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In June 2000, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned of adverse health effects associated with the use of Dursban, also known as chlorpyrifos, particularly in children. The EPA called for a halt on Dursban use in homes as well as areas where children would be most likely exposed to the toxic pesticide such as schools, daycare centers, parks, stores and malls. The EPA cited concerns over neurological impairment and brain damage in children following exposure.

Dursban is an organophosphate pesticide that injures by attacking the nervous system. Such chemicals were first developed in the 1930s by the Nazi regime as chemical weapons. Sarin gas, another organophosphate in the same chemical class as Dursban, was used in the 1995 Japanese subway terrorist incident. The attack killed 12 people, severely injured more than 50 and caused temporary health effects to almost 1,000 others.

A number of lawsuits have been filed over the years concerning injuries caused by Dursban. Initial adverse health effects from Dursban can include rash, flu-like symptoms, headaches, nausea, vomiting and general weakness. But more serious ailments, as well as learning and cognitive deficits have also been noted, especially in children.

Examples of Dursban Jury Verdicts

  • 2010: An Indiana jury awarded $23.5 Million in compensation to a family for brain injuries and cognitive problems caused to their two children when the apartment complex was sprayed with Dursban. The Indiana State Chemist’s office tested the apartment and found chlorypyrifos from Dursban. (Ebling v. Affordable Pest Control)
  • 1995: A Florida woman was awarded $1 million for a pest control company’s negligent application of Dursban which caused her injuries. (Zanini v. Orkin Exterminating Co.)
  • 1984: A Texas family sued Allied Pest Control of Dallas when they were forced to leave their home and all of its contents after suffering short term symptoms of organophosphate poisoning. (Auten v. Allied Pest Control)