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EPA to Ban Use of Cadmium as Pesticide

October 1, 1986

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday it plans to ban the use of cadmium as a pesticide because the risks of kidney damage and cancer outweight the benefits of use.

Cadmium, a metal widely used as a battery electrode, has been used since the 1940s to control fungal diseases in turf - diseases such as copper spot, red thread and gray mold.

Only 30,000 pounds a year are used as a fungicide, almost all on golf courses. That is less than 0.1 percent of total cadmium use, EPA said.

The agency estimated that golf courses would have to spend about $250,000 a year, or $500 per affected course, in switching to other fungicides.

EPA’s proposal to ban pesticide uses of cadmium now will be reviewed by a panel of science advisers and the Agriculture Department. The public has 60 days to submit comments.

In another pesticide decision, EPA said it had begun a special review of 1,3-dichloropropene because tests indicate that it causes cancer in laboratory rats and mice.

The chemical kills worms, fingi, insecticides and weeds and is used on cotton, potatoes, tobacco, sugar beets, grains and vegetables.

It is sold under the trade names Telone II and Dow Telone by Dow Chemical Co.

Pending the review, EPA said it will permit only certified applicators or people working under their direct supervision to use 1,3-dichloropropene. Already, people using it must wear protective clothing and respirators.

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