Are Fumigants Going Away or Not?


A few weeks ago I commented on the removal of Fumitoxin and generally, Aluminum and Magnesium Phosphide, from any residential use. The banning of these products was directly related to the deaths of two innocent children in Utah, at the hands of an apparently untrained pest control applicator. (I am told that the use record for ground fumigants by the California pest controllers is very clean).

The EPA was right to send a message to the pest control industry that something had to be done, but perhaps they did not think out the ramifications, as the ban has now been recinded for 18 months. Is it that statutes simply require an 18 month transition period, or is it a cover for the lack of forethought on the part of the EPA? Perhaps they started thinking about potential deaths from strychnine, other baits and other methods that will inevitably be used to solve gopher problems? Since the need to solve gopher problems won’t go away, the danger of misapplications still exists.

I am not in a position to know all the details and I am not a mind reader. But perhaps the EPA, the fume manufacturers and the pest control industry should do some real constructive thinking rather than think about profit and constituencies. Then perhaps there would be some true headway into reducing risks associated with gopher treatments.

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