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Poison Wings Drift Catching in the Yakima Valley, Washington

Download [1] Press Release for Poisons on the Wind
Download [2] the ExecutiveSummary for Poisons on the Wind in English (0.9 Mb)
Download [3] the full Poisons on the Wind report in English (PDF, 2.3 Mb)
Download [4] the Technical Report with details on sampling and analysis (PDF, 1.9 Mb)
Bajar [5] Aires Envenenados, Resumen Ejecutivo en Espanol.(PDF, 1 Mb)

En la primavera del 2006, miembros de una comunidad de trabajadores agr?colas examinaron el aire en dos localidades del Valle Yakima con la asistencia del Proyecto de Campesinos y Pesticidas y Red de Acci?n sobre los Pesticidas. Hicimos pruebas con el fin de detectar si hab?a niveles peligrosos de clorpirifos en el aire. El clorpirifos es el ingrediente m?s importante del insecticida Lorsban, cuya aplicaci?n es muy com?n en los huertos de manzanos, cerezos y perales.

Executive Summary

This report presents the results of air monitoring in the apple-growing region of Washington State, the Yakima Valley. With training and laboratory assistance from PANNA, the Farm Worker Pesticide Project (FWPP) monitored the air for chlorpyrifos and its oxon degradation product at two homes in the Yakima Valley in April of 2006. Monitoring was conducted to coincide with the spring use of chlorpyrifos as an insecticide on apples, pears and cherries for the control of coddling moth, leafroller and other pome-fruit pests.

Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphorus insecticide that is neurotoxic to both insects and mammals, inhibiting acetyl cholinesterase, an enzyme necessary for proper transmission of nerve impulses. High levels of exposure to these types of pesticides are among the leading causes of acute pesticide poisonings in the U.S. Low levels of exposure during fetal and infant development have been linked to developmental deficits of the nervous system.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently banned all residential uses of chlorpyrifos; however, agricultural use continues. Nationwide in 2001, US EPA estimated that 11-16 million pounds of chlorpyrifos were used, second only to malathion for US insecticide use.

Sample results from air monitoring in Tieton and Cowiche, WA are reported in Tables 5 and 6 in the report.

Of the 21 samples collected (spikes and blanks excluded) between April 3rd and April 23rd in Cowiche, 81% were found to be above the limit of quantitation (LOQ) of 22 nanograms (ng) of chlorpyrifos per sample (equivalent to an air concentration of 8 ng/m 3 for a 24-hour sample at a 2 L/min flow rate and using a 2.65 mL solvent extraction volume). Thirty three percent of the samples were above the 24-hour acute and sub-chronic child REL of 170 ng/m 3 , calculated from the US Environmental Protection Agency?s inhalation No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL), as shown in Appendix 2. The highest concentration observed for a 24-hour period was 572 ng/m 3 (3.4 times the 24-hour acute child REL) on April 12, 2006.

Of the 21 samples collected (spikes and blanks excluded) between April 1st and April 21st in Tieton, all were found to be above the limit of quantitation (LOQ) of 20 ng/sample (equivalent to an air concentration of 7 ng/m 3 for a 24-hour sample at a 2 L/min flow rate and using a 2.65 mL solvent extraction volume). Thirty eight percent of the samples were above the 24-hour acute and sub-chronic child REL of 170 ng/m 3 , calculated from the US Environmental Protection Agency?s inhalation No Observed Adverse Effect Level (NOAEL), as shown in Appendix 2. The highest concentration observed for a 24-hour period was 475 ng/m 3 (2.8 times the 24-hour acute child REL) on April 13, 2006.

The chlorpyrifos oxon degradation product was not detected in any of the samples.

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