Image: niXerKG via flickr
More than 2,800 customers in the U.S. may have purchased an ant-control product that contains a pesticide that was banned in 1978. The product is called Fast Ant Bait, and was found to contain mirex, a pesticide the EPA says was banned in 1978 because of risks it poses to the liver, skin, reproductive and nerve systems. The EPA issued a warning last week after learning from the Washington State Department of Health that a woman became ill after using it in her home. The warning was issued to customers of fastpestcontrol.com, where the chemical was originally sold, but the EPA has identified and warned three other online companies—2Checkout.com Inc., CCNow, Inc. and eBay Inc.—to stop processing orders for the Chinese-made product. (The companies cooperated.)
"Illegal pesticides are often much more toxic than approved pesticides," said Steve Owens of the EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. It's particularly disturbing, considering the EPA doesn't always have the highest standards on chemical safety to begin with.
"When EPA takes a pesticide off the market, it means that pesticide was not safe. Consumers should use only EPA-registered pesticides and always follow the label directions to ensure their safety," he continued.
The EPA said that the companies also helped them with sales information in order to contact customers directly. The letter sent to customers, which provides details about safe cleanup and disposal of the product and tips for people who may have been exposed, is available online.
More on the EPA and pesticides:
Bayer's Toxic Pesticide: Biggest EPA Fail of the Year? Of the Decade?
EPA Bans Use of A Pesticide That's Been in Use Since 1970
12 Vegetables with the Most Pesticides (Slideshow)
Pesticide Lobby Blames Organics for Americans Not Eating More Veggies