Illinois Pesticide Review
September / October 2010
In This Issue
- Changes to the Private Pesticide Applicator Training Program
- Private Pesticide Applicators Have Online Training Option
- Fines Assessed for Fumigant Misuse
- EPA Launches New Discussion Forum for Pesticide Labeling
- New Website Provides a Central Resource for Information on Pesticide Stewardship
- Pesticide Use and Cutaneous Melanoma in Pesticide Applicators
Changes to the Private Pesticide Applicator Training Program
Due to the recent and ongoing reorganization of University of Illinois Extension, some major changes will take place with the Private Pesticide Applicator Training Clinics this 2010-2011 season. Counties will be placed into multi-county unit configurations and then staffed accordingly.
These changes will take place for the 2010-2011 season. To accommodate this, the campus-based Pesticide Safety Education Program will be scheduling and conducting the private training clinics for the 2010-2011 season. It is unknown at this time how clinics will be handled in subsequent years. For this year, the training needs will be met with 14 regional training clinics and 27 test-only clinics. Watch for the private clinic brochure featuring dates and locations in the mail from the Illinois Dept. of Agriculture after November 1, 2010, if you are up for retest.
• Training this year conducted by University of Illinois Extension field and campus staff due to transition in Extension field staffing pattern.
• Pre-registration (required) through central campus location (Pesticide Safety Education Program: www.PesticideSafety.uiuc.edu or toll free at 1-877-626-1650).
• Sites will be larger (200-250 person capacity).
• Watch for private clinic brochure in mail from IDA after Nov. 1 if you are up for retest (will provide registration details including dates and locations).
Training and Testing Options
• Web-based training available (must take test elsewhere) – $25.
• Regional training available (testing immediately following) – $30.
• Unit testing only sites available (no training).
• Refer to www.PesticideSafety.uiuc.edu for additional information.
Private Pesticide Applicators Have Online Training Option
The University of Illinois Pesticide Safety Education Program has made available an online training program for private pesticide applicators wishing to become licensed.
The program includes eight modules to be completed online at one's own convenience and learning pace. It serves as a replacement for the self-study CD, and it provides a training alternative for those unable to attend the 14 scheduled regional clinics offered statewide this training season.
Participants must keep in mind that testing is NOT offered online and the private test must be taken at a testing session with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. As always, testing will be held in conjunction with the training clinics.
The online training modules include: Understanding Pesticides; Pesticides in the Environment; Integrated Pest Management; Human Pesticide Protection; Labels and Labeling; Equipment & Calibration Part 1; Equipment & Calibration Part 2; and Pesticide Laws and Regulations.
There is a $25 fee to register and take the course and users will have access to the training materials for one year from the date of purchase. For more information, visit www.pesticidesafety.uiuc.edu.
Fines Assessed for Fumigant Misuse
Here is a follow-up article to our previous articles (March/April 2010 and May/June 2010) that focused on the accidental deaths of two young girls as a result of fumigant misuse. This incident was certainly a "life changer" for those involved. It serves as a reminder of the great importance of always reading and following all label directions. – Michelle Wiesbrook
A Bountiful City, Utah, extermination company and seven employees have agreed to pay $46,800 in fines to settle administrative charges brought by the Utah Division of Plant Industry in connection with the February poisoning deaths of two Layton girls.
The seven Bugman Pest and Lawn Inc. employees also will be on probation for two years, during which each must attend 18 hours of state-approved pesticide-applicator training, undergo a records audit by the state and have no new violations of the Utah Pesticide Control Act.
Coleman Nocks, the employee who applied an aluminum phosphide pesticide called Fumitoxin at the home of Rebecca Toone, 4, and her sister, Rachel, 15 months, on Feb. 5, faces two criminal charges of negligent homicide in connection with the deaths. He has pleaded not guilty, surrendered his pesticide license and agreed not to reapply for a license.
In announcing the settlement Friday, the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food said it is satisfied that Bugman is willing to work with the state to "ensure future compliance with pesticide regulations that protect the public."
"This settlement is fair and abides by the intent of the Administrative Code," said Clark Burgess, pesticide program manager. "This settlement sends a strong message to Utah pesticide companies and the citizens of Utah that pesticide laws must be respected and obeyed."
Friday's settlement addresses more than 3,500 instances when the company and its crew broke state pesticide laws between April 2009 and February 2010. Many of the charges involved paperwork, while others represented the misuse of dangerous pesticides, including Fumitoxin.
(Taken from "Bugman agrees to fines in Utah pesticide deaths" by Judy Fahys, The Salt Lake Tribune, August 20, 2010.http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50142982-76/pesticide-state-utah-company.html.csp)
EPA Launches New Discussion Forum for Pesticide Labeling
On September 1, EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) unveiled "Enable the Label," an online discussion forum established to facilitate the exchange of information and ideas related to the labeling of pesticides. Initially, it will be used to facilitate a monthly discussion focusing on one or two chapters of the Label Review Manual. The Label Review Manual is a policy document that label reviewers and registrants are to use for guidance when developing labels.
Each month several questions will be posed for discussion and participants are welcome to post their thoughts and ideas on the topics and provide feedback on any other subject covered in that month's chapter. The goal is to improve the clarity and usefulness of the manual for its users – primarily people who draft, review, or enforce labels in the field. Pesticide manufacturers and their representatives, State pesticide regulators, and pesticide users are expected to be interested in participating in EPA's new Enable the Label online discussion forum.
The inaugural Enable the Label discussion solicited ideas related to Chapters 1 and 2 of the Manual. Discussion threads covering these chapters were open for comment and discussion for 30 days.
Subsequently, EPA will move through the manual by individual chapter or small groups of chapters, each open for comment for 30 days. OPP will review comments received and incorporate useful ones into future revisions of the Label Review Manual. For this discussion focusing on the Label Review Manual, the agency is not asking for general discussions on pesticide policy issues.
All during October, the focus is on Chapter 3 of the manual. This chapter focuses heavily on the differences between Mandatory and Advisory statements. This area is often poorly understood by pesticide applicators as well as by pesticide safety educators. However, it is absolutely essential that we understand these concepts if we are to understand what the label is directing us to do versus advising us to do.
I encourage you to check this Discussion Forum out and participate if you can. You will gain a much better understanding of why labels are written the way they are and perhaps your comments will help EPA to identify ways to make labels more comprehensible for their users.
Enable the Label will provide informal comment opportunities to everyone interested in improving the Label Review Manual, and encourage creative solutions to complex pesticide label challenges in an open and transparent environment.
EPA invites you to regularly submit your comments and comment on others' ideas at http://blog.epa.gov/enablethelabel/.(Source: EPA; modified slightly by Michelle Wiesbrook.)
New Website Provides a Central Resource for Information on Pesticide Stewardship
Recently the Center for Integrated Pest Management (CIPM) in Raleigh, North Carolina announced the launch of a new Pesticide Environmental Stewardship (PES) website. The site (http://pesticidestewardship.org) is designed for anyone who applies, sells, stores, or disposes of pesticides; provides advice or training on pesticide use; or is involved in pesticide stewardship or regulation.
"Our ultimate goal is to cover the basic tenets that apply regardless of who you are, where you live or the pest you're trying to control," says Wayne Buhler of North Carolina State University, PES national coordinator and a Pesticide Safety Education Program coordinator for North Carolina.
"There are fundamental principles and practices to be aware of whether you are protecting agricultural crops, homegrown vegetables, a lawn or golf course. We hope that whenever the choice is made to use a pesticide, good stewardship practices will be followed."
The new website complements the work of county extension agents and state-level Pesticide Safety Education programs. It covers a wide variety of stewardship topics, ranging from pesticide storage, handling and disposal…to how to avoid drift, runoff and leaching during and after the application. Homeowners can go straight to a section geared to their needs.
Buhler's colleagues in the Pesticide Safety Education Program from across the United States were instrumental in the development of PES, including Ron Gardner of Cornell University, Carol Ramsay of Washington State University, Jim Wilson of South Dakota State University and Fred Whitford of Purdue University.
Other scientists in academia, extension, government and industry (http://pesticidestewardship.org/Pages/About.aspx) partnered with CIPM on the project, including members of the Weed Science Society of America, the Entomological Society of America and the American Phytopathological Society.
"We know there is a wealth of expertise in the public and private sector regarding pesticide stewardship," observes Ron Gardner. "We look forward to a growing list of partners who will help us add value to current and future topics on the site."
A pesticide resistance management topic is currently under development. Future plans include educational quizzes to reinforce important stewardship concepts and self-assessment tools to evaluate personal stewardship practices.
"Search the web for phrases like 'pesticide stewardship and drift' and you will get thousands of results," says Carol Somody, senior stewardship manager for Syngenta Crop Protection and PES industry coordinator. "It can be quite overwhelming to someone who wants to start with the basics, and teaching the basics is the purpose of PES. It provides a much-needed entry point to essential pesticide stewardship information."
10 Stewardship Tips from the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship (PES) Website:
1. Read the label before buying the pesticide.
2. Buy only the amount of pesticide needed for one season.
3. As a general rule of thumb, the temperature inside the storage area should not get below 40 F or over 100 F.
4. Calibrate equipment carefully to assure that the pesticide is applied at labeled rates.
5. Be aware of the current and probable future weather conditions in order to make the best application decisions to prevent drift.
6. Locate the mixing/loading site away from wells, streams and lakes.
7. Never leave a tank while it is being filled and pay constant attention during filling to prevent overfilling and spilling of the pesticide on the ground.
8. When you empty a container, allow it to drain into the spray tank for 10 seconds after it begins to drip.
9. Remember that exceeding the label rate of application is a violation of the law!
10. Follow the label each time you mix and use the pesticide, and follow the label when storing or disposing of the pesticide. Do not trust your memory.
About the Center for Integrated Pest Management
The Center for IPM (CIPM) was established in 1991 as part of the National Science Foundation's Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program. CIPM works to support and further Integrated Pest Management through the evaluation of emerging technologies, information management and dissemination, environmental stewardship, estimation of economic consequences, resistance management tools and systems, and integration of disciplinary expertise.
CIPM also involves scientists from universities across the nation through grants, contracts or other formal working relationships to foster IPM in both agricultural and urban settings. CIPM is housed within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University.(Submitted by Michelle Wiesbrook from press release dated August 11, 2010.)
Pesticide Use and Cutaneous Melanoma in Pesticide Applicators
The following is a synopsis of an article called "Pesticide Use and Cutaneous Melanoma in Pesticide Applicators in the Agricultural Heath Study." The authors are Leslie K. Dennis, Charles F. Lynch, Dale P. Sandler, and Michael C.R. Alavanja. The article was published in Environmental Health Perspective. The full article can be read at the web site: http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.0901518
Cutaneous melanoma incidence has tripled from 1975 to 2006. This is the most deadly form of skin cancer. People who have light complexion (fair skin, blond or red hair, tendency to burn) are at a greater risk. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (including sun exposure and tanning lamps) is another risk factor. Other factors include age, family history of melanoma, and large numbers of common or atypical nevi.
A recent test showed that arsenic (measured in toenails) was related to melanoma. To examine the potential association between melanoma and pesticides, the authors examined 50 dose–response relationships for agricultural pesticides and cutaneous melanoma of licensed pesticide applicators while controlling for known risk factors for melanoma.
The licensed applicators were from Iowa and North Carolina. They were farmers, farm workers, nursery operators and commercial applicators (pest control companies, warehouse operators, grain elevators).
The enrollment questionnaire sought information on the use of 50 pesticides including detailed exposure information on 22 of the 50 pesticides, crops grown, livestock raised, personal protective equipment used, pesticide application methods used, other ag activities and exposure, nonfarm occupational exposures, smoking, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable consumption, multiple vitamin use, medical conditions, medical conditions of close relatives (including history of cancer) and basic demographic data.
Additional data were collected on the other 28 pesticides via a take-home questionnaire. This questionnaire included more detailed exposure information, PPE use, dietary and cooking practices, vitamin use, height and weight, hours of sun exposure for 11 years, tendency to burn, hair color, exposure to welding and solvents, and non-farm jobs. The average length of follow-up was 10.3 years.
Comparing the collected data from the applicators who took the take-home questionnaire and all the pesticide applicators, the authors found minimal difference. By linking applicators to cancer registry, state death registry and the national death index to ascertain vital status, 271 incidents of cutaneous melanoma cases were identified out of 56,285 private and commercial applicators. There were 150 cases of melanoma out of 24,704 applicators that completed the take-home questionnaire.
The 50 pesticides included 18 herbicides, 22 insecticides, 6 fungicides, and 4 fumigants. None of the 22 pesticides listed on the enrollment questionnaire was associated with melanoma. However, 4 of the 28 pesticides detailed on the take-home were linked.
Although overall fungicide use did not appear to be related to melanoma, benomyl and maneb/mancozeb had significant dose-response associations with melanoma. Carbaryl and parathion also had increased ORs (Odds Ratio).
Based on these questionnaires, the authors said the strongest pesticide associations were with maneb/macozeb and parathion. (Only about 7% of the applicators applied these pesticides; thus, the exposure rate in the general population is likely to be low.)
In addition, dose-response relationships were seen for benomyl and carbaryl (the latter supports a previous report from a prospective analysis of carbaryl applicators.
The authors' conclusions are as follows: Increased cutaneous melanoma risk was seen among applicators who had used/applied maneb/mancozeb and parathion, and potentially benomyl as well as lead arsenate, compared with applicators who never used these products. The results are consistent with prior findings of an association between melanoma and arsenic.
The authors observed a significant effect modification when benomyl and maneb/mancozeb users were also exposed to lead arsenate. In addition, previous observation in the Agriculture Health Study of an association between carbaryl and melanoma was upheld when the authors added two additional years of cases.
Most of the previous melanoma literature has focused on host factors and sun exposure, but this study suggests more research is needed on chemicals and other environmental factors that may increase the risk of cutaneous melanoma.(Submitted by Jim Schuster.)