Impact of diazinon on health and the environment

July 14, 2000

Docket # OPP-34225
Public Information and Records Integrity Branch (PIRIB)
Information Resources and Services Division (7402c)
Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP)
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20460

Re: Docket OPP-34225

I’m writing this letter on behalf of PCC Natural Markets and our 40,000 member households. PCC has eight (8) stores in the Puget Sound area of Washington State and is the largest cooperative retailer of natural and organic foods in the United States.

As a consumer-owned coop dedicated to nutritional awareness and environmental health, PCC urges the Environmental Protection Agency to cancel all uses of diazinon because of its extreme hazards to human health and to the environment as a whole.

Agricultural use of diazinon is estimated at 1.5 million pounds annually. It is used most commonly on almonds, berries, pecans, and nectarines, but it’s also used on apples, apricots, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, cherries, corn, grapes, mushrooms, peaches, pears, potatoes, radishes, squash, spinach, tomatoes, turnips, walnuts, and watermelons.

EPA’s own data show that diazinon is a potent nerve poison responsible for numerous human poisonings and deaths. Diazinon is readily absorbed by inhalation, ingestion and skin penetration. It is associated with an increased risk of brain cancer in children and the cancer non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in farmers. Lab tests show diazinon causes an array of effects on the nervous system including nausea, agitation, abnormal walking, confusion, lowered intelligence test scores, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, inflammation of the pancreas (in children especially), abnormal heart rate, lung congestion, cardiac arrest, seizures and numerous effects on the human hormonal system. In 1998, the EPA found that “symptoms may persist for months or years after the initial exposure.”

Diazinon has been found in 100% of the streams tested in King County, Washington and at levels as much as 50 times higher than standards for protecting salmon and other aquatic life.

Diazinon has no place in our waterways or food system.

Please act now to cancel all uses of diazinon and prohibit sales immediately.

Thank you,
Jeff Voltz
Chief Executive Officer
PCC Natural Markets

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