Neighbors worry use of 'Curfew' pesticide on golf course will make them sick

Tampa Sports Authority to spray in May
Posted at 8:31 PM, Apr 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-21 20:31:53-04

Neighbors in the Forest Hills area are furious after losing a years-long battle over the use of a controversial pesticide. On Friday, Tampa Sports Authority told neighbors it will use the pesticide at one of Tampa’s oldest golf courses.

On May 9, the popular Babe Zaharias Golf Course will be completely shut down for 24 hours And warning signs will go up reading: "Danger area under fumigation. Do not enter."

The grass is about to get greener on the golf course but some neighbors question: At what cost?

“They figure green grass is more important than children’s health," said neighbor Robert Lawson.

A pesticide called Curfew is at the heart of the heated battle between Forest Hills neighbors and the Tampa Sports Authority. The last time it was used in the neighborhood was in 2006. It left people sick.

RELATED: Neighbors urge Tampa Sports Authority not to use controversial pesticide on golf course

“I went to maybe half a dozen houses on my street and someone was sick in every house," said Lawson.

The state fined the applicator for spraying too close to homes.

“This is the most dirty, underhanded thing that I could think of," said neighbor Debra McCormack.

Now, that TSA is using it again, neighbors warn it could have the same outcome. 

“I see no reason whatsoever for the TSA to put lives at risk for green grass,” said McCormack.

Meanwhile, others we spoke with are not concerned.

“It's never been an issue," said David Copson, "I'm not worried about my health at all.”

But those leading the fight against the pesticide with the cross and bones warning promise TSA will soon hear more from them.

“There will have to be police cars outside," said McCormack, "There will be protests at TSA. There will be protests at the clubhouse. If people chain themselves to the spraying equipment. it wouldn’t surprise me.”

ABC Action News did get an emailed statement from TSA:

"Curfew, a registered product approved for use throughout the State of Florida by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will be applied by a certified applicator at Babe Zaharias Golf Course on May 9, 2017.”