Michigan2Iowa
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SEVIN INSECTICIDE PESTICIDE

I have questions on the residual affects of using the popular insecticide sold as SEVIN (1-napthyl methylcarbamate).

Mainly, if insects are killed with SEVIN do they then carry any harmful chemicals to birds or amphibians that may consume them? Also, can SEVIN residue on flowers harm our dwindling Midwestern bee population?

Thanks,
-Paul-

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Well, with a little research, I've answered my own question:
(please note that SEVIN is the brand name for carbaryl insecticide, and that carbaryl is the common name for the active ingredient, 1-napthyl methylcarbamate)

From an article by Penn State University Extension Pesticide Specialist, Winand K. Hock
"We do know that carbaryl is quite toxic to honey bees, certain beneficial insects such as lady beetles, and parasitic wasps and bees, certain species of aquatic insects, and some forms of shellfish such as shrimp and crabs. Care must be taken when using carbaryl in areas where these organisms exist."
See the full article on Cornell University’s Website:
https://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/facts-slides-self/facts/gen-pubre-sevin.html

I'm sad to say that I have used SEVIN in the past when I was just too frustrated with my swiss cheese garden. I hope that I didn't harm too many beneficial species. I hope this helps educate others out there.

-Paul-

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Paul, Sevin is what my father used to use to destroy wasp nests, so I think you're pretty safe in assuming it is dangerous to other insects and animals! :wink:

Val
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Sevin can damage you, too. My mom was in the store buying some of the stuff years ago, and the guy behind her in line said to make sure she didn't get any on her - and lifted his pant leg to show a really nasty red swollen area.

opabinia51
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Generally speaking we discourage use of insecticides because most insecticides are broad based and kill both insect pests and beneficial insects. Furthermore, most insecticides are very toxic. Also, they tend to cause more problems than they solve because not only do they kill all the insects ( both bad and good) but, they also kill all of the flora and fauna living on plants.

In an experiment recently done at one of the local golf courses half of the palnts were sprayed with insecticides and the other plants were sprayed with compost tea. The plants that were sprayed with compost tea had more beneficials compared to pathogens living on the leaves and grew that much better.
In fact, the plants sprayed with insecticides had pathogenic bacteria, nematodes and so on living on their leaves with very few beneficials to combat the pathogens.

Anyway, it's something to think about.


With regard to: 1-napthyl methylcarbamate


One Canadian environmental organization in a letter addressed to local citizens cites some of the 'documented' effects of carbaryl.

It causes birth defects in mammals, especially dogs.
It worsens the condition of people with hypertension and people on anti-depressant drugs.
It impairs the function of the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, and the reproductive system.
It causes hyperactivity and learning disabilities in mammals.
It could increase the chance of heart attack in people with weak hearts.
The main break-down product, nitrosocarbaryl, which is easily created in the human gut, is a potent cancer-causing agent.
It causes irreversible chromosomal damage to human DNA (the genes in our cells).

Sublimation Point: 112-115 C (basically, you don't have to worry about
it vapourizing)
1-napthyl methylcarbamate is soluble in water: 1.2 g/l @ 17 C

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Any testing of pesticides to date has been done by the industry, and needless to say they have agendas, like not rocking the boat and making a lot of money. All the info they do list is for short term exposure. Almost NO work has been done on long term exposure in this country. F'rinstance, 2, 4,D, a lithium salt found in many herbicides, has been an industry darling here ("degraded in two weeks" is the common battlercry). But a study in Denmark, where it has been banned for years shows significant decrease in non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. And that's just one chemical; most herbicides are combinations of two or three.

There's an organization doing good work on this front; check out...

[url]https://www.ehhi.org[/url]

I am also looking into a contact I made at shows for an on-line disributor of biological solutions to most common pest problems. Hope to have more there soon...

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Michigan2Iowa
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With regard to: 1-napthyl methylcarbamate


One Canadian environmental organization in a letter addressed to local citizens cites some of the 'documented' effects of carbaryl.

It causes birth defects in mammals, especially dogs.
It worsens the condition of people with hypertension and people on anti-depressant drugs.
It impairs the function of the pituitary gland, the thyroid gland, and the reproductive system.
It causes hyperactivity and learning disabilities in mammals.
It could increase the chance of heart attack in people with weak hearts.
The main break-down product, nitrosocarbaryl, which is easily created in the human gut, is a potent cancer-causing agent.
It causes irreversible chromosomal damage to human DNA (the genes in our cells).
I do want to say that while I do not like the broad ranging effects of SEVIN, research shows that 1-napthyl methylcarbamate does not cause the wide ranging birth defects, thyroid interaction, heart attack and chromosomal damage claimed by some groups. I ask that the article be read in full at Cornell University’s website:
https://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/facts-slides-self/facts/gen-pubre-sevin.html
Extensive evidence indicates that carbaryl does not cause cancer or genetic changes in animals. Carbaryl has also been extensively tested for its effect on reproduction and the occurrence of birth effects (we call this teratogenic potential). Experiments have been conducted on various strains of rats and mice, and on hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, rabbits, dogs, sheep, and monkeys. Adverse effects have occurred only in dogs.
The "documented" claims reported by said Canadian environmental organization aren't truly documented anywhere, and haven't been substantiated in any scientific studies. SEVIN is a chemical, very dangerous to beneficial insects, and I strongly agree that it should be avoided in lieu of better alternatives.

Thanks,
-Paul-

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Paul., do you know who funded the research? Cornell is an excellent plant university, and a bit of an industry darling because of that. Corporate funded research is the name of the game now, with federal grant budgets slashed to ribbons, and you operate under the onus of making the data come out the way your sponsor wants it to. More likely to get good data from socialist govs with no axe to grind (Sweden buried it's entire electrical grid based on research there; the gov here refuses to validate the research (decades of it) due to pressure from the energy lobby). Gotta follow the bucks to see what the results really mean...(not that they make that easy... :roll: )

Scott

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Scott,

Good questions. The article is on Cornell's Website, but it was published by Penn State University Extension's Pesticide Specialist, Winand K. Hock.

I'm not validating nor refuting the information, and I want to stress that I feel using SEVIN is not in anyone's best interest...however I am concerned about skewed data and claims being disseminated that can cloud the truth.

Look to DDT for example. We all know now how harmful that chemical was. Part of the problem is that years passed before thoughtful research was done. There were fantastic claims made from both fronts, pro and con. You can't claim to educate when you simply state 'facts' that haven't been substantiated. Do I feel it’s appropriate for research to be funded solely by chemical companies? Definitely not. However, I also feel it isn't appropriate for groups to state dangerous ramifications of using a certain product by using fantastical information simply to bring more people to their cause. Does that make any sense? Maybe not, I am simply saying that informative and constructive dialogue from both sides is critical to doing the right thing for humanity and the environment. Drawing lines in the sand and then pointing at each other while making accusations simply won't get us anywhere.

I know, I'm trying to bring the weapons of intelligence and rationality to the battlefield of the almighty dollar...call me an altruist I suppose!

Okay...I'm off my soap box now. Back to talking about plants!

:)
-Paul-

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Hey Paul, you and I are on the same page, my friend. It is precisely discussions like this that need to be taking place both at the end-user AND the industry stage. Take the invasives issue. Entire genera are being banned by state organizations, with very little review (COnnecticut banned bittersweet years back. We in the industry said "What about the native one?" and the legislature said "What? There's more than one?". Now we have a review board (Invasive Plant Council) that takes more things into consideration because there is a discussion first. They did much the same thing in Maryland when they started to mandate planting lists within two hundred yards of the Chesapeake. Now anyone who wants to sit in on these meetings has the same say as the DOT, the EPA, or the Maryland nursery trades. Audobon and their like are all at the table, discussing...

So while we may seem at first glance to come from different places, it ain't necessarily so. I am at first glance a tree hugging liberal (for the most part true) But I am also a nurseryman and feel the pain when they are talking aboput removing some big money items from the sales floor (All you nurserymen should be getting out of the invasive biz, not fighting it, and then I'd be even more in your camp... :roll: ) But this as good a place as any to start these discussions as many (read most) o fthe people I talk to have little or no idea that these are even issues, let alone what their position is...

So weigh in, folks! All opinions posted here are welcome; I would like to hear what you all have to say on this matter...

Scott

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Scott,

I totally agree.

Thank you for the great discussion.

Hey, you, reading this...put in your two cents! A jumpin-jivin forum is the BEST!

-P-

p.s. Scott, from my first glance I took you for a 3 foot tall leprechan with a weird Northeastern accent. But some people say I'm a bad judge of character. :wink:

I'm a tree huggin conservative...my wife laughs and says I'm the only person she knows that can even make that possible! (BTW, I'm a registered Independent. Elephants and Donkeys make me nervous)

grandpasrose
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Well, I don't know what to say - I think you both have said it all. Although I couldn't believe I read intelligence and rationality in the same sentence as the almighty dollar! Those two realms of thought are so far apart, often I don't think they're even talking about the same thing anymore!

Anyway, I agree wholeheartedly with both of you and it was a very captivating discussion. :wink:

Val
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opabinia51
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Hi Paul, I have read your words and understand what you are saying but something that is very important to understand is that just because some information is published by a University, a non profit organization, a government or whatever doesn't necessarrily mean that is true or not true. What is really important is to read the data for yourself and compare what the group doing the study was looking at as to what another group was looking at in the study.

The data that I posted from above was from the Material Safety Data Sheets on 1-napthyl methylcarbamate but, just because I retrieved from an MSDS doesn't necessarrily make it true or not true. Each person must conider for themselves what is correct and not correct.

Thank you very much for posting the data that you retrieved.

Michigan2Iowa
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opabinia51 wrote:What is really important is to read the data for yourself and compare what the group doing the study was looking at as to what another group was looking at in the study.
Opa,

I like that point that you've made. Read the data for yourself. I find it very interesting that the information you quoted was on an MSDS, as the articles I've read on SEVIN at other sites claim those exact words only came from an environmental group. If those warnings did appear in an MSDS...well, that's very interesting.

Thanks for your input :)

-Paul-

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I just Googled Sevin MSDS's and I got hundreds of hits all saying relatively the same thing. I read many of them, and here is a sample of what they all say:

Tech Pac, LLC - July 2001

SECTION 3 - HEALTH HAZARD DATA
EMERGENCY OVERVIEW
A creamy, tan, odorless liquid:
* Harmful if swallowed.
* Extremely toxic to aquatic and estuarine invertebrates.
* Highly toxic to bees.
* Causes injury to Boston Ivy, Virginia Creeper and Maidenhair fern. During early season, may injure Virginia and Sand pines.
ROUTE(S) OF ENTRY: Ingestion
EYES: May cause minimal irritation.
SKIN: May cause slight irritation.
INGESTION: Harmful if swallowed.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS: Harmful if ingested. This product causes reversible cholinesterase inhibition. Repeated overexposure may cause more severe cholinesterase inhibition with more pronounced signs and symptoms. May lead to rapid onset of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, involuntary shaking, excess salivation, pinpoint pupils, blurred vision, profuse sweating, temporary paralysis, respiratory depression, and convulsions.

I guess we all have to be responsible for ourselves in the end. Read the data, and with our intelligent and rational minds, come to our own conclusions as to what to think.

I for one have no intention of ever using Sevin in my gardening, and can only hope that others will be just as responsible. :wink:

Val
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opabinia51
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HI Michigan, to quantify:

The information that I posted did come from an MSDS but, just because something is in an MSDS doesn't necessarily make it correct or incorrect. It is up to learn-ed professionals to decide whether or not a posted fact is indeed true. Reading MSDS and peer reviewed journal articles is but, the very first step in ascertaining information on the properties of a situation.

For instance, on first glance; it would appear that methyl-bromide could contribute to the end of life as we know it (from an arm waver) but, upon closer examination; it is a highly toxic compound but, combined with chemicals that are naturally found in the environement, it can be moderated and it's affects alleviated.

Note that the MSDS describes that the chemical is highly toxic (and it is) but, given time it's effects can be subdued and even alleviated.

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Let's also keep in mind that virtually NO long term (ten plus years) testing is being done in this country nor is it mandated (or even mentioned on a MSDS). Look at the court case in Long Island last year where Preen got fined hundreds of thousands for using a new formula without licensing it in New York (saving untold testing costs; they probably weighed their options and said "Okay, we'll pay the fine..."). What you don't know CAN hurt you and they don't want you to know...

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Fri Mar 03, 2006 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

opabinia51
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Yes, that is why it is important to read all the information that you can and as Scott said before, be mindful of who is funding the research. It's called Critical Thinking and is very important for understanding the battery of information that is thrown at us.

Persons that I know whose crown corporations use round up to control vegetation growth continually advocate that round up is biodgradable. Well, this person has no scientific understanding whatsoever and glyphosate may be biodegradable but, it is very long lasting in the environment and causes a plethora of damage to living systems. Anyway, my point is to be wary of individual releases of information and to find as much information on topics as possible.

I think that we are all in agreement on that.

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What is Sevin indicated for and what are alternatives to it, if someone is looking for alternatives?

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I still have a bottle of Sevin dust in my garage.Luckily I haven't used it for many years but how could I get rid of it properly?

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Your local garbage pick-up company (excuse me, "solid waste provider" is the preferred term these days, but I've been an old fogey since high school :?) will know where hazardous wastes can be disposed of.

Your city or county government may operate such a site. My county does; my city refers everyone to the county's Hazardous Waste site.

Some HazWaste sites are open every day, some on weekends, some occasionally.

The City of Palo Alto (where I do gardening and yard work for my MIL) sponsors "turn it in" days a couple of times a year where Palo Alto residents put the stuff in their cars :shock: and drive it to a parking lot near the recycling center, where a professional crew removes it from the trunk/car/truck bed and places it with others of its ilk. Gardening products, paint thinner, corrosives--all have their own location, and the Tyvek-suited crew put each container exactly where it needed to go. We were forbidden to get out of the car. It was definitely drive-through service.

We maxed out on the total volume permitted in several categories; it appeared that nothing--NOTHING--had been disposed of since the late '50s or early '60s, when both in-laws were in their 30s/40s and raising a family. My BIL and I--both of us have worked in the environmental remediation field--had to keep reminding DH and SIL (BIL's brother and sister) to wear gloves, not touch the face, don't eat/drink while we're doing this unless you go into the house, take off gloves, wash hands and face first, and so on. I remember there being a large 5-lb bag of loose powder with a chromium-based compound in it. There were other chemicals which are now illegal in private hands. Several items posed explosion hazards due to heavier-than-air vapor fumes. We had to make several trips, as there was a 5-gallon total per carload. (At least they let us come back multiple times when we explained MIL's health situation...)

So there are different ways that this service is provided, but the important thing to keep in mind is that it is no longer safe or legal to throw such things out in the regular trash--a point which, clearly, you already understand, and I hope many THG members do, too! :D

(Maybe you can tell that the Palo Alto experience was just a little stressful, huh?)

Cynthia H.
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[url=https://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Product.jsp?REG_NR=03395500533&DIST_NR=000192]Sevin[/url] is a horror show retired from use for some VERY good reasons. Carbaryls are totally deadly and destructive to environment...

Look at it this way, with all the other nasty chems still allowed to market, our government looked at this one and said "Oh, this one here HAS to go." If that's not warning enough, then it's simple Darwinian selection, feel free to continue to use this on your food crops :twisted:

I use [url=https://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC34291]pyrethrin[/url] instead of Sevin; based on a chemical found in daisies. But let's be clear; more people poisoned themselves with this product last year than any other in the States. There are no such thing as safe pesticides, just safer ways to use it. I prefer some of the pesticides and methods because they have shown to be much safer than the stuff we are using but that doesn't mean I am ready to drink this stuff either. We must be aware that the BEST pesticide is the one not applied at all. Personal safety is only one important factor to me; my understanding is that pyrethrin breaks down rapidly after dispersal. It doesn't stand up in sunlight worth a darn, breaks down to harmless compounds by the end of a day usually. High toxicity, low residual is the mantra for good ones to use in my mind...


BEE safe out there...:flower:

GO Organic!

HG
Scott Reil

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Man, am I glad I found this site. I've retired, moved back to Smalltown, and am re-learning gardening after 40-some years.

I was all ready to join in the war on bugs using Sevin, the insecticide du jour around here, but the hype sounded too good to be true -- no protective clothing required, etc...

I googled, found this site, read some of these posts and reconsidered. I then remembered -- "D'oh, I was in QualityAassurance and System Safety -- We used MSDSs all the time". Looked it (Sevin MSDS) up and guess what -- it reads nothing like the label and adverts.

Thanks to you all.
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Thanks for the kudos and the affirmation, EW. That's exactly why I talk about these products, because the people peddling them are not giving you the whole truth. They DO NOT tell you what you deserve to know, or even need to know to be safe.

The only reason it is not criminal is that the government that is supposed to be protecting us from this sort of thing is in collusion with the industry producing it. We need to wake up our congresspeople and get big business OUT of EPA, get some teeth back in the oversight end of that organization and fund testing at the governmental level, rather than rubberstamping proprietary reports from the very companies submitting product...

HG
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Material Safety Data Sheets are to inform us of the risks. They also give suggestions as to proper and safe handling of the chemicals involved, whatever it may be. I worked at a factory on the maintenance crew, for 18 years and we had lots of chemicals around. They all came with the MSDS or we could get it for the asking. Since we were all over the plant and exposed to everything, we got regular safety training. Many chemicals, though dangerous and or poisonous, can help us improve our standard of living, or get our work done, however, we should always take care to follow instructions, and use chemicals only in ways consistent with their labeling. It is also good to ask for the MSDS. You can probably got an MSDS for most things online. Just Google it.

I am going with those who said, lets be informed, do the research then decide for ourselves what is allowable in our gardens.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Jal, if the testing was done by a non-involved third party, or even our government (carbamates are actually one of five chems currently undergoing governmental testing, so expect to lose Sevin for good shortly), I'd agree.

But the ugly truth is that there has been little or no governmental oversight of pesticide registration, other than the rubber stamping of test data submitted by manufacturers. Until the latest administration, EPA was in a decade long process of being gutted and dismantled (indeed their library of test data was cut due to "budgetary constraint", the card catalogue was destroyed, and the whole mess that was left was warehoused in an old unused cafeteria).

I have personally created an MSDS (it was for compost extract, so not really a highly dangerous product), and there is no oversight, no review board; once you submit to EPA for review they yea or nay you and nays are conspicuously rare. So my faith in that particular process is not as adamant as yours...

If you were able to show without doubt that you were able to contain your pesticide use indefinitely within the confines of your property, I would also agree with the caveat emptor approach. But as the record shows time and again, these compounds and their break-down components routinely turn up downstream, in watertables and air samples, and therefore become part of the public commons (carbamates are actually a posterchild for this phenomenon). With new testing and data coming available daily, I have llittle doubt these products will be banned shortly, and we will continue to see better and better reasons why as responsible third party testing is performed.

In the meantime it will be the considered opinion of this site (and Canada, and the European Union, who have passed it into law) that the Precautionary Principle be the guiding rule for pesticide use; if you cannot prove the product safe it should not be used. There is a very good reason the chemical lobby (under the harmless sounding acronym of Responsible Industriesfor a Safe Environment, also known as RISE) is fighting said principle tooth and nail.

The majority of their products can't pass the test. Good enough reason to stop right there...

HG
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One simple rule; if it is poison then it is poison.

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tomf wrote:One simple rule; if it is poison then it is poison.
Hip Hip! Love that answer and it is so very correct. If it's poison it must be treated as toxic and heed the warnings carefully!

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