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David 'Jake' Jaquith

Pesticide safety expert at EPA

February 16, 2009|Times Wire Reports

David "Jake" Jaquith, 58, a scientist with the Environmental Protection Agency whose work was instrumental in banning the nation's most widely used termite pesticide, died Feb. 4 of liver failure at his home in Greenbelt, Md.

Jaquith, who had worked at the EPA since 1985, was an early leader in efforts to evaluate occupational and residential exposure associated with pesticide use.

He helped develop the Pesticide Handler Exposure Database, which pooled data from various sources.

For many years, the nation's most widely used termite pesticide was chlordane. More than 30 million houses and commercial structures were treated with the chemical from the 1940s into the 1980s.

Jaquith's work contributed to the EPA's 1988 decision to ban chlordane and related chemicals because of their ability to cause cancer, liver damage and nerve disorders.

Jaquith was born in Waterville, Maine, and grew up in Hyattsville, Md. He received a bachelor's degree in conservation and resource development in 1973 and a master's degree in poultry science in 1979, both from the University of Maryland.

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