EPA Holds Online Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee Meeting in October

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 21, 2020. Click here for more info!

 

EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) will hold an online public meeting of the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee (PPDC) on Oct. 28-29, 2020.

Topics will include:

  • Recent OPP registration activities, such as approving new products that could help with rodent control and prove helpful in preventing future wildfires in Western states;
  • Science policy activities, such as measures to reduce animal testing;
  • Conversations about the formation of four new PPDC workgroups: Pesticide Resistance Management, Farmworker and Clinician Training, Emerging Pathogens, and Emerging Technologies;
  • OPP’s COVID-19 response activities, including testing the efficacy of disinfectants against SARS-CoV-2; and,
  • OPP process improvements, such as IT modernization.

Please visit the PPDC webpage to see the agenda — which will include the link to register to attend the meeting — and the Federal Register notice.

To provide comments during the meeting or to request special accommodations, please contact Shannon Jewell at jewell.shannon@epa.gov or at (703)347-0109 by Oct. 23, 2020. You may also contact Ms. Jewell with questions about the PPDC.

Learn more about the Pesticide Program Dialogue Committee.

EPA Hosts Conference to Discuss Animal Testing Alternatives

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 20, 2020. Click here for more info!

 

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler kicked off the agency’s Second Annual Conference on the State of the Science on Development and Use of New Approach Methods (NAMs) for Chemical Safety Testing. More than 1,000 experts from EPA, other governmental agencies, academia, and industry are gathering virtually to hear presentations about scientific advancements in the NAMs field, enabling participants to develop a better understanding of the state of the science and develop scientific confidence in alternative test methods.

“Working together, the federal government, private sector, and scientific community can have a real impact reducing the use of animal testing,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This conference shows that we can not only achieve my goal to eliminate all testing on mammals by 2035, but show leadership on the international stage and advance cutting-edge science.”

This year, the conference will:

  • Highlight advances in the development of NAMs and addressing their limitations.
  • Report results of various case studies on applying NAMs to EPA’s decision making and Unilever’s risk assessment process.
  • Summarize strategies identified in EPA’s NAMs Work Plan.
  • Outline progress on incorporating NAMs under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Over the past several years, EPA has made significant scientific advancements in NAMs and led efforts to reduce, replace and refine its animal testing requirements. EPA will continue to lead the way among federal agencies in the United States and internationally.

The public can register to participate in the virtual conference via webinar here.

To view the Administrator’s opening remarks, visit here.

Background

In September 2019, Administrator Wheeler issued a directive calling for the Agency to reduce mammal testing and funding 30 percent by 2025 and eliminate it by 2035. In support of this directive, EPA has taken many steps since then to reduce, replace, and refine testing requirements:

  • In September 2019, EPA announced $4.25 million in funding for five universities to research and develop alternative test methods for evaluating chemical safety.
  • In December 2019, EPA convened a conference  for achieving reduced animal testing in chemical safety research and updated its list of NAMs that could be used in the agency’s work under the amended TSCA , including adding 21 new test guidelines related to health and ecological effects and six additional EPA policies that reduce the use of animal testing.
  • In January 2020, EPA launched an EPA NAMs website – a one-stop shop for getting updates about our efforts to reduce the use of animal testing.
  • In February 2020, EPA issued guidance waiving pesticide testing on birds when the information yielded is unnecessary to support a decision. This action is expected to save 720 test animals annually.
  • In June 2020, EPA released the NAMs Work Plan, which outlines the objectives, strategies and deliverables that are important guideposts in reaching the 2035 goal. EPA also convened a meeting of the Science Advisory Board to offer advice on using NAMs to help reinvent the cancer bioassay.
  • In July 2020, EPA released guidance that reduces unnecessary testing on fish in the pesticide registration process. This is expected to save 240 test animals annually.
  • In October 2020, EPA released new guidance expanding the opportunity for waivers for dermal toxicity studies for pesticides, which is expected to save 750 test animals annually.
  • As required under TSCA Section 4, EPA regularly maintains and updates a list of NAMs and plan to release a draft proposal for selecting which NAMs will be included on future versions of the list. This draft proposal will be released for public comment at the end of 2020 or early 2021.

To learn more about EPA efforts to reduce animal testing, visit: https://www.epa.gov/research/efforts-reduce-animal-testing-epa

Andrew Wheeler Announces Expedited Pathway for Companies to Claim “Long-Lasting” Efficacy for Antiviral Products

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 15, 2020. Click here for more information.

 

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced a major step forward in the Trump Administration’s efforts to ensure that Americans have access to as many tools as possible to clean and disinfect surfaces and protect their families against the novel coronavirus. Through draft guidance released today, companies will now be able to demonstrate that their products have “long-lasting” or “residual” effectiveness on surfaces against viruses like SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

“EPA is providing an expedited path for our nation’s manufacturers and innovators to get cutting-edge, long-lasting disinfecting products into the marketplace as safely and quickly as possible,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “As we continue to re-open our schools, workplaces, and other public spaces, it is important Americans have as many tools as possible to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

While traditional disinfectants only kill viruses and bacteria that are on the surface at the time they are used, surfaces treated with residual antimicrobial products kill pathogens that come into contact with the surface days, weeks, or years after the product is applied. EPA will begin expediting the registration process for these products immediately and may revise the guidance after the 60-day public comment period ends.

The guidance specifies scientific testing requirements for two different types of products: supplemental residual antimicrobial products and residual disinfectants. Supplemental residual antimicrobial products work within two hours of a virus or bacteria coming into contact with a surface and can remain effective for weeks to years. These products can supplement, but do not replace, routine cleaning and disinfection using products from EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Approved supplemental residual antimicrobial products are not eligible for inclusion on List N but will be added to a separate List N appendix.

Residual disinfectants, by contrast, must clear a higher standard of efficacy. These products are effective within 10 minutes of a virus or bacteria contacting a surface and remain effective for up to 24 hours. Surfaces treated with residual disinfectants do not require additional cleaning or disinfection during this window. These products are eligible to be added to List N.

Presently, there are no EPA-registered products available to the public that inactivate viruses that land on previously treated surfaces. While EPA approved one product to be used on a time-limited basis at specific locations in Texas, that product is for commercial, not household, use.

Cleaning and disinfecting products that claim to kill viruses must be registered with EPA before they can be legally sold or distributed. Through the registration process, EPA reviews laboratory testing data to ensure that products work as intended without causing unreasonable risks when they are used according to the label directions.

In addition to releasing the draft residual efficacy protocols, EPA has also released an updated draft testing protocol for evaluating a copper surface’s ability to kill bacteria and a draft protocol for evaluating the efficacy of antimicrobial surface coatings. These laboratory testing methods act as a foundation for EPA’s interim guidance to registrants regarding residual effectiveness.

To read today’s draft guidance, visit https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/interim-guidance-expedited-review-products-adding-residual-efficacy-claims

EPA Hosts Webinar to Address Proper Disinfecting Protocols for Learning Environments

This original announcement was published on October 5, 2020. Click here for more! 

As schools reopen, it is critically important that students and children return to clean and healthy learning environments. On Oct. 13, EPA will host a webinar dedicated to best management practices for cleaning and disinfecting schools, day cares and universities.

The webinarAddressing Disease Mitigation in Schools, Daycare Centers and Universities with Sanitizers and Disinfectants, will provide participants with cleaning and disinfection recommendations to fight pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Participants will learn:

  • how educational institutions are implementing cleaning and disinfecting protocols;
  • how to properly clean high-touch surfaces;
  • how to interpret product labels for proper use, safety and personal protection; and
  • how to use EPA web-based resources to select disinfectants approved for use against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

EPA will engage with stakeholders such as administrators, facility managers, custodial staff and nurses at schools, day cares and universities. This information will also be helpful to health departments and pest management professionals.

Featured speakers include:

  • Janet Hurley, Extension Program Specialist at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service;
  • Brian Burden, Executive Director and Vice President at Mooring USA;
  • Kenneth McPherson, Pesticide Safety and Integrated Pest Management in Schools Coordinator at EPA Region 6; and
  • Kristen Willis, Ph.D., Senior Scientist at EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs Antimicrobials Division.

Register for the webinar here: Addressing Disease Mitigation in Schools, Daycare Centers and Universities with Sanitizers and Disinfectant – Oct. 13 | 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. EDT

This webinar represents the latest in EPA’s ongoing efforts to keep Americans safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about EPA’s response here.

Read the jointly developed guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and EPA for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes.

View our infographic that demonstrates how to use disinfectants safely and effectively.

Visit List N: EPA’s list of disinfectant products expected to kill SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).