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					                                      "Published Occasionally at Irregular Intervals"
                                                         Arthur L. Craigmill
                                                       Extension Toxicologist
        Vol. 19      No. 1                                                                                             FEBRUARY 1999
                                                              INTRODUCTION
     This is our first issue of the Environmental Toxicology Newsletter in “electronic” format. The first couple of articles will focus on
the implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, and we will include links to the EPA sites from which more detailed
information can be obtained. The implementation of this Act is gobbling up considerable time and resources from many agencies,
agricultural chemical manufacturers, and farmers. University personnel are not immune! Because of the implications of the regulations
which may be implemented, there is a whole lot of scurrying going on! As the EXTOXNET group responds to several of the policies
which are being considered by the EPA for adoption to guide the implementation process, they will be published in this newsletter. We
will certainly welcome input from our readers on this and other subjects.
    I would also like to encourage our readers to let us know if they have found any especially useful links to other websites which
they would like us to include.
Thank you.

                                                            " In This Issue "
              Editorial ............................................................................................................. 2
              Links to the Food Quality Protection Act Information .......................................... 3
              New Website from the Environmental Working Group ......................................... 3
              Haff Disease Associated with Eating Buffalo Fish ............................................... 5
              Deformed Frogs Still Puzzling Researchers ........................................................ 5
              Herbals, Vitamins Featured in JAMA Issue Devoted to Alternative Medicine ..... 6
              The Agricultural Health Study: Strengths and Limitations .................................. 7
              TOXICOLOGY TIDBITS
                 Dear Ann ....................................................................................................... 7
                 Saccharin ...................................................................................................... 7
                 Green Tea ...................................................................................................... 7
                 Breast Cancer Risk ........................................................................................ 8
                 Restaurant vs Fast Food Meats ....................................................................... 8
                 DPR Releases 1997 Report on Ground Water Testing for Pesticides ............... 8
                 H2O Home to Ocean ...................................................................................... 8
                 Lead Information ........................................................................................... 8
                 California Pesticide Illness Reports, 1996 ..................................................... 8
                 Children’s Health Protection .......................................................................... 8
                 California Pesticide Approvals for New Active Ingredients ............................. 9
                 Do You Know What You Are Taking? ............................................................... 9
                 Recent Consumer’s Union Report ................................................................... 9
              VET NOTES
                 CVM Approves Screening Test for Tetracyclines in Raw Milk ......................... 9
             EDITORIAL                        science" and needed to be changed. In         that EPA get the science right. They know
                                              addition, because of the way the law was      that once developed, these regulations will
     Several years ago, a friend from the     written, it did not apply to pesticide        most likely provide the framework for
Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley,      residues on fresh produce, but it did apply   pesticide regulation well into the next
Dr. Herb Thier, was giving a talk to some     to processed commodities, thus a              century.
teachers who were receiving training as       pesticide might be approved for use on             The EXTOXNET (Extension
part of his Chemical Education for Public     fresh tomatoes, but might not be              Toxicology Network) group was asked by
Understanding Program (CEPUP), which          approved for use on tomatoes used for         some of the folks at USDA/CSREES to
                           ,
has now become SEPUP the Science              sauce or ketchup! Despite an over-            take a look at these "science policies,"
Education for Public Understanding            whelming consensus within the toxico-         and respond to EPA on behalf of the land-
Program. What Herb said was this: "Half       logical scientific community that the         grant universities (only a few of which
of what we teach students today will          Delany Clause was outdated, why did it        have toxicological and environmental
be shown to be different or incorrect         take until 1996 to actually change it? I      chemistry expertise within their colleges
during the next ten years. Our                think it is because it is easier to tighten   of agriculture). While reading through
problem as teachers is that we don't          standards than it is to relax them, because   these, and during discussions with my
know which half!"                             any relaxation of standards can be (and       friend and colleague, Dr. Mike Kamrin at
     I think of this often when I consider    probably will be) interpreted as putting      Michigan State University, we agreed that
governmental regulatory policies that are     the public at greater risk. As far as I can   these policies are not “science policies”,
"science-based." Science is a process of      tell, the only case in which this has not     they are "risk management policies."
discovery, characterized by observation,      happened has been the relaxation of           While these policies can be based on
formation of hypotheses, testing, more        highway speed limits.                         scientific knowledge as we know it now,
observation, revised hypotheses, more              When the Delany Clause was finally       the policies themselves are not science.
testing, and so on, in an unending spiral     addressed in legislation, it was replaced     These policies can be based on scien-
upwards. The process is ongoing and ever      with a new law, the Food Quality              tifically collected data, and take into
changing. The ever-changing nature of         Protection Act (FQPA) of 1996, which          consideration our current understanding
scientific knowledge implies that "science-   advanced a new standard of "a reason-         of toxicology and environmental
based" policies would reflect such changes    able certainty of no harm", and which         chemistry, however, whenever a choice
in knowledge. But, do they? Let's take a      included the imposition of an additional      is made in setting safety factors or
look back in history.                         tenfold safety margin in the setting of       exposure levels, these are risk manage-
     First, consider the changes which        pesticide tolerances (legal limits on the     ment decisions and involve a personal
have been made in the testing require-        amount of residue which may be found          point of view. Whenever a decision must
ments for pesticides and food additives       on foods) to further protect the health of    be made regarding the use of a safety
during the last 40 years. In the 1950’s,      children. I should add at this point that     factor, a confidence limit, etc., a sub-
minimal testing was required before a         there is no evidence in humans that shows     jective element of choice is injected into
new chemical entity could be marketed.        any problems with the current tolerances,     the process. Our concern is that some
We learned very quickly that more testing     however, predictions of risk to humans        people may come to see these policies
was needed to identify unsuspected            based on animal studies will always show      as being unassailable, unchanging, and
environmental and toxic effects, and new      a reduced risk if the exposures are           true. Real "science-based" policies would
requirements were added to the list of        reduced. All of the provisions of the         embrace the fact that they must change
required screening tests after each           FQPA, including endocrine disruption          as we learn more, that is, as our scientific
“wreck.” Currently, the approval of a new     testing, combining exposures for all          knowledge increases.
chemical entity as a pesticide or food        possible routes, combining effects for             A basic recommendation for people
additive takes years of expensive testing     pesticides which have a common                who are involved in risk communication
to generate all the data necessary to         mechanism of toxicity, and increasing the     is that you should not compare risks of
prevent recurrence of these “wrecks”.         margin of safety for children, appear to      vastly different activities to convince
Does it mean that all of these substances     be reasonable and “good ideas.” Who           people that something is safe, particularly
are absolutely safe? Not at all, we always    can disagree with a reduction of risk,        if some of the activities are voluntary, and
will have more to learn, and there will       especially risk to children?                  others are not. Over the years I have often
always be surprises.                               The difficulty lies in the implemen-     received requests for information about
     In 1958, the Food, Drug ,and             tation of these requirements. The US EPA      the relative toxicities of things like gasoline
Cosmetic Act of 1938 was amended,             is responsible for the implementation of      and table salt, to compare to the toxicities
and, based on the scientific knowledge        the FQPA, and they have a formidable          of pesticides or food additives. I have
of that time, a clause was added which        task to complete this in a very short time.   generally not provided such information
essentially banned the use of food            To accomplish this, they have hired more      because such comparisons do not
additives and pesticides which were           toxicologists and risk assessors, formed      convince people, and may in fact alienate
shown to cause cancer in humans or            advisory committees, and produced nine        some. The best definition of safety that I
animals. This clause, called the Delany       “science policies” which will guide them      have ever heard is “acceptable risk.”
Clause, was a fine idea based on what         in the process of developing regulations.     When defined in this way, determining
we knew at that time. In the 1970’s and       Pesticide manufacturers and farmers in        safety is NOT a scientific process. Risks
1980’s however, we came to understand         particular are concerned about the            can be estimated using science, but not
the processes involved in cancer, and that    regulations EPA will develop based on         safety, that is an individual and a societal
the Delany Clause was based on "old           these "science policies" and are insisting    decision, and determining what we will


                                                                   (2)                                  Env Tox Newsletter 19(1) Feb 1999     Ü
accept as “safe” is really a risk manage-        risks we are trying to reduce. I have four      outside parties remain free to assert that a
ment decision.                                   recommendations that I wish people to           policy is not appropriate for a specific
     For example, the January/February           consider during the process of implemen-        pesticide or that the circumstances
1999 issue of the California State               ting the FQPA. First, recognize that the        surrounding a specific risk assessment
Automobile Association magazine, VIA,            “science policies” which are being circulated   demonstrate that a policy should be
included some information about the 1997         by EPA for comment are not scientific,          abandoned.
death rate on California roads. In 1997,         but are risk management policies which               The "revised" guidance is not an
3,671 people died, the lowest number in          will be (or should be) based on data, not       unalterable document. Once a "revised"
40 years despite a doubling of the state         on conjecture. Second, recognize that the       guidance document is issued, EPA will
population and a tripling of the number          knowledge-base used to set these                continue to treat it as guidance, not a rule.
of vehicles. This is approximately ten           regulations will change, and ensure that        Accordingly, on a case-by-case basis EPA
people per day, every day of the year.           mechanisms are built into the regulations       will decide whether it is appropriate to
Despite this, I think almost all of us would     which make it easy to tighten them or           depart from the guidance or to modify
consider our roads as “safe”, or at least        loosen them as our understanding changes.       the overall approach in the guidance.
that the risk associated with driving is         Third, make this process easier to follow
                                                 and less cumbersome. Fourth, recognize               Also included in this Federal Register
acceptable. In fact, while most drivers                                                          notice is the following information on
would agree that higher speeds are more          that this is not an emergency. There are
                                                 no children being harmed by the current         further steps which will be taken in doing
likely to result in a greater risk of death or                                                   cumulative risk assessments.
injury if an accident occurs, we would be        pesticide residue tolerances, and the
pleased to see the speed limits on our roads     impact of the reduced risks resulting from           The Agency plans to use this guidance
increased. When we drive we make risk            implementation of the FQPA will never be        as the initial step in its process to assess
management decisions constantly based            measurable, except on the computer screen       the possibility of cumulative toxicity to
on visual and auditory input, and adjust         of a risk assessor. U                           human health that may be caused by
our speed and direction to maintain our                                                          pesticides and other substances that are
safety. And then some “idiot” passes us             LINKS TO FOOD QUALITY                        toxic from a common mechanism. The
on a curve, or we get stuck behind                     PROTECTION ACT                            Agency is currently developing guidance
someone going 45 mph in a 55 mph zone.                   INFORMATION                             for conducting cumulative risk assessments
Why do they make different “risk                                                                 that it will use to characterize the potential
                                                      The following links are ones which I       for cumulative toxicity to human health
management” decisions (drive differently
                                                 have found useful for trying to keep track      that may result from exposure to pesticides
than we do) when going over the same
                                                 of the science policy issue of the FQPA         and other substances that have a common
stretch of road? Simply put, we come to
                                                 and the review of the policy documents.         mechanism of toxicity. That guidance will
different decisions based on similar data
                                                 The Tolerance Reassessment Advisory             be made available for public comment in
input, and personal perceptions, and we
                                                 Committee site has been the most useful         June, 1999.
can all justify our decisions to do things
                                                 and seems to fairly current.                    Editor's Note: If you find this confusing,
differently using the same data.
                                                 Tolerance Reassessment Advisor y                you are not alone. U
     I accept that individual and societal
                                                 Committee Page: http://www.epa.gov/
decisions will not always be based on
evidence (data) but may be based on
                                                 pesticides/trac/.                                 NEW WEBSITE FROM THE
perceptions, for example; “X is synthetic,       The EPA has issued the final guidance            ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING
not naturally occurring and therefore bad.”      document related to the question of                      GROUP
This is a point of view, and it can be argued    substances having a common mechanism
                                                 of toxicity. This document is available in          I received this notice from a friend
endlessly. However, stating “X is
                                                 Adobe Acrobat or Wordperfect format at          about a new website that the EWG
hazardous and puts your children at a
                                                 this address:                                   (Environmental Working Group) has put
greater risk of cancer” makes it sound
                                                                                                 together. After you read this, I have several
much more real (data-based), even if the         http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-PEST/           comments that may be useful in helping
risks are only predictive. This does bother      1999/February/Day-05/o-p2781.htm                to answer questions which may come to
me. This is using selective data to support
                                                     This is how they describe what this         you about this site.
an opinion, a process which makes it seem
                                                 guidance document is:                           New web site lets consumers test
like we actually considered all the data
before we made up our mind! The                       The draft science policy document          their meals and grocery lists for
impetus behind the FQPA was not based            discussed in this notice is intended to         pesticides
on any measurable risk, but based on             provide guidance to EPA personnel and
                                                                                                      Consumers can now go to the Internet
predictive risks derived from experimental       decision-makers, and to the public. As a
                                                                                                 and instantly find out what pesticides are
laboratory data.                                 guidance document and not a rule, the
                                                                                                 in the foods they eat, fed to their children,
                                                 policy in this guidance is not binding on
    I think sound public health policies                                                         and are bought at the grocery store.
                                                 either EPA or any outside parties.
should be based on sound science.                                                                Instead of panicking, consumers can
However, FQPA legislation set deadlines               Although this guidance provides a          follow simple tips for cutting back on
on implementation which are forcing              star ting point for EPA pesticide risk          pesticides, just like they cut back on
hasty decision-making. The whole FQPA            assessments, EPA will depart from its policy    calories, fat or cholesterol, the
process needs to be slowed so mistakes           where the facts or circumstances warrant.       Environmental Working Group (EWG)
aren’t made which might be more                  In such cases, EPA will explain why a           announced. The new, interactive website
problematic and real than the predicted          different course was taken. Similarly,          developed by the EWG, allows users to

                                                                     (3)                                      Env Tox Newsletter 19(1) Feb 1999 Ü
discover what pesticides they consume          it over. It is quite flashy and definitely       website. I am a food toxicologist with
daily and what the potential health effects    serves the purpose of it’s sponsor; to scare     degrees in both food science and
are. EWG is a nonprofit organization           people about pesticide residues in their         toxicology. I have been studying the effect
known for its research on environmental        foods. Unfortunately it is also an incredible    of compounds in our diet on health for
problems, including pesticides in foods.       misrepresentation of fact. What is               many years. I have yet to find any infor-
“When our internal analyses showed that        presented is distorted to make things look       mation presented by the EWG that
people might eat 20 or more bug killers or     far worse than they are. I used their “one       convinces me that pesticides in our foods
other pesticides in their meals everyday,      minute activist” feature on this website (it     are the cause of health problems in the
we knew we had to make the information         will pass on your message to a long list of      US.
available to consumers,” said EWG              grocery chains, outlets, and Al Gore) to         This site tells you two things. Firstly, that
President Ken Cook. “Despite repeated          send the following message:                      a small amount of pesticides that are used
promises, the government is simply not         “Today I discovered the EWG site which           in the production of foods may still be in
acting to protect children or anyone else      purports to offer good advice about              the foods once they reach the marketplace.
from these toxic chemicals. Consumers          avoiding pesticide residues and reducing         Secondly, that these pesticides may, at
have to protect themselves,” Cook said.        risks of exposure.                               some exposure levels, cause harmful
By mouse-clicking a menu of hundreds of                                                         "health effects. The key point that is
foods, visitors to the new site can tap into   As a Board certified toxicologist with more
                                               than 20 years of research and teaching           intentionally missing is that pesticides are
EWG’s search engine that randomly                                                               not toxic at all exposure levels. Therefore,
matches a food selection against more          experience, this site is misleading and
                                               presents a slanted view of risk and              eating small amounts of pesticides does
than 90,000 government lab test results                                                         not automatically mean you will have the
for pesticides in food. EWG offers digital     exposure.
                                                                                                health effects observed at high levels. This
diners the following options:                  As usual, the EWG presents a simple              is true for all compounds, including natural
Daily Fare: Select breakfast, lunch,           number or potential residues which may           toxins and medicines. In fact, studies
dinner and a snack from among more than        be on produce or in food products,               comparing the health of people who eat a
150 foods and dishes. “You’ll be amazed        without relating it to the actual concen-        large number of fruits and vegetables are
at how many pesticides you eat in the          trations of residues in these foods which        healthier than people who eat few fruits
course of a day.”                              are found in the Total Diet Study. They          and vegetables, even though these fruits
                                               ignore the dose portion of the dose-             and vegetables contain small amounts of
The EWG Supermarket: Pop in for a              response relationship for the sake of
few items or wander the aisles and fill your                                                    pesticides. One would reason that if
                                               advocacy.                                        pesticide residues were so harmful, this
shopping cart from pastas to veggies to
seafood. Find out “which pesticides you        I would encourage you to ignore mass             would not be the case.
brought home in your grocery bags, and         emails which you may receive from this           I personally am not convinced that buying
what their health risks are.”                  site.                                            organic produce is the way to ensure you
Fruit Salad Roulette: “Mix a bowl full         It is unfortunate that this website does not     have a more healthful diet. Firstly, organic
from more than 20 fruits and find out how      represent the true status of our food            produce is not pesticide free, but it only
many pesticides you ate.”                      supply, but makes it appear as if we are         eliminates the use of synthetic pesticides.
                                               poisoning ourselves and our children,            Synthetic pesticides have undergone
Kid’s Menu: “Find out which pesticides         which we are not.                                extensive toxicological testing in order to
are in foods children commonly eat                                                              be approved for use in foods. Government
including processed baby foods. And check      Results of the California State Department
                                               of Pesticide Regulation residue tests show       regulation of these pesticides is already
to see if your child’s diet exceeded                                                            extensive. Secondly, most often organic
government safety standards for pesticides     that more than 80% of conventionally
                                               grown produce has either non-detectable          produce is more expensive than
that harm the nervous system.”                                                                  conventionally grown produce. If a family
                                               pesticide residues, or concentrations of
      “The government has heard plenty         residues which would be allowed on               is on a limited budget and can only afford
from pesticide companies, but not enough       organically grown produce. That is               a limited amount of fruits and vegetables,
from parents,” said EWG’s Cook. “It will       something that consumers should know             they are more likely able to provide a more
only take a minute for consumers to send       when they are given the choice to buy            healthful diet by purchasing conventionally
a powerful message that they want              conventionally grown or organic products.        grown fruits and vegetables.
dangerous pesticides out of their favorite                                                      I am concerned that attempts to eliminate
foods. That minute will make a huge            Please continue to do the good job which
                                               you are currently doing to ensure the safety     or drastically reduce the use of synthetic
difference to food companies and                                                                pesticides will have a very dramatic effect
politicians who are sensitive to consumer      of our food supply. If you are going to put
                                               more money and effort into any area,             on the ability of farmers to produce foods
concerns.” With direct email links from the                                                     at the low cost that we currently enjoy
site, consumers can voice their concerns       please put it into better control of microbial
                                               contamination."                                  and demand. Many US farmers are already
directly to supermarket chains, food                                                            in economic crisis. Fewer and fewer people
companies, and Washington, including           Dr. Ber na Magnuson, Assistant
                                                                                                are choosing farming as a career. With the
Vice President Al Gore. The new EWG            Professor and Extension Toxicology and
                                                                                                picture being painted by the EWG of
site designed to educate consumers about       Nutrition Specialist at the University of
                                                                                                farmers poisoning our children, it is not
pesticides in the foods they eat is located    Idaho, also sent the following message
                                                                                                difficult to understand why this may be
at http://www.foodnews.org.                    through the EWG "one minute activist"
                                                                                                happening.
Editor's Note: As soon as I heard              feature:
                                                                                                In closing, I urge you to be skeptical of
about this site, I linked into it and looked   I have recently visited the EWG’s Foodnews

                                                                      (4)                                   Env Tox Newsletter 19(1) Feb 1999   Ü
the mailings and information from the         58 years, respectively) ate a dish consisting     (range: 6-21 hours), symptoms generally
EWG.                                          of ground buffalo fish and carp. One hour         appear approximately 18 hours after
     Oh, and by the way, the actual figure    later, the wife vomited. Six hours after the      eating fish. Symptoms usually resolve
is 90% of conventionally raised produce       meal they developed generalized body              within 2-3 days. Historically, the case-
is in compliance with California organic      aches and muscle stiffness. The husband           fatality rate is approximately 1%.
produce pesticide residue standards. U        had severe pain on inspiration, resulting in      Clinicians and public health practitioners
                                              respiratory insufficiency requiring assisted      are encountering an increasing variety of
 HAFF DISEASE ASSOCIATED                      ventilation. Following the acute episode,         foodborne illnesses, in part because of a
                                              the husband complained of more frequent           diversification of food preparation and
WITH EATING BUFFALO FISH –
                                              headaches, and his wife continued to              eating habits. International travelers,
   UNITED STATES, 1997                        experience tearing eyes, easy fatigability,       members of ethnic groups with unique
      Haff disease is a syndrome of           and pruritus after eating seafood.                cuisines, and consumers of both imported
unexplained rhabdomyolysis (muscle cell       Bakersfield, California                           and domestic specialty food items may
destruction) following consumption of              Patient 6. On August 8, an 87-year-old       be at risk for foodborne illnesses that are
certain types of fish; it is caused by an     U.S.-born man vomited 30 minutes after            rare or have not been reported previously
unidentified toxin. Rhabdomyolysis is a       eating one-third of a fried buffalo fish.         in the United States.
clinical syndrome caused by injury to         Twenty-one hours later, he awoke with             REF: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,
skeletal muscle that results in release of    extreme stiffness and generalized muscle          47(50), December 25, 1998 U
muscle cell contents into the circulation.    tenderness. Following this episode, the
In 1997, six cases of Haff disease were       patient suffered 6 months of muscle                  DEFORMED FROGS STILL
identified in the United States (four in      weakness, primarily in his legs.                     PUZZLING RESEARCHERS
California and two in Missouri) among
persons who ate buffalo fish (Ictiobus        Follow-Up Investigations                              Researchers have identified and
cyprinellus), a bottom-feeding species              The origin of the buffalo fish eaten by     induced deformities in frogs under a variety
found mostly in the Mississippi River or      patients 1, 2, 3, and 6 was traced to the         of environmental conditions, including
its tributaries. This report summarizes the   same wholesaler in Louisiana who receives         exposure to insecticides, UV light, coal ash,
investigation of these cases.                 fish from approximately 25 fishermen who          and heavy metals. There are numerous
                                              fish rivers in Louisiana. The fish for patients   possible causes for steeply declining
Los Angeles County, California
                                              4 and 5 were caught within a 100-mile             populations of amphibians, and a dearth
     Patients 1 and 2. On March 8, two        radius of St. Louis, Missouri. The Food           of data to inform ecological risk assess-
Ukrainian sisters (patients 1 and 2), aged    and Drug Administration is attempting to          ment, scientists said at the Society of
70 and 73 years, respectively, and the        identify a toxin from recovered fish              Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry’s
husband of patient 2 (aged 75 years) ate      samples. The case histories suggest that          (SETAC) annual conference in Charlotte,
fried buffalo fish. Eight hours after the     the toxin is heat stable; no particular mode      NC, November 19, 1998.
meal, patient 1 experienced neck pain         of preparation seems to increase risk for              Amphibians are “sensitive environ-
followed by stiffness in her arms. On         disease.                                          mental monitors of pollution stress,” most
arrival, emergency medical technicians
                                              Editorial Note: During the 1920s, the             likely a significant contributor to the
noted both women were rigid, unable to
                                              name “Haff disease” was given to an illness       population losses, Wes Birge of the
move, and extremely sensitive even to light
                                              characterized by severe muscle pain and           University of Kentucky said at an all-day
touch. Patient 2, who had a history of
                                              stiffness that affected approximately 1000        session on the ecotoxicology of
angina pectoris, also complained of chest
                                              persons living along the Koenigsberg Haff,        amphibians and reptiles. “We must look
pain. The man did not become ill. Both
                                              a brackish inlet of the Baltic Sea.               at all avenues of exposure for amphi-
sisters recovered. Main sequelae were
                                              Subsequent similar outbreaks were                 bians,” Birge said.
newly diagnosed hypertension (patient 1)
                                              identified in Sweden and the former Soviet        Methoprene link to frog deformities
and diminished muscular strength (patient
                                              Union. Although the etiology was not              studied
2).
                                              determined, epidemiologic investigations
      Patient 3. On March 9, a husband        linked illness to ingestion of fish, especially        Donald Sparling of the U.S.
and wife (both aged 33 years) from            burbot.                                           Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife
Ukraine ate fried buffalo fish purchased                                                        Research Center studied the possibility that
                                              The first reported case of Haff disease in        methoprene, an insect growth regulator
from the same market where patients 1
                                              the United States occurred in Texas in            sprayed for mosquito control, could be
and 2 purchased their fish. Eight hours
                                              1984; five additional cases were reported         causing the amphibian deformities
after the meal, the husband experienced
                                              in California during 1984-1986. All U.S.          occurring in many parts of North America.
left-sided chest pain that radiated to his
                                              cases have been associated with eating            Six wetland ponds were sprayed with
left arm and increased with deep
                                              buffalo fish.                                     methoprene following label rates, as well
inspiration. He was admitted to the same
hospital as patients 1 and 2. Following       Haff disease typically presents as a              as six with temephos, an organo-
discharge, the patient reported occasional    paroxysm of rhabdomyolysis, with                  phosphate pesticide; southern leopard
chest pain that he had not noticed before     accompanying muscle tenderness, rigidity,         frogs were collected.
this episode. His wife did not become ill.    and dark brown urine. However, as in                   Fourteen of 91 frogs and tadpoles
                                              patient 3, milder presentations also occur.       collected from the methoprene-sprayed
St. Louis, Missouri
                                              Although the median incubation period for         ponds demonstrated deformities, Sparling
    Patients 4 and 5. On June 8, a            the patients in this report was 8 hours           said, compared with zero of six collected
Ukrainian husband and wife (aged 66 and

                                                                   (5)                                       Env Tox Newsletter 19(1) Feb 1999 Ü
from the temephos ponds and four of 77            more likely to be eaten by snapping turtles,   in red-eared sliders captured from the
from the control ponds. The deformities           a common predator. Chronic exposure to         slough, indicating pesticide exposure. “This
were primarily missing or partially missing       coal-ash sublethally modifies multiple         is perhaps something that no one has
limbs, with virtually all cases involving the     systems which can have direct and indirect     observed before,” Clark said.
right hind limb.                                  ramifications at higher levels of              Researchers say data needs are huge
     “This suggests that something other          organization,” Rowe concluded.
                                                                                                      Despite what has been learned since
than predation is going on. I can’t imagine            Rowe’s colleague, Bill Hopkins of the     frog deformities appeared in 1995,
a predator preferring a right over a left limb.   Savanna River Ecology L aboratory,             scientists continue to grapple with causes
Interference with the animal’s retinoic acid      studied the impact of coal-combustion          and effects. “Environmental stresses have
signaling system, a key component of              wastes on banded water snakes that             a direct impact on individuals, but
healthy development, is one possible              inhabit the same ash disposal facilities.      extrapolation to the population-level trends
explanation," Sparling said.                      Hopkins found significantly elevated liver     is difficult,” Rowe said.
UV light also implicated                          concentrations of arsenic and selenium,
                                                  134 and 142 ppm respectively, which he              The researchers all worried about the
    Gary Ankley of U.S. EPA in Duluth,            believes are “the highest ever documented      paucity of research into toxic impacts on
MN, researched the impact of methoprene           in a reptile species.” The standard            reptiles and amphibians. Greg Lander of
and ultraviolet light on the development          metabolic rate for snakes from the polluted    Heron Works Far m in Oregon said
of northern leopard frogs. The frogs were         site was 32% higher than those from a          amphibians are getting a “double
exposed to several concentrations of              reference site, which means that they are      whammy” in terms of exposure to toxics,
methoprene, with and without UV light.            expending additional energy for survival,      because they often inhabit aquatic and
     At the highest methoprene concen-            and “should therefore have less energy         terrestrial habitats. “No one has looked at
trations (500 ppb), “severe developmental         available for growth, reproduction and         these guys from an ecotoxicology
effects were observed with and without UV         storage,” Hopkins concluded.                   perspective,” Lander said, while only a
light. These animals couldn’t swim                                                               handful of papers have examined
                                                       The snakes, which are primarily           contamination of various classes. “The
normally, they couldn’t feed, and they died       terrestrial, eat bullfrogs, toads, and fish,
within ten days of hatching,” Ankley found.                                                      data needs are incredible.”
                                                  and are prey for raptors, wading birds,
     But at lower pesticide levels alone (0-      and other higher animals. Trophic transfer         Birge recommended the use of an
400 ppb), no impacts were observed. And           of contaminants is more likely than the        amphibian chemical hazard index to select
irrespective of methoprene treatment,             aqueous route for these snakes, Hopkins        species for testing, and urged regulatory
about half of the animals held under UV           said. At the same time, “We’ve never           agencies to consider amphibians in their
light for more than 24 days developed             caught a reproductive female [snake] in        risk assessments. EPA’s current risk
deformities such as missing digits or legs.       the polluted [coal-ash] habitat,” he noted.    assessment criteria are “not protective of
Ankley warned that only one dose of UV                                                           biodiversity over time and are not
                                                  Puzzle remains unsolved                        protective of amphibians,” Birge said.
light was tested, and despite the
“remarkable results,” they have not yet                Not all researchers noted high rates           Reptiles can also serve as good
been repeated. However, he concluded that         of deformities or other toxicological          “ecological receptors” for screening or
“laboratory UV light and natural sunlight         impacts. Sparling also studied the impact      ecological risk assessments because of their
can cause similar hind-limb deletions and         of PCB- and DDT-contaminated                   small home ranges, long lives, and high
deficiencies.” Future studies will look at        sediments from a military wetland on           trophic level, said Linda Meyers-Schone
multiple light intensities.                       bullfrog and green frog tadpoles. In 30-       of IT Corporation in Albuquerque, N.M.
                                                  day assays, liver/body weight ratios were      For example, case studies show that
Impact of coal-ash contamination                  “significantly smaller” in green frog          snapping turtles are good indicators of
     Christopher Rowe of the University of        tadpoles collected from the wetland            organochlorine pesticides, she said.
Puerto Rico described oral deformities in         compared to those collected from an            However, “the largest drawback is the lack
nearly all bullfrog tadpoles exposed to coal-     incoming stream and reference wetland.         of toxicity information.”
ash effluent containing trace elements and        He found no deformities or differences in
                                                                                                 REF: Food Chemical News, 40(42), December 7,
other contaminants. Frogs inhabiting the          mortality or growth rates, regardless of the   1998 U
site, a series of open basins in South            treatment. “Even a highly contaminated
Carolina, had elevated whole-body                 wetland showed minimal effects on              HERBALS, VITAMINS FEATURED
concentrations of arsenic, cadmium,               populations of bullfrog and green frog.         IN JAMA ISSUE DEVOTED TO
chromium, copper and selenium.                    Under the conditions of our test, we didn’t       ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
     More than 90% of the tadpoles                see much effect,” Sparling said.                    Expenditures for and use of
collected from the site had severe                     Don Clark from Texas A&M University       alternative medicine increased sub-
abnormalities in the oral region, Rowe said,      studied reptiles inhabiting a slough           stantially between 1990 and 1997, due
which made it difficult for them to graze         contaminated by agricultural run-off, and      primarily to an increase in the proportion
for periphyton, an important food source.         an urban lake used as an arsenic dumping       of the population seeking alternative
“When the animals are raised in a polluted        site for 53 years. No genetic damage or        therapies, rather than increased visits per
habitat, they exhibit deformities.                body damage was detected in the reptiles,      patient, according to results of a national
Abnormalities are very frequent out there.        nor did Clark find significant differences     survey published in the November 11,
In the laboratory, the tadpoles had reduced       in trace element concentrations.               1998 Journal of the American Medical
growth and swimming rates, expended               Nonetheless, one diamond-backed water          Association (JAMA).
more metabolic energy to survive, and were        snake had a DDE level of 3 ppm, and
                                                  acetyl cholinesterase levels were depressed
                                                                        (6)                                  Env Tox Newsletter 19(1) Feb 1999
     The percentage of people who used         market may be contaminated or vary                  In addition, more timely yet less
at least one of 16 alternative therapies       tremen-dously in content, quality, and         conclusive cross-sectional studies are being
rose to 42.1% in 1997, up from 33.8% in        safety.                                        undertaken to determine whether self-
1990. An estimated $21.2 billion was                “Garlic, for example, claimed for         reported health problems are more likely
spent on alternative medicine professional     many years to have cholesterol-lowering        to occur among farmers and members of
services, a 45.2% increase from 1990.          effects, may not produce such effects if       farm families that report extensive use of
    The therapies that increased most          processed in certain ways,” Jonas wrote.       pesticide products. The three initial cross-
included herbal medicine and mega-             “Thus, even if one product is proven safe      sectional studies are investigating, (1)
vitamins. The alternative therapies most       and effective, other similar products on the   history of spontaneous abortion,
frequently used were for chronic               market may have quite different effects that   menstrual function, and fertility in young
conditions, including back problems,           preclude consistent dosing. Fifteen million    women, 2) menopausal status, repro-
anxiety, depression and headaches.             Americans are taking high-dose vitamins        ductive history, and selected chronic
                                               or herbal preparations along with              diseases in older women, and 3) neurologic
     The study was among several                                                              symptoms and visual impairment among
presented in JAMA as part of an                prescription drugs, thereby risking adverse
                                               effects from unknown interactions.”            farmer-applicators.
alternative medicine-themed issue that
included results of six randomized trials      REF: Food Chemical News, 40(40), November      REF: Risk in Perspective, 6(9), December 1998 U
for alternative therapies. One study           23, 1998 U
reported that saw palmetto improved
symptoms associated with an enlarged            THE AGRICULTURAL HEALTH                         'Toxicology Tidbits'
prostate. Another study found that                STUDY: STRENGTHS AND                                       DEAR ANN
patients with irritable bowel syndrome had             LIMITATIONS
significant improvement in symptoms                                                                 “Dear Ann: Inform your readers that
when treated with Chinese herbs                      The federal government has recently      the Internet is not a source of information.
compared to those treated with a placebo.      enrolled over 90,000 farmers, farm family      It is a means of communications.
                                               members, and commercial pesticide
     Another study found loss in body                                                              Saying, ‘I read it on the Internet,’ is
                                               applicators in a massive health study. The
weight and fat mass were no different in                                                      the same as saying, ‘I heard it on the
                                               objective is to examine factors that may
overweight patients treated with a high-                                                      telephone.’ Chatting by email is like going
                                               affect the health of farmers and their
fiber, low-energy diet and Garcinia                                                           to the barbershop. You might hear the
                                               families, with a special focus on whether
cambogia, (Hydroxycitric Acid) a                                                              psychiatrist’s opinion of Prozac and the
                                               specific pesticide products used on farms
potential anti-obesity agent, than in those                                                   barber’s opinion of Brylcreem. But you
                                               are linked to a variety of adverse health
treated with diet and a placebo.                                                              are more likely to hear the psychiatrist’s
                                               effects including cancers, developmental
     The JAMA issue was hailed as a                                                           opinion of Brylcreem and the barber’s
                                               and reproductive effects, and damage to
milestone by industry groups such as the                                                      opinion of Prozac. Joy in Mudville [Ann’s
                                               the body’s immune system. Called “The
Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).                                                      reply:] Thanks for an astute observation.
                                               Agricultural Health Study (AHS)” and
“Proponents of alternative medicine                                                           I couldn’t have said it better myself.’’
                                               funded by federal research dollars, the
should embrace enthusiastically the            AHS is an integrated program of multiple       REF: Ann Landers. Washington Post, 17 December
publicity surrounding this issue and related   studies directed by a group of scientists at   98, B24. U
articles in many of the association’s other    the National Cancer Institute, the National                  SACCHARIN
publications. This is an opportunity for       Institute of Environmental Health Sciences,
alternative medicine advocates to redouble     and other federal agencies.                        The executive committee of the
their efforts to work together and advance                                                    National Toxicology Program voted 6-3 to
                                                    Farmers are known to be healthier,        delist saccharin from the Report on
the science behind the therapies," CRN
                                               have fewer cancers, and live longer than       Carcinogens, 9th Edition (1999), the
president and CEO John Cordaro said.
                                               the general population. However, some          government's official list of carcinogenic
     In a JAMA editorial, Wayne Jonas          previous epidemiologic investigations have     substances.
of the Office of Alternative Medicine at       found increased rates of several tumors in
the National Institutes of Health said the                                                    REF: Food Chemical News, 40(44), December
                                               farmers. The AHS is designed to reexamine      21, 1998 U
issue illustrated “that quality scientific     these issues while avoiding the many
research can be conducted and published        limitations that plagued earlier studies of                   GREEN TEA
on alternative medicine topics. Alternative    farmers.                                             An anti-cancer compound found in
medicine is here to stay. It is no longer an                                                  green tea works within a cell to ward off
                                                    In the main prospective cohort study,
option to ignore it or to treat it as                                                         cancer, according to research presented
                                               the 90,000 enrollees will be followed for
something outside the normal processes                                                        December 14, 1998, at the Society for
                                               many years or until death in order to
of science and medicine. The challenge is                                                     Cell Biology meeting in San Francisco.
                                               determine whether use of particular
to move forward carefully, using both                                                         Purdue University researchers found that
                                               pesticide products or other aspects of farm
reason and wisdom as we attempt to                                                            the compound, EGCg, inhibits an enzyme
                                               living are associated with adverse health
separate the pearls from the mud.”                                                            required for cancer cell growth and can
                                               outcomes. An important design feature of
     But Jonas cautioned that dietary          this main cohort study is that information     kill cultured cancer cells with no ill effects
supplements used by alternative medicine       on chemical use is obtained from farmers       on healthy cells. Their findings offer the
practitioners are largely unmonitored and      via survey methods prior to the diagnosis      first scientific evidence to explain precisely
their quality uncontrolled. He also warned     of disease.                                    how EGCg works.
that some products available on the                                                           REF: Food Chemical News, 40(44), December

                                                                   (7)                                     Env Tox Newsletter 19(1) Feb 1999
21, 1998 U                                     the issue’s emergence into the mainstream                      CALIFORNIA PESTICIDE
      BREAST CANCER RISK                       media.                                                        ILLNESS REPORTS, 1996
                                               REF: Food Chemical News, 40(40), November
      Women who eat well-done                  23, 1998 U                                                     Cal/EPA’s Department of Pesticide
hamburgers, beefsteak and bacon may                                                                      Regulation released an annual pesticide
have an increased risk of developing breast    DPR RELEASES 1997 REPORT                                  illness report that showed 1,580 potential
cancer compared to women who eat their         ON GROUND WATER TESTING                                   or confirmed cases of pesticide illness in
meats cooked rare or medium, according                                                                   1996, down slightly from the previous year.
                                                    FOR PESTICIDES
to the Journal of the National Cancer                                                                    About 56 percent — 884 illness reports
Institute. Wei Zheng and colleagues at the           Cal/EPA’s Department of Pesticide                   — were non-agricultural, while 696 reports
University of South Carolina compared          Regulation (DPR) has released its 1997                    involved pesticide use in agricultural
meat-preference data from 273 women            report on ground water testing for                        settings. ("Pesticide" is a general term for
who had breast cancer to 657 randomly-         pesticides. Based on 2,508 water well                     substances that kill or control pests.
selected control subjects. Women who           samples, the report showed 96 wells —                     Pesticides include insecticides, herbicides,
consistently ate all three meats cooked very   less than 4 percent — had verified pesticide              rodenticides, disinfectants, and sanitizers.)
well done had a risk of breast cancer 4.6      detections. All residues were below levels                Among fieldworkers, illness reports
times higher than women who ate those          of health concern. Single copies of the                   continued a downward trend that spans
meats rare or medium. For individual           Well Inventory Report can be obtained free                nearly a decade. In 1996, DPR identified
meats, the risks were less severe: 1.5 for     from: Environmental Monitoring and Pest                   137 fieldworker illnesses with a confirmed
well-done hamburger, 2.2 for well-done         Management Branch, Department of                          or potential link to pesticide exposure.
beefsteak, and 1.6 for well-done bacon.        Pesticide Regulation, 830 K Street,                       Fieldworker illnesses have averaged 157 a
Family history of breast cancer and other      Sacramento, California 95814-3510,                        year from 1989 through 1996. That
factors associated with an increased risk      phone (916) 324-4100. The executive                       compares to an average of 282 fieldworker
of breast cancer were adjusted for the         summary of the report is also available in                illnesses annually between 1982 and 1988.
study. An accompanying editorial               the "Publications" section of DPR’s Web                       For a copy of the report and a brochure
however, pointed out weaknesses in the         page: http://www.cdpr.ca.gov.                             describing the illness surveillance program,
research, including a failure to demonstrate                                                             contact DPR’s Worker Health and Safety
                                                    Two tables (in Adobe Acrobat PDF
an association between the amount of                                                                     Branch, 1020 N Street, Room 200,
                                               format) summarizing the detections,
overcooked meat consumed and the risk                                                                    Sacramento 95814, phone (916) 445-
                                               including a county-by-county breakdown
of breast cancer. Until more research is                                                                 4222. The report can also be downloaded
                                               can also be viewed in the press release
available, the editorial added, the public                                                               (on or after February 3, 1999) from the
                                               section of DPR’s Website www.cdpr.ca.gov
should be directed to other known health                                                                 publications section of DPR’s Web site
                                               where the free Adobe Acrobat viewer can
risks associated with undercooking meats.                                                                www.cdpr.ca.gov. DPR is one of six
                                               be downloaded. U
For more information on the study, contact                                                               departments and boards within Cal/EPA.
Karen Tant, University of South Carolina
                                                      H2O HOME TO OCEAN                                  Note A table summarizing illness statistics
(803) 777-5400.                                                                                          by county is available. It is available by
REF: Food Chemical News, 40(40), November           The Web site for the "H2O Home to                    fax by calling the DPR Communications
23, 1998 U                                     Ocean" workbook is now online at                          Office at 916/445-3974 or can be
   RESTAURANT vs FAST FOOD                     www.home2ocean.org. In November, the                      downloaded from the news release section
                                               Depar tment of Pesticide Regulation                       of DPR’s Web site on or after February 3,
           MEATS
                                               distributed hard copies of the workbook                   1999. U
     Government scientists found more          to all of California’s wastewater utilities.
cancer-causing compounds in restaurant-        The workbook (developed under a U.S.                            CHILDREN’S HEALTH
prepared meats than in fast food meats,        Environmental Protection Agency grant)                             PROTECTION
according to recent research by the            provides step-by-step instructions on how
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory,        to launch a public education campaign                          EPA asked the federal Children’s
the National Cancer Institute, and USDA.       for water quality protection, or enhance                  Health Protection Advisory Committee
The researchers believe time-temperature       an existing program, with the "H20 Home                   (CHPAC) to recommend five existing
factors probably account for the difference.   to Ocean" theme. The focus of the                         standards that may merit reevaluation in
While the fast food chains would not give      program is proper pesticide use and                       order to fur ther protect children’s
out their preparation secrets, the             disposal, and encouraging greater use of                  environmental health. EPA will reevaluate
researchers surmised that fast food            integrated pest management. The                           the (1) chloralkali National Emission
establishments cook their foods more           workbook and related materials including                  Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants
quickly and at lower temperatures than         brochures, handouts, and a poster can                     (mercury); (2) the implementation and
other restaurants. Hotter temperatures and     now be downloaded from the Web site. U                    enforcement of the (Farm) Worker
longer cooking times, typical of other types                                                             Protection Standards; (3) pesticide
of restaurants, have been shown to aid in              LEAD INFORMATION                                  tolerances for organophosphates (chlor-
the development of heterocyclic amines,                                                                  pyrifos, dimethoate, methyl parathion);
known carcinogens in animals that are                Lead Poisoning: Federal Health Care                 (4) atrazine pesticide tolerances and
believed to contribute to cancer in humans.    Programs Are Not Effectively Reaching At-                 Maximum Contaminant Level in drinking
While not a new issue, the recent spate of     Risk Children. HEHS-99-18. 67 pp. plus                    water; and (5) will review indoor and
stories on heterocyclic amines could signal    9 appendices (38 pp.) January 15, 1999.                   ambient air quality as they relate to
                                               h t t p : / / w w w. g a o . g o v / n e w. i t e m s /   asthma.
                                               he99018.pdf. U
                                                                          (8)                                        Env Tox Newsletter 19(1) Feb 1999
REF: Federal Register 64(22), February 3, 1999 U   more toxic than inorganic mercury, is                differentiate between hazard and risk
                                                   approximately 300 micrograms per day.                (hazard being the possibility of adverse
  CALIFORNIA PESTICIDE                                  Mercury has been used historically in           effect, and risk being the probability of
APPROVALS FOR NEW ACTIVE                           drugs for a variety of purposes, and was             adverse effect). The conclusions of the
      INGREDIENTS                                  always a "two edged sword" since it could            report are (surprise!) that children and
                                                   cause toxicity in its own right. It has been         others are being exposed to “unsafe”
     Cal/EPA’s Department of Pesticide                                                                  concentrations of pesticide residues in
                                                   replaced by safer drugs with fewer toxic
Regulation registered 17 new pesticide                                                                  food. The CU used the Pesticide Data
                                                   effects. It has what we call a "narrow margin
active ingredients in 1998. Four were                                                                   Program analytical results to draw these
                                                   of safety", which means there is little
reduced-risk compounds. The new                                                                         conclusions. The raw data from these
                                                   difference between a therapeutic and toxic
pesticides include laundry antimicrobials                                                               reports can be downloaded at: http://
                                                   dose. Remember Paracelsus' words as
(found in "Tide With Bleach"), corn gluten                                                              w w w. a m s . u s d a . g o v / s c i e n c e / p d p /
                                                   paraphrased by Dr. Alice Ottoboni: " THE
meal registered as a lawn weed killer, and                                                              download.htm.
                                                   DOSE MAKES THE POISON".
several chemicals which were registered
                                                        There are several considerations which                I don’t recommend looking at these
by DPR concurrently with their federal
                                                   this situation presents.                             raw data unless you are very familiar with
licensing by the U.S. Environmental
                                                                                                        databases and data structure. The results
Protection Agency. (A pesticide active               First, when you purchase unapproved                are presented for individual chemicals for
ingredient is the specific chemical in a             drugs, their quality is unknown.                   thousands of samples, thus there are more
pesticide product that kills or otherwise            Second, the importation and distribution           than 100,000 analytical results per quarter
controls target pests. "Pesticide" is an             of these pills may very well be illegal.           for each year. I downloaded some of the
umbrella term that includes not only
                                                     Third, there are some very sound reasons           data for 1996 for fresh peaches (which
insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides, but
                                                     why powerful, potentially toxic drugs are          the CU says are way up on the list of
also disinfectants, sanitizers, and other
                                                     tested and their manufacture and                   hazardous fruits because of excessive
similar chemicals that kill pests.) U
                                                     distribution regulated.                            methyl parathion residues). I looked at the
                                                                                                        first quarter data, and found no methyl
   DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU                                 If you are taking some alternative
                                                                                                        parathion residues on any of the 378
        ARE TAKING?                                medications/preparations, please bear
                                                                                                        samples. Of these 378 samples, 166 had
                                                   these considerations in mind when you
     We were recently contacted by a                                                                    detectable pesticide residues and 212 had
                                                   weigh the benefits and risks of what you
person who had been taking some pills                                                                   none. For the second quarter, there were
                                                   put into your mouth.
given to them by a practitioner of                                                                      306 samples, 101 with detectable residues
                                                   (Please do not send us samples for                   (26 with methyl parathion), and 205 with
acupuncture. The pills had been obtained
                                                   testing. If you wish to have something               no detectable residues. For the third
from China, and the person who
                                                   tested, contact a local analytical                   quarter, there were 315 samples, 123 with
contacted us had heard that sometimes
                                                   laboratory.) U                                       detectable residues (56 with methyl
these might contain substances which
might be harmful to health. We obtained                                                                 parathion) and 192 with no detectable
several of these pills, which consistently
                                                    RECENT CONSUMER’S UNION                             residues. I did not look to see how many
weighed in about 500 mg. This person                        REPORT                                      of these might be violative, I was mostly
had been taking up to 12 of these per                                                                   curious to see how the data compared
                                                        As we were finishing up this first              with past monitoring data. Historically, the
day, or a total of 6 grams of the                  electronic edition of the Environmental
"medicine". We had a couple of the pills                                                                percentage of produce with non-detectable
                                                   Toxicology Newsletter, the Consumer’s                residues (for California) is 60-70%. These
run through a heavy metal analytical               Union (CU) issued the following report:
screen, and the only striking finding was                                                               peach samples are right in line with that,
that they contained about 60 ppm of                DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE                              so what’s the problem?
mercury. The metal screen did not                  EATING? AN ANALYSIS OF U.S.                              We have had very few calls about this
determine if the mercury was inorganic or          GOVERNMENT DATA ON PESTICIDE                         and will not do much more with it unless
organic, but we suspect that it was an             RESIDUES IN FOODS. February, 1999.                   there is a reason to do so. Carl Winter has
inorganic form. Based on this, we                  Consumers Union of United States, Inc.               done a more in-depth analysis of the CU
calculated that this person was taking             Public Service Projects Department,                  claims, and I recommend that you contact
about 360 micrograms per day of mercury.           Technical Division. http://www.consunion.            him or the Food Safe Webpage for more
A "provisional tolerable weekly intake" of         org/food/do_you_know2.htm                            information: http://foodsafe.ucdavis.edu/
mercury is 300 micrograms, or an                         I find it interesting that their title is so   U
acceptable daily intake (ADI) of 40                similar to the one we chose “Do you know
micrograms. These pills taken at the level         what you are taking?” to present the results
of 12 per day were substantially exceeding         of the analysis of the unapproved pills. I
                                                                                                                     VET NOTES
the ADI. The ADI does include an inherent          have not read this entire report or analyzed
safety factor, thus this amount of intake          it in detail, but have followed some of the
may not cause apparent toxicity, however,          “discussion” that has been taking place               CVM APPROVES SCREENING
mercury may accumulate during chronic              between the CU and other parties. It                 TEST FOR TETRACYCLINES IN
exposure (which is the reason for the low          appears that this report was not peer                        RAW MILK
ADI) and may cause kidney and nervous              reviewed, and from the little I have read
system damage. The minimal toxic dose              of it, the techniques used to "analyze" the               Nearly five months after FDA's Center
of methyl mercury, which is considerably           data are unusual. The report does not                for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) raised the
                                                                                                        tolerance levels for tetracyclines in raw

                                                                         (9)                                            Env Tox Newsletter 19(1) Feb 1999
milk, the agency has approved a modified       that the higher level of drugs would           REF: Food Chemical News, 40(44), December
screening test that can detect the new drug    interfere with the manufacturing of            21, 1998 U
residue levels.                                cultured milk products.
     In July, CVM changed the tolerance             FDA worked with Charm Sciences
levels of tetracyclines in milk when it        Inc. to modify the Charm II Tetracycline       Arthur L. Craigmill, Ph.D.
approved Liquamycin LA-200 (oxytetra-          Test to detect residues at the new tolerance   Environmental Toxicology
cycline) for use in lactating dairy cattle.    level. According to the company, the           University of California
At that time, concerns were raised that        modified screening test detects 257 ppb
                                                                                              One Shields Avenue
the new tolerance of 300 ppb for the sum       chlortetracycline, 119 ppb oxytetracycline,
of tetracycline residues in milk would place   and 67 ppb tetracycline with 90%/95%
                                                                                              Davis, CA 95616-8588
dairy plants in a bind, since there was no     confidence. Any combination of these           (530)752-2936 FAX: 752-0903
longer any approved screening tests for        tetracyclines also will be detected below      Email: alcraigmill@ucdavis.edu
tetracyclines. Concerns also were raised       the total 300 ppb tolerance.




                                                                    (10)                                 Env Tox Newsletter 19(1) Feb 1999

				
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