The U.S .Environment Protection Agency (EPA) will ban the organophosphate insecticide azinphos-methyl (AZM) after considering comments from growers and other stakeholders.
ENews Park Forest reports that the use of AZM as a pesticide poses health risks to farm workers and causes negative effects on water quality and aquatic ecosystems.
Growers have, however, been allowed to use their existing stocks of AZM for one more year
The insecticide attacks the nervous system and is used to control insects on apples, blueberries, sweet and tart cherries, parsley, and pears. AZM runoff is reported to be responsible for the death of up to a million fish, turtles, alligators, snakes and birds, according to ENews Park Forest.
The ban comes as a welcome decision for workers as well as health and environmental advocates.