June 6, 2023

Some really good news: In this month's newsletter, we are thrilled to share important news from the desks of Maryland Governor Wes Moore and Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown regarding PFAS in pesticides! 

Then, from socks to sheets, to cosmetics to mosquito products, check out organic and natural options to protect you and your family from pesticide exposures.

The not good news has to do with new research on the impacts of pesticides on our declining pollinators, our family pets, and the disproportionate harm caused by pesticides to underserved and overburdened Maryland residents. There are actions we can take to minimize these impacts.

We have a timely and special ask of our readers. To continue to address the issue of PFAS in pesticides ands to provide critical data to the 2023 legislated PFAS in Pesticides current study group noted below, we intend to use a globally renowned laboratory to test a number of pesticides used in Maryland to further identify the percent of PFAS-free vs. PFAS-containing pesticides. We honestly are not budgeted for this unexpected but needed effort in preparation for passage of a 2024 bill banning the sales and use of PFAS-containing pesticides. We need to raise $10,000 to initiate this effort and are requesting your assistance. Please consider making a donation this month, so we can begin to launch this effort.

Vote With Your Wallet, Vote With Your Fork!  GO Organic! How to go organic in all you do – even on a budget! Learn more

Check out Treehugger’s picks of the best organic socks that will keep your feet warm and your wardrobe sharp. Learn more

Treehugger also details the best organic cotton sheets for sale in 2023 here

This article from SportsKeeda details the risks of certain chemicals in makeup products, as well as helpful tips for spotting and choosing natural, organic makeup products. Learn more
Learn how to use effective and natural repellents to manage mosquitoes without pesticides from this fact sheet courtesy of Maryland Pesticide Education Network! Learn more
While there are organic options, chemical pesticides are commonly used and industrial agriculture relies heavily on them. However, as many studies have shown, using these chemicals comes at enormous costs to the environment, wildlife and human health. Learn more
Last month, Governor Moore signed legislation establishing a 6-month three-agency study to research & verify existing testing methods for PFAS in pesticides used in Maryland. This wouldn’t have been possible without the huge support this bill has received from all of you! Read the full press release
Also, thank you Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown for suing makers for PFAS contamination in Maryland. And thank you Dept of Environment Secretary Serena McIlwain who said: "We will be relentless in holding to account the companies that threatened public health with PFAS”  Read the full statement
  NEWS and VIEWS  
These studies raise concerns about the risks of cancer for dogs exposed to lawn care pesticides and recommend dog owners not to use them. Learn more
A new study on pesticides and environmental justice highlights how disparities in pesticide exposure are exacerbating societal inequality and are causing disproportionate harm to the most vulnerable communities. Learn more

Antimicrobial resistance was already contributing to millions of deaths per year before the pandemic. Now overzealous use of disinfectants, especially with products containing "QACs" (quaternary ammonium compounds), threatens to make antimicrobial resistance worseLearn more

Also, check out our SaferDisinfectants.org website, which can help you check the products you are using and provides detailed information on safer disinfectants as opposed to those with an increased risk!

This guide from Treehugger can help you identify which of the many types of bees you have in your garden.  Learn more
Monarch butterflies have been in perilous decline over the years—and despite the efforts of many, without more people getting on board, we run the risk of losing them altogether. Learn more
This Bloomberg article details the importance of our local honeybees in monitoring the health of your city. Learn more
Fun fact: Artificial intelligence can be used to track bees on camera, enabling better food production by understanding their movements, preferences, and any irregularities in their behaviors! Learn more
  LET'S GET SERIOUS ABOUT SOIL, food security & climate change--yes, they're related!  
Industrial farming techniques have left about a third of the world's soil degraded, putting our food supply at serious risk. Sustainable, regenerative agricultural techniques may be our best method to correct this. Learn more
In the 20 years since the USDA launched the national organic program, farmers and brands alike are embracing regenerative agriculture as we enter an era of verified regenerative agriculture programs. Learn more
Researchers find that planting hedgerows helps farmers sequester carbon in the soil, manage pests, and provides a habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. Learn more
Occupational pesticide exposure increases the occurrence of sleep disorders in exposed food and farmworkers. Learn more
As mentioned in News and Views, Governor Wes Moore has signed into law a first step bill towards restricting PFAS contamination from pesticides in Maryland! The sponsors Delegate Dana Stein and Senator Shelly Hettleman's bill will examine issues related to PFAS testing, in preparation for a 2024 Maryland bill to restrict PFAS in pesticides. Learn more

Please help support our work to protect our babies, bees, and the Bay!