September 1997. Chlorfluazuron
(CFZ) residues in meat.
........In the June 1997 issue of
this bulletin, attention was drawn to a class action by New South
Wales and Queensland graziers against the chemical company
ICI and the governments of both these States. The case
involved a massive compensation claim over the contamination of
cattle and meat by CFZ which was widely used in aerial spraying
to control insects in cotton crops. Cotton trash was fed to beef
cattle as a drought food supplement in the early 1990s.
June, the Federal Court found that ICI had breached its duty of
care to graziers who used the feed; to abattoir owners who unwittingly
purchased contaminated cattle; to meat processors and exporters
who owned meat that was contaminated; and to feedlot owners who
incurred expense in holding contaminated cattle in detention.
........The presiding judge found
that ICI had failed to undertake the full
environmental field studies recommended by specialist scientists.
This occurred in spite of numerous expressions of concern about
the environmental hazards of CFZ by ICI scientists in the United
Kingdom over a period of four years. 'ICI
did not know the problems associated with CFZ because, and only
because, it did not take the usual and obvious steps to find them
out,' concluded the judge.
........The judge ruled that the
State governments had not been negligent and could not be held
liable for the negligence of officers who had been involved in
recommending feeding cotton waste to cattle. 'It is not shown
that any officer knew, or ought to have known, that the feeding
of cotton trash might lead to a significant contamination problem,'
said the judge.
of the Technical Committee on Agricultural Chemicals were found
to have acted negligently in their consideration of ICI's application
for clearance to use CFZ.
........However the agreement to
grant clearances was a policy decision and as such the Committee
was granted immunity irrespective of its actions or inactions.
........The judge said the story
was about bureaucracies: one in the private
sector seeking to generate profits from a new product and the
other a public network established to guard against harm from
agricultural chemicals. Each had failed because well qualified
people had examined details without considering the whole picture.
........The damages to be awarded
have yet to be determined by the Federal Court.
Reference: September 1997. Food Safey &
Hygine. A bulletin for the Australian Food Industry. September
1997. Food Science Australia. http://www.foodscience.afisc.csiro.au/fshbull/fshbull10d.htm
1997: Farmers seek compensation over chemical residue in meat.
and eighty cattle producers from northern New South Wales and
western Queensland have launched a class action to seek millions
of dollars compensation in the Federal Court from chemical company
ICI and the NSW and Queensland governments. The case involves
contamination of cattle and meat by the chemical chlorafluazuron
(CFZ) which was widely used in aerial spraying to control insects
in cotton crops between 1989 and 1994.
The cattle owners fed their animals with cotton trash and cotton
seed remnants during the prolonged drought early in this decade.
The detection of CFZ residues in meat being processed at a plant
in northern NSW in October 1994 resulted in the immediate quarantine
of about 3,000 beef farms and the rejection of beef exports by
Japan and the United States. Some properties where CFZ contaminated
feed was never used could still have been affected by spray drift
following the aerial application of CFZ it was claimed in the
Legal Counsel for the cattle producers said that CFZ was not registered
for use in any other country at the time. Hence the finding of
any CFZ residue in exported meat would lead to rejection. The
plaintiffs are alleging common law negligence by ICI in failing
to carry out appropriate testing to establish an appropriate withholding
period and to provide adequate warning of risks associated with
use of the chemical. The plaintiffs further allege negligence
on the part of the NSW Department of Agriculture and the Queensland
Department of Primary Industries in allowing the use of CFZ. Counsel
claimed that both State Departments were at the time represented
on the Technical Committee for Agricultural Chemicals (TCAC) and
on the body that replaced it, the Australian Agricultural and
Veterinary Chemicals Committee. The TCAC had cleared CFZ for aerial
application to cotton at the same time the State Departments were
recommending the use of cotton trash for feed.
Food Safety and Hygiene. A bulletin for the Australian Food Industry
20, 1996 - Cotton Insecticide Contaminates Calves
Newborn calves in Australia are still being contaminated with
hazardous levels of the insecticide Helix (chlorfluazuron), two
years after cattle were fed cotton trash containing residues of
After finding high levels of Helix in the cattle, several countries
suspended beef imports from Australia. Government inspectors believe
that the pesticide is being passed to calves through suckling.
Due to a drought in 1994, many Australian farmers were forced
to feed cattle alternative feeds, which in some cases included
cotton trash containing chlorfluazuron residues.
National Toxics Network, an Australian public interest
group, states that Helix was given special government approval
for use on cotton despite being provisionally
registered due to concerns about its persistence in the environment.
Recent research by the Meat Research Corporation
(Australia) found that Helix residues may never disappear from
older cattle, and that farmers may be able to sell contaminated
cattle only for pet food.
In 1995, cattle farmers filed a class action suit against
the Australian government and Crop Care Australasia, the company
that marketed Helix in Australia. The suit seeks compensation
for losses in beef sales resulting from the initial pesticide
contamination, and was filed before anyone knew that losses would
continue in the next generation of cattle. The suit, which represents
approximately 460 cattle farmers, alleges that chlorfluazuron
was registered without adequate testing. Crop Care Australasia
announced last year that it was withdrawing the pesticide from
the Australian market as an "act of good faith."
Farmers in New South Wales and Queensland may file a similar lawsuit
against the Australian government due to cattle contamination
by the organochlorine insecticide endosulfan. The farmers' lawyer
charged that the Australian National Registration Authority labeled
endosulfan inadequately. Approximately 23 farms were placed in
quarantine after inspectors discovered the insecticide in beef
cattle at levels above the maximum residue limit, possibly due
to spray drift contaminating grazing land. In Australia, endosulfan
is used primarily on cotton. Endosulfan has been targeted for
global phaseout by pesticide reform groups worldwide due to its
extreme toxicity (see PANUPS June 16, 1995 and June 16, 1994).
It has also been identified as an endocrine disruptor...
Agrow, February 16, 1996; January 19, 1996; February 3, 1995;
National Toxics Network Sentinel, February 1995. http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/chlorfluazuron.cottonpan.96.htm
poisoning for profit By
Chris Spindler. SYDNEY -- In an all-too-rare finding of blame,
the giant chemical company ICI is facing a pay-out of hundreds
of millions of dollars in compensation to graziers and meat processors.
ICI distributed the insecticide Helix, which was used on cotton
crops of northern NSW and southern Queensland. Cotton waste fed
to cattle during the 1990s drought led to their contamination.
Helix, or CFZ (chlorfluazuron), was voluntarily banned from use
in the cotton industry in 1995.
On June 24, Justice Wilcox of the Federal Court found that ICI
had failed in its duty of care to inform people of the insecticide
in the cotton fodder. In 1994, 60,000 tonnes of meat was recalled
and more than 4700 cattle were put into quarantine.
Around 2500 processors and producers were affected, with losses
ranging from $20,000 to $26 million. Some claimants have died
and others gone broke over the two years it took to sue ICI.
The court found that ICI had demonstrated "wilful blindness"
in failing to carry out appropriate research on the fodder or
appropriate field research into Helix.
Justice Wilcox stated, "A contributing factor to the failures
was that, in its haste for profits, the private organisation cut
research corners and inexcusably suppressed information that might
have alerted the dozing public watchdog".
Wilcox failed to mention government cutbacks and privatisation
of quarantine and food inspection services.
Similar legal actions are under way against other pesticide companies
over the use of the pesticide Endosulphan on lucerne, vegetables
In Melbourne on June 25, Greenpeace protested outside a special
ICI shareholders' meeting. Greenpeace toxics campaigner Matt Ruchel
entered the meeting with a secret tape-recording of a message
calling on shareholders to "make their money talk to protect
Greenpeace wants ICI to clean up its mess in Homebush Bay in Sydney
and other sites around Australia, such as ground water contamination
and hazardous waste stockpiles at ICI Botany.
On June 24 in Sydney, Greenpeace activists planted two-metre high
warning signs in waters in front of ICI's plant on Homebush Bay
to highlight contamination by heavy metals and phthalates produced
by ICI on the site.
Greenpeace is calling on ICI to commit funds to a multimillion
dollar joint project between the NSW state government and the
giant investment bank Bankers Trust to clean up Homebush Bay,
one of the world's most polluted waterways.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the rate of decline of chlorfluazuron
(CFZ) concentration in the fat of cattle.
DESIGN: A field depletion study.
ANIMALS: Fifteen steers that had become
contaminated with CFZ through eating cotton trash or cotton leaf
pellets derived from CFZ-treated cotton crops.
PROCEDURE: Fat samples were collected from the cattle at about
3 week intervals according to a schedule where each animal was
sampled on four occasions up to 340 days after removal from the
contaminated feed source.
RESULTS: When the effects of dilution are
removed CFZ concentrations were found to decline slowly for about
200 days. Depletion was minimal between 200 and 340 days.
CONCLUSION: According to this trial, CFZ-contaminated, nonlactating
cattle which have finished growing will remain contaminated. Field
experience has not supported this conclusion.
Vet J. 1998 Jan;76(1):54-6. Rate
of decline of chlorfluazuron concentration in the fat of cattle.
Spence SA, Murison R, Harden S.
- Fungicide, Acaricide, Wood Preservative - CAS
Wood preservative ruined 200
homes By: Christian Ege Jørgensen,
The Danish Ecological Council. A
wood preservative with the active ingredient dichlofluanid (a
sulfamide fungicide) has created a disaster in Denmark. It was
marketed in Denmark under the retail product name "Rentolin",
and without a warning against indoor uses. (In other EU countries
the product name may be different. We know that some wood preservatives
containing dichlofluanid are marketed as e.g. "Preventol"
-- Around 200 people used Rentolin indoors and suffered serious
injury. Many houses are now uninhabitable, and several people
suffer from chronic diseases. Some have the diagnosis of MCS [Multiple
Chemical Sensibility], meaning that they have violent reaction
to all kinds of volatile chemical substances, natural and manmade
as well. The sufferers have now formed a union of "Rentolin-injured"
people, and have sued the importer. However he escaped to the
United States. Experts are not unanimous that the said injuries
were caused by dichlofluanid, but to us it appears to be the most
likely explanation. Danish EPA finds it more probable that the
organic solvent (a kind of white spirit) in Rentolin caused the
disorders. But if so, we find it hard to understand why similar
disorders have not been seen with indoor use of other products
containing organic solvents, such as floor varnishes. The Rentolin
case is probably the worst chemical disaster Denmark has seen
for decades. We have urged the Danish EPA to make a thorough investigation
of the causes, but still this has not been done. Now the same
demand has been raised in the Danish parliament.
According to the EU, dichlofluanid is being used in Ireland, UK,
Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy,
and Greece. It is not included in any of the lists for European
re-assessment of active ingredients under 91/414, though. As for
Sweden we know that Rentolin was always marketed with the label
"Only for outdoor use", but we do not know about other countries.
Dichlofluanid is on the EU list of hazardous substances, classified
as an allergen and hazardous to the environment.
We have already informed NGOs in other countries via the EEB chemicals
group and the PAN-Europe (Pesticide Action Network). We recommend
that NGOs investigate whether similar injuries have been found
in other countries. If investigations show that dichlofluanid
caused such disorders a joint call for a ban on the production
and use of dichlofluanid in Europe must be considered.
Issue 17, Chemical Awareness (2001) http://www.chemical-awareness.com/news.php?nid=18&aid=433 Chemical
Awareness is financially supported by the Danish Environmental
Protection Agency, the Swedish National Chemicals Inspectorate
and the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation. http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/dichlofluanid.denmark.poiso.htm
- Acaricide, Insecticide, Wood Preservative -
-- August 1, 2001.
St. Landry Parish District Court Judge James Genovese gave hundreds
of Louisiana crawfish farmers a major victory in their case against
Aventis, the manufacturer of the rice seed treatment Icon. In
a July 30, 2001, ruling, the court granted
certification for a class of crawfish farmers, finding they met
all legal requirements for class certification in the lawsuit
filed in Opelousas last year. According to Pat Morrow,
an Opelousas attorney representing the farmers, "Crawfish farmers
who feel their crawfish harvests have been damaged by Icon contamination
can now come forward and join this class action suit."
However, the court
denied class status for local seed distributor defendants. The
class certification hearing began in April and concluded in June.
Judge Genovese's ruling
allows anyone claiming financial losses and damages as a result
of their crawfish crop's exposure to Icon beginning in January
1999 to join the lawsuit if he or she:
-- Purchased Icon-treated
seed for rice operations in Louisiana, or
-- Farmed crawfish in Louisiana, or
-- Participated in a sharecropping arrangement for the farming
of crawfish in Louisiana.
During the four days
of trial, 36 witnesses testified, mainly crawfish farmers and
experts. More than a dozen farmers told the same tale - once
their crawfish crop was contaminated by Icon, the crawfish died.
They became contaminated either because the crawfish were harvested
in Icon-treated rice fields or because tailwater containing Icon
or its metabolites flooded the crawfish crop.
the product name for the chemical fipronil, was commercially introduced
in 1999. In 2000, Louisiana's crawfish production dropped 40 percent.
Although its purpose is to kill the water weevils attacking rice
plants, Icon, according to the trial testimony of farmers and
experts, also kills crawfish.
Lousiana State University
(LSU) scientists last year announced a possible link between Icon
and crawfish mortality. In a survey of more than 90 commercial
ponds, LSU scientists were told that in
ponds where Icon-treated rice had been seeded the year before,
crawfish production was generally well below average, says
Dr. Greg Lutz, an aquaculture specialist with the Louisiana Agricultural
Center. The survey was conducted in the 12 parishes that have
the greatest share of both rice fields and crawfish ponds.
Dr. Ray McClain, professor
at the LSU Ag Center's Rice Research Station in Crowley, tested
a worst-case scenario for crawfish exposed to water that contained
Icon-treated rice seed and found that most did not survive.
"This was a study
under extreme conditions that are unlikely to occur in a natural
setting," Dr. McClain says. "But we felt if the crawfish could
survive these simulated conditions, then this would put to rest
part of the controversy over Icon. But it didn't."
McClain in 1999 conducted
similar experiments in which water containing Icon-treated seed
did not significantly affect crawfish. "We simulated normal crawfish-growing
conditions with the predominantly recommended rate of Icon," McClain
said of his 1999 research. These results were corroborated by
1999 Aventis research. But in 2000, McClain increased the temperature
of the water, used the maximum allowable rates of Icon and held
the crawfish in the water longer.
Ref: AgJournal.com http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/fipronil.class.action.2002.htm
5.1 - Members
considered the first evaluation of a full safety and efficacy
dossier supporting an application for approval of fluazolate,
a new herbicide intended for pre-emergence use on winter wheat
for control of annual grasses and broad-leaved weeds.
- The Committee confirmed that they considered two
of the metabolites (M01 and M06) to be "relevant metabolites"
in terms of the Uniform Principles and that there would therefore
be a legal requirement to prevent these
metabolites from entering groundwater at predicted concentrations
above 0.1 m g/l. The Committee agreed that there may be scope
to achieve this using a regulatory approach that prevented the
product being used on certain soil series. However, this approach
would only be viable if it were shown to be enforceable and could
be audited. The Committee noted that this kind of approach might
become more practical as a consequence of ongoing developments
such as the DEFRA Geographical Information System (GIS) field
5.3 - In addition to the problem of ground
water contamination by metabolites, the Committee identified
several other issues that would need to be resolved before approval
could be recommended. Reference values could not be set due to
evidence from observations in humans following
a contamination incident, which suggested
that fluazolate was absorbed and that a
biological effect occurred at lower doses than those which produced
effects in animal studies. There were also concerns
over certain aspects of the reproductive toxicity studies in animals.
The Committee agreed that toxicological data would be required
on the metabolite M06 if significant
human exposures were predicted to result
from contamination of groundwater or residues in following
crops. There were also concerns regarding the buffer
zone distance that would be needed to manage the risk to algae
in UK, and about possible risks to non-target plants and
5.4 - The Committee concluded that until these various
issues have been resolved, approval could not be recommended.
Ref: UK Advicory Committee on Pesticides.
January 17, 2002. http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/fluazolate.uk.jan17.2002.htm
- also known as Compound 1081 - Rodenticide,
Insecticide - CAS No. 640-19-7
Amnesty International accused Israel of failing to prosecute Jewish
settlers for attacking Palestinian locals and poisoning their
livestock, the international rights group said. Condemning the
"increasingly frequent attacks" against Palestinian
villagers, Amnesty urged the Israeli government to investigate
all violent incidents, and in particular, the recent spate of
cases of poisoning fields that has affected scores of Palestinian
livestock. "In recent weeks, toxic chemicals have repeatedly
been spread on fields located near the villages of Tuwani, Umm
Faggara and Kharruba in the southern Hebron region," the
group said in a statement, referring to areas in the southern
West Bank. "Scores of sheep as well as gazelles and other
animals have been contaminated by the toxins and several have
died. Palestinian farmers have been forced to quarantine their
flocks and stop using the milk, cheese and meat from them, effectively
depriving them of their livelihood." Since the first instance
of poisoning was discovered in late March, other fields had also
been contaminated, all of them in areas under Israeli security
control, known as area C, the rights group said. Until now, however,
the Israeli authorities had not decontaminated the fields, nor
had they investigated the perpetrators, who were enjoying "impunity",
the group said...
Ref: April 25, 2005. Amnesty calls on Israel
to halt poisoning of Palestinian livestock. http://www.fluoridealert.org/pesticides/fluoroacetamide.apr.25.05.html
April 6, 2005.Israel
Probes Poisoning of Palestinian Sheep. By Haitham Tamimi.
April 12, 2005. Palestinian
villagers accuse Israeli settlers of poisoning their flocks.
By Agence France Presse.
oxolinic acid and flumequine are
antibacterial agents commonly used in fish farming, especially
because of their broad spectrum of activity. About 80 % of these
drugs reached the environment because of their administration
as medicated pelleted feed and their low oral bioavailability.
Under these conditions, there is a clear need in studying the
impact of these treatments on the freshwater environment.
A spatio-temporol study was then realised to estimate the concentration
of oxolinic acid, flumequine and oxytetracycline in water, sediments
and bryophytes all along a coast river. The 25 sampling points
were chosen around 6 study stations. Each of these points were
sampled once per season over one year.
Concentrations in water were under limit of detection. The 900
analysis showed that concentrations were greater in the bryophytes
• than in the sediments. The greatest
environmental concentrations were 120 ppb, 2000
ppb, 1500 ppb for oxolinic acid flumequine
and oxytetracycline respectively. Multivariate statistical analysis
were performed on the data.
study showed a real contamination of the environment by flumequine
and to a lesser extent by oxolinic acid. No seasonal difference
in concentrations was noticed. The analysis
of the results showed the relevance of the use of bryophytes instead
of sediments in the freshwater environmental monitoring.
The fine study of the results seemed to reveal a real impact of
the study stations on the environment. These observations should
be confirmed by more specific studies, by using moss bags for
Ref: Abstract (Poster 7):
Environmental Spatio-temporal monitoring of the contamination
of a coast river in oxolinic acid, flumequine and oxytetracycline,
by Raphael Delepee, Herve Pouliquen, Herve Le Bris Unite mixte
de recherche INTRA/ENVN 1035 Chimiotherapie Aquacole et Environment,
Ecole Nationale Veterinaire de Nantes Atlanpole - Le Chantrerie
- BP 40706 Nantes Cedex 03, France. Aquaculture
and Environment Symposium, September 18, 2002. 7th Bordeaux Aquaculture.
September 18 - 20, 2002. Bordeau
• Definition for bryophyte:
-- Any primitive plant in the division Bryophyta,
includes liverworts, mosses, and hornworts.
-- Plants in which the gametophyte generation is the larger, persistent
phase; they generally lack conducting tissues. Bryophytes include
the Hepaticophyta (liverworts), Anthocerotophyta (hornworts),
and Bryophyta (mosses). Ref: UCMP
-- any plant of the phylum Bryophyta, having stems and leaves
but lacking true vascular tissue and roots and reproducing by
spores: includes the mosses and liverworts. [ETYMOLOGY: 19th Century:
New Latin, from Greek bruon moss + -phyte] bryophytic adjective.
farmers are loosing thousands of dollars a day as a herbicide
they were told was fertiliser rips through their crops.
The powder exploded from a truck when it was hit by a V/Line passenger
train at a level crossing in Mitiamo almost three weeks ago.
Landowners in the tiny town, 60km north of Bendigo, say they were
by emergency service workers the fine white substance would boost
canola crop yields.
But two days later crop grower Brian Phillips woke to find almost
50ha of his once sprouting fields were desert.
The powder has sine been identified as Fluometuron,
a concentrated herbicide used to kill broad-leaf weeds and grass
in cotton fields.
And winter wind has blown it everywhere, wreaking havoc just weeks
into the new season.
Mr Phillips and his wife, Therese, say the misinformation has
cost them up to $30,000. Canola costs about $400 a tonne.
The couple are considering suing Syngenta
Crop Protection Pty Ltd, the Sydney-based company responsible
for the herbicide, and the Environmental Protection Authority
for negligence... "
Ref: July 2, 2004. Australia. Herald Sun
Melbourne. Crash kills crops. Herbicide
scattered over field of canola
contamination of a fishery and resulting high mortality
of herring, cod, and lobsters are reported for Long Harbour,
Placentia Bay, Newfoundland, following discharge
of wastes containing phosphorus (7723140) from a nearby
fluorapatite (1306-05-4) ore pelletizing
plant. Waste effluents contain cyanide (57125), ammonium
(14798039) ions, sulfur-dioxide (7446095), calcium-phosphate
(7757939), and calcium-fluoride (7789-74-4). Measures are
described for preventing toxic pollutants from entering
the bay, reducing effluents to non-toxic forms, and removal
of deposited phosphorus from bottom sediments by dredging.
of a Fishery and a Major Industry in Placentia Bay, by Idler
DR. Chemistry in Canada, Vol. 21, pages 16-21, 1969.
Late in 1969 a number of massive fishkills occurred in Long
Harbour and neighboring regions of Placentia Bay in Newfoundland.
The fish kills were attributed to the startup of a phosphorus
producing plant at Long Harbour. A study was undertaken
by the Fisheries Research Board of Canada to determine the
toxicity of yellow phosphorus to marine life. Results of
the research were reported in a book entitled "Effects
of Elemental Phosphorus on Marine Life," compiled and
edited by P. J. Jangaard, Circular No. 2, November 1972,
Atlantic Regional Office, Research and Development, Fisheries
Research Board of Canada, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The book is a compilation of technical papers which describe
the pollution problem at Long Harbour, give results of research
on toxicity of elemental phosphorus and describe methods
used to clean up Placentia Bay. An abstract of one of the
technical papers is given below as an example to show the
relative sensitivity of marine life to small concentrations
of elemental phosphorus in water. The paper abstracted is
"Yellow Phosphorus Pollution: Its Toxicity to Seawater-Maintained
Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) and smelt (Osmerus mordax),"
by G. L. Fletcher, R. J. Hoyle, and D. A. Horne, Fisheries
Research Board of Canada, Halifax Laboratory, Halifax, Nova
for the disposal and recovery of phossy water. United
States Patent 5549878.
In 1969, a massive fish kill that
turned Placentia Bay, Newfoundland into "a biological
desert" was traced to fluoride effluent from a plant
that produced elemental phosphorus for metal finishing and
consumer goods. Some 22,800 pounds of fluoride effluent
poured into the bay each day, primarily in the form of hydrofluosilicic
acid - the same substance used to fluoridate city water
Fluoride Is an Environmental Issue, by Gar Smith. Earth
People who lived near the ERCO facility had had first-hand
experience with pollution. In 1968 liquids flowing from
the plant poisoned the waters around Long Harbour. Great
numbers of dead fish ”some of which had turned a strange
red colour” washed up on beaches. Both the plant and
the fishery were closed immediately while an investigation
vegetation and trees around the ERCO plant died mysterious1)',
the Department of Health advised people not to have vegetable
gardens or to pick berries within three kilometres of the
facility When the plant closed in 1989 it was estimated
that it would take 25 years and more than $100 million to
clean up the mess its owners had left behind.
Newfoundland writer Greg Whelan's history of the ERCO plant:
to the environment were apparent almost from the beginning.
The Red Herring Scare occurred in December when it was discovered
that fish exposed to phosphorous effluent
from the plant suffered internal bleeding and were washing
up dead throughout Placentia Bay. Other wildlife in the
area were affected as well. A moose and two rabbits were
found to be deformed due to excess bone fluoride levels.
The mysterious death of vegetation within a 3 km radius
of the facility prompted the provincial
department of health to warn residents not to grow vegetable
gardens or pick berries in the region.
introduced over the years by ERCO and the subsequent owner
Albright and Wilson Americas, reduced the pollution to "acceptable"
levels, and the most common concern voiced by Long Harbour
residents was a slight annoyance with the yellow dust that
continuously covered their homes and cars.
the phosphorous plant is gone, and the town and the province
must deal with two problems: the loss of nearly 300 jobs,
and what to do with the contaminated areas left behind.
... In 1991 there was a belief among the residents of the
region that they had a much higher rate of cancer than normal.
As a result the Placentia Area Cancer Group had been formed.
Bruce Gilbert was a member. He had arranged that blood samples
be taken from a group of local residents. The samples had
been sent to world-renowned environmental scientist Dr.
Rosalie Bertell in Toronto for analysis...
the Lead. Volume 3: Taking On the Fight. A project of
the Writer's Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Insecticide, Rodenticide - CAS No. 640-19-7
(also known as
Fluoroacetamine or Compound 1081)
-- April 12, 2005: Palestinian
villagers accuse Israeli settlers of poisoning their flocks.
By Agence France Presse.
... Tests carried out by the center for environmental health at
the university of Beir Zeit in the central West Bank have found
that the product spread in the pastures was fluoroacetamide. "The
tests have revealed that it is fluoroacetamide, a very
toxic substance without any known antidote. It was first conceived
as a pesticide against rats and its production and use are forbidden
without authorization from the Israeli government," said
the center's director Ramzi Sansur. ... A spokesman for the Israeli
police in the southern West Bank, Shlomi Sagui, confirmed that
a "poison" had recently been detected in the fields
in question following complaints from Palestinian villagers. "It
is true that a poison has been found. We do not know yet know
where it came from but an inquiry is under way," Sagui said.
Ref: The Daily Star - Lebanon.
-- April 6, 2005: Israel
Probes Poisoning of Palestinian Sheep. By
Israeli police said on Tuesday they were investigating accusations
that Jewish settlers killed sheep belonging to Palestinians with
poison in a bid to drive Palestinians off their land in the West
Bank... Ramzi Sansur, a Palestinian toxicologist who examined
the pellets in a Bir Zeit university laboratory, said the chemical,
Fluoroacetamide, was "extremely
toxic" and ordinarily used to kill rodents in sewers... led
to the death of 20 sheep and poisoning of 82 others that are fighting
for their lives." ...Other
animals including gazelles and migratory birds also died.
Ref: Planet Ark World Environment News.
-- RESULTS OF LAB INVESTIGATIONS
ARE REPORTED IN MASS POISONING IN
WHICH ABOUT 800 DOGS DIED SHORTLY AFTER
CONSUMING PURCHASED POULTRY MEAT. THE TOXICOLOGICAL &
PUBLIC HEALTH IMPLICATIONS OF MASS POISONING ARE DISCUSSED. Ref: [EGYED MN; FLUORIDE
12 (2): 76 (1979)]
Abstract: An account is presented of
poisoning in a dairy herd grazing fields adjacent to a chemical
factory which manufactured fluoroacetamide. In mid-May,
three cows of a dairy herd of 26 Friesians died suddenly. In spite
of the fact that a ditch and ponds running through the field were
fenced off so that the cows could not drink from them, several
more cows died at intervals. Clinical signs observed before death
were listlessness, intermittent inappetence, incoordination and
accelerated heart and respiratory rates. No nervous signs and
convulsions were observed. Submaxillary edema and edema of the
brisket occurred in a notable proportion of the herd. Surviving
cows were lethargic, appetite remained poor and milk yield fell
considerably. Several calves died at or
shortly after birth. Postmortem examination did not give
any indication of the nature of the poison.
A neighboring farm reported infertility of their cows and at another
adjoining farm several apparently healthy sheep died suddenly.
An investigation of the environs together with the clinical condition
of the cows provided circumstantial evidence that the cows had
been poisoned by water contaminated by a toxic organic fluorine
compound present in the factory effluent and draining into ditches
and ponds situated on the adjoining farms. Five months after the
cows were removed from access to the ditch and pond water. the
survivors were still unthrifty and lethargic. The production and
agricultural uses of fluoroacetamide and fluoroactate are discussed.
Early in 1964, the Ministry of Agriculture,
Fisheries and Food recommended that fluoroacetamide should not
be used as an insecticide in agriuclture, home gardens or in food
storage practice in Great Britain; proprietary products containing
fluoroacetamide were subsequently withdrawn from the market. Ref:
Fluoroacetamide poisoning. I. Toxicity in dairy cattle: Clinical
history and preliminary investigations.
Authors: Allcroft JSL RJones. Source: Vet. REcord; 84(16), 399-402,
and Treatment 69/10/00, 346 1969]
Aquatic Incidents. There is one reported incident in the
EIIS database with an aquatic organism effect. On
22 August 2000, Fifteen Mile Creek
near the Dalles Dam in Oregon was the site of an oxyfluorfen
spill (Incident# I010844-01, I010949-001). A truck carrying
formulated oxyfluorfen (Goal 2XL) crashed
on a bridge spilling approximately 20,000 pounds (2600 gallons)
of herbicide into the creek yards from where the creek enters
the Columbia River. Two weeks after the spill, samples
of filtered (8-micron filter) and unfiltered water near the spill
site contained an average of 32 µg/L and 340 µg/L, respectively.
This spill was estimated to cause a 35%
decrease in the numbers of adult chinook salmon and a 26% decrease
in the numbers of steelhead passing over the Dalles Dam the day
immediately following the spill, relative to the day prior to
the spill. The spill was also reported to kill thousands of young
lampreys. An extensive cleanup operation (removal of water
and sediment) removed a majority of the chemical, and the estimated
quantity of oxyfluorfen not recovered was less than 1000 gallons...
As a result of the Goal 2XL spill in the Columbia River
Basin (Fifteen Mile Creek) on 22 August 2000 (Incident# I010844-
01, I010949-001 and Appendix C), a focused sediment and water
sampling was conducted. Water and sediment samples were collected
as background measures from areas thought not to be impacted by
the spill. The few background water samples did not have detectable
amounts of oxyfluorfen, but 2 of the 35
background sediment samples did have detectible amounts of oxyfluorfen
(the highest was 541 ppb). It is
important to note that these background samples were collected
seven months after most oxyfluorfen applications would have occurred
(oxyfluorfen is primarily applied during the dormant winter season).
As a result of the Goal spill in Fifteen Mile Creek near the Columbia
River, fish samples in the Columbia were collected for oxyfluorfen
measurements. The fish were collected from fishermen several miles
up and downstream of the spill site during a three month period
after the spill. Of 108 fin fish tissue
samples collected from the Columbia River, 57 had quantifiable
levels of oxyfluorfen, 20 had trace levels, 31 had undetectable
levels. The average quantified fish tissue
concentration was 48 ppb (range of 10 to 370 ppb). Given
the containment efforts at the spill site and the enormous dilution
from Fifteen Mile Creek into the Columbia River, it is likely
that residues measured in many of these fish were a result of
background levels of oxyfluorfen from registered uses. Some
of the fish collected upstream would not be expected to have contacted
contaminated water from the spill site, yet they still had significant
levels of oxyfluorfen in their tissues.
Revised Environmental Fate and Effects Division Preliminary Risk
Assessment for the Oxyfluorfen Reregistration Eligibility Decision
Document. Date:11 December 2001. http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/oxyfluorfen.enveffects.2001.pdf
Reported Incidents. There
are several reported incidents in the Environmental Incident Information
System (EIIS) database with a terrestrial organism effect. One
incident occurred on 7 March 1996,
when a pest control operator in Madera County,
California, applied Roundup (glyphosate) and Goal (oxyfluorfen)
to an unspecified site (Incident# I003377-003).
These herbicides drifted to 40 acres of
plums and 90-100 acres of almonds with total damage estimated
at $520,000 to $760,000. Either of these compounds may
have contributed to the damage of these crops. A similar incident
(#I005625-012) occurred in
May 1996 in Desha County, Arkansas. A grower stated that
aerial drift of Roundup Ultra and Goal damaged
160 acres of rice, and 80 acres had to be replanted. Either
of these compounds may have contributed to the damage of these
crops. Another aerial drift incident (#I005625-016)
occurred in March 1996 in Kern County, California.
A grower stated that aerial drift of Roundup
Ultra and Goal damaged 10 acres of oranges. Investigation
by Monsanto representatives revealed that adequate buffer zones
had not been employed. Either of these compounds may have contributed
to the damage of these crops. One incident
(# I001734-001) involved repeated applications of Goal
to 8 acres of fir trees in Idaho.
Trees exhibited one or more of the following symptoms: death,
loss of turgidity, some woody tissue above base of tree was enlarged
with necrosis and darkening of internal tissue, and stem brittleness
and fissures. There are 2 reported incidents
(#I003268-050 and #I010800-098) of damage attributed
to a home use product (Ortho GroundClear Triox). Both
incidents involved damage and death to small numbers of ornamentals
and juniper trees. The damage may have been caused by oxyfluorfen
and/or the other active ingredient in Triox, isopropylamine salt.
Ref: Revised Environmental Fate and Effects
Division Preliminary Risk Assessment for the Oxyfluorfen Reregistration
Eligibility Decision Document. Date:11 December 2001. http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/oxyfluorfen.enveffects.2001.pdf
Fined $750,000 by Commerce Department For Illegal Chemical Shipments
of Potassium fluoride and Sodium fluoride.
-- The Commerce Department's Under Secretary for Export Administration,
William A. Reinsch, imposed a civil penalty of $750,000 on Aluminum
Company of America (ALCOA) for 100 violations of U.S. export regulations
involving shipments of potassium fluoride and sodium
-- The penalty results from Reinsch's affirming an administrative
law judge's (ALJ) recommended findings in the case. The ALJ found
that ALCOA exported potassium fluoride and sodium
fluoride from the United States to Jamaica and Suriname
on 50 separate occasions without obtaining the required Commerce
Department export licenses. The violations occurred between June
1991 and December 1995. The ALJ also found
that the company made false statements on export control documents
in each shipment.
-- Potassium fluoride and sodium fluoride
are controlled because they can be used to make chemical weapons.
These chemicals were added to the Department's control list in
March 1991, but ALCOA's export compliance program failed to recognize
and incorporate the change. There was no indication that in this
case the chemicals were used for weapons purposes.
-- Reinsch observed, "This penalty should send the message that
there are significant advantages to having an internal compliance
program that catches and reports problems quickly."
-- Reinsch's action imposes the maximum civil penalty of $10,000
for each of the 50 shipping without a license violations. He also
imposed a penalty of $5,000 for each false statement.
-- Commerce's Export Administration Regulations provide that an
administrative law judge administrative enforcement proceedings
be conducted by who recommends an appropriate resolution of the
case to the Under Secretary for Export Administration. The Under
Secretary may affirm, modify, or vacate the ALJ's recommendation.
In this case, Reinsch agreed with the findings but modified the
penalties recommended by the ALJ. Reinsch's order and the ALJ's
recommendations will be printed in the Federal Register.
Press Release. February 19,1999. ALCOA Fined $750,000 by Commerce
Department For Illegal Chemical Shipments. U. S. Department of
Commerce Bureau of Export Administration. http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/sodium.f.alcoa.fine.feb1999.htm
Some excerpts from the ALJ's decision
published in the
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Bureau of Export Administration
[Docket No.: 97–BXA–20]
Re: Aluminum Company of America
On Friday, February 26, 1999, the Federal Register published the
Decision and Order issued by the Under Secretary for Export Administration,
Bureau of Export Administration, United States Department of Commerce
(BXA) on February 19, 1999 (64 FR 9471). However,
the Recommended Decision and Order of the Administration Law Judge
(ALJ) was inadvertently not included
with the Order of the Under Secretary. This notice is to hereby
publish the December 21, 1998, Recommended and Decision Order
of the ALJ.
Dated: July 21, 1999.
William A. Reinsch,
Under Secretary for Export Administration.
... 9. During the review period, the water
treatment facility in Suriname used sodium fluoride to treat drinking
water. Sodium fluoride was used by the ALCOA facility in Suriname
to treat drinking water for people living in the Suralco refinery
area. All of the sodium fluoride exported from the United
States to Suriname was used by this ALCOA subsidiary facility
and was fully consumed in the water treatment process. ALCOA sold
the water treatment facility to the government of Suriname in
July 1994. Therefore, Suralco no longer uses any sodium fluoride
(See Respondent’s Answer dated January 20,
1998, page 3).
5. All of the potassium fluoride and Sodium
Fluoride exports at issue in this case were sent to ALCOA’s
refinery operations in Jamaica (Jamalco) and Suriname (Suralco).
These refineries are located near bauxite mines. Bauxite is the
raw ore for aluminum. The refineries process the bauxite so as
to extract aluminum oride (alumina), which becomes the basic feedstock
for ALCOA’s metal and chemical businesses. Both refineries
were directly controlled by ALCOA during the period June 14, 1991
through December 7, 1995
3. Potassium fluoride is the key reagent used during the refining
of alumina from its bauxite ore. Bauxite is crushed and mixed
with a caustic soda solution. This solution dissolves the alumina
present in the bauxite. Potassium fluoride is used to determine
the level of dissolved alumina in the caustic solution. Only a
small amount of potassium fluoride is used per metric ton of bauxite
processed (see Respondent’s Answer dated January 20, 1998,
23. On March 13, 1991, through a notice published in the Federal
Register, entitled Expansion of Foreign policy Controls on Chemical
Weapons Precursors (56 Fed. Reg 10756), the Department of Commerce
amended the Commerce Control List of the Export Administration
Regulations (currently codified at 15 C.F.R. Parts 730–774
(1997)),2 ‘‘by expanding the
number of countries for
which a validated license is required for 39 precursor chemicals.
Under the rule, the 39 chemicals will require a validated license
for export to all destinations except NATO member countries, Australia,
Austria, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, and Switzerland.’’
Potassium fluoride and
sodium fluoride were included on the list of 39 chemicals
... Of all the aggravating factors in this case, one is particularly
damming—that the Respondent, over a period of four and one-half
(4.5) years, made 50 separate exports of potassium fluoride and/or
sodium fluoride in violation of the Export Administration Regulations
(emphasis added). Importantly, ALCOA is not a new or small company
that doesn’t understand the foreign export regulatory process.
Quite to the contrary, the Respondent is a large multinational
corporation which had a separate division (Export Supply Division)
specifically dedicated to receiving requisitions, locating suppliers,
purchasing products, and shipping the requested items in accordance
with applicable export licensing requirements. Thus, ALCOA’s
conduct, under this backdrop, was flatly inexcusable and the fact
that the violations were not intentional or willful is only relevant
to the fact that a federal criminal indictment was not handed
down. Respondent’s failure to comprehend the change in the
Federal Register Notice,
given the existence of its Export Supply Division, is also particularly
troubling.1 Moreover, the fact that the unlawful shipments consisted
of precursors for chemical weapons, regardless of the lack of
any potential diversion in these instances, is not something that
should be viewed as a technical oversight and is clearly an aggravating
In mitigation, ALCOA argues that had it applied for the necessary
validated licenses, they would have been presumptively granted.
This argument misses the point. Over the past 20 years, a terrorist
threat has developed to our Republic and our interests aboard.
In order to protect our country and our interests, laws and regulations
were passed/implemented to allow the government to monitor and
regulate the export of precursor chemicals and if necessary, prevent
any such exports that pose a clear and present danger. Given the
huge number of exports from the United States, how is the government
suppose to monitor the export of precursor chemicals if it doesn’t
know that the shipments were being made over a four and one-half
year period? ALCOA responds that it filed under general license
G–DEST and implies that the government was aware of these
50 separate exports over a four and one-half year period (See
Respondent’s Answer dated January 20, 1998, page 8). I disagree.
The Respondent did not submit any evidence to support this position.
The Respondent cannot shift its responsibility to the government
to do that which it is legally required to do. Given the volume
of such exports and the limited public resources to regulate these
shipments, at the refineries of the Respondent’s subsidiary
companies in Jamaica and Suriname. Once again, ALCOA misses the
point. The crucial point here is that the government was deprived
of possible vital information in its fight to control terrorism.
In other words, if the world-wide export of chemicals/biological
agents were a puzzle being put together by a U.S. Department of
Commerce security team, this information constituted 50 pieces
of that puzzle that the government did not have. While it turned
out that there was no problem, the fact remains that the government
did not have the whole picture. Without the whole picture, or
in this case, all of the information about precursor chemical
exports, catastrophic errors in preventative decision-making could
... The Respondent states that anything more than a nominal fine
in this case is unreasonable. In support of this position, ALCOA
argues that recent BXA enforcement orders based on settlement
agreements establish a range from $2,000 per violation to $5,000
per violation, large portions of which were suspended. The Respondent
cites the following settlements in support of it’s argument
that the government’s proposed $7,500 per violation is excessive
and inconsistent with past BXA practice:
... 3. Sierra Rutil America, Inc. case—The
Respondent was charged with eight unlicensed
exports of sodium fluoride to Sierra Leone over a two year
period in violation of § 787.6. The settlement resulted in
a $30,000 fine or $3,750 per violation with half of the fine remitted
on probation. This case did not involve exports to controlled
or affiliated entities.
5. Snytex case—The Respondent
was charged with 13 violations of unlawfully exporting
hydrogen fluoride in violation of § 787.2. The fine
was $65,000 or $5,000 per violation. One half of the fine was
remitted for 2 years and then waived if there were no further
6. Palmeros Forwarding case—The
Respondent was charged with 10 violations wherein it used export
control documents which represented that the Syntex
hydrogen fluoride did not need export licenses. The fine
was $50,000 or $5,000 per violation with a two year denial of
export privileges. The fine was export privilege denial were suspended
The Respondent argues in mitigation that it has no prior record
of violations. I find this argument is entitled to little or no
weight given the fact that for four and one-half years, the Respondent
committed one hundred violations of the EAR. Indeed, It is not
the prior record that is important here, but the
aggravating factor of 100 violations and the Indeed, the government
might well have opted to argue in a criminal forum that ALCOA’s
conduct was so grossly negligent as to constitute a willful disregard
of federal law. In this case, the amount of care demanded by the
standard of reasonable
conduct on the part of the Respondent must be in proportion to
the apparent risk. As the danger becomes greater, the Respondent
is required to exercise caution commensurate
with that increased risk. Since the Respondent was dealing with
precursors for chemical weapons, the March 13, 1991 Federal Register
Notice constructively put it on notice that it must exercise a
great amount of care because the risk is great. It failed to do
Importantly, the government voluntarily lowered the sanction bar
all the way down to the level of an administrative civil penalty
in this case. That having been done, the Respondent argues that
the government is being harsh and should lower the bar further.
In effect, the Respondent is attempting to have the government
negotiate with itself. This is wrong. Based upon the detailed
discussion set forth above, I find the appropriate sanction for
each of these unlawful shipments is $10,000. The Respondent is
a huge multi-national corporation. As such, a $10,000 penalty
per violation is minuscule for ALCOA who describes itself as ‘‘one
of the world’s leading producers of aluminum.* * *’’.
At no time during this proceeding, did ALCOA’s counsel raise
financial hardships for mitigating any civil penalty. At some
point, ALCOA has to stand up and take responsibility for it’s
gross and long-standing breach of legal duty. Conversely, the
United States government must set its civil penalties at a high
enough level to insure that large multi-national corporations
don’t ignore the law and if they get caught, merely consider
the fine as a cost of doing business...
- Acaricide, Insecticide - CAS No. 4151-50-2
Largest Pesticide Penalty in New York State
history - $950,000 - against S.C. Johnson for illegally
distributing unsafe sulfluramid roach baits.
According to Attorney General Spitzer. "This product was
marketed for home use and was labeled as child resistant when
it was not."
"... According to an EPA assessment, if a child ingested
the bait, he or she could suffer irreversible reproductive damage,
and boys could be rendered infertile."
Ref: August 22, 2001 Press Release. Office
of the New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/sulfluramid.largest.fine.01.htm