The following article is from The Oregonian, June 8, 2000, p A1
HOUSEHOLD PESTICIDE BANNED
The EPA says chlorpyrifos now used in hundreds of consumer products,
poses a health risk to children
By H. JOSEF HEBERT, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Citing health risks to children, the Environmental
Protection Agency today banned one of the most common pesticides for use
in gardens and homes, while curtailing its application in agriculture.
The agency, after a lengthy review, has concluded that the
pesticide, chlorphyrifos - sold under the trade names Dursban and
Lorsban - poses a risk to children becuase of its potential effects on
the nervous system and possibly brain development.
"We are turning off the manufacturer of this chemical...for garden
and home uses," said Carol Browner, head of the EPA. She said the widely
used insecticide is expected to be largely off store shelves by the end
of the year, although the agency did not require a product recall. Some
retail sales may be allowed until December, 2001.
Dow AgroSciencen, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical, which is the leading
manufacturer of the pesticide, said it remained convinced the chemical
was safe if used properly, but that "it no longer made business sense in
the current regulatory environment" to continue making the chemical for
other than agricultural uses.
For decades one of the most widely used insecticides, chlorpyrifos
is found on everything from pet flea collars to garden and lawn
chemicals and indoor bug sprays. It also has been used widely in
agriculture to protect fruits, vegetables and grains from insects.
Under an agreement that heads off further regulations, Dow Chemical
and five other lesser producers immediately will halt production of
chlorpyrifos for virtually all non-agricultural uses. The EPA also will
impose tighter restrictions on its use on some agricultural products,
specially apples and grapes, and ban its use on tomatoes. These
restrictions are designed to eliminate the chemical's resideues on foods
often consumed by children.
The decision not to remove products containing chlorpyrifos from
store shelves prompted complaints from some environmental and health
"Whe the EPA identifies hazards it should stop their use," said Jay
Feldman, executive director of the National Coalition Against the Misues
"There's concern that these products are going to remain on the
shelves" and that the insecticide will continue - although at much
reduced levels - be used in agriculture, said David Wallinga, a
scientist for the National Resources Defense Council. He said that under
the EPA phase-out, existing stocks of Dursban may continue to be sold
for household and garden use for 18 months.
Hundreds of consumer products contain the chemical compound, and
many people can be expected to buy the products - bug sprays and lawn
and garden insecticides, for example - this summer not knowing of the
health risks, said Wallinga, who nevertheless called the EPA action "a
Manufacturers in lengthy negotiations strongly opposed a recall.
Browner said that getting a voluntary agreement to halt production was
"the fastest possible action that we could have taken" to phase out the
chemicals use in homes, gardens, parks, schools and other areas
frequented by children. Any other approach would have resulted in years
of litigation, Browner said.
Elin Miller, a Dow AgroScience vice president, said that under the
agreement the company would continue to supply the pesticide until
October. She said retail sales of existing stocks will continue to be
allowed until the end of 2001. But Browner said the halt in production
and the availabiity of alternatives largely will dry up the market by
the end of the year.
Posted as a courtesy by
Daniel B. Wheeler
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