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Environmental Medicine: Integrating a Missing Element into Medical Education
What additional steps can be taken to reduce exposure?
If the above suggestions for improving indoor air quality have been followed, the air in the house has been tested, and the air sample results are high, structural modifications may be useful to further reduce the level of chlordane. For homes that were treated properly, modifications are probably not worth the high expense. Modifications must be designed on a case-by-case basis, but may include replacing or relocating air ducts, replacing furnaces or ventilation systems with air exchangers, using barrier coatings of polyvinylidene chloride (e.g., Saranex) or polyamide (e.g., Capran-C), or sealing crawl-space soil with a layer of concrete. Decontamination measures or other mitigation methods should not be undertaken without professional advice.
How can one dispose of unwanted chlordane?
Chlordane can be a serious hazard to the environment as well as to human health. It is illegal to dump chlordane into sinks, toilets, storm drains, or any body of water. Any unused pesticide or its container must be disposed of according to both the instructions on the label and state laws. For clarification of label directions or additional guidance, call NPTN or contact your state pesticide or environmental control agency or a hazardous waste representative at the nearest EPA regional office.
Are any alternatives to chlordane available?
As of July 1987, two alternative termiticides, chlorpyrifos (e.g., Dursban) and permethrin (i.e., Torpedo and Dragnet) were registered with EPA and are available commercially. Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate pesticide (see Case Studies in Environmental Medicine:Cholinesterase-Inhibiting Pesticide Toxicity), and permethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid pesticide. EPA has concluded that these termiticides, when used according to label directions, do not pose unreasonable risks.