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Is the EPA Safeguarding Public Health?

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On June 2, 2006, the Natural Resources Defense Council filled a petition with the Environmental Protection Agency to take immediate steps to remove a highly toxic household pesticide, dichlorvos (DDVP) from the market. DDVP a known carcinogen (studies have shown that DDVP causes cancer), is commonly found in pest strips, aerosol sprays and pet collars. Yuck! And we put this stuff on our pets? I don’t!

The NRDC kindly pointed out in the petition that in 1995 the EPA published a preliminary decision to ban all home uses of DDVP. This came on the heels of a deal that the EPA cut with Amvac, the manufacturer of DDVP, which will allow the toxic pesticide to stay on the market. You can find DDVP in products like Amvac Insect Strip, Swat Pest Strip, and Alco No Pest Strip.

The EPA states in the forward of the Office of Pesticide Programs Annual Report for 1995, Publication Number: EPA 730-R-95-002, Date: December 1995:

“EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) is making significant progress in carrying out its important responsibilities - - safeguarding public health and the environment from pesticide risks, and ensuring that pesticides are regulated fairly and efficiently.”

The 1995 report states:

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From the Organic Authority Files

“OPP issued a proposal to minimize the cancer and neurological risks of the insecticide dichlorvos (DDVP) in September 1995. Dichlorvos is used to control pests in the home, on livestock and manure, and in warehouses. The Agency is proposing to cancel some uses of dichlorvos, including all residential uses and use on stored food. Additional uses could be cancelled unless certain changes, such as restrictions on reentry into treated areas and prohibition of use except by licensed applicators wearing protective clothing, are incorporated into product labels.”

My question to the EPA: What happened to carrying out “. . . important responsibilities - - - safeguarding public health and the environment from pesticide risks . . . ?” Did we forget that part?

DDVP driven from a WWII nerve agent it is part of a group of pesticides known as organophosphates. This class of pesticides is one of the most dangerous pesticides on the market.

Symptoms of the DDVP poisoning include flu-like symptoms, headaches, nausea, dizziness, and death in big doses. The chemical is banned in Great Britain, Denmark and Sweden.

Aaron Colangelo an NRDC attorney states in a press release, "The agency's continuing failure to protect public health is unlawful and inexcusable . . . We will pursue a full administrative trial. If EPA denies our petition, we will seek review in federal court."

To be continued . . .

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