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New Report Distorts Truth About Pesticides

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- A report released yesterday by the Center for Public Integrity, "Perils of the New Pesticides," distorts the truth about the health effects of chemicals in pest management products, according to the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA). Of specific concern is the author's misinterpretation of data collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's incident reporting system related to pyrethrins, natural insecticides produced by certain species of the chrysanthemum plant, and its synthetic counterparts, pyrethroids. By improperly using EPA data and drawing faulty conclusions from it, the report has needlessly caused alarm about both ingredients which have been used in pesticide products for decades.

CSPA points out that EPA's incidence data base can be a useful indicator of the consumer experience with products only to the extent that the data have been carefully evaluated and considered in the context of the limitations of the incident reporting system and with regard to extensive use of the products being studied. CPI took a simplistic approach that failed in this regard.

CSPA further notes that the data includes every type of case represented in raw data form, such as misuse, abuse, and exposures resulting from attempts at self harm such as suicides. No incident is required to undergo investigation, confirmation or validation before being added to the EPA's raw dataset.

"The basic premise behind the author's paper -- that incident data in its raw form is signaling a serious health threat by these ingredients -- is fundamentally flawed," said Chris Cathcart, CSPA President. "There was no evaluation by expert clinical and medical toxicologists to sort out incidents that, under further scrutiny by EPA's team of expert toxicologists and medical professionals, would have been excluded from the raw data set to allow for a meaningful analysis."

In the spirit of cooperation, CSPA facilitated more than ten hours of interview time with nationally recognized scientific and medical experts in the area of pyrethrins, pyrethroids and incidence reporting with the Center for Public Integrity. One of these experts has been involved with the EPA's reporting structure for incident data since its inception. That expert cautioned the author against drawing conclusions from the dataset that simply could not be supported from a scientific and medical basis given its inherent limitations.

"Clearly, the CPI chose not to invest the time and energy necessary to conduct a thorough analysis, and the result is a seriously flawed report that merely serves to spread misinformation about products that have served consumers well for decades," said Cathcart. "Because of their superior safety profile, pyrethrins and pyrethroids have been the replacement ingredients of choice following the removal of chlorpyrifos and other organophosphates from the marketplace. Pyrethrins and pyrethroids have helped to provide public health benefits by controlling pests that can transmit to humans diseases such as Lyme disease and West Nile virus."

About CSPA

The Consumer Specialty Products Association is a non-profit national trade association representing approximately 250 companies engaged in the manufacture, formulation, distribution and sale of hundreds of familiar consumer products. It is organized into seven divisions: Aerosol Products, Air Care, Antimicrobial Products, Cleaning Products, Pest Management Products, Industrial and Automotive Specialty Chemicals, and Polishes and Floor Maintenance. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Consumer Specialty Products Association
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