The Q&A Archives: Chinese Chalk is Hazardous

Question: Have you ever heard of a product called "Chinese Chalk" for controlling roaches and ants?

Answer: Advertised as a natural, low toxicity method to control ants, "Chinese Chalk." is available at Oriental
markets and is packaged in a colorful, small box. The product label indicates that the product is so safe users don?t even need to wash their hands after using it. In reality, however, Chinese Chalk is an illegal, unregistered pesticide. Its formulation varies, but tests have shown that it can contain chlordane and other banned
pesticides. Warnings against Chinese Chalk have been issued by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the County Agricultural Commissioner repeatedly makes inspections of local markets to remove this type of product from shelves. This product is especially dangerous because it looks like regular blackboard chalk and thus children may come into contact with it.

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