EPA Extends Comment Period for Soil Fumigant Safety Restrictions

Makers and users of soil fumigants will have an additional 45 days in which to comment on Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (REDs) regarding the following pesticides: Chloropicrin, Dazomet, Metam sodium/postassiu (including methyl isothiocyanate or MITC), and Methyl bromide. On July 16, EPA announced availability of REDs for the pesticides, which are used to kill soil-borne pests in many crops, and opened a 60-day public comment period on these RED documents. Now, in response to requests from groups representing manufacturers and users of soil fumigants, the agency is extending the public comment period until Oct. 30.

EPA says that as it strengthens the restrictions on the use of fumigants, it encourages stakeholders affected by this decision to carefully review the mitigation measures and provide productive input on the new restrictions. The agency adds it believes that through constructive analysis of the new restrictions and input the new restrictions can be successfully and practically implemented by users and growers while also increasing the safety of these pest control tools.

Soil fumigants are used primarily on potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries carrots, and peppers, EPA says. When fumigants dissipate from the soil, workers or bystanders who are exposed to these pesticides may experience eye or respiratory irritation, or more severe and irreversible effects, depending on the fumigant and level of exposure. The agency reviewed the soil fumigants together as a group to ensure that similar risk assessment tools and methods were used for all and that risk management approaches were consistent. EPA has determined that the soil fumigants are eligible for reregistration with risk mitigation measures that are designed to work together to increase protections for agricultural workers and bystanders. Those measures involve:

  • A written, site-specific fumigant management plan;
  • Buffer zones around treated fields;
  • Posting requirements so people do not enter treated areas;
  • Emergency preparedness information and training;
  • Outreach programs to educate the community;
  • Worker protection measures and training; and
  • Classification of all soil fumigant products as restricted-use pesticides.

EPA's decision will also halt the use of methyl bromide on sites where alternatives are available. The newly registered fumigant iodomethane will be reexamined later this year to determine what new mitigation or restrictions are necessary, the agency says. The soil fumigant 1,3-dichloropropene, which was evaluated previously, may be subject to similar provisions when the soil fumigants are evaluated together again in 2013. For more information or to find out how to provide comments, see EPA's soil fumigants Web page at www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/soil_fumigants/index.htm.

Download Center

  • Hand Safety Program

    Hand injuries are the #1 preventable industrial accident worldwide. In REThink Hand Safety, the most comprehensive book on hand safety, you'll learn how top companies have reduced hand injuries by up to 90% and what the most successful hand safety programs have in common. Get your free copy today.

  • Free 1-on-1 Consultations

    Get a free meeting with a Superior Glove hand safety expert and learn how to have less hand injuries, lower PPE costs, and increase worker productivity. 1-on-1 consultations provide you with personalized advice and recommendations for your specific needs and concerns.

  • Glove 101 Guide

    In this comprehensive guide, we've compiled all the key information you need to know about safety gloves to help you make informed decisions when choosing gloves for your workers. Whether you're new to the world of safety gloves or an experienced pro, this guide has something for everyone.

  • Sample Program

    Find the right safety gloves for your team and try before you buy—in just 3 easy steps! Simply add the products to your sample box, complete the request form, and wait for your samples to arrive at no cost to you.

  • Cut Protection Product Guide

    Find the right safety gloves for your workers to protect them from cut hazards. This guide offers a wide selection of gloves, including ultra-thin gloves with the industry’s maximum cut resistance for unbeatable dexterity and touch sensitivity.

  • Superior Glove

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - February March 2023

    February March 2023


      Does Real-Time Data Enhance Gas Detection Programs?
      Hearing Protection: The Dangers of Non-Compliance
      Personal Protective Equipment: The Pains of Staying Pain-Free
      Reframing Eyewear: Meeting Workforce Needs with Technology and Advancements
    View This Issue