Lewis used three North Korean scientific papers to draw conclusions about the country's ability to create UDMH.
"North Korea is hardly so backwards that UDMH production would come as a surprise," Lewis wrote in September.
Based on preliminary data on its cancer potency--as suggested by an EPA risk assessment reported last month -- the researchers say UDMH contributes 86 to 96 percent of the cancer risk in the produce typically consumed by preschoolers.
* Parents wash produce in soapy water (although that won't remove all chemicals, such as UDMH).
of Middlebury, Conn., sole maker of the product, four years to provide better toxicology data on both daminozide and its potent breakdown product, UDMH
Though several toxicology tests in the 1970s showed that the chemical--and its primary breakdown product, UDMH (1,1-dimethylhydrazine) -- could cause several different cancers in rats and mice, these studies never triggered a challenge of the chemical's status.
These included residue data showing that daminozide is present "at significant levels" in both fresh produce and processed foods, Lapsley says, and evidence demonstrating for the first time "that daminozide was converting to UDMH in the human body." According to a toxicology study conducted in 1973, UDMH is probably 1,000 times more carcinogenic than the parent compound, Lapsley says.