Pesticide Combo Impacts Often Greater Than Sum of Parts: New Study

"Exposure to multiple fumigants commonly used together in California may increase cancer risk, says new report."

"Most scientists, farmers, and regulators usually consider the health effects of pesticides one at a time. But that’s not always how they’re used.

“We know these are being applied on purpose together,” and some have similar health effects, including cancer, says report co-author Susan Kegley, principal and CEO of the California-based Pesticide Research Institute.

Millions of pounds of these three pesticides are commonly used in combination to grow strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, grapes, nuts, and other crops. All together, about 30 million pounds were used on California farm fields in 2013 alone, and together they account for about a fifth of all pesticides used in the state.

The three chemicals examined are all used as fumigants, meaning that they are applied to kill pests in soil rather than on plants as they grow. Unlike other types of pesticides, fumigants don’t end up in food. But because they’re often applied as gasses, they drift easily. This makes the risk of exposure for people living and working nearby very high."

Elizabeth Grossman reports for Civil Eats February 24, 2016.

Source: Civil Eats, 02/24/2016