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ecoglobe [yinyang] news (8 April 1999)
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Pesticides in the rain - health warnings

We have just received the below email report from NORFOLK GENETIC INFORMATION NETWORK. The information sources appear sound and we therefore republish the email without modfication.
[transcript for scientific non-commercial purposes only] info from New Scientist (thanks to Richard Burston for spotting this)
In Sweden, says New Scientist, researchers have linked pesticides to one of the most rapidly increasing cancers in the Western world, non-Hodgkins lymphoma - which has risen by 73% in the USA since 1973. This, says the journal, is probably caused by several commonly used crop sprays.
The Lund University Hospital has found that Swedish sufferers of the disease were 2.7 times more likely to have been exposed to the herbicide MCPA than healthy people. "MCPA, which is used on grain crops, is sold as Target by the Swiss firm Novartis," says the journal.
"The patients were also 2.3 times more likely to have had contact with glyphosate." "Use of [glyphosate] sold as Round-Up by the US firm Monsanto, is expected to rocket with the introduction of crops such as Roundup-Ready soya beans that are genetically modified to resist glyphosate. The researchers suggest that the chemicals have suppressed the patients' immunity, allowing viruses such as Epstein-Barr to trigger cancer."

The report, on page 23 of New Scientist is by Fred Pearce and Debora Mackenzie
The rain over Europe contains illegal quantities of pesticide - FOL Today
Rain falling over Europe contains such high levels of pesticide dissolved in it, that it would be illegal to supply it as drinking water, says this week's reporting Swiss work. Common cancers may well be caused by pesticides, says other research, from Sweden. These reports help to explain why politicians are so keen to impose tax on the use of pesticides - it would be a popular tax with a vast majority of the public.
Studies in Switzerland, says New Scientist, have found toxic levels of atrazine, alachlor and other commonly used crop sprays in rain. A chemistfrom the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology, Stephan Mueller, says that drinking water standards for such chemicals are regularly exceeded in rain.
The chemicals appear to have evaporated from fields and become part of the clouds. In the first minutes of a rain shower, the rain can contain far more than the limit of 100 nanograms/litre of any particular pesticide that's permitted in drinking water. One sample of rainfall contained 4,000 nanograms per litre of 2,4D; another contained around 900 nanograms of atrazine per litre. The highest concentrations appear in the first rainfall after a long dry period, especially when local fields have been sprayed.
[end of transcript]

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ecoglobe [yinyang] news (8 April 1999)
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