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

Gardening Asanas

Overdoing garden work can produce aches and pains, but by integrating yoga positions while planting and weeding, we can emerge pain-free after hours of being on our knees and bending.

Indigenous Wisdom

Indigenous elders from around the world meet together to pass down four sacred gifts of wisdom we would do well to heed.

Nature’s Remedies

Creatures in the wild ranging from microbes to elephants cope with parasites, pests and pain using natural substances; it all suggests why our preserving the natural world is good for us, too.

Healthy Climate, Healthy People

As the Earth slowly heats up, we’re being affected by rising allergens, disaster-related trauma and the increase in insects carrying dangerous diseases.

Whole Grains Help Us Eat Less

When overweight Danes exchanged refined grain products such as white bread and pasta for whole-grain equivalents, they tended to feel full sooner, eat less, lose weight and have less inflammation.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

Zen Shiatsu Training

Business Spotlight
Shiatsu School of Vermont, one of two schools certified in the U.S. to offer Zen-style shiatsu certification, is offering a one-year Certified Practitioner Program starting this September.

Transformation Through the Art of Breema

An upcoming weekend retreat at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Movement from April 20 to 22 will provide a fulfilling entry into Breema’s philosophy, self-care exercises and bodywork.

Tour Green Homes at Green House Festival in Brookline

Mothers Out Front has organized a green home tour from noon to 3 p.m. on April 8, in Brookline.

Sleeping Better Naturally

Business Spotlight
At The Organic Mattress, a family-owned specialty sleep store, people will find mattresses made from natural and organic ingredients, including organic cotton, wool and natural latex made from the sap of rubber trees.

Rising Seas Threaten Boston

The Climate Action Business Association (CABA) is standing up to protect Commonwealth small business communities against imminent danger.

Peace on Earth

My latest favorite author is 20th-century new thought leader and philosopher Emmet Fox. His piece below feels like a perfect fit in light of the world’s celebration of our planet on Earth Day this month.