Chemicals in conventional cotton


  • BisPhenol (BPA) acts as endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs), i.e., compounds capable of causing dysfunction in hormonally regulated body systems.  Chemical routes from plastics to humans can vary have been integrated into our everyday lives. This includes our food chain, food containers like canned foods, flooring and varnishes for our houses, children's toys, cosmetics, and personal care products. 

Glyphosate

molecule.jpeg
  •    Glyphosate also known as RoundUp - is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide and crop desiccant. Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide, meaning it will kill most plants. It prevents the plants from making certain proteins that are needed for plant growth. It is used to kill weeds and grasses that compete with crops. It is applied to the leaves of plants to kill both broadleaf plants and grasses. Glyphosate was first registered for use in the U.S. in 1974. Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States and is applied n agriculture and forestry, on lawns and gardens, and for weeds in industrial areas.

Dicofol

glyphosphate.jpeg
  • Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide and crop desiccant. Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide, meaning it will kill most plants. It prevents the plants from making certain proteins that are needed for plant growth. It is used to kill weeds and grasses that compete with crops. It is applied to the leaves of plants to kill both broadleaf plants and grasses. Glyphosate was first registered for use in the U.S. in 1974. Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States and is applied n agriculture and forestry, on lawns and gardens, and for weeds in industrial areas.

 


diuron

diuron molecule
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diuron

glyphosphate.jpeg
  • Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide and crop desiccant. Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide, meaning it will kill most plants. It prevents the plants from making certain proteins that are needed for plant growth. It is used to kill weeds and grasses that compete with crops. It is applied to the leaves of plants to kill both broadleaf plants and grasses. Glyphosate was first registered for use in the U.S. in 1974. Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States and is applied n agriculture and forestry, on lawns and gardens, and for weeds in industrial areas.

PESTICIDE AND FERTILIZER USE ON COTTON

Conventionally grown cotton used $3.3 billion worth of pesticides in 2014 (the most recent year for which data are available).[9] Cotton accounted for 5.7% by value of all the plant protection chemicals sold that year, including 16.1% of all insecticide sales, 3.9% of herbicide sales, 4% of growth regulators / desiccants / defoliants, and 1% of world fungicide sales.[10](Unfortunately, pesticide use data are not available at the global or country level, so sales data are the most available data. Sales values are affected by several factors, such as inflation and the development of newer, and often more expensive, molecules).[11]

In the U.S., approximately 38.3 million pounds of pesticides were used on approximately 8.6 million acres of cotton planted in 11 states in 2014 (the most recent year for which data are available), amounting to an approximate average of 4.4 pounds of pesticides per acre of cotton grown. This included 26.3 million pounds of herbicides, 2.4 million pounds of insecticides, 26,000 pounds of fungicides, and 9.5 million pounds of “other” pesticides (including defoliants).[12]

The Top 10 pesticides used in the U.S. on cotton in 2015 were glyphosate, ethephon, trifluralin, acetochlor, tribufos, sodium chlorate, acephate, s-metolachlor, diuron, and paraquat.

  • Three – glyphosate, diuron, and tribufos – are considered known[13] or probable[14] human carcinogens
  • Three – acephate, s-metolachlor, and trifluralin--are considered possible human carcinogens[15]
  • Three – acephate, paraquat, sodium chlorate – are considered level II moderately acutely toxic pesticides.[16]
  • Six – acetochlor (Group 1), diuron (Group 2), and acephate, glyphosate, paraquat, and trifluralin (Group 3)—are considered known or possible endocrine disruptors.[17]

Glyphosate, the top-ranked pesticide used on cotton in the U.S. which represents 35% of all pesticides used on cotton by poundage (also the active ingredient in Round Up® and the herbicide associated with Roundup Ready® genetically engineered cotton), was recently determined to be a probable carcinogen.[18] It can also cause birth defects, as well as genetic damage, endocrine disruption, and other serious health effects. Many of these effects are found at very low, physiologically relevant doses.[19] In addition, scientists have found significant levels of the herbicide in air and water (both rain and river) samples in the agricultural areas in the Mississippi River watershed. According to scientists, the consistent occurrence of glyphosate in streams and air indicates its transport from its point of use into the broader environment.[20] It has also been found in food – most recently in Cheerios and Ritz Crackers, among other popular snack foods,[21] as well as honey.[22]

Synthetic fertilizers, almost 973 million pounds of which were used on U.S. upland cotton in 2015,[23]are considered detrimental to the environment, causing leaching and runoff affecting freshwater habitats and wells. Nitrogen-based synthetic fertilizers, which made up more than half (52%) of all U.S. cotton fertilizer use, are also considered a major contributor to increased nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions, which are 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2) as a greenhouse gas. For the 2015 crop year, U.S. farmers applied nitrogen fertilizer to 78 percent of planted (cotton) acres, at an average rate of 79 pounds per planted acre, for a total of 503.7 million pounds applied to the 8.6 million acres planted to cotton.[24]