Letters for Monday, October 13, 2014

• Too much already — chlorpyrifos a danger to society • Getting harder all the time to discipline children

Too much already — chlorpyrifos a danger to society

 The organophosphate insecticide chlorpyrifos had its origins as a nerve agent during World War II. It has long been among the top pesticides causing acute pesticide poisonings of workers, their families and others who live near places it is applied. 

The danger to children exposed to chlorpyrifos on lawns and in their homes led the Environmental Protection Agency to negotiate a phase out of its home use in 2000.

With the re-registration of chlorpyrifos in 2001 and 2006, the EPA neglected to address drift, volitization and neurodevelopmental impacts of chlorpyrifos on children. It failed in its statutory duties to protect children’s health under The Food Quality Protection Act passed unanimously by Congress in 1996, which requires the EPA to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure” of pesticides.

While deferring a 2007 petition to ban chlorpyrifos, the EPA, in its 2011 Preliminary Human Health Assessment, acknowledged that “gestational and/or early post natal exposure to chlorpyrifos may cause persistent behavioral effects into adulthood … There is consistency across animal behavior and epidemiology studies, such as delays in cognitive achievement, motor control, social behavior and intelligence measures.”

Researchers from the University of California Davis, in a study recently published in Environmental Health Perspectives, found that pregnant mothers who live within a mile of fields where organophosphates are used have a 60 percent higher chance of having kids with autism. The link was strongest for chlorpyrifos. The agro-chemical companies on Kauai have sprayed thousands of pounds of brain-harming chlorpyrifos in the products Lorsban and Cobalt, an agent that volatizes easily, clings to dust, gets in the drinking water and also concentrates in the fatty tissue of fish.

Those who acquiesce to the chemical onslaught on this island and characterize concerned citizens as emotionally misguided should study the facts that become clearer with every new scientific study. 

Chlorpyrifos is a danger to society and its agricultural use should be banned. The EPA will get around to it someday. as it did with household use; meanwhile Dow AgroSciences sells as much chlorpyrifos as it can, damn the consequences.

To those who fret at the cost of even beginning to get a handle on the scope of the pesticide burden on our island environment I ask: What is the cost of babies born who require special care throughout their lives, kids who struggle with attention deficits, families dealing with cancer? 

To defray costs of a comprehensive study and monitoring program and discourage environmentally dangerous pesticide use, I suggest the county levy a stiff tax (100 percent?) on restricted use pesticides and glyphosate products, while urging our legislators to ban chlorpyrifos pronto.

Ned Whitlock, Kilauea

Getting harder all the time to discipline children

I would like to politely disagree on The Garden Island’s recent opinion article, “A grown man should know better,” published Oct. 7.

A 51-year-old adult male allegedly walked onto a school bus at a bus stop in Anahola and threatened to punch a juvenile male if he bothered his child again. The man was arrested for making a second-degree terroristic threat. An investigation continues. Mahalo TGI for having the respect to not mention this man’s name.

The articles main point is there are other ways to deal with such situations? Yes, there are other ways; however, when I was a kid this method would have been acceptable and would have scared the morning breakfast out of the bully.

In the meantime, the father of the boy being bullied is arrested and the bully is further encouraged by knowing if he continues to bully and this happens again somebody’s parent could again be arrested.

Parents can no longer spank their kids in horror of their offspring reporting it to the department human services. A father can no longer protect his child with good old punishment that would most probably work.

This reminds me of the case not to long ago where a man was arrested for making his son walk home form school as a punishment.

When I was a kid, when I was threatened, I straightened right up. Nobody ever followed through, just a scare tactic. “Just wait till your father gets home,” was a threat my mother and mothers of that generation used that worked.

“OK, sorry mom, please don’t tell dad, please.”

We are raising a nations of wimps that, as adults, will not have a clue.

Most parents of my generation would be sitting in jail for disciplining their children. Let’s face it, timeouts and talking about it doesn’t work for all.

Spare the rod and spoil the child.

James “Kimo” Rosen, Kapaa

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