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REMAINING USE OF PESTICIDE ETHYL PARATHION CANCELED

Release Date: 10/13/2000
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, OCT. 13, 2000

REMAINING USE OF PESTICIDE ETHYL PARATHION CANCELED

EPA and the manufacturer, Cheminova, have signed an agreement to cancel all remaining uses of the organophosphate pesticide ethyl parathion. It is one of the most acutely toxic pesticides still registered for use in the United States. Ethyl parathion is also one of the most highly restricted pesticides on the market today according to the agency’s revised risk assessments. The agreement builds on an earlier one reached in 1991 between EPA and the registrants which limited ethyl parathion use to nine crop sites and added restrictions to the application and post-application work practices to reduce acute toxicity risks. Despite the restrictions, EPA’s revised risk assessments for ethyl parathion released earlier this year indicate that high risks may remain for workers and wildlife. However, ethyl parathion residues in food crops grown in the United States and drinking water do not pose significant dietary risk concerns. The pesticide has no residential uses, though some exposure may result from spray drift. The new agreement immediately stops the use of ethyl parathion on corn grown for seed, which poses the greatest potential risk to workers who reenter treated fields. It phases out use on other agricultural crops (alfalfa, barley, corn, cotton, canola, sorghum, soybean, sunflower, and wheat) over the next three years, ending all use of ethyl parathion in the United States by Oct. 31, 2003. The agreement also halts the import of technical grade ethyl parathion into the United States and cancels registrations of ethyl parathion used to manufacture other end-use pesticide products. The registrations of the end-use products will be canceled effective Dec. 31, 2002.

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