Posted by: audreybenenati | February 19, 2010

Tragedy ” Pesticide linked to death of Utah girls was championed by tobacco lobby

By Judy Fahys

The Salt Lake Tribune

Updated: 02/19/2010 12:23:58 AM MST

Federal regulators are now taking a hard look at imposing stricter controls on a pesticide believed to have caused two Layton girls to die — revisiting safety restrictions they drafted and then abandoned nearly a decade ago.

In 1998, a coalition led by the tobacco industry beat back the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulations that, in effect, would have banned the residential use of aluminum phosphide.

The pesticide creates phosphine gas, used as a chemical weapon in World War I, and is now suspected in the poisoning deaths of 4-year-old Rebecca Toone and her 15-month-old sister, Rachel, earlier this month.

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