EPA is asking registrants of four organophosphate insecticides to submit new label amendments, which could include canceling some uses, to better protect workers who mix, load and apply the chemicals, and anyone who comes in contact with them.
The agency said it is meeting with ADAMA, Drexel, AMVAC and Gowan to implement risk mitigation measures ahead of the interim registration decisions in 2025 and 2026. The agency released human health assessments Wednesday that identified risks to handlers and bystanders, including farmworkers.
“The science is clear: some uses of these four pesticides pose a serious health risk to the people that are exposed to them,” said Michal Freedhoff, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
“That's why we’re taking early action now. While we know there’s still a lot of work to finish our review of these pesticides, today’s announcement helps deliver on our promise to protect farmworkers and uphold our commitment to environmental justice.”
Mitigation measures being considered for diazinon, ethoprop, tribufos and phosmet include “cancellation of uses and formulation types, prohibition of application methods, increased personal protective equipment for pesticide handlers, spray drift requirements, and new restrictions on when workers can reenter treated fields and perform harvesting and other types of post-application activities,” EPA said.
Patti Goldman of Earthjustice, which submitted a petition on behalf of farmworker groups to revoke tolerances for organophosphates, called the farmworker protections EPA is seeking “long overdue and desperately needed."
The companies did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
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