By Tracy Loew
An exemption in Oregon law (click here) will allow a quarter-million tons of pesticide-contaminated farm soil to be reclassified as clean fill dirt after it’s moved to another farm six miles away.
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is seeking public comment on the plan, which will allow the late Salem developer Larry Epping’s company to create a 150-acre residential community on the contaminated farm in Northeast Salem.
The pesticide in question – dieldrin – has been banned for nearly 50 years and is so dangerous that if more than one pound enters the environment, the federal government’s National Response Center must be notified immediately.
DEQ says that while the contaminated soil would pose ingestion, inhalation and skin contact hazards for residents of the new community, it would be no more hazardous than existing soil at the farm site. And exposure limits for farm workers are higher than for residents.
"In this case, it was the best and least expensive way to deal with the soil," said Nancy Sawka, a project manager in DEQ’s cleanup section. "Otherwise it would cost quite a bit of money to put it in the landfill.”Oregon Department of Agriculture officials, however, expressed concerns....
...Aldrin and dieldrin (click here) can enter the environment from accidental spills or leaks from storage containers at waste sites. In the past, aldrin and dieldrin entered the environment when farmers used these compounds to kill pests on crops and when exterminators used them to kill termites. Aldrin and dieldrin are still present in the environment from these past uses. Sunlight and bacteria in the environment can change aldrin to dieldrin. Therefore, you can find dieldrin in places where aldrin was originally released.
Dieldrin in soil or water breaks down (degrades) very slowly. Dieldrin sticks to soil and may stay there unchanged for many years. Water does not easily wash dieldrin off soil. Dieldrin does not dissolve in water very well and is therefore not found in water at high concentrations. Most dieldrin in the environment attaches to soil and to sediments at the bottoms of lakes, ponds, and streams. Dieldrin can travel large distances by attaching to dust particles, which can then be transported great distances by the wind. Dieldrin can evaporate slowly from surface water or soil. In the air, dieldrin changes to photodieldrin within a few days. Plants can take up dieldrin from the soil and store it in their leaves and roots. Fish or animals that eat dieldrin-contaminated materials store a large amount of the dieldrin in their fat. Animals or fish that eat other animals have levels of dieldrin in their fat many times higher than animals or fish that eat plants....
Formula: C12H8Cl6O - It is highly organic.
Dev Neurosci. 1998;20(1):83-92.
Prenatal exposure (click here) to the pesticide dieldrin or the GABA(A) receptor antagonist bicuculline differentially alters expression of GABA(A) receptor subunit mRNAs in fetal rat brainstem.
Liu J, Brannen KC, Grayson DR, Morrow AL, Devaud LL, Lauder JM.
We have previously shown that GABA acts as a trophic signal for monoamine neurons in embryonic day 14 (E14) rat brainstem cultures [Liu et al., J Neurosci 1997a; 17:2420-2428]. The organochlorine pesticide dieldrin and the classical GABA(A) receptor antagonist bicuculline interfere with the trophic actions of GABA and alter expression of several GABA(A) receptor subunit mRNA transcripts in these cultures [Liu et al., J Neurosci Res 1997b;49:645-653]. In the present study, we investigated whether prenatal exposure to dieldrin or bicuculline from E12-17 would alter mRNA expression of alpha1, beta3, gamma1, gamma2S and gamma2L GABA(A) receptor subunits in fetal (E17) rat brainstem using competitive RT-PCR to absolutely quantify these transcripts. The effects of dieldrin and bicuculline on expression of GABA(A) receptor subunit transcripts were similar across subunits. Dieldrin and bicuculline decreased expression of alpha1, beta3 and gamma1 transcripts compared to vehicle-injected controls, but did not significantly alter expression of gamma2S and gamma2L transcripts. Taken together, these studies indicate that in utero exposure to organochlorine pesticides acting as GABA(A) receptor antagonists may alter the expression and subunit composition of developing GABA(A) receptors. If these changes persist, they could have long-lasting effects on developing GABAergic neural circuitry, GABA(A) receptor function and GABA-mediated behaviors.