Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
May 04th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Methyl Iodide Unsafe at any speed

bill_MonningThe decision of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to support the registration of the pesticide methyl iodide is irresponsible because its proposed mitigations will not avert potentially devastating health and environmental impacts.

The proposed registration is misplaced in light of compelling evidence presented by the external scientific peer review committee commissioned by DPR. Once methyl iodide is approved, there will be no turning back from its dangerous and potentially lethal effects.  Workers and families in rural regions deserve protection from this highly volatile and toxic pesticide. The only means to protect public health and the environment is to prohibit the use of methyl iodide in California.

Methyl iodide, the proposed replacement chemical for the ozone-depleting chemical methyl bromide, is a known carcinogen, a neurotoxin, and a thyroid toxicant that can disrupt fetal development and cause miscarriages. It is used to create cancer cells for scientific research and is a groundwater contaminant.

While DPR’s Notice of Proposed Regulation boasts that the proposed restrictions on the use of methyl iodide are tougher than those adopted by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), DPR’s acceptable exposure limits are 100 times higher than the exposure limits recommended by DPR’s own toxicologists. To protect public health and safety, field applications require the covering of treated areas with a tarpaulin material called Virtually Impermeable Film. The practice of tarping fields is not foolproof.  Winds, vehicles, animals, and people can damage the tarps, allowing gas to vent and expose workers, neighboring schools, hospitals, and residential areas to unintended exposures.

One of the most troubling aspects of the proposed registration of methyl iodide is the gap that exists between the practice of real world applications and the expectation voiced by the manufacturer that as long as label warnings and use restrictions are followed, there will be no problems. In my experience representing victims of unintended pesticide exposures, it is the real world conditions of weather, human error, and insufficient testing that have resulted in human tragedies following acute and chronic exposures. The risks of application in rural areas include potential long-term health consequences of a chronic nature such as respiratory, neurological, and systemic illnesses.

As a representative of agricultural and urban areas, I am keenly aware of the balancing test that must be applied. I believe that in the short term, the State of California should commit to further review of the synergistic impacts of methyl iodide and chloropicrin, the potential impacts of raising the permissible exposure limits by a factor of more than 100, and the short- and long-term impacts on water and air resources.

At the end of June, after receiving more than 52,000 public comments, the DPR completed its review of the application to register methyl iodide as an alternative to methyl bromide. Based upon the findings of the independent scientific peer review committee, the conclusions of the National Academy of Sciences, which includes six Nobel laureates, and testimony presented before the legislature, I am convinced that methyl iodide should not be registered for use in California.

It is unconscionable for DPR to proceed with the registration of methyl iodide when its own scientists have presented unequivocal evidence of extreme risk and insufficient data collection. The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has a fundamental obligation to prioritize the health interest of the public and should reconsider its preliminary decision to register methyl iodide. To do anything less would be arrogant and irresponsible.


Assemblymember Bill Monning represents the 27th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Capitola, Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley in Santa Cruz County; as well as the cities of Carmel, Marina, Monterey, and Seaside in Monterey County; and the city of Morgan Hill in Santa Clara County.  You can reach him through his website, assembly.ca.gov/monning. Should you have comments, please send them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Comments (1)Add Comment
If you would like to see the video testimony and learn More facts about Methyl Iodide...
written by Lacey, July 21, 2010
There are 2 handy YouTube sites where you can view 10 min. or shorter clips of committee hearings, first hand.
http://youtube.com/user/IfilmORG
http://youtube.com/user/GoOrganicTV
We care about our farmland our farmers and our water supply. We want all of these factors to lead to a safe and healthy outcome. Farmers are not hearing us trying to protect them from devastation. That devastation will come slowly over time as the toxicity from water contamination increases. Methyl Iodide changes through recombination where a new more deadly compound is formed, called Methyl Alcohol or wood alcohol or methane. Our water would be toxic and neither animal or plant life could survive. There would be no taking it back out of our soil because no steaming or sterilizing is possible. The videos explain it more fully.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Mountain Mystic

When Cora Evans died in Boulder Creek in 1957, her thousands of pages of religious writings hadn’t yet been published. More than a half a century later, Evans’ fiery visions and spiritual devotion have inspired a crusade within Catholicism to make her the Santa Cruz Mountains’ first saint

 

Wesak (Water) Taurus Solar Festival, Buddha Blesses the Earth

A most important celebration occurs Sunday, May 3—the Wesak Taurus Buddha Solar Festival/full moon. At the moment of the full moon the Buddha’s presence enters the Earth plane for eight minutes. He brings the Will-to-Good from the Father, which, when reaching humanity becomes goodwill (Mother Principle). Held yearly in a valley hidden deep within the Himalayas, the Wesak festival is prepared for for months in advance (beginning at Winter Solstice). On festival day, amidst pilgrims, disciples and Holy Ones gathered in the valley, the Buddha is invoked through movement, symbols and mantrams. At the moment of the full moon, hearing the words, “We are ready, Buddha, come,” the Lord of Illumination (brother of the Christ) appears in the clouds above the altar to emanate forth the will and purpose of God to earth. The blessing of the father is then held in safekeeping for distribution at the June full moon Goodwill Festival. The day of Wesak (May 3, 8:42 p.m. West Coast) all disciples (east and west) place crystal vessels filled with pure water outside (in gardens, on rooftops, porches and steps) under the heavens. As the Buddha blesses the world, all waters, including waters within our bodies, are blessed. The Buddha is accompanied by the Forces of Enlightenment to illuminate humanity’s minds. Humanity then begins to express new constructive, productive and beneficial ways of the Art of Livingness. Wesak covers five days—two days (before) of dedicated preparation, the actual festival “Day of Safeguarding,” and two days (after) distributing goodwill (the NGWS to humanity). Join us in the Valley by reciting the Great Invocation, mantra of direction for humanity.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of May 1

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Hole in the Wall

Popular Aptos spot opens for dinner

 

How do you connect with the natural world?

My connection to the natural world is through my art. I totally feel it there very physically in nature and even right here on the street. Jonathan Rosen, Felton, Pastor

 

Hess Collection Winery

My friend Emma from London came to visit for a few days in early March, so I took her wine tasting in the Santa Cruz Mountains—a rare treat for her, as there aren’t too many vineyards in the middle of London. Her visit reminded me how fortunate we are to live in this paradise of ultra-fresh produce, with grapes growing in wild profusion.

 

Springtime Walkabout

May Day Flower Festival, free tours of the UCSC Farm, and a nondairy chocolate indulgence