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NEWS
February 27, 2014
Regarding your editorial on the health risks of pesticide use, asthma was once thought to be caused by pesticides, but the link was later disproved ( "Understanding pesticide risks," Feb. 20). According to recent studies by the National Institutes of Health, asthma is caused by allergens and genetics. The list of allergens includes cockroaches, rodents, dust mites, dogs, cats, molds and fungi -- but not pesticides. Len Pagley, Glenn Burnie - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
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NEWS
July 17, 2014
The recent article noting the efforts of Nathan Reid to raise the public's awareness of plant pollinators ( "Bee conscious of what you plant," July 13) reminds me that The Sun also published an article last June regarding a memorandum signed by President Barack Obama authorizing the formation of a committee to look into matter of possible loss of plant pollinators in the United States. Given that the committee has six months to accumulate findings and publish a report, one wonders how long it will take the bumbling and much-lobbied Congress to pass legislation based on this committee's findings.
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NEWS
June 7, 2012
Having spent my career working to address the burden of disease in disadvantaged communities in central Maryland, I appreciated Del. Jim Hubbard and Hannah Pingree's op-ed ("Hold chemical companies to account," June 4). Maryland needs to be doing more to protect our most vulnerable citizens - the young, the old, those with fewer financial or educational resources - from toxic chemicals. I've just read Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring," written in 1962, which makes it clear how long Americans have been exposed to dangerous pesticides and other chemicals.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | June 26, 2014
Many supposedly bee-friendly flowers and home garden plants being sold by major retailers have been pretreated with pesticides implicated in bee declines, according to a study by Friends of the Earth and other organizations, including the Maryland Pesticide Network . The study found that 36 out of 71 plant samples - 51 percent - bought at top garden retailers in 18 metro areas across North America - including 1 in 4 plants from...
NEWS
February 27, 2014
In response to your recent editorial about the health risks associated with pesticides, I offer the following factual information and thoughts ( "Understanding pesticide risks," Feb. 19): It is time to stop spreading a message of fear and instead take a leadership role in educating the public on the safe and effective use of pesticides. The supporters of legislation requiring more stringent monitoring and reporting of pesticide use are scared because they believe that pesticides are dangerous.
NEWS
July 17, 2014
The recent article noting the efforts of Nathan Reid to raise the public's awareness of plant pollinators ( "Bee conscious of what you plant," July 13) reminds me that The Sun also published an article last June regarding a memorandum signed by President Barack Obama authorizing the formation of a committee to look into matter of possible loss of plant pollinators in the United States. Given that the committee has six months to accumulate findings and publish a report, one wonders how long it will take the bumbling and much-lobbied Congress to pass legislation based on this committee's findings.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | July 3, 2011
Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, a longtime advocate of the Chesapeake Bay, is wading into the high-profile debate over the federal regulation of pesticides -- instantly putting him at odds with fellow Democrats while potentially raising his national profile on environmental issues. Maryland's junior senator is threatening to filibuster a proposal to limit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's oversight of pesticides that end up in the nation's waterways, including the bay. The move, which at the very least will delay the legislation, has set off a behind-the-scenes scramble among advocates who hope to override him if he carries through on the threat.
NEWS
July 8, 2011
Senator Ben Cardin's fight to protect EPA authority over pollution discharge permits controlling many of the pesticides in our waterways ("Cardin Leads Fight Over Pesticides," July 3) is critical to the health of the Chesapeake Bay and to all of us who live in the watershed. His action deserves the support of all Marylanders who care about protecting and improving the waters around the bay. Pesticides harm our water quality, aquatic life and human health. Many pesticides have been shown to cause harm to humans, even at low doses.
NEWS
By Michael Fumento | June 10, 1993
IN THE environmentalists' war against technology, nowher are the stakes higher than the assault on pesticides.The current battleground is the Delaney Clause of the Food Additives Amendment of 1958, which bans anything that causes cancer in humans or rodents from being added to processed food.The new administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Carol Browner, in February asked Congress to review the clause, calling it an anachronism that threatened the U.S. food supply.Environmentalists objected loudly and the EPA quickly retracted her remarks.
NEWS
By Lorne Garrettson and Richard L. Humphrey | December 30, 2012
Every day, Marylanders are exposed to pesticides in our drinking water, on our food and through chemicals in our homes, lawns and public spaces. We also encounter pesticides in our rivers and streams and the Chesapeake Bay. While these exposures are often in small doses, growing evidence suggests they can add up to great harm. Unfortunately, the very public health officials responsible for protecting us are denied basic information about when and where dangerous pesticides are used. In Maryland, it is almost impossible for health care providers, public health experts and biomedical researchers to accurately understand the risks pesticides pose.
NEWS
April 12, 2014
Your coverage of the 2014 General Assembly session failed to mention an important bill that was passed to create a database for collecting, assessing and reporting pesticide use ( "Wage Hike, new marijuana bills OK'd as session ends," April 8). Each year pesticide exposure poisons tens of thousands of farmworkers in Maryland and across the country, and it can cause nausea, blindness, cancer, infertility and even death. These injuries, illnesses and deaths are preventable. A well-designed system to track the use of pesticides will provide health researchers with better information on exposure to pesticides throughout Maryland and help us understand the relationship between exposure and illness.
NEWS
April 12, 2014
The Sun's wrap-up of what the legislature accomplished this session omitted to mention two issues of public health and environmental note ( "Minimum-wage hike, new marijuana laws approved as session ends," April 8). One is a long overdue accomplishment, to begin funding a pesticide reporting system to enable public health and environmental research. The other was a significant failure to enact even the most basic public health protections in the event Maryland allows shale gas drilling.
NEWS
February 27, 2014
In response to your recent editorial about the health risks associated with pesticides, I offer the following factual information and thoughts ( "Understanding pesticide risks," Feb. 19): It is time to stop spreading a message of fear and instead take a leadership role in educating the public on the safe and effective use of pesticides. The supporters of legislation requiring more stringent monitoring and reporting of pesticide use are scared because they believe that pesticides are dangerous.
NEWS
February 27, 2014
Unfortunately, your recent support for requiring Maryland's professional applicators to report pesticide use to a state database left readers with the impression that other states have easily implemented such requirements ( "Understanding pesticide risk," Feb. 19). Yet "inoperable" is how a spokesperson for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently characterized that state's pesticide use reporting system. The spokesman was explaining why the governor had proposed repealing the 1996 law requiring commercial pesticide applicators to submit comprehensive pesticide use reports to the state and making the information available online.
NEWS
February 27, 2014
Regarding your editorial on the health risks of pesticide use, asthma was once thought to be caused by pesticides, but the link was later disproved ( "Understanding pesticide risks," Feb. 20). According to recent studies by the National Institutes of Health, asthma is caused by allergens and genetics. The list of allergens includes cockroaches, rodents, dust mites, dogs, cats, molds and fungi -- but not pesticides. Len Pagley, Glenn Burnie - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
NEWS
February 24, 2014
As one who has been working on pesticide legislation for a while as a beekeeper and as president of the Central Maryland Beekeepers Association, I'd say you hit the mark in your recent editorial on the subject ( "Understanding pesticide risks," Feb. 19). The bill that is coming up does only one thing: provide for a $10 per registration surcharge to support data collection. Yet to be defined are what data is collected, who gets to see it and how granular the data will be. Our concern is that the way the data is collected and used will be so diluted as to be useless.
NEWS
May 28, 2011
If you live along the Patapsco River, Sparrows Point, Bear Creek or Coke Point you and your family are paying with your health ("Port authorities find health risks near Sparrows Point," May 23). These four areas are overwhelmingly contaminated to the point where people and wildlife are at risk of exposure to toxic chemicals and carcinogens. Benzene is only one of many chemical contaminates in our waters; there are also high levels of arsenic from chicken manure, pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
NEWS
By Ruth Berlin and Andrew Fellows | November 28, 2010
It is long past time for Maryland to regulate pesticides in a manner that properly protects people and the environment. This is unlikely under the current watchdog, the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA), whose actions tend to reflect the interests of the Farm Bureau and chemical-based pest control and lawncare industries. That is why Gov. Martin O'Malley should transfer authority over pesticides from the MDA to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), whose staff includes medical and science professionals far better equipped to develop objective, science-based environmental and public health regulatory policy.
NEWS
February 19, 2014
Pesticides have been linked to a variety of human diseases, from cancer to birth defects, asthma and various disorders of the nervous system, so it's hardly unreasonable for people to be concerned about their exposure to them. But good luck finding out about the use of pesticides in Maryland, as there are scant reporting requirements. That needs to change, and the first step toward developing an appropriate pesticide reporting database is to create the means to pay for one. Legislation pending before the General Assembly would create a modest $10 fee - added to the annual $100 fee paid by chemical manufacturers to register their products in the state - to finance just such a database that would be available to scientists and the public.
NEWS
By Dixie Mullineaux, Bonnie Raindrop | November 20, 2013
Note: This op-ed has been updated to include the correct email address for co-author Bonnie Raindrop.  Maryland beekeepers lost nearly half of our honeybee hives last year, while 31 percent of all honeybee colonies died across the United States. Similar bee losses have been occurring for at least a decade. Yet information that could help researchers solve this mystery is being withheld from the research community. We have a chance to change that in Maryland's 2014 General Assembly session, when legislators will debate a bill to create a research database showing when, where and in what quantities pesticides are used by commercial applicators in our state.
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