Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
Earlier this season we sprayed with Dursban, can we still eat the fruit?
Rate This FAQ
When pesticides are used according to their label directions, residues are kept to a minimum, food quality and appeal increase and sprayed food products are safe to eat.
Dursban is a trade name for the pesticide chlorpyrifos and is used around homes and gardens. Lorsban is another trade name for chlorpyrifos and is mostly used on agricultural crops.
If Dursban was applied as the label instructed, your fruit should be safe to eat. In addition to applying the pesticide correctly, you must also pay attention to the “intervals to harvest” which is how long you should wait after spraying before picking the produce. This interval allows time for the pesticide to break down and decrease the residue on the fruit to a very low level.
Your question probably comes from the recent EPA decision to remove some chlorpyrifos uses. This EPA regulatory action was taken primarily to increase the level of safety and reduce potential exposures to children.
To enhance the safety of our food supply EPA removed chlorpyrifos from use on tomatoes and apples after they bloom and foliar applications on grapes — all high intake foods for children.
To reduce potential exposures to children as well as the rest of the public, EPA will prohibit the use of chlorpyrifos in and around homes, including lawns and gardens, and around schools, parks and other areas frequently used by children. Agricultural uses will see reductions in rates and in frequency of applications. Intervals to harvest and worker reentry intervals will be increased.
Residential use of containerized baits will continue as well as use in other indoor nonresidential areas where children will not be exposed, such as warehouses, manufacturing plants, food processing plants, railroad boxcars, etc. Outdoor use will continue in areas where children will not be exposed, such as golf courses, road medians, fence posts, utility polls, landscape timbers and other similar wood products. Public health uses for fire ant and mosquito control will also continue. Usage for termites around homes will gradually be phased out over the next five years starting with full barrier home post construction applications in 2002.
Foods that can still be treated include cranberries, strawberries, citrus, apples (before they bloom), figs, pears, nectarines, cherries, peaches, plums, grapes (nonfoliar), almonds, pecans, walnuts, onions, peppers, kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, cucurbit (gourds), asparagus, roots and tubers, corn, lentils, beans, peas, sorghum, tobacco, wheat, alfalfa, peanuts, soybeans, sunflower, cotton, sugar beets, mint, bananas and as a cattle ear tag. There are about 825 registered products containing chlorpyrifos. About half of chlorpyrifos use is in agricultural settings and half in nonagricultural settings. An estimated 24 percent of all use of chlorpyrifos is as a termiticide.
All of the regulatory actions have different time frames for implementation to take effect, but all will be completed by the end of 2005.
Reports from some government agencies and retailers indicate that there is some confusion about what to do with chlorpyrifos products on hand. Use was not prohibited for already purchased products and there is no recall of products. People can use what they have according to label directions. There is concern that many people are going to discard their chlorpyrifos products into the trash, which means the insecticide will end up in the landfill. If this happens with large numbers of containers all over the United States, you can end up with more pollution than if the product was used as it was supposed to be.
The recommended method of disposal for pesticides is to use it all according to directions on the label rather than throw it into the trash. This distributes the pesticide at a low rate evenly over a large area. Then, sunlight, microorganisms, moisture and other environmental chemicals can break down the pesticide molecules and decrease the toxicity to that of carbon dioxide, sulfur, phosphorous, chlorine and nitrogen, which are already major components of our environments.
You can continue to purchase and use Dursban and other chlorpyrifos products as instructed on the label until supplies are no longer available or the manufacture has been stopped. With careful use you should be able to realize the benefits that the product has to offer and avoid the inherent risks that come with using pesticides.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- We have been putting the dog poop in the composte pile. Is this going to be bad for our composte or for our garden?
- I wanted to mail order some flowers to plant. Is the end of October too late to plant flowers?
- I still have a lot of green tomatoes on the vine but it looks like frost is getting the better of them (the vines, not the fruit yet) the past few nights. I plan on using the tomatoes for Chili Sauce. If I pick the green tomatoes are they going to ripen inside? Is there a better way to get them ripened to use for chili sauce?
- I have a reliance peach tree, 3rd year in the ground, and this year I noticed almost all of the branch tips were black, down about 3 inches. Some of the leaves started to brown spot and turn yellow, eventually falling. Also some of the branched produce fruit, but no foliage, the fruit is very weak and just falls in a light breeze. What can I do to correct this ?
- We just moved to Davis County and want to plant our first garden. What things will grow well? What should we avoid? When should we plant? Any other basic tips about our area would be appreciated.
- What causes plants to look dirty and lose their green color during the heat of the summer? One culprit is spider mites.
- I started my Basil from seed and they were doing great, now something is eating them. The plants outside and inside. One insect looks like a nat the other one has feelers out front and is very small and fast. What should I spray them with? Should I use bark around them?
- Should I cut back my perennials for winter? High Country Gardens says to wait until early-mid spring, but that is contrary to what I have been doing. It is true that I suffer some loss each spring.