Articles of Interest: Insecticides and Herbicides

pesticide spraying chlorpyrifos

Our team at the Hoffman Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance (TILT) Program at UT Health San Antonio wanted to share these important external articles on insecticides and herbicides.

Johnson v. Monsanto Co.” from Wikipedia about a herbicide that contains glyphosate, which is used to kill certain weeds and grasses:

Johnson v. Monsanto Co. was the first lawsuit to proceed to trial over Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide product causing cancer. The lawsuit alleged that the exposure of glyphosate, an active ingredient in the Roundup product, caused Dewayne “Lee” Johnson’s non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In a landmark verdict, Monsanto was ordered by a San Francisco jury to pay $289m in punitive damages and compensatory damages.[1][2][3][4][5][6] Monsanto appealed the verdict several times, but lost.[7]

The above issue is related to a lawsuit featured on the National Injury Bureau.

Another important article is “Chlorpyrifos: The toxic pesticide harming our children and environment” from Earthjustice:

People are exposed through residues on food and in drinking water, and by toxic spray drift from pesticide applications.
Farmworkers are exposed to it from mixing, handling, and applying the pesticide; as well as from entering fields where chlorpyrifos was recently sprayed.
Consumers across the country are at risk, too, given chlorpyrifos’ widespread use. Residential uses of chlorpyrifos ended in 2000 after EPA found unacceptable risks to kids.
Children often experience greater exposure to chlorpyrifos and other pesticides because they frequently put their hands in their mouths and, relative to adults, they eat more fruits and vegetables, and drink more water and juice for their weight.

This is important for people who experience chemical intolerance, said Dr. Claudia Miller, allergist/immunologist, professor emeritus, and leader of the Hoffman TILT Program at UT Health San Antonio.

“A wide variety of pesticides have been linked to multi-system symptoms and chemical, food and drug intolerances through a disease process known as ‘Toxicant-induced Loss of Tolerance’ or ‘TILT.’ Two widely used organophosphate pesticides, diazinon and chlorpyrifos, in particular, have been linked to TILT as well as to neurodevelopmental problems in children.”

You can learn more about this issue from Chemical Exposures: Low Levels and High Stakes, a 1998 book by Miller and Nicholas Ashford.

How chemically sensitive are you?

Answer these three questions from the Brief Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (BREESI):

  1. Do you feel sick when you are exposed to tobacco smoke, certain fragrances, nail polish/remover, engine exhaust, gasoline, air fresheners, pesticides, paint/thinner, fresh tar/asphalt, cleaning supplies, new carpet or furnishings? By sick, we mean: headache, difficulty thinking, difficulty breathing, weakness, dizziness, upset stomach, etc.
  2. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse or allergic reactions to any drugs or medications (such as antibiotics, anesthetics, pain relievers, X-ray contrast dye, vaccines or birth control pills), or to an implant, prosthesis, contraceptive chemical or device, or other medical/surgical/dental material or procedure?
  3. Are you unable to tolerate or do you have adverse reactions to any foods such as dairy products, wheat, corn, eggs, caffeine, alcoholic beverages, or food additives (e.g., MSG, food dye)?

If you answer YES to any of these three questions, take the Quick Environmental Exposure and Sensitivity Inventory (QEESI) and share the results with your doctor!

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