Traces of herbicides from aerial spraying found in Oregonians' urine
Controversial aerial herbicide spraying challenged by anti-pesticide activists as traces of herbicides are found in Triangle Lake area residents' urine.
Thursday, May 5, 2011 - 16:39
As a follow-up to an earlier piece I wrote about the use of aerial herbicides sprayed over forests in the Triangle Lake area in Oregon, the results have finally come in and citizens have tested positive for certain chemicals. Anti-pesticide activists presented their case at the Board of Forestry in late May and came with "data that showed two herbicides in the urine of 21 community members, including children."
According to registerguard.com, the samples were tested by Dana Barr, a research professor at Emory University's Environmental and Occupational Health Department. Barr has also been a researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is "considered an expert in assessing human exposure to a variety of toxic compounds. She found two powerful weed killers, 2,4-D and atrazine, in the urine of all 21 residents who submitted samples to her lab earlier this year." Atrazine has been shown to cause damage to the human hormone system and at low levels to alter the biology of frogs. Some evidence also suggests that 2,4-D can cause cancer in humans.
Apparently the samples that Barr analyzed were taken during the winter before spring spraying began, which means there could have been lower levels of herbicides in these samples. Some residents submitted a second sample following helicopter sprays in the area around their homes, some of which yielded results showing an increased amount of the herbicides in their urine.
The Forestry Board also heard representatives of the timber industry, who claimed that there was not enough "science" backing up the citizens' arguments and that they cared for the land just as much as the residents.
These herbicides could be having a very detrimental effect on the residents of the Triangle Lake area as well as the environment. The Board Members will consider the case and come up with a decision in the coming weeks.
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