Understanding the IARC Cancer Listing For Glyphosate

(by Megan Dunn, Healthy People and Communities Program Director) In March of 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) listed the chemical glyphosate–the active ingredient in Roundup–as a ‘probable carcinogen’ (International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2015). Glyphosate is the most widely used pesticide, a common tool for groundskeepers in schools and parks, and aggressively sold to homeowners. Community members across the country have been responding to this new classification and while many are justifiably worried, many are still skeptical. What does the IARC mean by “probable?” Isn’t glyphosate as safe as a tanning bed?   Continue reading

NCAP's Statement About the Zika Virus

Keeping informed about disease outbreaks and how to protect you and your family is important. Vectors such as mosquitoes can transmit disease. Zika virus is one of many vector-borne diseases and is primarily transmitted by aedes species mosquitoes. Zika virus is spreading and is being linked to birth defects in babies born to women who have contracted the disease while pregnant. Continue reading

NCAP Statement on Bt Applications

The mission of the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) is to protect the health of people and the environment by advancing alternatives to pesticides. With our mission and values in mind, we have considered the health and environmental effects of the proposed use of Bacillus thuringiensis v. kurstaki (Btk). We consider Btk, a biological control, to be the most reasonable alternative to using toxic synthetic chemicals for eradicating gypsy moths at this time. Continue reading

Today is National Healthy Schools Day!

    Today, April 5, is National Healthy Schools Day, a day for public awareness coordinated by the Healthy Schools Network since 2003.   According to the campaign, “Across the U.S., there are 130,000 public and private K-12 schools enrolling some 55 million children and employing about 7 million adults–in all 20% of the total US population is in schools every day. Yet, EPA reports that half of all schools have problems with indoor pollution, a complex problem attributable to various sources, such as poor siting or engineering, leaky roofs, deferred maintenance and repairs, and the use of toxic products indoors and out.”   You can take part in National Healthy School Day by encouraging schools to reduce pesticide use. Continue reading

Tell the EPA Its Imidacloprid Assessment is Lacking in Key Areas

The EPA has released a preliminary pollinator risk assessment for a neonicotinoid insecticide called imidacloprid. This pesticide has been implicated in several major bee kill events in Oregon and elsewhere. Imidacloprid is sold as Admire, Gaucho, Merit and other trade names. In home and garden products, this active ingredient is often in products labeled “Systemic”.  The EPA is soliciting public comment on its risk assessment until April 14, which examines risks of agricultural uses of imidacloprid to bees. The risk assessment makes no regulatory suggestions; those come later in the registration review process. However, assessment identifies a nectar residue level for imidacloprid of 25 ppb, above which the EPA believes that effects on pollinator hives are likely. These effects may include reduction in numbers of pollinators as well as the amount of honey produced.   Continue reading