Costa Rican banana industry faces pesticide allegation

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Urine samples taken from pregnant women living in areas near banana plantations show increased concentration of ethylene thiourea (ETU) derived pesticides.
Pregnant women living in areas near banana plantations in Matina, Limón, have in their urine increased concentration of a substance called ethylene thiourea (ETU) derived pesticides. A study by the Regional Institute on Toxic Substances (IRET), National University (UNA) found that these women are up to five times more of the chemical than other areas. A long-term, high concentration of this substance may increase the risk of problems in the thyroid gland. The report, published yesterday in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, 445 pregnant women recruited from the canton of Matina, Limón. They should live within at least 5 miles of a banana plantation, be over 15, take less than 33 weeks gestation and not have a multiple pregnancy. All the women were visited two to three times during their pregnancy and interviews were asked about their lifestyle, health problems, food and habits. In addition, a urine sample was taken. After completing the pregnancy, the researchers found that women who lived closer to the plantations, who worked in agriculture and those who consumed more rice and beans, had higher concentrations of ETU. Aerial spraying of the pesticide is blamed for the occurrence. Sergio Laprade, director of the Banana Banana Sector Environment Commission, stressed that all spraying is being done in order. "Aerial spraying is measured not only by distance, also for the climate, altitude and other features. For example, if the wind is already greater than 8 km per hour, suspend spraying to avoid affecting "he said. "Moreover, there are other variables in the study, such as diet. It should be clarified that there are other cultures in the area who use pesticides applied by land and they are not regulated the same, "he added. Mr Laprade said that on several occasions they tried to meet with the IRET study to learn more and participate in it, but no response.
Article Source: reefertrends