EPA To Ban Common Pesticide

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday banned\r\nthe most widely used household and garden pesticide in the United\r\nStates -- Dursban.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday banned the most widely used household and garden pesticide in the United States -- Dursban.

The agency, after a lengthy scientific review, has concluded that the pesticide, chlorpyrifos -- sold under the trade name Dursban -- poses a risk to children because its potential effects on the nervous system and brain development.

"This action is good news for the protection of our country''s public health. It is good news for the environment," said EPA Administrator Carol M. Browner. "And it is particularly good news for children, who are among the most vulnerable to the risks posed by pesticides."

Dursban is one product of more than 800 containing the chemical chlorpyrifos. Chlorpyrifos is commonly found in many home-and-garden bug sprays. It is used in some treatments of termites. And it is used on some agricultural crops.

"We are turning off the manufacturer of this chemical ... for garden and home uses," said Browner.

She said the widely used insecticide is expected to be largely off store shelves by the end of this year, although the agency did not require a product recall and some retail sales may be allowed until December, 2001.

Dow AgroSciences, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical Co., the major manufacturer of the pesticide, has agreed to stop making the chemical for other than agricultural use.

For more information about chlorpyrifos or other pesticides go to www.epa.gov/pesticides.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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