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Pesticide Case Studies

A collection of case studies (mostly) from Virginia and elsewhere used to teach pesticide applicators and students the history and outcomes of pesticide misuse and the importance of regulatory compliance and commonsense. Our hope is that by sharing real life situations we can contribute to reduced events such as these and help the public understand the dynamics, which create these situations. These include: pesticide related incidents, public debates, local issues, and other scenarios related to the use of pesticides or concerns over pesticide use.

Dursban Case Study - CBS News Report

In 1995, CBS News reported the concern over the use of chlorpyrifos (Dursban) insecticide and health effects.

CBS's Eye to Eye Series presented a documentary on the controversial use of chlorpyrifos insecticide and Dow Chemical's disclosure to EPA of poisoning cases. CBS presents a classic media created controversy by pitting the pros and the cons against one another. Players in the case included:

  • the registrant, Dow Elanco Chemical Company,
  • a former pesticide applicator,
  • attorneys and experts working for all parties,
  • individuals testifying about various health issues,
  • scientists, and
  • regulators (US Environmental Protection Agency).


This case offers a perspective into a typical pesticide-related controversy that was taken to full bloom on the part of all the players including the news media. You will see emotions and positions taken that are fed by fear, greed, political correctness, pride, arrogance, among others.  This could serve as a model for any case study involving the use of pesticides.

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