Diazinon Phase-Out
by Donna L. Gagnon

On December 5, 2000, the United States Environmental Protection Agency announced an agreement to phase-out diazinon, one of the most widely used pesticides in the United States, for indoor uses, beginning in March 2001, and for all lawn, garden and turf uses by December 2003.

For indoor household use, all retail sales will stop by December 2002. For all lawn, garden and turf uses, manufacturing stops in June 2003; all sales and distribution to retailers ends in August 2003.

Carol M. Browner, EPA Administrator, explained that the phase-out will “significantly eliminate the vast majority of organophosphate insectide products in and around the home . . . it will help encourage consumers to move to safer pest control practice.”

Organophosphates can affect the nervous system. The effects from diazinon vary depending on the dose but symptoms from over-exposure can include nausea, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, and general weakness. Diazinon’s use on turf poses a risk to birds and it is one of the most commonly found pesticides in air, rain, and drinking and surface water.

It is legal to purchase and use diazinon products according to label directions and precautions. Consumers should take special care to always read and follow the label directions and precautions. If consumers choose to discontinue use, they should contact their state or local hazardous waste disposal program or the local solid waste collection service for information on proper disposal.

There are alternative insect control methods, other than using diazinon, especially for carpenter ant infestations, such as borate-based dusts or baits, diatomaceous earth (DE) with pyrethrins, garlic sprays, silica aerogels, and sticky barriers.

Additional information can be found at:

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