Chlorpyrifos – The Problems Dow Faced
The main company producing Chlorpyrifos is the Dow Chemical Company in the USA. It was introduced in 1965 and it quickly grew to become a widely used pesticide in the country, especially when it came to home and garden use. It was being marketed under the names Lorsban and Dursban. In the mid-nineties, the company had to pay a huge fine because it had information of around 250 incidents of poisoning from its products and it never forwarded the information reports to the EPA or the Environmental Protection Agency in the US.
There have been tolerance levels set by both the EPA and the FDA when it comes to chemicals. The company manufacturing Chlorpyrifos has to report any release or spill that is over a pound in weight to the authorities and it is also stated that children should not be allowed to drink water than contains Chlorpyrifos in levels upwards of .03 mg a liter. Agricultural produce too should not contain more than 0.05-15 ppm (parts per million).
The trouble is, the Dow Chemical Company knew full well that as Chlorpyrifos is a compound that is semi-volatile, it tends to volatize after it is sprayed or applied and then it settles back on the surface of any object in the vicinity. This would be disastrous when it is used at home – and if it were to settle on a child’s toy or in pets’ food. However, this was a well kept secret that the company chose not to divulge to their consumers, always stating that their products were safe.
In 2001, the company was constrained from supplying products for the home and the use of their products was mainly for the agricultural industry. However, there are concerns now that maybe the residues on the produce will also affect human health. Considering that they have maintained that their products are safe for humans and animals, there might be a rude awakening soon for a company that chose to profit hugely at the expense of its consumers’ health.