Pesticide Peril

Common Agrichemicals Endanger Hundreds of Species




gary powell/Shutterstock.com

Under the Obama administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found in its first rigorous nationwide analysis of the effects of pesticides on endangered species, that 97 percent of the 1,800-plus animals and plants protected under the Endangered Species Act are likely to be harmed by malathion and chlorpyrifos, two commonly used pesticides; another 78 percent are likely to be hurt by another, diazinon. But now the new EPA administration under President Trump has declined to ban chloripyrifos; the decision may be challenged in court.

All three pesticides are organophosphates widely used on crops such as corn, watermelon and wheat. Last year, the World Health Organization announced that malathion and diazinon are probable carcinogens. Based on the EPA’s conclusions, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service will issue biological opinions to identify mitigation measures and changes to pesticide use to ensure that targeted products will no longer potentially harm any endangered species. As part of a legal settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity, the biological opinions are due by December.


This article appears in the June 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Read Our Farmers' Guide Below

Farmers' Market Guide

Buying locally inspires creativity, community sharing and gratitude toward food that is often lost in big box stores and major grocery chains.

Compost Feeds the Soil

Here in North Texas, growing things can be difficult, whether it’s vegetables, grass or shrubs.

Take Wellness to the Next Level with OligoScan

The Thermography Center of Dallas is now 0ffering the OligoScan, which shows in less than five minutes what heavy metals are in the body, as well as 20 important minerals.

Home Infrared Saunas at Nebraska Furniture Mart

Sunlighten, a global wellness company and leader in the infrared sauna space for nearly 20 years, has partnered with Nebraska Furniture Mart (NFM), the largest home furnishing store in North America.

Add your comment: