Carbofuran Bottle A bottle of carbofuran pesticide.

Carbofuran in an insecticide used for field crops, like corn, potatoes, and soybeans. Plants absorb the chemical through their roots and are distributed throughout their organs. Pests that eat these plants digest the poison and die.

Carbofuran is one of the most toxic pesticides on the market. Just 1mL can be fatal to humans. Millions of birds die of carbofuran poisoning every year from mistaking its granular form for seeds. Because of this, the United States Environmental Protection Agency banned the granular form of carbofuran in 1991. In 2008, the EPA set forth to ban the use of all forms of carboruran in the United States. In Kenya, the chemical is available to buy over the counter and is used by farmers to kill lions and other predators.

Like many pesticides, carbofuran enters surface water through rain or irrigation runoff. It then seeps into the soil where it’s exposed to groundwater connected to wells and springs.

Symptoms of short-term exposure are:

  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Chest pains
  • Blurred vision
  • Anxiety
  • Muscular weakness

Refrigerator water filters that can remove carbofuran include: