A recent study at the University of Pittsburgh shows that an EPA standard overlooks long-term effects on animals in certain environments. Pitt Biological Sciences Associate Professor Rick Relyea says they took various amounts of the pesticide endosulfan and tested it on tadpoles, frogs and toads. Endosulfan is still widely used in United States agriculture, but has been banned in approximately 60 nations.
For instance, in leopard frogs, there were differing results.
“When they were not exposed to any pesticide, and when they were exposed to pesticide for four days, virtually no one died,” Relyea says. “If you took the animals out of the pesticide container and put them into fresh water, only then, days later, do they start to die because of the pesticide exposure they used to have.”
This “lag effect” shows that the pesticide is highly toxic, but the effects may not show immediately. Other nations that have already banned it use alternatives that are more modern and safer to use.