California Is Top U.S. Emitter Of A Planet-Warming Termite Pesticide

"Despite its aggressive reputation for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, California releases more of a climate-warming pesticide than all other states combined, most of it from homes fumigated for termites, according to a study published Wednesday.

The termite killing gas — sulfuryl fluoride — has been found to be 4,800 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat.

When a team of Johns Hopkins scientists set out to map exactly where the gas was being released, they were startled to find that California generated as much as 12% of global emissions of the synthetic fumigant.

“The results were puzzling because the emissions were all coming from one place,” said Scot Miller, Johns Hopkins assistant professor of environmental health and engineering. “Other greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane are found everywhere across the U.S. On our sulfuryl fluoride map, only California lit up like a Christmas tree.”"

Melody Petersen reports for the Los Angeles Times April 3, 2024.

Source: LA Times, 04/04/2024