The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has announced that two harmful pesticides must be acknowledged for their being a detriment to the environment, malathion and chlorpyrifos.
According to The Guardian, “Almost all of the 1,700 most endangered plants and animals in the U.S. are likely to be harmed by [ these two pesticides]… Malathion, an insecticide registered for use in the U.S. since 1956, is likely to cause harm to 97 percent of the 1,772 mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and plants listed under the Endangered Species Act.”
The pesticide is often used on fruit, vegetables, plants, and on pets to remove ticks. The second pesticide of chlorpyrifos, commonly used to exterminate termites, roundworms, and mosquitoes, was found to have an equally detrimental effect on America’s flora and fauna. Of the hundreds of species listed, the few that were deemed not at risk are primarily the ones that have already been classified as extinct.
EPA officials also mentioned a third pesticide, diazinon, that has a slightly lesser impact, clocking in at harmful to about 79 percent of the endangered species. In addition, the World Health Organization announced in March of last year that malathion and diazinon are “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
Perhaps most frightening about this announcement is that the EPA is the first agency of its kind to examine in depth the effects these chemicals have on wildlife. Even then, their results are lacking: they fail to mention other high-profile pesticides like glyphosate that could potentially have an equally harmful effect on the environment.
In fact, the EPA has not even bothered to test glyphosate on a large scale, regardless of the fact that “farmers sprayed 2.6 billion pounds of Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide on U.S. agricultural land between 1992 and 2012” as per reported in the U.S. Geological Survey. It would come as no surprise if in the future glyphosate makes the list, especially as the EPA has announced future tests to determine how much of this pesticide we are consuming.
The scientific community is taking note and pushing for more. As Lori Ann Burd, environmental health director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said:
“For the first time in history, we finally have data showing just how catastrophically bad these pesticides are for endangered species – from birds and frogs to fish and plants. These dangerous pesticides have been used without proper analysis for decades, and now’s the time to take this new information and create commonsense measures to protect plants, animals and people from these chemicals.”
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