Unsafe pesticide

Published: Tuesday 30 November 1999

one of the most popular pesticides used in the us, Dursban, may be unsafe for humans, say officials from the us Environment Protection Agency ( epa) . Any exposure to Dursban can lead to blurred vision, muscle weakness, headaches and depression, they say. Dursban, a pesticide manufactured by Dow Chemical, is widely used in gardens, fields and homes. It is also used for killing insects, cockroaches and termites.

"Dursban is of particular concern to us as data from two studies have suggested that humans are as sensitive and possibly more sensitive than animals," said the epa.

More than nine million kg of Dursban are used annually in the us . epa 's scientific analysis of Dursban is part of a mammoth project to check for pesticide residue in food, drinking water and households.

However, the company has said that the epa 's analysis are misleading: "Three decades of use have shown that unless there is serious misuse, our products have wide margins of safety that protect consumers."

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