Pesticide Case Studies
Dudley School Misuse Case
The Dudley Elementary School in Roanoke Virginia was the site of a pesticide misuse case in 2006. An applicator was cited for misapplication of a pesticide in the school. Parent reaction inflamed the situation and local news media pushed the problem to a controversy status.
In 2006, a local pesticide applicator misused malathion in a Franklin County, Virginia (Wirtz) elementary school. Dudley School officials became involved in a controversy that worried parents and became a media event for local newspapers and television media. Some reporters got so involved in demonstrating the perceived danger of the insecticide involved, that they themselves violated pesticide laws. Although never cited, one on-the-air demonstration involved an overzealous reporter pouring concentrated malathion into a styrofoam cup and watching it melt through the cup bottom -- leaching into the soil near the school.
The applicator was eventually prosecuted and fined by the state pesticide regulators and the case was closed. The long term impacts of the misuse were minimal, but never the less, illegal and potentially harmful.