This original message was published by the EPA on January 19, 2022. Click here for more information.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a new calculator and updated worker exposure data used to assess occupational safety for new seed treatment pesticides, new seed treatment uses of registered pesticides, and existing seed treatment pesticides currently undergoing review.
The new calculator provides an estimate of exposure and risk based on seed treatment exposure scenarios, exposure routes, and applicable personal protective equipment (PPE). It uses the most recent and robust exposure data available to EPA. Users of the calculator can observe how different inputs can affect occupational seed treatment exposures and risks by entering different seed treatment application rates and by reviewing the outputs at differing levels of PPE.
The updated worker exposure data released today include new exposure estimates based on studies from the Agricultural Handler Exposure Task Force (AHETF) that monitored dermal and inhalation exposure for workers in commercial seed treatment facilities, for workers conducting on-farm seed treatment, and for workers loading and planting treated seed. The updated exposure values are the result of a multi-year effort on the part of the AHETF and EPA to review available seed treatment data to ensure the final dataset represents modern seed treatment processes and equipment and allows for more robust data analysis.
By using more recent and robust exposure data, the public and stakeholders will have more confidence and certainty in occupational pesticide seed treatment risks assessments. Additionally, the standardized data provides the agency with more efficiency in completing risk assessments and ensure transparency to the public and affected stakeholders.
EPA’s updated worker exposure data and calculator will help state and local governments, pesticide manufacturers, academics, and others evaluate the potential for health effects to a person who might be exposed to pesticides as part of their work.
Separately, the agency is currently developing a response to a petition submitted by the Center for Food Safety regarding treated seed. This update to the occupational pesticide seed treatment exposure data and calculator does not affect the ongoing review or response to the petition.