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    Re: Re:fungicides and EPA investigation

    Posted by johncodie on 7/03/03

    Ok Frank: Saturday, June 28, 2003. Appropriate Section is on the Obituares,
    bottom section.

    Pesticide blamed for killing 58 cows


    ELBERTA, Ala. -- The death of 58 cows in a Baldwin County field were caused by Phorate,
    a highly toxic pesticide commonly used in peanuts and some other row crops, tests show.
    An investigation into the June 6 deaths continues, but State Veterinarian Dr. Tony
    Frazier said there were not indications that the pesticide was used inproperly on an
    Elberta farm where the cows died.

    Jason Fran, who owned the herd and the peanut field, has a permit authorizing him to use
    restricted pesticide according to state records.

    Investigationr suspect the pesticide washed off the peanut field during days of heavy
    rain. But they have yet to dertermine where the cows contacted it.

    Phorate is one of the most toxic compounds in the family of pesticide, meaning a
    special, state-issed license is required to use it. Phorate, according to the
    Environmental Protection Agency, is highly toxic if it is touched, ingested or inhaled
    in relatively small doses. According to the risk assessment, 1.4 parts per million was
    enough to till more than half the rats in lethal doste test. In contrast, it would take
    1,000 to 10,000 parts per millon of the common hosehold pesticide malathion- also an
    organo phosate -to kill the same number of rats.

    EPA documents noted that cases of severe poisoning or deaths in cows could occur at
    levels above 3.5 parts per millon.

    In 1982, a 22 month old chold died after playing in his grad-father's yard near a coffee
    can filled with a phorate-based pesticide, according to an internal EPA emeom reported
    by the Mobile Register in a story Friday.

    The environmental agency's maximum level allowed in peanuts is 0.1 part per million.
    Federal regulations bar more than two applications annually of the chemical to any crop,
    including peanuts.

    Typically applied in granual or emulsified form, an estimated 3 millon pounds of phosate
    are spread over almost 2.5 million acres of crop annually, according to the EPA.

    The pesticide is usally used to control insets such as leaf hoppers and mites as well as
    nematodes and root worms. Phorate is most often used on peanuts, potatoes, cotton and
    corn, and can be spread by crop duster, injected into the ground or sprinkled over

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