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Daily News Archive
From June 14, 2002

Travellers Concerned About Harmful Pest Management Practices at Vacation Destinations

Eric Danese sent us this photo that he took while vacationing in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware in 1995. When leaving his hotel to head for the beach, Mr. Danese was shocked to see a maintenance worker dumping Dursban around the outside of the hotel. The hotel employee was spreading the insecticide in front of someone's window and next to the ice machine where people stop to fill their coolers of a day on the beach.

Although the photo was taken from a moving vehicle, you can still make out the white trail the Dursban is leaving around the hotel. Also notice the lack of protective clothing worn by the maintenance worker. Mr. Danese saw the man use 2 bags to treat 3000 square feet of flower beds.

Chlorpyrifos, the active ingredient in Dursban, is a neurotoxic organophosphate insecticide, which had many of its uses phased-out in an agreement between EPA and the pesticide industry in June 2000. Although Dursban can no longer be purchased for the use shown in this picture, existing stocks purchased before 2002 may still be used under the agreement. Chlorpyrifos exposure has been linked to birth defects in children and degenerative diseases of the nervous system.