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Environment

Diazinon Insecticides For Home, Garden To Be Phased Out

by BETTE HILEMAN
August 23, 2004 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 82, ISSUE 34

EPA has canceled registrations for dozens of residential lawn care and garden products containing the organophosphate insecticide diazinon [Fed. Reg., 69, 48864]. These products are sold under various trade names such as Dragon Diazinon Granules, Ortho Diazinon Insect Spray, and Scotts Lawn Insect Control. The move does not affect agricultural and commercial uses of diazinon.

The cancelation implements an agreement that EPA made with manufacturers in 2000 to phase out the products. The accord was reached after an EPA risk assessment concluded that diazinon poses risks to children and residential applicators.

Diazinon, one of the most popular insecticides for residential settings, has been used for more than 40 years. Before 2000, about 11 million lb of active ingredient was used each year in diazinon products.

The manufacture of residential diazinon products is now prohibited, but stores can continue to sell existing stock until Dec. 31. In commercial agriculture, diazinon is used on fruits and vegetables.

In 2000, Syngenta announced that it would stop making diazinon. At that time, the company said it wanted to concentrate its efforts on newer products with potentially greater profit margins. A number of pyrethroids and permethrin-based insecticides can be used to substitute for diazinon, says Coby Long, insecticide brand manager at Syngenta. The only remaining producer of the active ingredient diazinon is Israel-based Makhteshim-Agan Industries.

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