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NTC EPA JOINS U.S. AGENCY FOR TOXIC SUB. AND DISEASE REGISTRU

Release Date: 12/12/96
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NTC EPA JOINS U.S. AGENCY FOR TOXIC SUB. AND DISEASE REGISTRU

FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12, 1996

EPA JOINS U.S. AGENCY FOR TOXIC SUBSTANCES AND DISEASE REGISTRY IN NATIONAL ALERT WARNING CONSUMERS AGAINST MISUSE OF PESTICIDE METHYL PARATHION

Attached is a national alert issued by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) concerning the misuse of the pesticide methyl parathion. The alert warns that if used indoors, methyl parathion can pose an imminent health hazard. Effects of severe poisoning include convulsions, cardiac arrest and death. Most recently, methyl parathion was illegally sprayed in many houses and other buildings in Jackson County, Miss. In response, EPA has taken emergency action, relocating 629 residents from 154 homes. Eight day care centers, one restaurant and two hotels have been closed. Extensive cleanup operations under EPA's Superfund program are underway.

"EPA will not tolerate the danger to public health caused by such flagrant and illegal use of pesticides," said Carol M. Browner, EPA Administrator. "We are working with the state of Mississippi to take all actions necessary to make sure that affected people and properties are helped and that no other communities ever suffer from misuse of this pesticide."

Several people have been arrested and criminally charged with misuse as well as illegal sale of the pesticide.

The state of Mississippi Health Department is operating a hotline (601-769-3160) to receive calls from persons whose homes or businesses may have been sprayed with methyl parathion. About l400 calls have been received and approximately 835 inspections have been conducted to determine whether residue levels of methyl parathion pose a danger to those living in or using the homes and businesses. A number of other reports of the misuse of methyl parathion in homes around the Mississippi area and in Louisiana have surfaced in the last few days.

For further information, contact Loretta Bush at ATSDR, 404-639- 0501.


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