Toda, Mitsuru, Beer, Karlyn D., Kuivila, Kathryn M., Chiller, Tom M., & Jackson, Brendan R.; “Trends in Agricultural Triazole Fungicide Use in the United States, 1992–2016 and Possible Implications for Antifungal-Resistant Fungi in Human Disease;” Environmental Health Perspectives, 2021, 129(5); DOI: 10.1289/ehp7484.
BACKGROUND: The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus (A. fumigatus) is the leading cause of invasive mold infections, which cause severe disease and death in immunocompromised people. Use of triazole antifungal medications in recent decades has improved patient survival; however, triazole-resistant infections have become common in parts of Europe and are emerging in the United States. Triazoles are also a class of fungicides used in plant agriculture, and certain triazole-resistant A. fumigatus strains found causing disease in humans have been linked to environmental fungicide use.
OBJECTIVES: We examined U.S. temporal and geographic trends in the use of triazole fungicides using U.S. Geological Survey agricultural pesticide use estimates.
DISCUSSION: Based on our analysis, overall tonnage of triazole fungicide use nationwide was relatively constant during 1992–2005 but increased >4-fold during 2006–2016 to 2:9 million kg in 2016. During 1992–2005, triazole fungicide use occurred mostly in orchards and grapes, wheat, and other crops, but recent increases in use have occurred primarily in wheat, corn, soybeans, and other crops, particularly in Midwest and Southeast states. We conclude that, given the chemical similarities between triazole fungicides and triazole antifungal drugs used in human medicine, increased monitoring for environmental and clinical triazole resistance in A. fumigatus would improve overall understanding of these interactions, as well as help identify strategies to mitigate development and spread of resistance. FULL TEXT
Mesnage, R., Teixeira, M., Mandrioli, D., Falcioni, L., Ibragim, M., Ducarmon, Q. R., Zwittink, R. D., Amiel, C., Panoff, J. M., Bourne, E., Savage, E., Mein, C. A., Belpoggi, F., & Antoniou, M. N.; “Multi-omics phenotyping of the gut-liver axis reveals metabolic perturbations from a low-dose pesticide mixture in rats;” Communications Biology, 2021, 4(1), 471; DOI: 10.1038/s42003-021-01990-w.
Health effects of pesticides are not always accurately detected using the current battery of regulatory toxicity tests. We compared standard histopathology and serum biochemistry measures and multi-omics analyses in a subchronic toxicity test of a mixture of six pesticides frequently detected in foodstuffs (azoxystrobin, boscalid, chlorpyrifos, glyphosate, imidacloprid and thiabendazole) in Sprague-Dawley rats. Analysis of water and feed consumption, body weight, histopathology and serum biochemistry showed little effect. Contrastingly, serum and caecum metabolomics revealed that nicotinamide and tryptophan metabolism were affected, which suggested activation of an oxidative stress response. This was not reflected by gut microbial community composition changes evaluated by shotgun metagenomics. Transcriptomics of the liver showed that 257 genes had their expression changed. Gene functions affected included the regulation of response to steroid hormones and the activation of stress response pathways. Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis of the same liver samples showed that 4,255 CpG sites were differentially methylated. Overall, we demonstrated that in-depth molecular profiling in laboratory animals exposed to low concentrations of pesticides allows the detection of metabolic perturbations that would remain undetected by standard regulatory biochemical measures and which could thus improve the predictability of health risks from exposure to chemical pollutants. FULL TEXT
Alavanja, M. C., Hoppin, J. A., & Kamel, F.; “Health effects of chronic pesticide exposure: cancer and neurotoxicity;” Annual review of public health, 2004, 25, 155-197; DOI: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.25.101802.123020.
Pesticides are widely used in agricultural and other settings, resulting in continuing human exposure. Epidemiologic studies indicate that, despite premarket animal testing, current exposures are associated with risks to human health. In this review, we describe the routes of pesticide exposures occurring today, and summarize and evaluate the epidemiologic studies of pesticide-related carcinogenicity and neurotoxicity in adults. Better understanding of the patterns of exposure, the underlying variability within the human population, and the links between the animal toxicology data and human health effects will improve the evaluation of the risks to human health posed by pesticides. Improving epidemiology studies and integrating this information with toxicology data will allow the human health risks of pesticide exposure to be more accurately judged by public health policy makers. FULL TEXT
Blair, A., Malker, H., Cantor, K. P., Burmeister, L., & Wiklund, K.; “Cancer among farmers. A review;” Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment, & Health, 1985, 11(6), 397-407; DOI: 10.5271/sjweh.2208.
During the performance of routine tasks farmers may come in contact with a variety of substances, including pesticides, solvents, oils and fuels, dusts, paints, welding fumes, zoonotic viruses, microbes, and fungi. Because some of these substances are known or suspected carcinogens, the epidemiologic literature regarding cancer risks concerning farmers has been reviewed. Farmers had consistent deficits for cancers of the colon, rectum, liver, and nose. The deficits for cancer of the lung and bladder were particularly striking, presumably due to less frequent use of tobacco among farmers than among people in many other occupational groups. Malignancies frequently showing excesses among farmers included Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and cancers of the lip, stomach, prostate, skin (nonmelanotic), brain, and connective tissues. The etiologic factors that may contribute to these excesses in the agricultural environment have not been identified. Detailed, analytic epidemiologic studies that incorporate environmental and biochemical monitoring are needed to clarify these associations. FULL TEXT
Blair, A., & Zahm, S. H.; “Patterns of pesticide use among farmers: implications for epidemiologic research;” Epidemiology, 1993, 4(1), 55-62; DOI: 10.1097/00001648-199301000-00011.
Epidemiologic studies of farmers have linked pesticides with certain cancers. Information on exposures from many of these studies was obtained by interview of farmers or their next-of-kin. The reliability and validity of data on pesticide use obtained by recall, often years after the event, have been questioned. Pesticide use, however, is an integral component in most agricultural operations, and the farmers’ knowledge and recall of chemicals used may be better than for many other occupations. Contrary to general belief, many farmers typically use only a few pesticides during their lifetimes and make only a few applications per year. Data from U.S. Department of Agriculture surveys indicate that herbicides are applied to wheat, corn, soybeans, and cotton and that application of insecticides to corn averages two or fewer times per year. In epidemiologic studies at the National Cancer Institute, the proportion of farmers ever reporting lifetime use of five or more different chemicals was 7% for insecticides and 20% for herbicides. Surrogate respondents have often been used in epidemiologic studies of cancer; they are able to recall pesticide use with less detail than the farmers themselves. The pesticides reported by surrogates were the same as reported by subjects themselves, but with less frequency. Comparison of reporting by cases and controls provided no evidence of case-response (differential) bias; thus, inaccurate recall of pesticide use by subjects or surrogates would tend to diminish risk estimates and dilute exposure-response gradients. FULL TEXT
Blair, A., Zahm, S. H., Pearce, N. E., Heineman, E. F., & Fraumeni, J. F., Jr.; “Clues to cancer etiology from studies of farmers;” Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment, & Health, 1992, 18(4), 209-215; DOI: 10.5271/sjweh.1578.
This article summarizes cancer risks among farmers to clarify the magnitude of the problem and to suggest directions for future research. Significant excesses occurred for Hodgkin’s disease, multiple myeloma, leukemia, skin melanomas, and cancers of the lip, stomach, and prostate. Nonsignificant increases in risk were also noted for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and cancers of connective tissue and brain. These excesses occurred against a background of substantial deficits among farmers for total mortality and mortality from many specific diseases. The tumors vary in frequency, histology, and prognosis and do not fall into any obvious grouping. Two commonalities may be important. Several of the tumors excessive among farmers appear to be rising in the general population and are excessive among patients with naturally occurring or medically induced immunodeficiencies. Therefore epidemiologic studies on specific exposures among farmers may help explain the rising trend of certain cancers in developed countries and provide clues to mechanisms of action for environmental carcinogens. FULL TEXT
Potera, C.; “Tracking organophosphates: new method for assessing long-term dietary exposures;” Environmental Health Perspectives, 2015, 123(5), A135; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.123-A135.
Mariyono, Joko; “Direct and indirect impacts of integrated pest management on pesticide use: a case of rice agriculture in Java, Indonesia;” Pest Management Science, 2008, 64(10), 1069-1073; DOI:10.1002/ps.1602.
BACKGROUND: Integrated pest management (IPM) technology has been disseminated since 1989 in Indonesia to cut down pesticide use, but the adoption and diffusion of the technology are still debated. This study aims to estimate the models of demand for pesticides and to analyse the impact of IPM technology on pesticide use. Aggregate cross-section time series data from 1990-1998 are used.
RESULTS: The results show that IPM technology reduces the use of pesticides by improving the process of rice production, such that pesticides are more efficiently used. In this case, the IPM technology is not a pest control technique.
CONCLUSION There is an indication that IPM technology has been adopted by farmers. This is evidence that the IPM programme in Indonesia was successful in this area. Copyright ? 2008 Society of Chemical Industry
Bohnenblust, E. W., Vaudo, A. D., Egan, J. F., Mortensen, D. A., & Tooker, J. F.; “Effects of the herbicide dicamba on nontarget plants and pollinator visitation;” Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 2016, 35(1), 144-151; DOI: 10.1002/etc.3169.
Nearly 80% of all pesticides applied to row crops are herbicides, and these applications pose potentially significant ecotoxicological risks to nontarget plants and associated pollinators. In response to the widespread occurrence of weed species resistant to glyphosate, biotechnology companies have developed crops resistant to the synthetic-auxin herbicides dicamba and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D); and once commercialized, adoption of these crops is likely to change herbicide-use patterns. Despite current limited use, dicamba and 2,4-D are often responsible for injury to nontarget plants; but effects of these herbicides on insect communities are poorly understood. To understand the influence of dicamba on pollinators, the authors applied several sublethal, drift-level rates of dicamba to alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) and Eupatorium perfoliatum L. and evaluated plant flowering and floral visitation by pollinators. The authors found that dicamba doses simulating particle drift (≈1% of the field application rate) delayed onset of flowering and reduced the number of flowers of each plant species; however, plants that did flower produced similar-quality pollen in terms of protein concentrations. Further, plants affected by particle drift rates were visited less often by pollinators. Because plants exposed to sublethal levels of dicamba may produce fewer floral resources and be less frequently visited by pollinators, use of dicamba or other synthetic-auxin herbicides with widespread planting of herbicide-resistant crops will need to be carefully stewarded to prevent potential disturbances of plant and beneficial insect communities in agricultural landscapes. FULL TEXT
Sharma, Rakesh, & Peshin, Rajinder; “Impact of integrated pest management of vegetables on pesticide use in subtropical Jammu, India;” Crop Protection, 2016, 84, 105-112; DOI: 10.1016/j.cropro.2016.02.014.
In a study at the subtropical vegetable-growing areas of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), a quasi-experimental research design with a non-equivalent control group was employed to examine the impact of an integrated pest management (IPM) program implemented from 2008 to 2010 on the adoption of non-chemical pest management practices, pesticide use by weight (active ingredient [a.i.]), pesticide use frequency, field use environment impact (FEIQ) and safe handling and application of pesticides by IPM-trained farmers. There was no significant change in adoption of non-chemical practices, other than pheromone traps used by okra (Abelmoschus esculentus (L.) Moench) growers. Growers reduced FEIQ by 17.9 per hectare from 2008 to 2010. Pesticide use (a.i.) did not decrease significantly, and frequency decreased significantly by 72.4% only in cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. var. botrytis). The vegetable growers did not use protective equipment while handling and applying pesticides thus putting themselves at risk. Implementation of IPM thus needs to be reexamined to significantly reduce pesticide use by weight, treatment frequency and FEIQ.