Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2003 9:01 am Posts: 933 Location: Dallas, TX
Methyl iodide is a highly toxic fumigant pesticide that was developed by Arysta LifeScience Corporation, and is marketed as a replacement for methyl bromide, a chemical being phased out under the Montreal Protocol because it depletes stratospheric ozone.
Methyl iodide is arguably even more toxic for workers and rural communities than methyl bromide, and its use is extremely controversial. Among scientist's greatest concerns is the potential for human exposure to unsafe levels of methyl iodide from drift.
Human Health Harms
Humans exposed to methyl iodide experience dizziness, sleepiness, nausea, diarrhea, slurred speech, lack of coordination, muscle convulsions---and in some cases, pulmonary edema. Listed as an EPA Hazardous Air Pollutant, methyl iodide also affects the the lungs, liver, and kidneys.
Cancer: Known to cause thyroid and lung tumors, methyl iodide is on the California Proposition 65 list of carcinogens. The fumigant's mutagenic properties reaffirm its cancer-causing potential.
Developmental & Reproductive Toxicity: In addition to increasing the risk of miscarriage, methyl iodide compromises healthy development of fetal organs including the heart, liver, and brain -- causing permanent damage. (See: CDPR's Assessment)
Neurotoxiciy: Methyl iodide is a potent neurotoxin -- four times more toxic than methyl bromide. Both chronic and acute exposure to methyl iodide can cause permanent damage to the central nervous system.
Thyroid Toxicity: Methyl iodide is toxic to the thyroid gland and interferes in thyroid hormone levels. Research shows that when methyl iodide compromises these hormones during critical windows of fetal development, exposure can increase risk of miscarriage.
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