Click here to purchase an engaging read: CHOIR OF CLOISTERED CANARIES
In the novel, Dr. Dennett spent at least a decade studying the pesticide that is suspected to cause brain damage in children. Much is discussed on the matter about the science and the politics surrounding the attempts to ban its use—the chemical chlorpyrifos.
As a recap, chlorpyrifos has been used as a pesticide since 1965 in both agricultural and non-agricultural areas:
- The largest agricultural market for chlorpyrifos in terms of total pounds of active ingredient is corn.
- It is also used on soybeans, fruit and nut trees, Brussels sprouts, cranberries, broccoli, and cauliflower, as well as other row crops.
- Non-agricultural uses include golf courses, turf, green houses, and on non-structural wood treatments such as utility poles and fence posts. It is also registered for use as a mosquito adulticide, and for use in roach and ant bait stations in child resistant packaging.
Products are sold as liquids, granules, water dispersible granules, wettable powders, and water soluble packets, and may be applied by either ground or aerial equipment.
In 1996, the Food Quality Protection Act set a more stringent safety standard to be especially protective of children. After finalizing the chlorpyrifos risk assessments for reregistration, EPA identified the need to modify certain chlorpyrifos uses to meet the revised standard of safety, and to address health and environmental risks from chlorpyrifos exposure. In 2000, the registrants of chlorpyrifos voluntarily entered into an agreement with EPA to eliminate, phase out, and modify certain uses. Some examples of the voluntary cancellations and modifications in the agreement include:
- Eliminating most homeowner uses, except ant and roach baits in child resistant packaging and fire ant mound treatments, and phasing out all termiticide uses.
- Discontinuing all uses of chlorpyrifos products in the United States on tomatoes, restricting use on apples to pre-bloom and dormant application, and lowering the grape tolerance (maximum residue level) to reflect the labeled dormant application.
In 2002, EPA made a number of changes to the required safety measures that improved safety for the environment and for those applying this pesticide including:
- Use of buffer zones to protect water quality, fish and wildlife;
- Reductions in application rates per season on a variety of crops including citrus and corn; and
- Increase in amount of personal protective equipment to mitigate risk to agricultural workers.
In 2011, as part of the registration review process, EPA completed a comprehensive preliminary human health risk assessment for all chlorpyrifos uses. This assessment included the results of extensive new research and the findings of a number of new studies that had become available since the agency’s last human health risk assessment for chlorpyrifos, completed in June 2000.
In 2012, EPA significantly lowered the aerial pesticide application rates and created “no-spray” buffer zones for ground, air blast and aerial application methods around public spaces, including recreational areas, schools, homes and other sensitive areas to be protective of children and other bystanders.
In 2014, as part of the registration review process, EPA completed a revised human health risk assessment for all chlorpyrifos uses. The assessment updated the June 2011 preliminary human health risk assessment based on new information received, including public comments. EPA factored in exposures from multiple sources including from the exposures from food and water, from inhaling the pesticide and through the skin. EPA considered all populations including infants, children, and women of child-bearing age. EPA incorporated information from a 2012 assessment of spray drift exposure and as well as new restrictions put into place to limit spray drift.
In 2015, the Obama Administration’s EPA announced its intent to ban the chemical from all uses. However, the Trump Administration reversed that decision in March of 2017. Most recently, in mid-July the EPA announced it would not ban the chemical after being ordered by an appellate court to respond to environmental groups petitioning to see the toxin removed from commerce.
On Decembr 3, 2020, the EPA recommended the continued use of chlorpyrifos, however, with some new restrictions despite the fact that the chemical can cause adverse effects in humans, not just children. This is despite the mandate by the appellate court to respond to environmental groups, such as Earthustice, that even the new protections still fail to protect children from brain damage, significant memory problems, muscile and never issues, and the development of lower IQ in children.
As reported in Newsweek, “restrictions on chlorpyrifos proposed by the EPA include ‘label amendments limiting application to address potential drinking water risks of concern,’ efforts to mitigate risks related to ‘spray drift,’ a reduction in ‘exposure to non-target organisms’ and a mandate that farm works who handle the chemical wear additional personal protective equipment and take other safety measures.” The EPA under the Trump Administration continues to hold that “the science addressing neurodevelopmental effects” of chlorpyrifos “remains unresolved,” despite multiple studies over decades suggesting harm, including studies funded by EPA during earlier years.
Hand-signed SIGNATURE Copies
Pandemics play havoc on our lives. COVID-19 2020 is no exception. Be it as it may, the wait is worth it.
Since autographing my historical novels, CHOIR OF CLOISTERED CANARIES and DAUGHTERS OF THE DANCE (in print) is next to impossible, I have devised an appropriate alternative–a transparent label with my hand-signed signature on it that you can affix to your copy(ies). Each book will also receive an original monoprint bookmark made by me. An example of each is displayed below. (Each monoprinted bookmark is unique.)
Chlorpyrifos in Choir of Cloistered Canaries:
CHOIR OF CLOISTERED CANARIES is more than just the use of consonance alliteration. There is a critical “C” employed in the novel, and it is “Chlorpyrifos.”
What is “chlropyrifos?” Common commercial names are Brodan, Bolton insecticide, Chlorpyrifos-methyl, Cobalt, Detmol UA, Dowco 179, Dursban, Empire, Eradex, Hatchet, Lorsban, Nufos, Paqeant, Piridane, Scout, Stipend, Tricel, Warhawk, others. Identifiers. CAS Number. 2921-88-2. But what is it, really? But, but, but?
Chlropyrifos (aka chlorpyrifos-methyl) is an insecticide, a kind of pesticide, that attacks the nervous system to eliminate insects and worms on a range of food crops. However, extensive scientific studies over years have concluded that it also attacks the nervous system of young children’s brains as those of farm workers and animals.
In fact, the European Union voted in December 2019 to ban chlorpyrifos. Their scientific experts concluded that its use affects human health, in particular in relation to genotoxicity and developmental neurotoxicity. The World Health Organization banned it in 2000 for most household uses but still allows it to be applied to dozens of crops on over 40,000 farms. Due to economic trade-offs, it has been difficult to wean countries off the stuff. However, the allowable Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) of both EU food products and imports are being lowered to become effective in October 2020.
Instead of following the science, the Trump Administration is rejecting all scientific evidence of poisoning to humans, particularly, children’s brains, fetuses, and farm workers. Accordingly, the anti-science Administration refuses to ban the use of this neurotoxin. As toxic as it is, there is no apparent mitigating the harm it causes. In September 2020, the U.S. Environmental Agency has released its risk assessment, calling the toxic pesticide’s effects “unresolved” and allowing its continued use in a wide variety of agricultural products. A final decision on its use is pending.
Meanwhile, will American food products be banned from entering the European Union?
(CHOIR OF CLOISTERED CANARIES mentions Chlorpyrifos in pp. xv, xvi, xvii, 79, 80, 83, 141, 281.)
Click below for research study (2012), “Brain anomalies in children exposed prenatally to a common organophosphate pesticide [chlorpyrifos (CPF)]”
Virginia A. Rauh, Frederica P. Perera, Megan K. Horton, Robin M. Whyatt, Ravi Bansal, Xuejun Hao, Jun Liu, Dana Boyd Barr, Theodore A. Slotkin, Bradley S. PetersonProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences May 2012, 109 (20) 7871-7876; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1203396109
Is this historical novel a dystopia? It comes close to being one, for the cloistered canaries are us in the only home we have, planet Earth. In our lives, we all face many challenges, uncertainties, confusion, and victimization without knowing it as polluters continue to burden society by releasing more toxins into the air. As proverbial canaries in the coal mine, we want clean air to breathe so that we can live healthy lives. But when we are exposed to air pollution, expect the unexpected – diseases that remain elusive as greedy corporations manipulate government policies so that these preventable diseases can remain unspecified. This is the backdrop of the novel as the characters search for means to survive in an unpredictable world.
Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. An estimated 6.5 million premature deaths (1 out of 9 people) globally are linked to ambient air pollution, mainly from heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections in children. In addition, household air pollution (for example, volatile organic compounds (VOC) in personal hygiene and household products) is one of the leading causes of disease and premature death in the world. Over four million deaths are attributed to household air pollution annually. For example, fifty percent of pneumonia deaths in children under five are due to household air pollution. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
The novel introduces the reader to many characters described in a forthcoming blog and to alchemy – an ancient branch of natural philosophy, a philosophical and proto-scientific tradition that was pursued throughout Europe, Africa, Asia Minor, and Asia. Alchemists have attempted to purify, to develop, and to perfect certain materials in pursuit of prolonging longevity if not immortality. The practical aim of alchemy was to discover a cure for disease so as to extend life. Modern alchemy, however, takes place in illegal and legal drug laboratories: for example, opioids that include organic heroin or synthetic opioids such as fentanyl; prescribed pain relievers such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.
The notion of purifying our mind stream to reach enlightenment, the original alchemy, was lost in translation. From a focus of attaining supra-consciousness, the focus became converting base metal into gold. The story touches on another form of alchemy practiced today – manufacturing synthetic chemicals to replace what nature had produced in synchronicity with diverse life forms.
Since December 2019, the world has been faced with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) that has become pandemic. No one knows for sure the origin of the virus. The prevailing theory is that COVID-19 originated from a diseased wild animal while conspiracy theorists want us to believe it is a deliberate scheme by a nefarious laboratory seeking to blame government as a way to reduce the world’s population. The latter hyperbolic theory reminds me of a dog looking at where the bone is thrown instead of a lion looking at who threw the bone. As citizens on planet Earth, we need to look at who is throwing the bone to identify the source of these problems.
Notwithstanding, the saying, “the end justifies the means,” is not always justifiable. Good and moral acts (generated by good intentions) are those that contribute to the greatest amount of happiness and the least amount of suffering for the greatest amount of people. In other word, the “end justifies the means” when the moral gains of the ends are greater than the moral losses by the means (ethical altruism). Anything else is to say that, if the end is important enough to overrule any legal or moral limits (ethical egotism), it will have consequences detrimental to the welfare of others.
Let’s pay it forward for the benefit of others. It may mean consuming less and consuming consciously or other forces will be making the choices for you. Or at least, consuming consciously.
Overall, Choir of Cloistered Canaries is about love.
RELEASE IS FORTHCOMING in early August 2020 (delay due to COVID-19 pandemic| a head start
Armida Nagy Rose’s Choir of Cloistered Canaries reveals the inside story of a U.S. CDC epidemiologist about to retire from her long career of identifying and combating pandemics throughout the world. Political insights are not sparedThe second historical novel by the author, Choir of Cloistered Canaries: Symbols for Everything under the Sun and Moon, published by Page Publishing, is compelling on many fronts. It begins with a warning that President Eisenhower made in is farewell speech to the nation in 1961 about over consumption and toying with nature. From here, the reader is introduced to why his warning is material to our circumstances today when facing an unsympathetic environment that needs to be ethically understood scientifically.This compelling novel, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, offers historical background on why humanity has become the symbolic canary in the coal mine as forewarned by the 34th president of the United States. Environmental degradation due to pollutants was his message. He was the first visionary canary to warn us of consequences of cause and effect. In fact, it is no longer enough to just claim that melting glaciers are the canary in the coal mine for global warming.While in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Dr. Leitis S. Dennett, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, visits her estranged mother at a medical research center. Leitis cuts her visit short upon being called to join a Rapid Response Team in progress to Rome and to the Vatican City. Without prior notice, her unscheduled private meeting with Pope Hormisdas II, while facing Rafael’s fresco School of Athens, takes her on a journey ~ another laboratory of discovery ~ into the world of alchemy of the ancient Greeks and other alchemists in search for longevity and immortality. She hopes to find the lost meanings of ancient alchemical symbols for disease prevention that eventually reveal transformative secrets only to discover that such means have been within her all the time.Meanwhile, in the Italian countryside, a love affair blooms between Leitis and Dr. Hopkins Carr, a native of North Carolina, who end up becoming expats in the mountainous region of Panama.A common them of the author’s novels is the Third Reich’s continuing influence on the world to this day. She deals with the Third Reich’s role of altering chemistry for military and commercial purposes. In this story, too, is Hitler’s early search for the “mythical” Aryan race to claim his doctrine of a master race. Another setting of Choir for Cloistered Canaries is the Roman Catholic Church with the visionary Pope Hormisdas II who sees new hope for the spiritual growth of his followers as well as non-followers. Her first historical novel, Daughters of the Dance: A Mosaic of Seek & Find, also deals with the Third Reich envisioning Hitler’s European New Order in the Americas.The expression “choir of cloistered canaries” is a metaphor for those individuals who have become sensitive or intolerant to worldwide pollution resulting from fossil-fuel combustion. As healthy canaries, they spread joy with their song, leaving us with a sense of well-being. They sing that there is still a chance for a bright and safe future for all of life. As the author points out, “I prefer to be a canary in a choir rather than caged, and certainly not both.”A reviewer wrote, “I just finished a non-fiction book classified as a novel…The Catholic Church was highly praised, thanks to the fictitious Pope, including other religious beliefs. The book is intellectual, philosophical, historical, and romantic with samplings of literary nonfiction. The messages throughout the book are greatly appreciated, and my goal is to re-read and record the author’s thoughts. It was a joy.” ~ J. P. Kane, Retired Librarian.(Posted June 29, 2020)
Is this historical novel a dystopia?
It comes close to being one, for the cloistered canaries are us in this home we only have, planet Earth. Our lives face many challenges, uncertainties, confusion, including victimization without knowing it as polluters continue to engage society to emit unwittingly more toxins into the air. As proverbial canaries, we want clean air to breathe so that we can live healthy lives. But when we are exposed to air pollution, expect the unexpected – unknown and unspecified diseases that remain elusive as greedy corporations manipulate governmental systems so that the causes of these unspecified diseases, in particular, remain unspecified. This is the backdrop of the novel as the characters search the means to survive in an unpredictable world.
Accordingly, data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that 9 out of 10 people breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. An estimated 6.5 million premature deaths (1 out of 9 people) globally are linked to ambient air pollution, mainly from heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections in children. In addition, household air pollution (for example, volatile “synthetic” organic compounds (VOC) in personal hygiene and household products) is one of the leading causes of disease and premature death in the world. Over four million deaths are attributed to household air pollution annually. For example, fifty percent of pneumonia deaths in children under 5 are due to household air pollution. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
The novel introduces the reader to many characters (described in blog below). It also introduces the reader to alchemy – an ancient branch of natural philosophy, a philosophical and proto-scientific tradition that was pursued throughout Europe, Africa, Asia Minor, and Asia. Alchemists have attempted to purify, mature, and perfect certain materials when, in fact, it was a pursuit to prolong longevity if not immortality. The practical aim of alchemy was to discover a cure for disease so as to extend life. The modern alchemy takes place in illegal and legal drug laboratories: for example, opioids that include synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and heroin; prescribed pain relievers such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others.
The notion of purifying our mind stream to reach enlightenment, the original alchemy, was lost in translation. From attaining supra-consciousness, it became turning some base metal into gold. The story touches on another form of alchemy practiced today – manufacturing synthetic chemicals to replace what nature had produced in synchronicity with other life forms.
Since December 2019, the world is faced with the Coronavirus that has become a pandemic – known as COVID-19. No one knows for sure the origin of this virus. The governing theory is from a diseased wild animal while conspiracy theorists want us to believe it is a deliberate act by a government laboratory to cast blame on governments as a way to reduce the world’s population. The latter hyperbolic theory reminds me of a dog looking at where the bone is thrown instead of a lion looking at who threw the bone. As citizens on planet Earth, we need to look at who is throwing the bone to identify the sources of serious problems.
Notwithstanding, the saying, “the end justifies the means,” is not always justifiable. Good and moral acts (generated by intentions) are those that contribute to the greatest amount of happiness and the least amount of suffering for the greatest amount of people. In other word, the “end justifies the means” when the moral gains of the ends are greater than the moral losses by the means (ethical altruism). Anything else is to say that, if the end is important enough to overrule any legal or moral limits (ethical egotism), it will have detrimental consequences to the welfare of others.
Let’s pay it forward for the benefit of others, for, as proverbial canaries, we are many. It may mean consuming less or consuming consciously. (Posted May 15, 2020)
Characters, Places, & References to Characters
|Leitis Suanna Dennett||CDC scientist, protagonist|
|Izobel Gooderson||Leitis’s mother, U.S. citizen born abroad|
|Thelma J. Greyson||Director at new health center; a Scottish immigrant|
|Dr. Saddam Abbassi||Lead medical doctor at new health center; a Sufi immigrant|
|Patrick Murphy||Resident at new health center; Irish-American from Boston, Massachusetts|
|Mary Conley||Murphy’s daughter|
|Mr. Ailes||Concierge of new health center|
|Hisao Hatori||CDC scientist; Rapid Response team leader|
|Dr. Amador Acier||WHO senior scientist|
|Becky Short||Leitis’s childhood friend|
|Dr. Mark Dennett||Leitis’s spouse and Director of NIH Fogarty International Center|
|Dr. J. R. Patel||Environmental chemist, Duke University; Rapid Response team|
|Dr. Drew Hopkins-Carr||Biomedical engineer, University of South Carolina; Rapid Response team; fourth generation North Carolinan|
|Dr. Ariel Arion||Molecular scientist at new health center|
|Barend Heese||Dutch scientist; Rapid Response team|
|Guido Luca Salvatore||Italian citizen|
|Giovanni Baggio||Italian scientist; Rapid Response team|
|Jacque LaFabre||French scientist; Rapid Response team|
|Francoise d’Aubigne||French scientist; Rapid Response team|
|Maria & Giovanni Pollio||Siblings|
|Chapel Hill, North Carolina|
|Durham, North Carolina|
|University of North Carolina|
|The Vatican, Italy|
|Lakeside Restorative Research Center ( LRCC), aka Lakeside Center fictitious|
|Villa Gregoriana, Italy|
|Aeotera New Zealand|
|Raleigh-Durham International Airport, North Carolina|
|Leonardo da Vinci Airport|
|Raphael Rooms at the Vatican|
|Le Cento Fontane, Tivoli, Italy|
|Monte Zappi, Italy|
|Villa d’Este, Tivoli, Italy|
|Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi|
|Valle de Anton, Panama|
|El Boquete, Panama|
|Piazza Nazionale, Cretone, Italy|
|Lucretili Mons, mountain range in Italy|
|Monte Zappi, mountain in Italy|
|Monte Castillo Natural Reserve, Italy|
|Ural Mountain range, Iran/Iraq|
|Villa Adriana, Italy|
|La Yeghada, volcano in Panama|
|Temple of Sibilla, Italy|
|Mount Behistun, Iran|
|San Polo dei Cavalieri, Italy|
(Non-fictitious characters appear in boldface font)
|President Dwight D. Eisenhower||34th U.S. President of pardo heritage and who considered himself a progressive conservative|
|44th U.S. President, African-American and who was considered a progressive moderate|
John F. Kennedy
|35th U.S. President, Democrat|
|37th U.S. President, Republican|
|CIA agent, National Clandestine Services program|
|Harvey Oswald||CIA operative, National Clandestine Services program|
|Consultant at West Virginia University, West Virginia|
|Susan||Granddaughter of President Eisenhower|
|President Graf||Fictitious president of the 21st century|
|Labry||CEO of a leading chemical company|
|Izobel’s Maternal family branch||Sarah Ramona, Illa, Meira, Illa Ester, Mercedes|
|Martin Luther King, Jr.||American activist and author of Strength to Love|
|Andras Kalmar||Izobel’s father (aka Andrew King)|
|Mr. Kaska||Civilian personnelist at U.S. military installation in Panama, Pacific side|
|Mr. Rojas||Soldier of the Panama Independence War from Colombia|
|Pets||Satto, Rodrigo, Placido, Luciano, Onza,|
|Bill Yates||Illa Ester’s fiancé|
|Alberto Tobali||Illa Ester’s college boyfriend|
|Enrique||Illa Ester’s husband|
|Rhoda||Character in the film, “The Bad Seed”|
|Diallo Evans||Elementary friend of Leitis|
|Alan Beschner||Izobel’s high school boyfriend|
|Dr. Phillips||Leitist’s mentor|
|William Henry Hudson||Author of Green Mansions|
|Brent||Izobel’s ex-husband and Leitis’s father|
|Geoff||Izobel’s second ex-husband|
|Cassius||Geoff’s life-long friend|
|Aunt Helen||Andras Kalmar’s sister|
|Artists||Francesco Clemente, Margherite Morgantin, Willy Verginer|
|The Gasnar||Hungarian refugees|
|Nathan Thomas||Izobel’s former paramour|
|The Dalai Lama|
|Pat Downehill||Izobel’s nemesis|
|Vinny Russo||Custom corrupt officer|
|George Fence||Custom corrupt officer|
|Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar||Characters in the Hebrew Scriptures|
|Roxanne||Leitis’s office nemesis|
|Dr. Annis||Social science professor|
|Historians on the Third Reich||John Cornwell, Fritz Stern, Ian Kershaw, and|
Will L. Shirer
|Paul Wellstone||Senator of Minnesota|
|Albert DeSanti||Founding and director of a secondary therapeutic boarding school|
|Aurora Marchesi||Administrative contact at The Holy See|
|Miguel Ruiz||Author of neoshamanistic texts|
|Ruby Lee||Proprietor of a Montessori school|
|Theodore Vicenzo Davis||Izobel’s last partner (aka Ted)|
|Nikola Tesla||Serbian-American engineer and futurist|
|Claude Steiner||Author of The Original Warm Fuzzy, a fairy tale|
|Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm||Last German Emperor and King of Prussia|
|Carl Duisberg||CEO of Bayer|
|Robert Dougle||Thelma’s husband|
|Enlil||Sumerian god of wind….|
|Andrea Mantegna||16th century Italian painter (The Lamentation over the Dead Christ)|
|Plato & Aristotle||Greek philosophers|
|Marcus Vitruvius Pollio||Military Roman architect|
|Ippolito II d’Este||Roman Governor and Cardinal|
|Roman legends||Mars, Herukles, Romulus, Remus|
|Luigi de Gonzaga||St. Aloysius|
|Helen Koch Quittner||Residential patient at new health center|
|Mrs. M. Grieve||Maud; herbalist, folklorist, and writer|
|Andrew Carr, Jr.||Drew’s son|
|Phoebe Carr||Drew’s daughter|
|Alfredo Vargas||Charge d’affaires in Tehran, Iran|
|Hadrian||Italo-Hispanic Emperor of Rome|
|Eleanor Roosevelt||American political figure, diplomat, activist, and First Lady|
|Raphael||Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, Italy|
|Darius I||“Darius the Great,” third Persian king of the kings of the Achaemenid Empire|
|Alexander the Great||King of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty|
|Shakyamuni Buddha||Former Buddha|
|The Saka tribes||Primary Scythians in ancient times|
(Posted March 1, 2020)