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Decision to slowly phase out paraquat met with stiff opposition

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Decision to slowly phase out paraquat met with stiff opposition

By PRATCH RUJIVANAROM 
THE NATION

 

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CONSUMER PROTECTION activists voiced firm objection to Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Grisada Boonrach’s proposal to ban the use of paraquat chemical in three years instead of one year.

 

The Hazardous Substance Committee is scheduled to hold a meeting tomorrow to reconsider the banning of three controversial agricultural chemicals – paraquat, glyphosate, and chlorpyrifos.

 

However, the BioThai Foundation yesterday disclosed the minister’s text message to his ministry’s senior officials, ordering that the ban on paraquat be implemented on a step-by-step basis so farmers have time to seek an alternative weed-controlling option. 

 

His message urged the ministry to start by setting a clear deadline on the ban of paraquat imports and setting up prohibition zones, starting with organic farms and river headwaters in the first year, followed by irrigated farms in the second year before finally banning the use of paraquat nationwide. 

 

Alternatively, he said, farmers and local authorities could set their own plan to phase out the use of paraquat in their province within three years. 

 

However, Grisada’s proposal was met with overwhelming opposition from several environmental and health protection organisations and academics, who urged the Hazardous Substance Committee and the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry to follow the Public Health Ministry’s and the Ombudsman’s resolution to officially ban the three chemicals this year. 

 

Many netizens also joined forces yesterday by posting comments with the hashtag #SaveThailandBanParaquat in support of banning dangerous herbicides and pesticides.

 

Thailand Pesticide Alert Network coordinator Prokchol Ousap said Grisada’s proposal was unacceptable, as it went directly against the Public Health Ministry, Office of the Ombudsman and the National Human Rights Commission’s decision to not just ban paraquat, but also glyphosate and chlorpyrifos, by the end of 2019.

 

“Even senior officials and experts in the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry, including Deputy Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Wiwat Salyakamthorn, say we do not have to waste three years just for banning paraquat when we already have the technology to effectively control weeds right now,” Prokchol said. 

 

“Hence, we expect the Hazardous Substances Committee to do the right thing by banning these chemicals, or we will have to upscale our movement against those who are profiting from these chemicals.” 

 

Even though these three chemicals have proven to be extremely toxic, contaminating the environment and the food chain and posing severe threats to people’s health, the herbicides are still widely used in the country, as the Hazardous Substance Committee has not yet decided to ban them. 

 

However, after facing strong pressure from the public, the committee agreed to reconsider its decision tomorrow. 

 

Witoon Lienchamroon, director of BioThai, also warned that if the committee fails to comply with the Ombudsman’s ruling to ban these three chemicals within this year, then the Ombudsman will have to notify the National Anti-Corruption Commission of the panel’s defiance and launch an investigation.

 

Meanwhile, Mana Nimitmongkol, secretary-general of the Anti-Corruption Organisation of Thailand, has called for the committee to make its meeting transparent and is also urging members who have close ties or interests in farm chemical companies to withdraw from making a decision on the status of the three chemicals. 

 

“If any committee member attending tomorrow’s meeting and participating in the reconsideration of the chemicals ban is later found to have a conflict of interest, they will be sued,” Mana said.

 

Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30364015

 

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-- © Copyright The Nation 2019-02-13

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Start hoarding now Paraquat has an indefinite  lifespan

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1 hour ago, bluesofa said:

There seems an irony in Paraquat having a 'lifespan'.

depends if  u want to drink it or  not.....maybe an ex  wife?

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14 minutes ago, YetAnother said:

if thailand was a single person, then that person could not tie their own shoes' laces; the rest of the world banned this stuff long ago; think there were very good reasons to do so ?

what? people  committing suicide?, theyre  going to do that anyway with or without it.

Toxicity[edit]

Pure paraquat, when ingested, is highly toxic to mammals, including humans, potentially leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Although there are no specific antidotes, fuller's earth or activated charcoal is an effective treatment if taken in time. There have been some successful cases of using cyclophosphamide to treat paraquat poisoning.[26] Oxygen should not be administered unless SpO2 levels are below 92%, as high concentrations of oxygen intensify the toxic effects.[27][28]Death may occur up to 30 days after ingestion. Diluted paraquat used for spraying is less toxic; thus, the greatest risk of accidental poisoning is during mixing and loading paraquat for use.[8]

In acute toxicity studies using laboratory animals, paraquat has been shown to be highly toxic by the inhalation route and has been placed in Toxicity Category I (the highest of four levels) for acute inhalation effects. However, the EPA has determined that particles used in agricultural practices (400–800 μm) are well beyond the respirable range and therefore inhalation toxicity is not a toxicological endpoint of concern. Paraquat is toxic (Category II) by the oral route and moderately toxic (Category III) by the dermal route. Paraquat will cause moderate to severe eye irritation and minimal dermal irritation, and has been placed in Toxicity Categories II and IV (slightly toxic) respectively for these effects.[29]

The alveolar epithelial cells of the lung selectively concentrates paraquat.[30] Even a single swig, immediately spat out, can cause death from fibrous tissue developing in the lungs, leading to asphyxiation.[31]

One of the characters in the infamous British public information film Apaches (1977) dies hours after accidentally swallowing a small amount; the paraquat in the film is contained in a receptacle similar to a whisky bottle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, ingesting paraquat causes symptoms such as liver, lung, heart, and kidney failure within several days to several weeks that can lead to death up to 30 days after ingestion. Those who suffer large exposures are unlikely to survive. Chronic exposure can lead to lung damage, kidney failure, heart failure, and oesophageal strictures.[32] Accidental deaths and suicides from paraquat ingestion are relatively common. For example, there are more than 5,000 deaths in China from paraquat poisoning every year.[33] Long-term exposures to paraquat would most likely cause lung and eye damage, but reproductive/fertility damage was not found by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in their review.

Edited by kannot
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7 minutes ago, kannot said:
1 hour ago, bluesofa said:

There seems an irony in Paraquat having a 'lifespan'.

depends if  u want to drink it or  not.....maybe an ex  wife?

Yeah, who would end up with an ex-life.

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1 minute ago, bluesofa said:

Yeah, who would end up with an ex-life.

Fortunately Im still on the Mk1 model

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1 hour ago, YetAnother said:

if thailand was a single person, then that person could not tie their own shoes' laces; the rest of the world banned this stuff long ago; think there were very good reasons to do so ?

That's why they walk on slippers.

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2 hours ago, kannot said:

what? people  committing suicide?, theyre  going to do that anyway with or without it.

Toxicity[edit]

Pure paraquat, when ingested, is highly toxic to mammals, including humans, potentially leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Although there are no specific antidotes, fuller's earth or activated charcoal is an effective treatment if taken in time. There have been some successful cases of using cyclophosphamide to treat paraquat poisoning.[26] Oxygen should not be administered unless SpO2 levels are below 92%, as high concentrations of oxygen intensify the toxic effects.[27][28]Death may occur up to 30 days after ingestion. Diluted paraquat used for spraying is less toxic; thus, the greatest risk of accidental poisoning is during mixing and loading paraquat for use.[8]

In acute toxicity studies using laboratory animals, paraquat has been shown to be highly toxic by the inhalation route and has been placed in Toxicity Category I (the highest of four levels) for acute inhalation effects. However, the EPA has determined that particles used in agricultural practices (400–800 μm) are well beyond the respirable range and therefore inhalation toxicity is not a toxicological endpoint of concern. Paraquat is toxic (Category II) by the oral route and moderately toxic (Category III) by the dermal route. Paraquat will cause moderate to severe eye irritation and minimal dermal irritation, and has been placed in Toxicity Categories II and IV (slightly toxic) respectively for these effects.[29]

The alveolar epithelial cells of the lung selectively concentrates paraquat.[30] Even a single swig, immediately spat out, can cause death from fibrous tissue developing in the lungs, leading to asphyxiation.[31]

One of the characters in the infamous British public information film Apaches (1977) dies hours after accidentally swallowing a small amount; the paraquat in the film is contained in a receptacle similar to a whisky bottle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, ingesting paraquat causes symptoms such as liver, lung, heart, and kidney failure within several days to several weeks that can lead to death up to 30 days after ingestion. Those who suffer large exposures are unlikely to survive. Chronic exposure can lead to lung damage, kidney failure, heart failure, and oesophageal strictures.[32] Accidental deaths and suicides from paraquat ingestion are relatively common. For example, there are more than 5,000 deaths in China from paraquat poisoning every year.[33] Long-term exposures to paraquat would most likely cause lung and eye damage, but reproductive/fertility damage was not found by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in their review.

Right the rest of the civilized world banned it for no reason and you know better 😂

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First, there are big farming companies (CP is one example...) who want to keep these chemicals just so they can maximize their profits!
Secondly, the big agrochemical industry in UK (where many of these chemicals are banned for use... but not production) and US have companies like Bayer (owner of Mosanto and other brands...) and others plowing millions of $ (not Baht) into lobby organizations all over the world to sell their products and say how safe they are. There are lots of research made saying how safe glyphosate (roundup) is for the users... it's all paid for by Mosanto/Bayer who even payed Neil deGrasse Tyson to make/narrate a documentary on how safe glyphosate is... just as the cases of cancers related to glyphosate started to make their ways through the US courts!!!

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