Those crazy folks over at the EPA are at it again. Only thirteen years after the passage of the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act, the EPA is ready to start testing pesticides for their potential effects on the endocrine system of animals and humans.
The EPA announced on Wednesday that it would finally start testing 67 of the most commonly used pesticides. The testing protocols, long anticipated by the agriculture and chemical industry, are now ready for implementation.
The endocrine system regulates the growth, metabolism, and reproduction for both animals and humans. Researchers have long feared that pesticides introduced into the environment have been affecting aquatic species. For example, some male fish in the Potomac River have been found carrying eggs – indicating hormone irregularity.
Testing begins this summer and will eventually grow to include the hundreds of pesticides used in industrial agriculture. Still, don’t expect definitive results any time soon. Linda Phillips who runs the Endocrine Disrupter Screening Program anticipates it will take about two years to obtain usable data from the study and then another year for the EPA to issue its findings.
While it may be too late to help the egg bearing male fish and the hermaphroditic frogs that are popping up with frightening regularity, these tests are a signal that the EPA will finally start implementing thorough testing procedures for the thousands of chemicals that are dumped into our environment every day. And that is well worth the wait.
written by Katie, April 18, 2009
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