Rotenone is a nerve agent. That's why it's such a good insecticide. It (and
other botanical insecticides) are also dangerous to vertebrates (last time I
looked I was one). They will cause nerve damage, at least. What they have going
for them is that they degrade in the environment in 24 hours or so.
They're not on "allowable" lists for certified organic farmers- they're on the
"restricted" list. This means they may be used to save a crop and use must be
justified to the certifying agency on a case by case basis.
I don't use them (and advise others not to) for 2 reasons- First, they're
dangerous for the user. I counsel people to use them in a water solution if
they must. This keeps the dust down and the product out of the lungs.
Second, even though they are botanicals, they are still broad spectrum
insecticides. They will kill the predators as well as the pest insects. This
results in throwing the insect ecosystem way out of balance. And the predator
population takes a lot longer to rebuild. So, in the long run, you're doing
more damage than good.
I don't know if anyone has looked at the effect of these botanicals on the soil
life- couldn't be good. Anybody out there know about this?
> What does anybody know about the safety of rotenone? How fast does it
> degrade and can it be absorbed into body via skin or lungs? Being an equal
> opportunity skeptic, the report below raises some concern about the use of
> this natural material and any synthetic analogues in food production.
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