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U.S. Judge Gives EPA Deadline for Banning All Use of Chlordane

February 25, 1988|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Wednesday gave the Environmental Protection Agency until April 15 to ban the sale and commercial use of products containing anti-termite pesticides believed to cause cancer.

District Judge Louis Oberdorfer ruled that the EPA had acted illegally by allowing 197 holders of federal pesticide licenses to sell existing stocks of products containing the pesticides chlordane and heptachlor.

Oberdorfer said the agency had failed to take into account whether continued sale or use of the products "would pose any unreasonable risk to man or the environment."

EPA scientists have concluded that chlordane causes cancer and that excessive residues remain in homes even after proper application of the chemical, which is usually injected into soil around the foundations.

Last year, Velsicol Chemical Corp., the nation's only manufacturer of chlordane and heptachlor, agreed to stop selling the products while it tries to find an acceptable method of applying the pesticides. But the EPA's agreement with Velsicol did not cover products containing chlordane made by other companies for the retail market.

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