Wednesday August 21, 2019

EPA Rejects Key Legal Challenge of Pesticide Linked to Brain Damage in Children

The EPA said it also was talking with chlorpyrifos makers about further restrictions on how farmers use the pesticide

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pesticide, brain damage
Wild blueberries await harvesting in Fairfax, Virginia, July 10, 2019. (Photo by Diaa Bekheet). The EPA is rejecting legal challenges by environmental groups seeking a ban of a pesticide linked to brain damage in children. VOA

The Environmental Protection Agency rejected a key legal challenge Thursday to a pesticide linked to brain damage in children, saying environmental groups had failed to prove that a ban was warranted.

The agency’s defense of continued use of the widely used bug-killer chlorpyrifos could set the stage for a pivotal federal court decision on whether to overrule the EPA and force the agency to ban it. “To me, this starts the clock on the use of chlorpyrifos on food crops in the US,” said former senior EPA attorney Kevin Minoli.

Scientists say studies have shown that chlorpyrifos damages the brains of fetuses and children. The pesticide has been used nationally on dozens of food crops, but California — the nation’s largest agricultural state — and a handful of other states have recently moved to ban it. The agency said the environmental groups had failed to prove that the pesticide wasn’t safe.

Last summer, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the EPA to ban all sales of the pesticide. The court decided to reconsider that ruling with a slate of 11 judges, who gave the EPA until this month to respond to the environmental groups’ arguments for banning chlorpyrifos.

brain damage, pesticide
The EPA said it also was talking with chlorpyrifos makers about further restrictions on how farmers use the pesticide. Pixabay

The EPA under the Obama administration had initiated a ban, but the agency reversed that decision shortly after President Donald Trump took office.

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The EPA defense Thursday showed that “as long as the Trump administration is in charge, this EPA will favor the interests of the chemical lobby over children’s safety,” said Ken Cook, head of the Environmental Working Group environmental advocacy organization.

In a statement, the EPA said it was separately speeding up a regular agency review of the pesticide’s continued use, and expected a decision on that well ahead of a 2022 deadline. The EPA said it also was talking with chlorpyrifos makers about further restrictions on how farmers use the pesticide. (VOA)

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Adrenaline Medication May Double Brain Damage Risk, Says Study

It can also reduce blood flow in very small blood vessels in the brain, which may worsen brain damage, that leads to one survivor for every 125 patients

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Representational image.
Representational image. (IANS)

Using adrenaline medication to restart the heart, during a cardiac arrest event, may double the risk of severe brain damage among the survivors, a study claims.

Application of adrenaline is one of the last things tried in attempts to treat cardiac arrest. It not only increases blood flow to the heart but also the chance of restoring a heartbeat.

However, it can also reduce blood flow in very small blood vessels in the brain, which may worsen brain damage, that leads to one survivor for every 125 patients, the researchers said.

“We have found that the benefits of adrenaline are small — one extra survivor for every 125 patients treated — but the use of adrenaline almost doubles the risk of a severe brain damage amongst survivors,” said lead author Gavin Perkins from the University of Warwick in Britain.

adrenaline
Representational image.

For the study, published in New England Journal of Medicine, the team analysed data of 8,000 patients who had suffered from cardiac arrest. Patients were allocated randomly to be given either adrenaline or a salt-water placebo.

The results showed that 130 people out of 4,012 patients, who were given adrenaline, were alive for 30 days as compared to 94 of the 3995 patients who were given placebo.

Also Read: Trick Your Mind: Feeling Young can Slow Down Brain Ageing

But, 39 people out of 128 patients who had been given adrenaline and survived, had severe brain damage, compared to 16 among the 91 survivors from placebo group.

“This trial has answered one of the longest standing questions in resuscitation medicine. Members of the public can make a much bigger difference to survival through learning how to recognize cardiac arrest, perform CPR and deliver an electric shock with a defibrillator,” said co-author Jerry Nolan from the Royal United Hospital Bath in Britain. (IANS)