Imidacloprid, a neonicotinioid, or neonic, has been turning up in groundwater in Long Island, according to a report released by the Natural Resources Defense Council. About 30% of samples tested by the group tested positive for imidacloprid, “making it one of the most commonly detected pesticides on the island,” the report states.
Neonicotinoids are a common class of pesticides used for decades by landscapers and gardeners. Neonics have been killing bees “in record numbers” in New York State and around the world, scientists say, and there is some concern that it may be harmful to humans.
Many neonic chemicals have been banned by the European Commission. But six are approved for use in the U.S. – acetamiprid, clothianidin, dinotefuran, sulfoxaflor and thiamethoxam. The report blames the class of pesticides for “hollowing out ecosystems from the bottom up. Today, neonics contaminate not only New York’s environment, but New Yorkers themselves.”
Daniel Raichel, an attorney with the council, said it was too early to say whether the chemicals are harmful to humans. “It’s sort of one big science experiment. We’re all exposed,” he said.
Imidacloprid was discovered by Bayer in 1985, and the company continues the manufacture it.
This is not the first of Bayer’s pesticides to fall under suspicion as a danger to human health. In 2018, Bayer acquired chemical company Monsanto, maker of the weed killer Roundup. The company now faces more than 42,000 lawsuits in the U.S. from consumers who claim that exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and that the company knew of these risks but failed to warn consumers. The World Health Organization’s International Agency on Cancer in 2015 classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.
Three Roundup cases have gone to trial to date, each resulting in multi-million-dollar verdicts for the victims.
Beasley Allen lawyers are currently representing clients who have been exposed to Roundup and developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Our Roundup Litigation Team would welcome the opportunity to speak with you regarding a potential claim. For more information, contact one of the members of the Roundup Litigation Team: John Tomlinson (who heads up the team), Michael Dunphy, Danielle Ingram or Rhon Jones, all lawyers in our Toxic Torts Section. These lawyers can also speak to you about concerns about groundwater contamination.