My dog Lucy almost died last month when she to be accidentally poisoned through a usual pesticide our neighbors used on their vegetable garden.

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Sevin--an insecticide manufactured by Bayer CropScience in study Triangle Park--is widely thought to it is in safe. There room 68 formulations approved for use in north Carolina on everything from lawns to pets, and millions the pounds are used each year in the joined States. Yet Sevin"s active ingredient, carbaryl, is in fact a potent neurotoxin and also suspected carcinogen, and also federal regulators are currently considering restricting the use.

Whether or no the federal government will take activity to much better protect pets, people and also the setting from this danger chemical stays to be seen. But in the meantime, ns share Lucy"s story in hopes of preventing others from experiencing a similar fate.

I very first noticed other amiss one late June day once I took Lucy and my other dog swimming at our favorite pond. One 11-year-old pit bull, Lucy has a touch that arthritis and also moves slow on land than Zoe, a 3-year-old Aussie. But Lucy had constantly ruled the water until that day, as soon as she couldn"t out-swim Zoe to the sticks ns tossed.

That night Lucy"s unusual actions continued, together she repeatedly got up from her bed and also paced restlessly with the house. As soon as I acquired up to check on her, I uncovered her bed soaked with drool. As soon as her slobbering ongoing the next day, i took she to the vet.

After the exam, the medical professional looked worried. "I"m feeling some sort of growth in she abdomen," she said. "I"d prefer to do some X-rays."

Oh God, i thought. Not cancer. Mine worst fears appeared to be confirmed when the doctor put Lucy"s radiograph top top the light box and also hit the switch. Even a non-medical professional like me might see a dark shadow close to her liver.

Over the next couple of days, the mystery of Lucy"s malady deepened. Additional tests confirmed it wasn"t cancer, however whatever she had actually was acutely serious. She was vomiting and also growing weaker. At first she to be unable to navigate stairs and soon couldn"t walk in ~ all. Eventually she couldn"t also stand. She likewise refused water, therefore I had to hydrate she by injecting fluid under she skin.

At night I"d lie in bed next to her, stroking she to sleep and also crying. Ns was city hall my girlfriend die--but the what?

I lastly realized what to be wrong v Lucy ~ above July 4. To celebrate the holiday, my next-door next-door neighbors asked if it would certainly be ok to set off fireworks. I told castle Lucy was terribly sick and also I fear the noise would tension her. However they go ahead through their plan anyhow. The evening, together my dog trembled in are afraid amidst the explosions, ns seethed.

How inconsiderate, i thought--and it"s not simply the fireworks. I was also upset that my next-door neighbors used chemistry on your vegetable patch, i beg your pardon is just a few yards native my very own garden, and also which is separated from mine yard just by a six-inch-high decorative fence.

Then the struck me: They had sprinkled their garden with some kind of white flour the very same weekend Lucy got sick. As soon as the fireworks stopped, ns went following door to find out what the flour was.

Sevin Dust, they told me. Perfectly safe, they assured.

I looked up Sevin online and discovered the active ingredient to be carbaryl. The symptoms of carbaryl poisoning incorporate excessive salivation, vomiting and muscle weakness. I automatically called my vet at home. Can my dog have actually been poisoned?

Eureka! carry her in very first thing in the morning, the physician said.

The next day Lucy obtained the antidote, atropine. Once I fetched her from the animal hospital the afternoon, she to be groggy however able come walk. An ultrasound of she abdomen was clear. What we assumed was a tumor was in reality a liver swollen through toxins.

Sevin poisoned mine dog--but how? mine neighbor"s decorate fence, though flimsy, has always kept she off the garden. Go the chemistry drift onto her? top top grass she then ate? walk she go in drift and also lick she paws? We might never know.

When ns told my neighbors what happened, they were aghast. They had no idea Sevin can be for this reason dangerous. In fact, they had originally to buy it come sprinkle on their own dog for fleas. To my relief, castle promised no to use chemical pesticide on their garden anymore.

A confession: I have a reputation among family and friends together a chemophobe. I garden and also eat organically. Ns clean my residence with all-natural products. I also fought the city of Raleigh end what I thought about its reckless usage of pesticides in parks, twice gaining it in trouble through state regulators prior to it embraced a more responsible pesticide policy.

But even I didn"t obtain alarmed when my next-door neighbors doused your garden with what was obviously a pesticide. Even I failure to do the connection in between the chemical and my dog"s illness. Like many Americans, ns presumed the if it"s sold in stores for home use, it need to be safe.

"The an easy assumption the people carry to your purchasing is that accessibility in the marketplace equals safety, and also that couldn"t be additional from the truth," claims Jay Feldman, executive director of past Pesticides, a Washington-based safety and security advocacy group.

In fact, though carbaryl was first approved for usage in 1959, it"s never been brought into compliance with contemporary safety standards, follow to Toxic Tradeoff, a current report on carbaryl through the Washington Toxics Coalition. As at an early stage as 1969, a U.S. Government report called for restricting carbaryl after the was uncovered to cause birth defects in test dogs. Carbaryl is likewise highly toxicity to bees and also has been linked to immune-system cancer in farmers and mind cancer in children.

In 1980, five years after ~ the environmental Protection firm launched a special testimonial over concerns around carbaryl"s safety, the evaluation was abruptly ended--a ³political and economic decision,² according to Dr. Janette Sherman of Alexandria, Va., then a member the the EPA"s Advisory Committee on toxic Substances.

Carbaryl is at this time undergoing "re-registration"--the federal process in i m sorry the EPA assesses a pesticide by present standards. The agency has indicated it may make some alters such together eliminating specific lawn care and also pet uses, however safety advocates worry regulators could not go much enough. Previously this year, 15 public health, farmworker, beekeeping and environmental groups called on the firm to finish all supplies of carbaryl due to the fact that of the damage it reasons to human and ecosystem health.

What"s specifically troublesome to me is that the pain and suffering carbaryl reasons is merely unnecessary.

"There are so many non-toxic alternatives out there," states Fawn Pattison, executive, management director that the farming Resources Center/Pesticide education Project in Raleigh. "It"s not vital to take risks like that, specifically in her garden where you"re growing your very own food. People should really think twice before they reach for the can."

Lucy and also I would certainly agree.

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Toxic Tradeoff is obtainable online at For an ext on carbaryl and also nontoxic alternatives, visit beyond Pesticides" web site at and also ARC/PestEd at For more on carbaryl re-registration, visit

by Sue Sturgis