A study found that inert, undeclared ingredients found in pesticides are highly toxic to bumblebeesHe is about to end up run over, his mother saves him
Some little-known ingredients in Roundup (the famous glyphosate-based herbicide) but also present in other pesticides, are lethal to bumblebees. To say a new study.
Herbicides commonly used in the United States (and beyond) contain "inert" ingredients that are generally not disclosed but highly toxic to insects, especially bumblebees. This is according to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology.
The research examined not only the now infamous Roundup in three different variations (Roundup® Ready - To - Use, Roundup® No Glyphosate, Roundup® ProActive) but also another herbicide with the same active ingredient (glyphosate), Weedol ®.
The harmful effects of glyphosate on the populations of bees and other insects are already abundantly known and studied by a series of scientific researches.
Read also: The study on the dramatic effects of glyphosate on the development of honey bees
In contrast, the toxicity levels of the other ingredients found in pesticides are less well known because they are not subject to the same mandatory testing by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
We speak in particular of ingredients inert, that is, those that do not act properly on the weed but which are useful to ensure that the pesticide is more easily usable and guarantees better efficiency. In practice, these ingredients are added to products to aid mixing and to improve the ability to adhere to plant leaves.
@Journal of Applied Ecology
The study found that these substances can be highly toxic and even block the breathing capacity of bumblebees, causing death by suffocation. The impact of blends of inert ingredients was different from product to product, thus toxicity was variable. It was noted that in particular one of the herbicide formulations was able to kill, within 24 hours, 96% of the bumblebees that came into contact with it.
As stated in the abstract of the study:
“Bumblebees showed 94% mortality with Roundup® Ready - To - Use® and 30% with Roundup® ProActive® over 24 hours. Weedol® did not cause significant mortality, showing that the active ingredient glyphosate was not the cause of mortality. The 96% mortality caused by Roundup® No Glyphosate supports this conclusion ”.
The study, therefore, highlights one thing of fundamental importance: we must not focus only on glyphosate, there are also other substances harmful to bumblebees, bees and other insects, present in commonly used pesticides.
The study concludes:
"These mortality results demonstrate that Roundup® products pose a significant risk to bumblebees, both in agricultural and urban systems, and that bumblebee exposure to them should be limited"
"we ask pesticide companies to release the full list of ingredients for each pesticide formulation, as lack of access to this information hampers research to determine safe exposure levels for beneficial insects in agriculture "
Fonte: Journal of Applied Ecology
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