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PA EPA MAKES SAFETY FINDING FOR TEN SYNTHETIC PYRETHROID INSECTICIDES IN LARGEST FQPA EVALUATION SINCE LAW’S INCEPTION

Release Date: 11/21/97
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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 1997

EPA MAKES SAFETY FINDING FOR TEN SYNTHETIC PYRETHROID INSECTICIDES IN LARGEST FQPA EVALUATION SINCE LAW’S INCEPTION

EPA reviewed 273 tolerances for a group of ten synthetic pyrethroid insecticides in the largest pesticide tolerance assessment since the inception of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) of 1996. The action included establishing final tolerances for 47 time-limited tolerances which were due to expire on Nov. 15. The tolerances were time-limited because of the potential risk to aquatic invertebrates and fish posed by the pesticides. The class of ten insecticides include bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, cypermethrin, zeta-cypermethrin, deltamethrin, esfenvalerate, fenpropathrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, tralomethrin, and tefluthrin. New FQPA-mandated regulations required EPA to perform complete assessments of all tolerances before renewing the chemicals’ conditional registrations, and to include assessments of the aggregate risks from dietary exposure, exposure in drinking water, and exposure through residential use, for which some of these insecticides are registered. Major agricultural crop uses include cotton, corn, sorghum, rice, wheat, citrus, and alfalfa. All tolerance levels of the ten pyrethroids, both time-limited and permanent, were assessed. All met the new FQPA safety standards; their tolerance levels remain unchanged, and all time-limits were removed. Pyrethroids constitute the major alternatives to the acutely-toxic organophosphates and carbamates. This group of ten pyrethroids were granted 3-year conditional registrations because EPA has not yet completed its assessment of potential risks to aquatic invertebrates and fish. Aquatic mitigation measures continue to restrict pyrethroid uses that could involve exposure to aquatic organisms. EPA expects to develop and refine these measures once the aquatic risk assessment is completed. The primary producers and registrants of the ten pyrethroids formed a task force to facilitate and expedite gathering the data requested by EPA. The companies and the chemicals they produce are: FMC Corp. of Philadelphia, Pa., (Bifenthrin, Cypermethrin, and Zeta-cypermethrin); Bayer Corp. of Kansas City, Mo., (Cyfluthrin); AgrEvo Environmental Health Inc. of Wilmington, Del. (Deltamethrin and Tralomethrin); DuPont Agricultural Products of Wilmington, Del. (Esfenvalerate);Valent, U.S.A. Corp. of Walnut Creek, Calif., (Fenpropathrin); and Zeneca Ag Products of Wilmington, Del., (Lambda-cyhalothrin and Tefluthrin).


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