Chevy Chase golf club rushes to use ozone-depleting methyl bromide before ban

In 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency banned the manufacture of methyl bromide, a highly toxic, ozone-depleting pesticide. It's use by golf courses, however, won't become illegal until 2013, which is why the Chevy Chase Club is hurrying to use every last drop of this horrific chemical before it's too late.

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The club president has told members that the board voted to use methyl bromide to redo the greens, which would preserve them for up to 15 years, the Post reports. The Maryland Department of Agriculture says the club doesn't need a permit for, nor does it need to tell neighbors about, its use of the chemical. And one board member "said the board researched the gas, determined that it was safe, and felt no need to notify area homeowners."

"Safe" is a relative term, but know this: Methyl bromide is applied by workers in protective gear and covered by a tarp for about three days, after which it's recommended that another three days pass before humans and pets are even allowed to walk on the treated grass. Not only does it deplete the ozone layer, but can cause pulmonary edema, kidney damage, and paralysis.

Only someone concerned about brown spots on a putting green could convince themselves that methyl bromide is safe.

Chevy Chase Club Newsletter September 2011

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