Attorneys General Accuse HUD of Noncompliance on Pesticide Law

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development isn’t abiding by a federal law governing pesticide use in public housing projects, according to attorneys general from 10 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some 1.3 million families are exposed to unsafe levels of pesticides because of HUD’s failure to follow the Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, alleged New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, who was one of those calling on the department to enforce the law at HUD-funded housing projects. According to a survey conducted by Spitzer’s office last year, public housing authorities throughout New York state relied almost exclusively on chemicals, including suspected carcinogens, to combat pest problems. Under federal law, the authorities are supposed to use non-chemical means whenever possible, such as screens and improved sanitation.