Green Buckeye RN

Alliance Alert: EPA Seeks Comment on Use of Canceled Pesticide to Fight Bedbugs
January 13, 2010, 10:29 am
Filed under: Advocacy

The Ohio Department of Agriculture has requested the US EPA to allow it to use the banned pesticide “propoxur” to combat bedbugs under an emergency public health exemption. Citing the well publicized resurgence of bed bugs, and their increasing resistance to pyrethroid pesticides labeled for this type of use, Ohio requested that EPA temporarily allow use of propoxur to combat the pests. EPA effectively banned spray forms of propoxur in 2007 when it accepted a voluntary cancellation request from product manufacturers following nearly two decades of reviews and increasingly limited legal applications. Propoxur is highly neurotoxic and carcinogenic, and has been shown to remain in homes for long after its application.
The Alliance opposes an exemption to the propoxur ban and encourages healthy housing advocates to contact the EPA to urge them to deny Ohio’s request. Although the request would apply immediately only to Ohio, several states are reported to have expressed interest in replicating the request. The short-term benefits of propoxur use to address bedbugs are not worth the long-term risks to children and other occupants, especially given the availability of alternatives. Rather than rely on highly toxic sprays, bedbugs can and should be controlled through IPM methods, including limiting access, use of non-toxic steam or heat treatments, and minimum toxicity treatments.
For more information, please see EPA’s request for comments as well as a letter from Beyond Pesticides and others opposing the request. Comments are due January 21, and may be submitted at using docket number EPA–HQ–OPP–2009–0856.


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