The Assault on Florida

Wildlife & Health Risks You Are Not Being Told

The fight for clean air and water is on in Florida. We are reproducing this information to help tell the story. What is being done to the residents and nature in Florida affects everyone.

Just to add a little more outrage, in some places in the Tampa area, our local water has been found to contain 110 times (NOT a typo!) the acceptable amount of malathion.

Fish are dead all over the place, reports of dead wildlife - and the news is just breaking!

RESEARCH UPDATE - by Dr. Wayne Sinclair, M.D.
Asthma, Allergy & Immunology Vero Beach, FL
Richard W. Pressinger, M.Ed., Tampa, FL

On Sunday I returned from the University of Florida Medical Library and located some excellent research showing how malathion causes birth defects in turtles and frogs - gill damage in fish - bizarre swimming behaviors in fish - and damage to shrimps ability to locate food. (There goes the food chain.). Be sure to check these out in the new wildlife/health effects section.

Other studies I found showed birth defects and increased infections to the second generation of animals even when no defects were seen in the first generation of offspring (implying subtle genetic damage that would otherwise be missed in most birth defect studies).

Another study from Rutgers University showed malathion caused heart defects in one fish species while other species showed no problems. All in all, I was overwhelmed with the amount of research showing how malathion can cause serious damage to wildlife in so many ways. God help our marine life in the lakes, rivers and Tampa Bay when it rains since that is where much of the malathion goes - right down the storm drain and into the river and bay.

Remember this point - Research in the 1989 Bulletin of Environmental Contamination Toxicology stated 25% of the malathion is still present in the water after two weeks and 10% is still present after 30 days. At the town meeting the other night in Lakeland I caught a University of Florida Professor stating that malathion was degraded after several hours! - Nonsense! - Fortunately I was next in line to speak and was able to set the record straight as I had the journal article in my hand at the time. I also found some research showing malathion did not cause harm to some forms of wildlife under certain conditions. Which studies do you think would be reported to the public? I plan on having this research displayed on poster boards at our meetings.

The studies I just mentioned have to do with wildlife. I also have quite a few studies showing that mammals and humans can also be affected, including research showing weakening to our body's ability to fight viruses, germs, etc., thereby increasing our risk for colds or infections of any kind. There are also several studies showing how malathion can cause mutations to our human genetic structure as well as one study from the journal

Mutation Research showing malathion was more powerful than 5 other pesticides in causing a problem known as "cell cycle delay" - which means that cells do not grow as quickly and is "characteristic for many mutagens" according to the scientists. The bottom line is that although it takes more malathion than other pesticides to cause death. It takes less malathion than many other pesticides to cause birth defects, immune weakening and genetic damage. Nice trade off - huh?

"The available evidence indicates that technical grade or other than pure malathion has the potential to produce genotoxic effects in mammalian systems. The results of the available studies on the genotoxicity of malathion can be summarized as follows:

In test animals, technical grade malathion appears to have the potential to produce chromosomal changes including chromosomal aberrations and micronuclei.

In humans, the genotoxic effects of malathion have not been adequately studied. In human and animal cells in culture, both technical grade and purified malathion appear to produce cytogenetic damage, including chromosomal aberrations and Sister Chromatid Exchanges.

Please check our "Medical Research" section for more health effects studies on malathion. or go to chem-tox home page

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