EPA Denies Bedbug Pesticide Request

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 15 (UPI) — An infestation of bedbugs has descended on Ohio, but the state will not be allowed to use a desired pesticide for fear of children’s health, authorities said.

The Franklin County Board of Health received more than 4,000 reports of the wingless, blood-sucking insects in 2009 in contrast to almost no reports in the past few years, The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch reported Tuesday.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rejected the state’s request to use an agricultural pesticide, Propoxur, to combat home bedbug infestations, saying the risk to children outweighs the potential benefit, the newspaper reported.

“The agency’s health review for its use on bedbugs suggests that children entering and using rooms that have been treated may be at risk of experiencing nervous system effects,” Lisa Jackson, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said in a letter to Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland.

The pesticide currently approved for home use is expensive, and often requires repeat applications, Ohio officials said.

Kaleigh Frasier, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Agriculture, says the federal agency could reconsider the state’s request after reviewing more information.

“We’re disappointed with the outcome, but we’ll stay in contact with the EPA,” Frasier said.

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