, infertility and other reproductive disorders, and childhood and adult cancers.
More than 50 pesticide active ingredients have been identified as endocrine disruptors by the European Union and endocrine disruptor expert Theo Colborn, PhD. Endocrine disruption is the mechanism for several health effect endpoints.
One passenger claims they were ‘nipped at 30,000ft,’ and eggs spotted
The Boeing 747 was taken out of service on landing, and fumigated
British Airways says that reports of bed bugs on board are ‘extremely rare’
February 26, 2016 | by John Hutchinson | MailOnline
An outbreak of bed bugs caused a British Airways passenger plane to be taken out of service.
On a flight from the US to Heathrow last week, staff are believed to have spotted the parasitic insects and logged the issue.
The outbreak caused one row in the economy section of the plane to be closed off during the Transatlantic flight.
A British Airways Boeing 747 was taken out of service after bed bugs were discovered on board last week
One passenger told The Sun that they were ‘nipped at 30,000ft, while others reported seeing ‘eggs’
The Sun reports how ‘one passenger was nipped at 30,000ft and others saw the bugs and their eggs.’
Once the Boeing 747 had landed in London, British Airways launched an investigation. The aircraft was inspected and removed from the flight schedule while the issue was resolved and the plane was fumigated.
However, days later another ‘severe’ infestation was reported as the same plane flew from Cape Town to London, according to The Sun.
As in most states, regulators in California measure the effect of only one pesticide at a time. But farmers often use several pesticides together—and that’s a big, toxic problem.
“Acting together, these effects multiply. So even pesticides that don’t cause cancer on their own might do so together by interfering with or overwhelming the body’s ability to clear toxic substances, or harming DNA and then blocking mechanisms to repair it.”
February 23, 2016 | by Liza Gross | The Nation
California officials have long touted their pesticide regulations as the toughest in the nation. But a new report from the University of California, Los Angeles, reveals a major flaw in the state’s approach to evaluating safety, one that has broad implications for the way pesticides are regulated nationally: Regulators assess pesticide safety one product at a time, but growers often apply pesticides as mixtures. That’s a serious problem, the authors argue, because pesticide interactions can ratchet up toxic effects, greatly enhancing the risk of cancer and other serious health conditions.
“The federal EPA and California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) have not adequately dealt with interactive effects,” says John Froines, a report coauthor and a chemist with decades of experience assessing health risks of toxic chemicals as a scientist and regulator. “People are exposed to a large number of chemicals. You can’t simply look chemical by chemical to adequately address the toxicity of these compounds.”
Fumigants, used to combat a range of pests and diseases, are among the most toxic chemicals used in agriculture. They are a staple of high-value crops like tomatoes and strawberries. Studies in humans and animals have linked them to acute respiratory and skin damage and serious chronic health problems, including cancer and neurological and reproductive disorders.
To get around the state’s failure to collect data on cumulative exposures to these fumigants, Froines and his colleagues drew on what’s known about the chemical and biological properties of three of the most heavily used fumigants in California: chloropicrin, Telone (the trade name for 1,3-dichloropropene), and metam sodium.
Individual fumigants are highly reactive chemicals that damage DNA and interfere with proteins that perform critical cell functions. Acting together, these effects multiply. So even pesticides that don’t cause cancer on their own might do so together by interfering with or overwhelming the body’s ability to clear toxic substances, or harming DNA and then blocking mechanisms to repair it.
These interactive effects would not be detected in studies of individual pesticides.
Pesticide regulators are aware of the report, says California DPR spokesperson Charlotte Fadipe, but adds that the agency rarely comments on such studies because “the information often lacks the extensive rigorous science for a regulatory department to make regulations.” What’s more, she notes, “DPR has the most protective and robust pesticide program in the country.”
Froines, who served as director of the Office of Toxic Substances at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under President Jimmy Carter and has led several scientific review panels at the state’s request to assess chemical toxicity, has revealed flaws in pesticide regulations before. In 2010, he headed a California scientific review panel that deemed chloropicrin—one of the fumigants studied in the current report—a “potent carcinogen.” State officials ignored the panel’s advice and decided the evidence was ambiguous. The same year, he chaired another review panel that calledthe fumigant methyl iodide a “highly toxic chemical” that poses a serious threat to public health. This time, manufacturers withdrew the product from the market.
With few restrictions on combining pesticides, growers often use multiple-chemical formulations or apply different fumigants to adjoining fields or in close succession. That exposes people who live, work, and go to school near these fields to several fumigants at once, despite growing evidence that these chemical concoctions pose even greater health risks.
As reported by the Food & Environment Reporting Network and The Nation last April, residents of Oxnard, a strawberry-growing stronghold in Southern California where most residents are Latino, had worried for years about the risks of heavy exposure to fumigants.
Rio Mesa High School students were twice as likely as white kids to go to schools near heavy fumigant use. And though regulators admitted as much in addressing a complaint filed by several parents, they did little to restrict fumigant use near schools. In fact, the year after EPA officials dismissed the families’ complaint, growers dramatically increased their use of toxic fumigants around Rio Mesa.
Less than a month after the Nation story ran, the Department of Pesticide Regulation announced it would revisit restrictions on pesticide use near schools after seeking public input through statewide workshops. Officials promised to deliver new rules last December, then pushed back the date, saying they hadn’t reviewed all the public comments. DPR spokesperson Fadipe says they’re still working on draft regulations but can’t say for sure when they’ll issue the draft rules.
The UCLA report shows that going to school at Rio Mesa still poses a health risk. The authors used standard EPA air dispersion models and pesticide use data collected by state regulators to simulate likely fumigant dispersion patterns around the school. They chose Rio Mesa in part because an on-site air monitor shows that fumigants are escaping into the air. As expected, their modeling results show that overlapping exposures occur at Rio Mesa—two years after EPA dismissed community concerns—and at other locations, including schools and daycare centers.
These results underscore the importance of establishing no-spray zones around schools and other sensitive sites as soon as possible, activists say.
“This new report on fumigants is a stark reminder that regulatory agencies have largely failed to regulate toxic chemicals,” says Bruce Lanphear, professor of health sciences at Simon Fraser University and an expert on the impacts of toxic exposures on the developing brain who was not involved in the report. “We are all exposed to a cocktail of dozens, if not hundreds of chemicals, which can have similar detoxification mechanisms and modes of action.”
Regulators must consider synergistic effects of pesticides in risk assessments, the authors say. They contend that a California law requires state agencies to consider cumulative impacts and that interactive effects from pesticides fall under that law. They urge state officials to make several changes to pesticide regulations to uphold their mission to protect public health.