- According to research performed by Tufts University biologists, tadpoles experienced negative physiological changes, including deformed hearts and malfunctioning kidneys and digestive systems, in early phases of their lives when they were exposed to atrazine, an herbicide commonly used to treat golf courses and residential lawns. While causation had not yet been conclusively determined, researchers found that “compared with control populations, the tadpoles that were exposed to atrazine had a dramatically higher incidence of abnormalities.”
Source: http://www.newswise.com/institutions/view/?id=1939, 2008.
- Research at the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science has show negative effects of the herbicide atrazine on phytoplankton, the free-floating algae that form the base of the food chain for aquatic animals. Results showed protein levels in phytoplankton decreased as a result of exposure to atrazine.
Source: Pesticide—Biochemistry and Physiology, January 2007.
- Research at the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences has indicated that pigs raised organically are healthier than those raised conventionally. Results from the project, “Health and medicine used in organic pig herds,” found that the prevalence of respiratory disease was 12 percent in organic pig herds compared with 29 percent in conventional herds, with the prevalence of gastrointestinal disease also lower for organic pigs.
Source: JanTindSorensen@agrsci.dk, 2006.
- Findings from three studies provide insight into the documented global decline in amphibian populations. In the studies focusing on frogs and long-toed salamanders, researchers found that the use of agrochemicals, which pollute the habitats and disturb the natural breeding cycles of amphibians, was a major cause of the population declines.
Source: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry: Vol. 25 (1), 2006.
- Pesticide residues are widely found in U.S. streams, according to data for 1992-2001 released in March 2006 by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). “More than 80 percent of urban streams and more than 50 percent of agricultural streams had concentrations in water of at least one pesticide that exceeded a water-quality benchmark for aquatic life,” the study found. USGS analyzed 51 major river basins and aquifer systems as well as the aquifer system in the High Plans. The pesticides chlorpyrifos, azinphos-methyl, p,p'-DDE and alachlor were most commonly found in agricultural streams at concentrations that might affect aquatic life. USGS also said that most stream samples and about half of the well samples contained two or more pesticides. Because potential total toxicity may be greater with pesticide mixtures, USGS recommended that studies of mixtures should be a high priority.
Source: “Pesticides in the Nation’s Streams and Ground Water, 1992-2001” http://pubs.usgs.gov/circ/2005/1291/, March 2006.
- The American Bird Conservancy has cited U.S Fish and Wildlife Service findings that, "Substantial evidence verifies that mortality of migratory birds and other non-target organisms occurs even when parathion is applied in complete conformance with the label." Currently, about 600,000 pounds of ethyl parathion are used annually on over 775,000 acres of U.S. land.
Source: American Bird Conservancy, Washington, D.C. (http://www.abcbirds.org/).