» New Fluorinated Poison Pesticide

New Fluorinated Poison Pesticide

As old pesticides are being phased out due to adverse effects, such as the food fumigant methyl bromide (an ozone depleter), Dow Chemical Company is bringing new pesticides to market which may pose entirely new, but equally troubling problems. Dow is focusing on sulfuryl fluoride, marketed under the names Vikane or ProFume, to replace methyl bromide. Sulfuryl fluoride however, has historically been used only for structural fumigation.

The use of this pesticide has been shown to leave fluoride residues on treated food items, as Dow’s own website warns users to remove all food items before spraying a building. Only limited residues are allowed on food due to its toxic effects from contact or inhalation, although there is limited evidence of the effects through ingestion. Tests have shown high toxicity when inhaled by workers, including damage to the white matter in the brain.

In 2002, Dow petitioned the EPA for increased temporary tolerance limits on almost 50 different food items to be treated with sulfuryl fluroide, mostly nuts, raisins and grains. Currently, the maximum level of fluoride allowed is 4ppm. Dow is asking for the new limits to increase to 30 ppm for raisins, 12 ppm for walnuts, and a host of other large increases for similar food items. The group Fluoride Action Network (FAN) has submitted an objection to the new tolerance limits and has asked for a hearing on the decision. The group claims that children are already exposed to too much fluoride and research has shown that fluoride can accumulate in the pineal gland, alter hormone signalling and lower IQ. Currently, the new limits have not taken effect as the EPA reviews its current limit values. Too learn more or to take action, see:

For more information:

The Fluoride Action Network General Webpage - Political, Campaign

FAN Science-Watch March 31, 2004
Summary of FAN's Objection to EPA's Ruling on Sulfuryl Fluoride

Sulfuryl Fluoride (Dow AgroSciences). February 7, 2002.
Three-year Experimental Use Permit that allows Dow to use Sulfuryl fluoride as a fumigant on Raisins and Walnuts. This permit allows very high tolerances of inorganic fluoride: 30 ppm in or on raisins and 12 ppm in or on walnuts.