This original announcement was published by the EPA on August 3, 2021. Click here for more information.
The U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing its plan collect pet incident data on four pesticides used in a variety of agricultural and non-agricultural settings, including in residential pet products. These pesticides are MGK-264, piperonyl butoxide (PBO), pyrethrins, and amitraz.
In its overall efforts to protect pets under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA intends to request enhanced incident reporting and sales data for these pet products to align with what is already submitted for spot-on products. These data would allow the agency to conduct a comparative assessment of pet incidents across registered pet products based on sales data to better determine whether any changes to the pet product registrations and labels are necessary. EPA is interested in feedback from stakeholders on the most efficient way these data can be provided to the agency and types of analyses that could be submitted to expedite the agency’s assessment. EPA is also considering additional measures that could enhance its oversight of pet products, such as additional targeted studies and monitoring, and welcomes public comments on these and other potential measures.
Additionally, EPA is releasing proposed interim decisions (PIDs) for MGK-264, PBO, and pyrethrins to address potential human health and ecological risks. EPA is also releasing the PID for amitraz. FIFRA requires the agency to periodically re-evaluate pesticides through registration review to ensure that risk assessments and pesticide decisions reflect the best available science. Registration review is a multi-step process to identify risks as well as actions that can mitigate risks.
Based on the findings in the draft human health and ecological risk assessments and feedback submitted during the public comment periods, EPA is proposing the following mitigation measures for MGK-264, PBO, and pyrethrins:
- Additional personal protection equipment for several occupational handler scenarios;
- Prohibiting certain applications via indoor dusters, shakers, aerosol space sprays, handheld/portable misters and foggers, and liquid spray applications;
- Adding mandatory spray drift management label language (PBO and pyrethrins only); and
- Cancelling multiple products/uses for certain residential, commercial (e.g. food handling establishments, warehouses) and indoor agricultural use (e.g., poultry houses, animal quarters).
For amitraz, the agency did not identify any human health risks of concern. Additionally, the agency has concluded that, although the potential ecological risks are limited only to honey bees in hives treated with amitraz, the risks are low and has, therefore, made a “no effect” determination for species groups for amitraz products under the Endangered Species Act. EPA is not proposing any risk mitigation for amitraz.
Upon publication of Federal Register notice, public comments will be accepted for 60 days in the registration review dockets, EPA-HQ-OPP-2012-0415 (MGK-264), EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0498 (PBO), EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0885 (pyrethrins) and EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-1015 (amitraz) at www.regulations.gov.
After a thorough review of the science and carefully considering scientific peer review and public comments, EPA will proceed with the registration review process for MGK-264, PBO, pyrethrins, and amitraz. The next step in the FIFRA registration review process is the interim decision, which imposes risk mitigation measures necessary to protect human health and the environment.
Background on Pesticide Uses
Pyrethrins are a mix of six compounds used as insecticides to target a wide range of pests in agricultural and non-agricultural settings. Pyrethrins are also registered for use in residential pet products, such as pet shampoos, pet spot-ons, and pet dusts.
MGK-264 and PBO are insecticide synergists used in combination with a variety of insecticides such as the pyrethrins and pyrethroids. Synergists are chemicals that, while lacking pesticidal properties of their own, enhance the pesticidal properties of other active ingredients. The use patterns for PBO are similar to the pyrethrins. MGK-264 has similar indoor commercial and indoor residential uses, but has no agricultural crop uses. Outdoor uses of MGK-264 are limited to building surface treatments. Both MGK-264 and PBO are registered for use in residential pet products, such as pet shampoos, pet spot-ons, and pet dusts.
Amitraz is an insecticide/acaricide currently registered for use in pet collars for control of ticks on dogs and in impregnated strips for control of Varroa mites in beehives.