What is Dursban insecticide?
Dursban (or chlorpyrifos) is a highly toxic chemical belonging to the organophosphates family. Organophosphates are related to nerve-gas. Dursban is generally used as an active ingredient in lawn care and pest control products to eliminate ants, cockroaches, aphids, fleas, wasps, and spiders, and other agricultural pests.
How do Organophosphate insecticides work?
Organophosphate insecticides, including Dursban, work by interrupting the electrochemical processes that nerves use to communicate with muscles and with other nerves. This causes a build-up in the chemical acetylocholine. Eventually, the build-up of acetylocholine in the muscles causes over-stimulations, resulting in paralysis an death.
Dursban insecticide was "banned" by the EPA from commercial and residential use in 2001. After the United States Environmental Protection Agency found Dursban to pose serious health risks to women and children through pesticide residue present in food, Dursban and other similar pesticides were gradually phased off the market beginning in 2001.
Why are some Dursban products still available for use?
Companies with stockpiles of products containing Dursban may still sell these products until the stockpiles run out. In some cases, this may take several years.