Using Chlordane for Termite Control
Using chlordane was the industry standard for termite control tools from the late 1940s until 1988 when it was taken off the market in the U.S. It was extremely popular because it was so effective and long lasting. However, this long lasting nature is now showing its negative side many years after its removal from the domestic market.
When chlordane was legal for sale in the United States, it was sold over the counter and available to the general buying public, and professional exterminators frequently used it as well. At first it was marketed as a way of controlling ant infestation, but as time went by it was recognized as an extremely effective termiticide as well as a roach killer. Depending on what type of insect was being dealt with, sometimes chlordane was mixed with water in varying ratios from its powder form to create an amber colored syrup. This syrup was sprayed on crops to protect them from insects.
Health Problems Associated with Chlordane
However the chemical was pulled off of the U.S. market when it was discovered that chlordane might threaten human life and also harm the environment. Research linked the chemical to many different types of health problems from liver damage to nervous system failure. Convulsions and deaths were reported in cases of accidental ingestion, and reports also linked the chemical to birth defects and lowered birth rates.
Chlordane has not been used for many years in the United States, although interestingly enough, companies in the U.S. still manufacture it for export. It is a very persistent chemical that can still be found in some soiled where it was used. Its use on food crops was banned by the EPA in the late 1970s but it was still allowed to be used for building pest protection for another decade .
In research testing, laboratory mice that were fed chlordane over a long period of time had a higher rate of liver cancer than untreated mice. Around the same time it was found that the chemical tended to stay in the environment, and that animals carried built up levels of it in their fat in areas where it had been used. Its greatest asset was its long lasting performance as a termite control weapon. But this same trait also ultimately proved to be its undoing, leading to the EPA banning all domestic use of chlordane in 1988 .
Domestic Production of Chlordane
Chlordane was one of the best products termite control service companies had to offer. But its negative environmental and health traits ultimately led to its elimination from domestic sales. However, this pest control chemical is still being used to control termites internationally. Domestic companies are still permitted to manufacture chlordane for export sales, but factories must be inspected for environmental controls and their waste water discharge must be monitored as well.
Non toxic chemicals and organic compounds have come to replace chlordane in the intervening years since it was banned by the EPA. Interestingly enough, no single product has come close to matching the long term effectiveness of chlordane in termite control efforts. Today’s home treatments are expected to last an average of five years, but with the added bonus of being non toxic and not harmful to people or animals. Still, thanks to our collective experience with this harmful material, many people are unwilling to take chances by allowing pest control companies to use chemicals in their termite control treatments. This is one of the reasons why natural and organic termite control have enjoyed such sustained popularity.
 http://envirocancer.cornell.edu/FactSheet/Pesticide/fs11.chlordane.cfm Retrieved 2010-07-23.