Can someone help, please? I'm in Oregon, and all of a sudden, all of
my tomato plants and my bean plants have the same problem - the leaves
look like something is eating them - they have lacey kind of holes in
them, more on the bottom of the plant than the top. Advice would be
You may be able to ID the bugs that are eating your leaves if you pay
attention. Aphids are a common tomato bug, I wouldn't put it past them
to eat beans too.
Around here, when the bugs get too bad we usually use seven dust.
Wise is the man who attempts to answer his question before asking it.
To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
SEVIN: A CONTROVERSIAL INSECTICIDE
Winand K. Hock
Extension Pesticide Specialist
Penn State University
If you can believe the headlines which appeared in newspapers from the
Delaware Valley and New Jersey last spring, the manufacturers of
carbaryl (Sevin) must have developed and released to the public a
'chemical black death' which will make Love Canal, DDT, PCB's, and
Kepone in the Chesapeake Bay seem rather insignificant.
One Canadian environmental organization in a letter addressed to local
citizens cites some of the 'documented' effects of carbaryl.
1. It causes birth defects in mammals, especially dogs.
2. It worsens the condition of people with hypertension and people on
3. It impairs the function of the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland,
and the reproductive system.
4. It causes hyperactivity and learning disabilities in mammals.
5. It could increase the chance of heart attack in people with weak
6. The main break-down product, nitrosocarbaryl, which is easily
created in the human gut, is a potent cancer-causing agent.
7. It causes irreversible chromosomal damage to human DNA (the genes
in our cells).
These are indeed very serious accusations against a pesticide that
presumably has had a good safety record for over 20 years. How did such
a situation develop? Was it media sensationalism or was it simply a lack
of understanding that promoted the outcry against the use of Sevin for
control of gypsy moth in New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania last
spring? It all started in Cape May County, New Jersey, where several
young women gave birth to babies with defects...specifically four cases
of Spina bifida, a crippling birth defect where the spinal cord
protrudes from the body, and three cases of hydrocephalus, which is an
accumulation of fluid in the brain.
As a result of the accusations leveled against Sevin that the chemical
causes birth defects, the New Jersey Department of Health conducted a
rather extensive case study in which they investigated the occurrence of
birth defects in three New Jersey counties where gypsy moth spraying
with Sevin had occurred.
Carbaryl is an insecticide and like any other insecticide, it must be
toxic to insects to be effective. And, like all pesticides, carbaryl is
also toxic to certain nontarget organisms, including humans. But, with
proper use and handling, carbaryl is rarely a problem to the applicator,
the general public, and to the environment.
Sevin is the registered trademark for carbaryl insecticide. Carbaryl is
the common name for the active ingredient, 1-napthyl methylcarbamate.
Union Carbide discovered carbaryl, a synthetic organic carbamate
pesticide, and is the sole domestic producer and major world
manufacturer of the chemical.
Sevin insecticide was introduced commercially in 1958 and now ranks
third in domestic sales among all insecticides. It occupies a leading
position in commercial agriculture, forest and rangeland protection, and
in home and garden pest control products.
During recent years the economic benefits derived by users of Sevin for
agricultural pest control ranged from an estimated 3 to 24 dollars per
dollar invested. Sevin is a key product in certain pest management
programs. It also represents at least 22 percent of the insecticide
usage by homeowners and grounds maintenance professionals.
Carbaryl breaks down readily and experience shows it readily de-
composes on plants, and in soil and water to less toxic byproducts.
Accumulation in animal tissues and biomagnification of residues in food
chains with carbaryl and its metabolites does not occur.
Sevin is a mild to moderate cholinesterase inhibitor: cholines- terase
is the enzyme that regulates the flow of nerve impulses in humans.
Recovery in cases of accidental exposure is usually quite rapid.
Atropine is the only antidote recommended and then only in more severe
poisoning cases such as the accidental ingestion of carbaryl by a child.
During the almost two decades of extensive carbaryl use in the United
States, few cases of overexposure have occurred and no fatalities have
been reported. Under most use situations, no special protective clothing
is necessary to provide worker safety and no federal or state agencies
require adult re-entry restric- tions following the application of Sevin.
The toxicology of Sevin carbaryl insecticide has been extensively inves-
tigated by many different research groups, including universities,
governmental agencies, and private research foundations. Laboratory
tests to determine toxicological (tumor producing, birth defects,
mutations, etc.) effects have been conducted on at least a dozen species
of mammals. In addition, toxicity (how poisonous is the chemical)
studies are known for at least 20 species of mammals, 50 species of
birds, and 40 species of fish. Even some human exposure studies have
We do know that carbaryl is quite toxic to honey bees, certain
beneficial insects such as lady beetles, and parasitic wasps and bees,
certain species of aquatic insects, and some forms of shellfish such as
shrimp and crabs. Care must be taken when using carbaryl in areas where
these organisms exist.
Extensive evidence indicates that carbaryl does not cause cancer or
genetic changes in animals. Carbaryl has also been extensively tested
for its effect on reproduction and the occurrence of birth effects (we
call this teratogenic potential). Experiments have been conducted on
various strains of rats and mice, and on hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs,
rabbits, dogs, sheep, and monkeys. Adverse effects have occurred only in
New Jersey Department of Health Study
The purpose of this investigation was to explore whether there is any
correlation between spraying for gypsy moth with carbaryl and the
occurrence of birth defects. The study was designed to answer two
1. Is there an increased rate of birth defects in municipalities
where carbaryl is used in aerial spraying for gypsy moth?
2. Is there a relationship in time between the occurrence of birth
defects and this spraying?
The counties of Morris, Monmouth, and Cape May were chose for this study
based on the level of spraying conducted in the three counties and the
common suburban/rural characteristics of each county. The time frame for
the study includes all births from January 1, 1977 through March 31,
1980. Birth records from all 10 hospitals in the three counties with
maternity services were reviewed by personnel of the New Jersey
Department of Health. The study population consisted of 34,355 live
births; only the occurrence of birth defects in live born infants was
included in the analysis.
New Jersey Superior Court Judge Philip A. Gruccio, who last May rejected
an appeal to stop further use of the insecticide, reached the same
conclusion that Sevin is safe as currently used in the gypsy moth
Now I would like you to consider some additional facts when analyzing
the Sevin/gypsy moth spray program.
1. The highest human exposure measured during gypsy moth spraying is
740,000 times less than that encountered hourly during a 40-hour work
week by carbaryl manufacturing plant workers. Some workers have been
exposed to carbaryl for more than 10 years with no clinically
significant adverse effects.
2. Human volunteers have orally ingested carbaryl at 2 mg/kg of body
weight with no observed effects. Exposure during gypsy moth spray
programs is about 20,000 times less than the human volunteers ingested.
3. The exposure during gypsy moth spray programs is 100 times lower
than the acceptable daily intake (ADI) for humans established by the
World Health Organization.
4. Exposure during gypsy moth spray programs is 5,000,000 times lower
than the dose fed to rats during pregnancy and 200,000 times lower than
the dose fed to pregnant monkeys. Even more important than these safety
margins, birth defects did not occur in rhesus monkeys fed carbaryl
throughout the gestation period. The monkey anatomy and physiology are,
of course, quite similar to those of humans.
What does EPA say about the use of carbaryl and the accusations of
teratogenicity or birth defects associated with the use of the chemical?
In a letter addressed to the Secretary, New Jersey Department of
Agriculture, EPA states...and I quote...
'The Agency has reviewed all available information on the teratogenic
potential of carbaryl and concludes that the weight of evidence suggests
that this potential effect from carbaryl in humans is low. There is more
data on carbaryl in this area than for most chemicals. The scientific
data available does not pose an imminent hazard...'
EPA also points out, and rightfully so, that ' one must never conclude
the risks from exposure to any chemical are zero... and that women of
child-bearing age should avoid any unnecessary exposures to carbaryl and
other chemicals as well.' This is certainly sound advice, no pesticide
is absolutely safe to all persons at all times.
In conclusion, EPA does not plan to initiate any regulatory action
against carbaryl at this time. The final chapter of this saga came in
December 1980, when EPA returned carbaryl to the regular registration
process, thus completing the review.
* ** *
Disclaimer: Please read the pesticide label prior to use. The
information contained at this web site is not a substitute for a
pesticide label. Trade names used herein are for convenience only; no
endorsement of products is intended, nor is criticism of unnamed
products implied. Most of this information is historical in nature and
may no longer be applicable.
For more information relative to pesticides and their use, please
contact the PMEP staff at:
5123 Comstock Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-0901
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
Honor to where honor is due. James penned the following insensitive
Not to take James side in this but, I think he meant was that it is
unconscionable for both the state and federal governments not to address
the large number of toxic waste sites in New Jersey. At least, that's
what I hope he meant. Otherwise, it would be beneath contempt to mock a
child because of the place where s/he was born.
And that's what Billy Rose firstname.lastname@example.org said.
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (especially with little kids)
Bergen Record - June 2, 2007
Reporter arrested at Paramus school
By CAROLYN SALAZAR
PARAMUS Police arrested a Record reporter Saturday as he accompanied
a lab technician taking soil samples at West Brook Middle School,
which was closed last week after pesticide contamination was found
on its grounds.
The reporter, Michael Gartland, 33, of Jersey City, along with
Thomas Adamkiewicz, 63, of Hewitt, a field manager for an environmental
testing firm, face trespassing charges after they went to the school
to collect soil for an independent analysis.
Gartland broke the story about the tainted soil which was found
five months ago and school officials failure to notify parents
until May 23. The revelations caused outrage in the borough.
Officials closed the school Tuesday after authorities found aldrin,
dieldrin and chlordane in mounds of soil on its grounds.
The state Department of Environmental Protection launched a probe
last week into how the matter was handled. The agency also is testing
the soil around the school and the air inside the building to
determine whether it poses serious health threats to anyone exposed
The Record hired Aqua Pro-Tech Laboratories, a Fairfield-based
environmental testing firm, to perform an independent study of the
soil at several district schools.
Police first questioned Gartland and Adamkiewicz about 10:10 a.m.,
after they were seen carrying sealed bags of soil from the Roosevelt
Avenue school, Deputy Chief Richard Cary said. He said the two had
trespassed and were obstructing an ongoing state investigation.
My position is certainly Michael Gartland knew that this investigation
was ongoing, Cary said. Im not sure why they felt that they needed
to do an independent investigation. We put up police tape and
barricades, so they clearly knew that they were not permitted to
enter the site. They had to get through barricades to get to where
Frank Burgos, managing editor of The Record, said determining whether
soil on public land is toxic and a danger is of great public concern.
Given the questions regarding the safety of soil in Paramus and at
West Brook Middle School, we at The Record feel it is our journalistic
duty to pursue this matter and to provide the answers people have
a right to expect, Burgos said.
Jennifer Borg, vice president and general counsel of North Jersey
Media Group, which owns The Record, said the paper will not allow
the arrests to deter its investigative efforts.
Just as we vigorously continue to seek the truth about soil
contamination at West Brook, we will vigorously defend the charge
against Mike, she said.
Officials from the Paramus hazardous materials team, rescue squad
and ambulance corps and the Bergen County Police hazardous materials
team responded to the scene.
Gartland and Adamkiewicz had to undergo decontamination in front
of the school their shoes and socks were removed and, with their
pants rolled up, their feet were hosed off. Police seized the soil
samples, as well as their shoes and socks.
They were placed in handcuffs and taken to police headquarters about
Borg said the paper will seek the return of the samples so the paper
can publish its results.
The Record will continue to vigorously pursue the facts surrounding
the contamination controversy, Burgos said. He also questioned the
need for bringing in the hazmat team.
One obvious question troubling me is this: If all the contaminated
soil has been removed from the school, why were our reporter and
environmental expert required to relinquish their shoes? he said.
You have been reading those "Jersey Devil" stories again haven't you?
It is true that the "Weird" series of books started in NJ as a magazine many
years ago. That may mean something.
BUT, seriously, I live in NW NJ, farm territory except where they are
growing houses in the fields more and more now. Other then the comunist
style government the place is not as bad as it seems.
Best thing would be to first figure out what is responsible.
If you haven't noticed any caterpillars or obvious insects, I would suggest
these inconspicuous suspects that can result in tattered looking leaves:
flea beetles: extremely tiny dark beetles which hop off the plant when
disturbed; usually only a short-term problem with young plants
images of typical damage
earwigs: active at night; take a flashlight out in full dark to catch them
feeding; can be killed at that time with soap spray, or set traps
image of earwig damage
slugs: active at night and sometimes during wet/rainy evenings; tiny
juvenile slugs might not leave obvious slime trails
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
Any technology distinguishable from magic is insufficiently advanced.
My first suggestion would be to release some ladybugs. They are
inexpensive compared to the cost of other things, and they love their
work. This past week when the praying mantis eggs hatched, I had to go to
a neighbors for aphids and even there, they were difficult to find. Since
I've been releasing ladybugs, everyone's yards in our neighborhood are
Just north of you in southwest Washington.
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