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April 20, 2004

Insecticide Safety

For those of you that use an in-home bugspray, especially those with children, this link will dramatically improve chemical safety for your family. The most commonly used(and the only available insecticide sold at Home Depot or Lowe's) in-home insecticide -Durisban- has been banned as of the end of this year by the EPA for causing neural damage in humans. Durisban is an organophosphate, as are many "nerve gas" chemical weapons, that attacks the central nervous system of bugs... and humans.

A safe alternative is D-limonene, the major component in orange peel extract. It is approved by the EPA for use around children, pets and food. Unfortunately, LOWES not longer carries it, neither does home dump. I suspect after observing their(LOWES) increased stock of Durisban products that they are profiting from selling Durisban -a banned product of reduced cost to them- before the deadline. This link and others available(just use the keyword "D-limonene" and "insecticide" in a google search). I can attest to the effectiveness of the orange peel extract as it has killed every bug sprayed with it. It also has a 3-4 week repellent function.

According to the makers of Orange Guard, "All ingredients can be found on the FDA GRAS list (generally recognized as safe) and are food grade. Orange Guard for Ornamental Plants is OMRI listed (Organic Materials Review Institute) as allowed for use in organic production.

However, there are other alternatives. At the same time, Dursban remains on store shelves. While the EPA claimed to have banned Dursban, it did not recall the product already in circulation. It also did nothing to limit the use of dozens of chemically related pesticides called organophosphates that are still on the market. According to this In 1996 alone, 1,109 people reported being sickened by exposure to Dursban, and one person died. Some victims who are especially vulnerable to the pesticide suffer chronic problems ranging from learning and memory deficits to anxiety and fatigue. "

From Preventing Harm:

The EPA has banned over-the-counter sales of Dursban, an organophosphate pesticide also known as chlorpyrifos. Organophosphates decrease DNA synthesis in the developing brain resulting in reduced numbers of brain cells. In animal tests, exposure to chlorpyrifos during gestation led to neurochemical and behavioral effects.
Dursban is one of the most commonly used pesticides in U.S. homes. It is also used for lawns and gardens, and commercial agriculture. Recent studies indicate that a metabolite of chlorpyrifos is present in the urine of over 80 percent of adults and 90 percent of children in the United States.

The EPA has not yet eliminated all uses of Dursban and other organophosphates. The continued use of these chemicals is likely to cause damage to the developing brain. Together we now need to work towards eliminating all remaining uses of chlorpyrifos and to utilize safer alternatives to hazardous pesticides.

From the [url=http://www.epa.gov/epahome/headline_0608.htm]EPA[/url]:

To protect children and public health, EPA and the manufacturer of the pesticide Dursban have agreed to eliminate its use for nearly all household purposes and to move to significantly reduce residues of it on several foods regularly eaten by children.

Dursban, also known as chlorpyrifos, is the most widely used household pesticide produced in the U.S. It is an ingredient used for a broad range of lawn and home insecticide products, for agricultural purposes, and for termite treatment. Under the agreement, production will cease and there will be a phase-out of all home, lawn and garden uses, and the vast termite control uses.

"Chlorpyrifos is part of a class of older, riskier pesticides, some going back 50 years. Exposure to these kinds of pesticides can cause neurological effects. Now that we have completed the most extensive evaluation ever conducted on the potential health hazards from a pesticide, it is clear that the time has come to take action to protect our children from exposure to this chemical," said EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner.

The agreement mandates that all uses will be phased out this year in areas where children could be exposed, including schools, daycare centers, parks, recreation areas, hospitals, nursing homes, stores and malls. In addition, the agreement calls for canceling or significantly lowering allowable residues for several foods regularly eaten by children, such as tomatoes, apples and grapes. These actions will be taken by the beginning of the next growing season.

Posted by Blogorithm at April 20, 2004 10:44 PM

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