Methyl Bromide and the Chevy Chase Club

We are pleased to announce that the Chevy Chase Club has decided not to use Methyl Bromide on the golf course greens and will look into alternative ways to maintain the course.  Click here to read the club's October 22, 2011 statement addressed to local municipalities. 

The back story on this follows:

Chevy Chase Club is planning to gas their golf course with Methyl Bromide next spring.  The gas has been phased out by EPA starting in 1995 because of its toxic nature and ill effect on the ozone layer, but existing stock can be used up.   The environmental and health effects are staggering.  Research from Cornell University states:

Methyl bromide, labeled with a DANGER signal word, is an extremely toxic vapor. In humans, methyl bromide is readily absorbed through the lungs. Most problems occur as a result of inhalation. About 1,000 human poisoning incidents caused by methyl bromide exposure have been documented, with effects ranging from skin and eye irritation to death. Most fatalities and injuries occurred when methyl bromide was used as a fumigant.

From a Washington Post article

A three-day buffer zone is recommended to protect humans and pets. Like all pesticides, methyl bromide washes into nearby waterways when it rains. Environmentalists say it should have been completely banned years ago.

Threat to Stream

Methyl bromide also poses a threat to our creek which starts in the golf course.  It is considered "moderately toxic to aquatic organisms". It is water soluble and can enter the creek if applied improperly or if it rains within three days of application.   The environment of the Little Falls Branch is too fragile to withstand any additional pesticides let alone one as toxic as methyl bromide.

Contact Chevy Chase Club

We are joining with local municipalities to fight the application.  If you would like to join us, please take a moment to write to the Chevy Chase Club and urge them to think of the safety of the children in the four schools that border the golf course and the creek that starts there. Ask them to chose a green way to keep their greens green. Luke O'Boyle, general manager, can be emailed at

Additional information:

Washington Post Editorial, September 30, 2011

The Phaseout of Methyl Bromide, EPA

Medical Management Guidelines for Methyl Bromide, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Toxipedia, Methyl Bromide

Chevy Chase Club's use of fumigant on golf course raises alarms, Gazette, October 5, 2011


Greening Golf Courses from Golf Digest:

Golf Digest article from May 2008 (Intro with hot links to the
Golf Digest green Star Award article 2009:
Golf Digest green Star Award article 2010: