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EPA Seeks to Disclose Pesticide Inert Ingredients

Release Date: 12/22/2009
Contact Information: Dale Kemery kemery.dale@epa.gov 202-564-7839 202-564-4355

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2009

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is requesting public comment on options for disclosing inert ingredients in pesticides. In this anticipated rulemaking, EPA is seeking ideas for greater disclosure of inert ingredient identities. Inert ingredients are part of the end use product formulation and are not active ingredients. Revealing inert ingredients will help consumers make informed decisions and will better protect public health and the environment.

“Consumers deserve to know the identities of ingredients in pesticide formulations, including inert ingredients,” said Steve Owens, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances. “Disclosing inert ingredients in pesticide products, especially those considered to be hazardous, will empower consumers and pesticide users to make more informed choices.”

EPA believes public disclosure is one way to discourage the use of hazardous inert ingredients in pesticide formulations. The agency is inviting comment on various regulatory and voluntary steps to achieve this broader disclosure.

Pesticide manufacturers usually disclose their inert ingredients only to EPA. Currently, EPA evaluates the safety of all ingredients in a product’s formulation when determining whether the pesticide should be registered.

On October 1, 2009, EPA responded to two petitions (one by Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, and a second by several state attorneys general), that designated more than 350 inert pesticide ingredients as hazardous. The petitioners asked EPA to require that these ingredients be identified on the labels of products that include them in their formulations.

EPA will accept comments on the advance notice of proposed rulemaking for 60 days after it has been published in the Federal Register.

More information: http://www.epa.gov/opprd001/inerts/index.htm