Pesticides in Our Environment

Malibu is poison-free since June 2016

We are grateful to Eco-Hero Mayor Skylar Peak for championing this initiative.

SkylarTeeShirt cut

Girl on a bike in a park near RoundUp spraying
Little girl biking in Malibu’s Legacy Park near where RoundUp was sprayed by a worker with a hazmat outfit. The city now forbids this.

An excellent resource for current issues, legislation, actions being taken, and scientific developments on the dangers of pesticides, see the quarterly journal on-line from Beyond Pesticides at Pesticides and You Journal.

The Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook shares shocking information about how babies are born pre-polluted with as many as 300 industrial chemicals in their bodies – Youtube Video. Here is the Environmental Working Group website.

Dr. Andrew Weil, renowned medical expert on natural health and wellness, tells why and how he uses the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists from EWG’s Shoppers Guide to Pesticides – Youtube video.

Wikipedia has a good article on the Environmental Impact of Pesticides:

From Beyond Pesticides
 Wide Range of Diseases Linked to Pesticides

Here is a website from the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) which informs you of pesticides that are on our foods, if you do not eat organically – WhatsOnMyFood.Org

Pesticide Action Network on the big-picture of pesticide use in farms – Pesticides in Food

Protecting Biodiversity with Organic Practices.

Pesticide Free Food –

What is the difference between organic and pesticide free?  –

Chemicals that make us fat or infertile

Never bring these chemicals home –

The city of Irvine is a leader in pesticide-free policies. Here is a video from the City of Irvine City Council meeting where they banned the use of pesticides on city property. This is the testimony of two UC Irvine professors – Youtube video.  Excellent summary newspaper article on the Irvine revolution – OC Weekly article. Also see:  Annual Reports on City of Irvine’s Organic Pesticides Program

We are very pleased that the Oak Park Unified School District, with six campuses, has gone pesticide-free since April 2016. Here are slides describing how they do it with their Integrated Pest Management strategy – slides.

South Miami is a great example of a pesticide free city. Article: “This Florida mayor takes his city organic with greener weedkiller and fertilizer.” – Read more here.

Here is a list of some pesticide free policies from various locales – PesticideFreeLocalities

Here are some pesticide free cities in the United Kingdom and Europe

Got Weeds?


The California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 requires that the Governor revise and republish at least once per year the list of chemicals known to the State to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity (Proposition 65). Glyphosate was included on July 7, 2017. See:

The World Health Organization and many cities in the US, Europe, and Canada have banned it because of its health implications. This is a highly toxic poison that has been declared a cancer-causing agent. Many European countries have banned this poison as listed here:

Here is a map of the world indicating where steps have been taken to either restrict or ban glyphosate –

“It’s the herbicide on our dinner plates, a chemical so pervasive it’s in the air we breathe, our water, our soil, and even found increasingly in our own bodies. Known as Monsanto’s Roundup by consumers, and as glyphosate by scientists, the world’s most popular weed killer is used everywhere from backyard gardens to golf courses to millions of acres of farmland. For decades it’s been touted as safe enough to drink, but a growing body of evidence indicates just the opposite, with research tying the chemical to cancers and a host of other health threats.”  — from the book Whitewash, the story of a weed killer, cancer, and the corruption of science.

The file CarrierCarrierGlyphosate_2013Sept has more references on glyphosate health hazards.

43 pesticides found in nation-wide study of women’s umbilical cord blood – Pesticides in Umbilical Cords

Our local pathobiologist, Dr. Stephen Frantz, has written an excellent summary article – Glyphosate … Misery in a Bottle!

Here is a Brief by Dr. Frantz on the huge amount of glyphosate in use per year in California – GLY Brief 1X RED FINAL Frantz v.4.2.

The catastrophic decline of Monarch butterflies has been driven in large part by the widespread planting of genetically engineered crops in the Midwest, where most monarchs hatch. The vast majority of genetically engineered crops are made to be resistant to Monsanto’s RoundUp, a potent killer of milkweed, the monarch caterpillar’s only food source. The dramatic surge in Roundup/glyphosate use and “Roundup Ready” crops has virtually wiped out milkweed plants in midwestern corn and soybean fields.  It is estimated that in the past 20 years these once-common butterflies may have lost more than 165 million acres of habitat — an area about the size of Texas — due to pesticides and loss of breeding grounds.

Here is an article about how Roundup has contributed to monarch butterfly decline:

Here is an amusing video on what NOT to use on your lawn.

This website is about human exposure to glyphosate – EcoWatch – Human Exposure to Glyphosate. Glyphosate usage has skyrocketed 500% since the introduction of GMO crops.

Here is a study which finds that Glyphosate is in 13 out of 14 samples of – Ben and Jerry’s ice cream

RoundUp found in 100% of California wines tested.

Here is a study which finds that Roundup is in 70% of Drinking Water.

A good site to review that has excellent recommendations is a list from Beyond Pesticides. Here is the website: –

NEWS: August 10, 2018: “Monsanto was ordered to pay $289m (£226m) damages to a man who claimed the products caused his cancer.
A Californian jury said Monsanto should have warned users about the dangers of its Roundup and RangerPro weedkillers.”
BBC article jury decision against RoundUp

RoundUp for Breakfast
Weed-killing chemical linked to cancer found in some children’s breakfast foods.
New Tests: Weed Killer Found in All Kids’ Cereals Tested
Glyphosate/Roundup Chemical Found In Children’s Foods

Glyphosate is an infamous chemical pesticide, with a EPA approved secret ingredient list. Please see the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) attached on this product
Note that the second ingredient on the label is inert ingredients. The document states:
“The specific chemical identity is being withheld because it is trade secret information of Monsanto”. We believe in transparency and the right to know what we are spraying in our environment that affects our children, pets, wildlife and our ecosystem.. This Secret ingredient list can be more dangerous than the pesticide itself!

Alternatives for Weed Control

Earth Friendly Management, EFM, is the first approach. The basics of EFM strategy are to resolve the situation without the use of pesticides. There are many ways to control weeds without using chemical pesticides.

Goats are an environmentally conscious brush abatement technique providing fire breaks and defensible space. Goats can be used effectively in almost any location or terrain type, especially in terrain too rocky or steep for human or machine clearing. Goat cleared areas are more fire resistant, and significantly more attractive appearances result.
In Los Angeles area, contact 805 GOATS.
In San Diego, see

Some popular natural methods are the hot water steam machine, weed whacking, burning, solarization, hand weeding, heavy mulching, etc. The hot steam machine has a secret ingredient – hot water! Please see the reviews below concerning the water steam machine. This machine has been proven to be cost effective compared with time-consuming hand weeding. There are a lot more references on the web concerning the success of this product.

This is a company that sells the machine.

Here is another company in the Netherlands:

This gives examples in larger areas:

University of Colorado changes to the steam method. Hand weeding was not cost effective due to the large area that needed control.

Here is another example –

Here is an example of one company among several others supplying a smaller version  for the homeowner:

Here is a YouTube video of steam weeding on a hop farm in Vermont:

Only when the above have been exhausted should chemical control be considered.

We recommend organic chemical controls that biodegrade, if necessary at all. Organic products from the Organic Material Research Institute, OMRI, the National Organic Program, or similar organic programs could be options. OMRI listing requires transparency and listing of  ALL ingredients on the label or MSDS listings. The products go through an examination process before they will be accepted on the OMRI list. For example the MSDS information for Avenger, which Is in the OMRI list, has all the ingredients listed on the MSDS. See –

The University of Maryland has also done an interesting study – they found vinegar solutions are a great substitute for chemical pesticides; please see this website –

Also here are a few other articles concerning alternatives –

Invasive Species

Here are articles from two issues of Beyond Pesticides magazine on pesticide use for invasive species.
Pesticide use harming species ripples through the Ecosystem:

Meeting the invasive species challenge:
Please view the following testimony of two UC Irvine professors concerning some of the problems with pesticides. – Youtube video
These are health experts that have no connection with the pesticide industry.


“The most dangerous pesticide you’ve never heard of” NRDC

The Dark Side of the Perfectly Manicured American Lawn: Is It Giving You Cancer?

Turkey Trouble

black heritage turkeys walking in a farm field

Be careful with the turkey that you might by. Click here to learn the truth about “organic” turkeys from a particular company.
“According to testing conducted under the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) National Residue Program, samples of Diestel Turkey products tested positive for numerous drug and antibiotic residues.”

Got Butterflies?

The catastrophic decline of Monarch butterflies has been driven in large part by the widespread planting of genetically engineered crops in the Midwest, where most monarchs hatch. The vast majority of genetically engineered crops are made to be resistant to Monsanto’s RoundUp, a potent killer of milkweed, the monarch caterpillar’s only food source. The dramatic surge in Roundup/glyphosate use and “Roundup Ready” crops has virtually wiped out milkweed plants in midwestern corn and soybean fields.  It is estimated that in the past 20 years these once-common butterflies may have lost more than 165 million acres of habitat — an area about the size of Texas — due to pesticides and loss of breeding grounds.

Monarch butterfly numbers have decreased 90% nationwide due to herbicide spraying and genetically engineered crops. Here are three references:

How Roundup has contributed to monarch butterfly decline:

Why Aren’t Monarch Butterflies Listed As Endangered?

Story with video from National Geographic:

Got Bees?

The honey bee, Apis mellifera, has been in decline over the past few years due to pesticides,  Colony Collapse Disorder, diseases, parasitic mites and other stressors.

Honey Bees are our most beneficial insect. We must do all we can to protect bee colonies, which contribute as pollinators for many of our fruits and vegetables. The annual contribution of honey bees to food production in the United States is estimated to be $10 billion.

Here is a website where you can order your own bee equipment and start your own hive – Honey Love Organic Beekeeping

If you have bees in your home that you want to have removed, here are two companies that will remove the colony and relocate them:
Bee Catchers Southern California
A Beeman Services

Here are some interesting websites:

YouTube: Amazing World of Bees

EU declare his total ban on harmful pesticide

Scientists discover another cause of bee death

700+ need of bees spiraling towards extinction

This is what life without bees would look like

How honeybees forage – Wikipedia

Here is some research concerning neonicotinoids which affect bees and butterflies, from our colleague Carrie Carrier:

I. “Impacts of Neonicotinoids (“neonics”) on Wildlife” –

— this brief but content-rich abstract can be copied/cited almost “as is.” It talks about impacts of neonics on a wide array of wildlife.
— this paragraph from “Beyond Pesticides” address the impacts of “neonics” specifically on Monarchs and bees. (
“…Along with threats from glyphosate use and habitat loss, the use of neonicotinoid pesticides has also been linked to monarch declines. A 2016 study found that the increasing use of neonicotinoid (neonic) insecticides is correlated with a steep decline in butterfly health and reproductive success. This study looked at 67 species of butterfly in Northern California and found a correlation between butterfly population decline and increasing neonic applications, which also appeared to be more severe for smaller-bodied species. According to the researchers, the results suggest that neonics could influence non-target insect populations when applied nearby. Pesticides like neonicotinoids also harm other non-target pollinators like honey bees and other bee species. Studies show an association with decreased learningforaging and navigational ability, as well as increased vulnerability to pathogens and parasites, in bees….”
II. “Impacts of Pyrethroids on Wildlife” – 
— Literature review from 2014. You can cobble together three or four paras on a sampling of wildlife type-e.g. aquatic organisms, bees, etc. (see page 6 of 11, sections 1.3.2 – 1.3.6)
[For instance…] 
Aquatic organisms: Pyrethroids have a devastating effect on aquatic invertebrates with most LC50 values less than 1.0 parts per billion (ppb). These LC50s are similar to those for mosquito, black fly and tsetse fly larvae, for which pyrethroids are often used in vector control [27]. The most sensitive organisms are surface dwelling insects, mayfly nymphs and some of the large crustaceans; zooplankton and benthic organisms are also significantly affected by pyrethroids. Even at low (non-lethal) concentration, there are significant behavioral changes in aquatic invertebrates e.g. in their ability to respond to tactile stimuli, which may affect their survival. Lobster and shrimp are susceptible to all pyrethroids. Pyrethroids are highly toxic to fish; about 40 percent of the LC50 values for fish are less than 1.0 ppb.
Bees: Pyrethroids are toxic to insects including bees as they have a strong repellant action against them by affecting their feeding behavior [35]. This insecticide initially cause knockdown (the inability of the insect to maintain its normal position) followed by recovery or death.
Birds: Birds are indirectly affected by pyrethroids, because of the threat to their food supply. Waterfowl and small insectivorous birds are the most susceptible [36].
Earthworms and soil biota: Soil applications of pyrethroids have been shown to decrease the number of predatory mites and at high rates, pyrethroids caused sign
Mammals (another study): Neurotoxicology and Teratology published a study on the neurobehavioral toxicology of pyrethroid insecticides in 2008. Researchers found that decreased motor skills and coordination, slow response rates, and startle responses to noise are other possible effects of pesticide exposure in mammals.

What’s Killing Our Bees?

What’s Killing Our Bees – BBC Documentary

Ted Talk by Marla Spivak: Why bees are disappearing

How Neonicotinoids Kill Bees

Neonicotinoids: The New DDT?

Guild Save the Queen Scientists debate the mystery of our disappearing bees.

The Silence of the Bugs New York Times, May 2018. Is an insect Armageddon afoot? The Sixth Extinction proceeds apace.

37 Million Bees Found Dead After Planting Large GMO Corn Field


The indiscriminate broadcasting of DDT was deemed safe and reliable by the pest control industry.

1946: “DDT Let’s Put It Everywhere”
When this poison was finally banned the “reliable” chemical company producing it dumped over 100 tons of DDT in the ocean off the coast of Palos Verdes, resulting in poisoning the ocean life. It still remains at the bottom of the sea today continuing it’s poisonous reach.

Shark found with poisonous DDT levels

DDT Found in 67% of tea from India, plus other toxic pesticides!


Click here to read the Greenpeace Press Release –

August 11th, 2014, Mumbai:
“Greenpeace India called on the tea industry to save Indian tea from pesticides while launching their report today. The study exposes the presence of pesticides, considered highly and moderately hazardous by the World Health Organization, in leading national and international tea brands. The report also reveals the presence of other pesticides which have not been approved for use on tea crops in India …”

“A large number of the samples tested positive for a cocktail of toxic pesticides. DDT was present in almost 67% of the tea samples even though it is no longer registered for use in agriculture in India …”

Poisons in Make-up

Why you should switch to make-up with natural ingredients.

Opioids in Seafood

From BBC News, Mussels test positive for opioids in Seattle’s Puget Sound

Plastic in Seafood

From BBC News, 60% of Hong Kong fish at the market contain plastic bits.
Hong Kong’s fish are eating plastic – and people could be too

Viruses in Farmed Fish

Piscine reovirus (PRV) in farmed salmon.
Creative Chinook sick

Pesticides in Schools

NRDC: Our Children at Risk

Testimony of two UC Irvine professors

Wide Range of Diseases Linked to Pesticides

Pediatric cancer tied to pesticide exposure from the journal Pediatrics

Children and Schools from Beyond Pesticides Websites

Alternatives to Pesticides from Beyond Pesticides website

Ten IPM Myths at Schools from Beyond Pesticides website

Resources to Organize an IPM Policy

Safer Products to Disinfect Schools

Our Stolen Future – An expert on pesticides effects on children –
Short version:
Long version:

Toxic chemicals and children –

Children pesticide exposure –