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Information @ a Glance

General

  • On May 11, 2009 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revoked regulations that permitted small residues of the pesticide carbofuran on food starting in December of 2009.
  • Carbofuran is a toxic insecticide that does not meet current U.S. food safety standards. EPA’s action will eliminate residues of carbofuran in food, including all imports, in a move to protect people, especially children, from dietary risk.
  • Carbofuran is among the most highly toxic pesticides known to birds. A single granule is lethal, and more than fifty species, including Bald and Golden Eagle, Eastern Bluebird, Great Horned Owl, Red-tailed Hawk, Kestrel, Northern Pintail, and Blue-winged Teal, have been documented as having died from carbofuran poisoning.

Toxicity

  • It is extremely toxic to birds, fish, and bees.
  • No cases of human lethality have been reported as a result of carbofuran exposure. However, there were cases of carbofuran intoxication in applicators and formulators primarily following inhalation . Symptoms from inhalation exposure included mild and reversible symptoms of acetylcholinesterase depression such as malaise, sweating, light-headedness, nausea, blurred vision, hypersalivation, and vomiting.
  • These symptoms were observed within two hours of exposure and the affected persons apparently recovered completely within five to six hours without treatment, or within the half hour with atropine.
  • No reports of longer-term epidemiological studies on the effects of carbofuran have been found.

FIRE FIGHTING MEASURES

  • Not flammable. Toxic dust and irritating fumes may be produced during fires.Extinguish small fires with carbon dioxide, dry chemical, water spray or standard foam.
  • For larger fires, use dry chemical, "alcohol" foam, Halon, or carbon dioxide to fight fire.Fire may produce irritating or poisonous vapours (toxic oxides of nitrogen), mists or other products of combustion. Fire-fighters and others that may be exposed should wear full protective clothing and selfcontained breathing apparatus.

USES

  • Carbofuran use has expanded to such United States crops as bananas, pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelons, cantaloupes, squash, dry harvested cranberries, and spinach grown for seed. Carbofuran is registered to be used on sugar cane, rice, corn, alfalfa, cotton, and grapes in California. The reported quantity of carbofuran used in California in 1995 was 248,061 pounds.

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