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Ban On Controversial Pesticide Begins Friday

Dow Chemical will be banned from selling Dursban, a controversial pesticide builders have used to protect new homes from termites that has been linked to studies citing neurological damage in young children and animals, beyond this Friday. The company lobbied the EPA last week for an extension of the ban, arguing those studies chlorphyrifos, the generic name for Dursban, were flawed.

Dow's primary defense against these charges: Children are protected from exposure to the pesticide by the layers of plastic and concrete that cover the ground beneath new homes. Still, builders applied hundreds of MILLIONS of gallons of this toxic pesticide before laying foundations. And the company can still continue to sell its existing stock of Dursban through the end of 2005, according to a gradual phaseout negotiated between Dow and the EPA.

This doesn't news doesn't spell the end of Dursban, however. This pesticide is also applied to crops and golf courses and used to control mosquitoes and there are no bans planned for these uses.

Just to show you how low companies will go to make money: A piece I posted two years ago from the RedFlagsWeekly Web site cited a study Dow launched in a failed attempt to overturn the ban in which healthy teens were fed Dursban pills!

Washington Post December 29, 2004

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