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EPA Issues One-Year Registration for Soil Fumigant Iodomethane

Release Date: 10/05/2007
Contact Information: (Media only) Dale Kemery, (202) 564-4355 / kemery.dale@epa.gov (Other inquiries) Doug Parsons, (202) 564-0341 / parsons.douglas@epa.gov

(10/5/07) EPA has approved a one-year registration of iodomethane (methyl iodide) under highly restrictive provisions governing its use. Iodomethane is an alternative to the ozone-depleting pesticide methyl bromide – reflecting the U.S. commitment to protecting the earth's ozone layer. The risk assessment process for iodomethane has been one of the most thorough analyses ever conducted on a new pesticide. When used according to EPA's strict procedures, iodomethane is not only an effective pesticide, but also meets the health and safety standards for registering pesticides.

The risk-assessment techniques, protocols governing generation of toxicology studies, and exposure evaluation methods used to support the evaluation of iodomethane have been peer-reviewed by agency scientists, the independent Scientific Advisory Panel or both. By using a thorough evaluation process, the agency concluded that there are adequate safety margins and the registration of iodomethane does not pose unreasonable risks.

On Sept. 25, EPA received a letter signed by 54 scientists who oppose the registration of iodomethane as a soil fumigant, citing potential human health and environmental concerns, and requesting additional peer review. EPA has discussed our assessment with some of the signatories and sent a letter to inform the scientists of the rigorous science used to support EPA's decision.

Iodomethane can be used as a pre-plant soil fumigant to control plant pathogens, nematodes, insects, and weeds on strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, ornamentals, turf, trees, and vines.
More information on iodomethane is available on EPA's Web site at:
epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/iodomethane_fs.htm