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EPA Forbids Use of Cadmium Salt Fungicides on Home Lawns and Fairways

August 6, 1987

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday forbade the use of cadmium salt fungicides on home lawns and golf course fairways and severely restricted use on golf course greens and tees.

The agency said the risk of cancer and kidney damage to those applying it was too high.

Cadmium salt fungicides have been used for almost 40 years, almost all of them on golf courses to control turf diseases such as Copper Spot, Red Thread and Snow Mold. About 2 percent of the nation’s golf courses - 8 percent in the Midwest - use around 30,000 pounds of the chemicals every year.

When it proposed stopping cadmium use nearly a year ago, the agency said it assumed that greens and tees were sprayed with hand-held sprayers, but now it has learned that most courses use power spray equipment. These power sprays, either pushed by hand or towed by small utility vehicles, may pose lower risks to applicators.

EPA ordered manufacturers to submit data on exposure of operators of such equipment by July 1988 and said it would take further action if it judged the risks to applicators too great. In the meantime, the agency ordered cadmium salt fungicides restricted to greens and tees, to power spray equipment and to certified applicators wearing protective gear.

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