Alison Bleaney George River pesticide spray contamination and absence of working Incident Communication Protocol

Here yet again is evidence of contamination of the St Helens raw drinking water supply.

Pesticide spraying, by tractor boom of Roundup and Brush-off, occurred at Priory, Saturday (12/5/2007), am.

Spray drift was witnessed going onto George River at approximately 4 km upstream of St Helens water intake pipe.

Break O’Day Council (BODC) is the designated responsible water body and was rung from 12 noon onwards re this incident.

No help was available from the Council answering machine.

Lessons have not been learned from Community Audits published 8/2004 (Vol 2 No 3) and 3/2007 (Vol 3 No 3) re risk awareness in catchments and readiness of authorities to deal with incidents as per the Incident Communication Protocol.(

Here yet again is evidence of contamination of the St Helens raw drinking water supply.

This situation is not acceptable to any water user.

What actions do BODC propose to take to prevent re-occurrence of raw water contamination and to effect an efficient and effective working Incident Communication Protocol?

Dr Alison Bleaney
Sec BOD Catchment Risk Group
Binalong Bay 7216

Meanwhile …

Cindy Fox Aisen

INDIANAPOLIS — The growing premature birth rate in the United States appears to be strongly associated with increased use of pesticides and nitrates, according to work conducted by Paul Winchester, M.D., professor of clinical pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

He reports his findings May 7 at the Pediatric Academic Societies’ annual meeting, a combined gathering of the American Pediatric Society, the Society for Pediatric Research, the Ambulatory Pediatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“A growing body of evidence suggests that the consequence of prenatal exposure to pesticides and nitrates as well as to other environmental contaminants is detrimental to many outcomes of pregnancy. As a neonatologist, I am seeing a growing number of birth defects, and preterm births, and I think we need to face up to environmental causes,” said Dr Winchester, who is also director of Newborn Intensive Care Services at St. Francis Hospital in Indianapolis.

“Preterm births in the United States vary month to month in a recurrent and seasonal manner. Pesticides and nitrates similarly vary seasonally in surface water throughout the U.S. Nitrates and pesticides can disrupt endocrine hormones and nitric oxide pathways in the developing fetus,” he said.

“I believe this work may lay the foundation for some of the most important basic and clinical research, and public health initiatives of our time. To recognize that what we put into our environment has potential pandemic effects on pregnancy outcome and possibly on child development is a momentous observation, which hopefully will help transform the way humanity cares for its world,” said James Lemons, M.D., Hugh McK. Landon Professor of Pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine.

Dr. Lemons is director of the section of neonatal-perinatal medicine at the IU School of Medicine and heads the Riley Hospital for Children of Clarian Health’s section of neonatal-perinatal medicine.

Collaborating with Dr. Winchester on this study were Akosua Boadiwaa Adu-Boahene and Sarah L. Kosten of the IU School of Medicine, Alex K Williamson of the U.S. Geological Survey, and Ying Jun, Ph.D. of the University of Cincinnati. The work was funded by the Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics of the IU School of Medicine.