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Daily News Blog

20
Feb

Take Action: Tell Your Governor to Ban Bug Bombs

(Beyond Pesticides, February 20, 2018) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) label restrictions on total release foggers, otherwise known as “bug bombs,” are a public health failure. Bug bombs pose a significant risk of acute illness to individuals even when they attempt to follow new label instructions. Beyond Pesticides has long called for bug bombs to be banned, as there are a myriad of non-toxic alternative strategies to successfully manage household pests.

Urge your Governor to ban bug bombs in your state!

Bug bombs are small cans primarily comprised of an insecticide, often a synthetic pyrethroid, a synergist such as piperonyl butoxide (PBO), and an aerosol propellant. In addition to the explosion/fire risk if the aerosol product is used in an unattended home near a pilot light or other spark-producing appliance, both synthetic pyrethroids and PBO pose acute and chronic human health risks. PBO is added to pesticide formulations to increase the toxicity of synthetic pyrethroids, and has been linked to childhood cough. Peer-reviewed research associates synthetic pyrethroids with behavioral disorders, ADHD, and delayed cognitive and motor development, and premature puberty in boys. Not only can bug bombs acutely poison, but once applied these chemicals can persist in the home for over a year, putting individuals and families at risk of chronic exposure and subsequent health issues.

CDC’s report, Acute Illnesses and Injuries Related to Total Release Foggers, updates a previous study released in 2008 with new data reveals that EPA’s attempt to reduce bug bomb illness and injury through label changes was unsuccessful. Looking at records from 2007-2015, a total of 3,222 unique cases of illness and injury were reported. The report indicates, “No statistically significant reduction in overall incidence of TRF [total release fogger]-associated injuries and illnesses was observed in the first 3 years after the label revisions took effect.” Incidents ranged from failing to leave an area after releasing the bug bomb, reentering the premises too early, use of too many products for the space provided, and even explosions related to the ignition of aerosols released from the product.

Urge your Governor to ban bug bombs in your state!

With EPA’s failure to protect people from the aptly named “bombs,” it is important for states to take action to protect citizens. If you have had problems with these products, please add your own experience to the suggested letter below.

Letter to Governor:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that EPA label restrictions on total release foggers, otherwise known as “bug bombs,” are a public health failure. Bug bombs pose a significant risk of acute illness to individuals even when attempting to follow new label instructions. There are a myriad of non-toxic alternative strategies to successfully manage household pests. Most common pest problems can be successfully dealt with by eliminating pest entryways into the home (i.e. caulking cracks/crevices, door sweeps, repairs, etc.), and sealing off access to food, water, and shelter (i.e. clean often, remove clutter, seal food in airtight containers, tight lid on trash can). Remaining pests can be dealt with through least-toxic products such as boric acid bait stations and desiccating dusts. (Use a mask when using these products.) Many pests, such as bed bugs, display widespread resistance to the pyrethroid insecticides contained in most bug bombs.

Several high profile incidents, including a 10-month-old boy in Williamston, SC who died after his mother used several bug bombs in their home, prompted EPA to conduct an evaluation of total release foggers, resulting in the ineffective label changes. The New York City Department of Health asked EPA to make these products restricted use, and the state of New York began moving toward similar actions at the state level, but to date no substantive restrictions have been placed on bug bombs by EPA.

Ventilation, as recommended by EPA, is not sufficient. The CDC report notes, “Some users ventilated treated premises for the recommended length of time or longer, but still became ill, suggesting that ventilation might be inadequate or the recommended period might be insufficient to fully eliminate TRF [total release fogger] residuals before occupancy.”

Please protect our citizens from these dangerous “bombs.” Thank you.

Urge your Governor to ban bug bombs in your state!

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  • Archives

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    • ALS (2)
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