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This website provides resources on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) such as pesticides, dioxins, PCBs, and wastes. Valuable examples of community monitoring of health and environmental impacts of toxic chemicals are also furnished.

Further, there is an entire section devoted to chemical safety in its proper socio-political context or in relation to issues such as globalization and people's empowerment.


Review of banned pesticide stirs up safety concerns

by CBC

REGINA - The federal government may allow a controversial farm chemical back onto the market, but opinions are mixed about whether the move is a good idea.

Ottawa's Pest Management Regulatory Agency earlier this month held hearings into lindane, a neurotoxin linked to human diseases such as breast cancer.

Federal regulators banned farmers from using the pesticide on their canola seed in 1999, but the chemical's U.S. manufacturer, Crompton Corporation, is urging Ottawa to reconsider.

Though lindane is meant to kill flea beetles, some scientists say it kills more than that.

"We have seen a number of poisonings where cattle have actually consumed treated grain and will obviously die from that," said Barry Blakley, a veterinary toxicologist at the University of Saskatchewan.

"The animals that survive have the potential to have lindane residues in their meat and in their milk."

The chemical is internationally recognized as a persistent organic pollutant that does not break down easily in the environment and builds up in the food chain.

However, some farmers say the chemical is cheap and not dangerous when it's used properly.

"Cost is a big issue with growers," said Roy Button of the Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission, "especially in Saskatchewan where we had the frost from last year and probably don't have the money to invest in crop production."

American regulators are also reviewing whether to allow the product into their country. The final decisions could be months away.

Original URL: http://www.cbc.ca/story/science/national/2005/01/26/lindane050126.html

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