Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | July 28, 2008

Lawyer Sanders says US EPA moves to ban FMC’s Furadan from US market because of unreasonable risk of harm to human health and environment.

FMC markets carbofuran, a pesticide, as “Furadan” in the United States.  According to FMC’s website, Furadan insecticide-nematicide has been the standard for insect control for more than 25 years. Used as both an at-plant and a foliar insecticide, Furadan provides control of both soil and above ground pests – corn rootworms, alfalfa weevil, 1st generation European corn borer and aphids – on key crops like corn, alfalfa and cotton and more.  The trade name Furadan is used by FMC for the chemical carbofuran.

However, U.S. EPA has concluded that dietary, worker, and ecological risks are of concern for all uses of carbofuran. All products containing carbofuran generally cause unreasonable adverse effects on humans and the environment and do not meet safety standards, and therefore are ineligible for re-registration.

Carbofuran is a white crystalline solid with a slightly phenolic odor. This broad spectrum insecticide is sprayed directly onto soil and plants just after emergence to control beetles, nematodes and rootworm. The greatest use of carbofuran is on alfalfa and rice, with turf and grapes making up most of the remainder. Earlier uses were primarily on corn crops.  

Carbofuran is a systemic insecticide, which means that the plant absorbs it through the roots, and from here the plant distributes it throughout its organs (mainly vessels, stems and leaves; not the fruits), where insecticidal concentrations are attained. Carbofuran also has contact activity against pests. Carbofuran usage has increased in recent years because it is one of the few insecticides effective on soybean aphids.

Short-term health effects: EPA has found carbofuran to potentially cause the following health effects when people are exposed to it at levels above the MCL for relatively short periods of time: headache, sweating, nausea, diarrhea, chest pains, blurred vision, anxiety and general muscular weakness. These effects are reversible.

Long-term health effects: Carbofuran has the potential to cause the following health effects from long-term exposures at levels above the MCL: damage to the nervous and reproductive systems.

EPA will accept public comments on the proposed tolerance revocation for 60 days. For more information go to: epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/carbofuran/carbofuran_noic.htm

 
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