Skip navigation
B. The Growing Problem of Illegal Pesticides

Narrator: This is Science Today. Illegal pesticides, often packaged as legitimate urban pest products, are a growing, dangerous problem. Art Craigmill, a toxicologist at the University of California, Davis, says the smuggling of illegal pesticides that are not approved in this country, has led to some poisonings, particularly in children

Craigmill: This is especially true for some preparations that have come in from China and a few from Mexico. One particular concern of course, is mothballs made from naphthalene. These mothballs, which used to be approved in this country, look like white, round balls of candy. But they are indeed just pure naphthalene. The ingestion of one of these pieces could cause serious illness in a child.

Narrator: So it's buyer beware, because as Craigmill explains illegally imported pesticides have not been tested for quality or potency.

Craigmill: You don't know what you're getting and there are no quality controls on what you are getting.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.