A Los Angeles Court of Appeals will allow consumers to sue pest control companies that use EPA approved pesticides. Dow Chemical and other heavy-hitting chemical companies argued that EPA approval of the pesticides prevented consumers from seeking damages
under state law. The court will allow the jury to decide whether the pesticides' dangers outweigh their benefits but will not allow challenges against the EPA's label.
Attorneys claim the pesticides caused illnesses in one family's young daughter and unborn child despite their EPA approval. A pest control company treated Chad and Michelle Arnold's rental home with Dursban, Baygon, and Dragnet. At the time, all chemicals were EPA approved. Dursban lost its EPA approval in 2000.
The Arnolds' daughter Ashley, 18 months old when spraying began, was hospitalized several times with illnesses such as hepatitis
. Michelle Arnold was three months pregnant with daughter Alexa when spraying began. Alexa was born with mental retardation
and partial paralysis
. The suit attributes the girls' medical problems to the pesticides.Further Dursban Information
Before Dursban, also known as chlorpyrifos, was banned, the substance was the most widely used household pesticide produced in the United States. It was an ingredient used for a broad range of lawn and home insecticide products, for agricultural purposes, and for termite treatment. When reports emerged linking Dursban with severe neurological disorders, the EPA conducted a complete evaluation of the substance, concluding that Dursban pesticide, which is reportedly a relative of nerve gases developed by the Nazis during World War II, should be banned for nearly all household uses.
All uses of Dursban were phased out in areas where children were most likely to be exposed, including schools, daycare centers, parks, recreation areas, hospitals, nursing homes, stores and malls. In addition, the EPA significantly lowered the allowable residues for several foods regularly eaten by children, such as tomatoes, apples and grapes.
In December 2003, Dow AgroSciences, LLC, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical, agreed to pay a $2 million penalty for illegally advertising safety claims about Dursban in New York State between 1995 and 2003.
- Toxic & Hazardous Substances
- Head, Spinal Cord, Brain & Nerve Disorders: Overview
- Hepatitis: Overview
- Mental Retardation: Overview
- Pancreatitis: Overview
- Paralysis: Overview