Ohio Seeks Emergency Pesticide Exemption to Fight Bed Bugs

The Ohio Department of Agriculture is seeking an emergency exemption that would allow the use of the insecticide propoxur, which is used in commercial buildings.

November 13, 2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Faced with a growing invasion of bed bugs, Ohio has asked the federal government for permission to turn them back with a pesticide that is not labeled for use in homes, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

The department asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Oct.23 for an emergency exemption to allow the use of Propoxur in residences.

More than a dozen other states are supporting the request.

The Environmental Working Group, which recently backed a call to remove propoxur from pet collars, urged caution. It's best to reduce human exposure to such chemicals, said Leeann Brown, a spokeswoman for the nonprofit group based in Washington.

During the next two months or so, the EPA will have to weigh the risks of allowing more Propoxur to be used against the growing threat of bedbugs, said Matt Beal, assistant chief at the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

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Source: Columbus Dispatch