August 30, 2010

Bed bugs and bureaucracy

By Bed bugs and bureaucracy

Author: Brandon Middleton

Jonathan Strong of the Daily Caller asks whether the Environmental Protection Agency is to blame for the resurgence of bed bugs: Bedbug_main

There were almost no bed bugs in the United States between World War II and the mid-1990s.

Around when bed bugs started their resurgence, Congress passed a major pesticides law in 1996 and the Clinton EPA banned several classes of chemicals that had been effective bed bug killers.

The debate isn't over long-banned DDT, since modern bed bugs have developed a tolerance for that chemical. But in the pre-1996 regime, experts say, bed bugs were 'collateral damage' from broader and more aggressive use of now-banned pesticides like Malathion and Propoxur.

Now some health officials are clamoring to bring those chemicals back to help solve the bed bug 'emergency.' Meanwhile, EPA bureaucrats have downplayed the idea and environmentalists are pushing hard against the effort, citing safety concerns.

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