Wednesday, January 10, 2007
EPA Phase Out of Diazinon
EPA to Phase Out Diazinon By Peter Eisler USA TODAY WASHINGTON--The government will announce a ban today on the insecticide diazinon, the last widely used pest-control product made from a class of chemicals linked to health risks for children. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached a voluntary agreement with diazinon's chief manufacturer, Syngenta, to phase out all home and garden applications of the pesticide over the next four years, according to sources familiar with the deal. Used in everything from household ant and roach killers to grub-killing lawn sprays, diazinon is marketed under such brands as Ortho, Spectracide and Real-Kill. The agreement is a major milestone in pesticide regulation, effectively marking the end of organophosphates, or OPs, chemicals derived from nerve gas agents developed during World War II. Once among the nation's most widely used pesticides, OPs were singled out for a regulatory crackdown six years ago amid studies linking them to neurological disorders and other health problems in children.'' All of these chemicals act through the same biochemical mechanism in the brain . . . they all occupy the same chemical family as sarin nerve gas,'' said Philip Landrigan of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, leader of a coalition of pediatricians seeking to abolish the use of OP pesticides. Under the Food Quality Protection Act of 1996, Congress ordered sweeping safety reviews of all pesticides, starting with OPs. But thousands of pesticide uses have yet to be evaluated. Chemical and agriculture interests have fought the process, arguing that the EPA is targeting safe pesticides needed to protect crops. Diazinon manufacturers say the product poses no health threat with normal application, and the EPA, which considers it less risky than other banned OPs, will continue to allow some commercial crop uses. But Syngenta officials say they can't justify paying for new studies needed to prove diazinon's safety for consumer use. The EPA's agreement to a phase out ''confirms the value and safety of this product,'' Syngenta's Eileen Watson said. Environmental and consumer groups urged retailers to halt diazinon sales immediately. ''This is probably the best EPA could do for consumers in the face of pressure from a pesticide industry that's exposed people to unsafe products for decades,'' said Richard Wiles of the Environmental Working Group. ''Policy here is slowly catching up to science.'' Yardiac.com still has Diazinon in stock -- stayed tuned for more details! You may elect to use one of our, proven environmentally friendly, alternatives. We offer a diverse selection of organic products.