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Paraquat Training Update 11/27/2020

Paraquat Training Update

NPSEC is currently revising the label-mandated paraquat training to include the following changes:

  1. Closed-system Requirement – As of December 31st of this year, paraquat registrants will no longer be able to distribute or sell paraquat products in container less than 120 gallons without closed systems for removing product from the original container, any subsequent transfer of the product, and complete removal and rinsing of the product container. However, dealers and distributors will be permitted to continue to sell paraquat products that do not meet the closed-system requirement until their stocks run out.
  2. Jar Testing – Tank-mix compatibility testing, aka jar testing, is prohibited. Users are advised to check the product website for a list of some products that have been evaluated for compatibility.

Applicators who have already completed training are still compliant for three years from the time they completed the original training – they do not have to take the updated training until their three-year renewal anniversary.

Remember to always follow the label directions of the product you are using; the label is the law.

EPA Proposes New Safety Measures for Paraquat

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 23, 2020. Click here for more! 

 

Today, EPA is taking the next step in its regulatory review of paraquat dichloride (paraquat), a widely-used herbicide.

As outlined in the proposed interim decision for paraquat, the agency is proposing new measures to reduce risks associated with paraquat in order to better to protect human health and the environment. These measures include:

  • Prohibiting aerial application for all uses and use sites except cotton desiccation;
  • Prohibiting pressurized handgun and backpack sprayer application methods on the label;
  • Limiting the maximum application rate for alfalfa to one pound of active ingredient per acre;
  • Requiring enclosed cabs if area treated in 24-hour period is more than 80 acres;
  • Requiring enclosed cabs or PF10 respirators if area treated in 24-hour period is 80 acres or less;
  • Requiring a residential area drift buffer and 7-day restricted entry interval (REI) for cotton desiccation;
  • Requiring a 48-hour REI for all crops and uses except cotton desiccation; and
  • Adding mandatory spray drift management label language.

In addition, EPA is proposing to allow truck drivers who are not certified applicators to transport paraquat when certain conditions are met.

Read the proposed interim decision here. Upon publication of the Federal Register notice, public comments will be accepted for 60 days in docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2011-0855 until December 22, 2020 at www.regulations.gov.

Background

Paraquat is applied annually to control invasive weeds and plants in more than 100 crops—including cotton, corn, and soybeans, and there are presently no direct alternatives to this product. Because all paraquat products are Restricted Use Products, they can only be applied by certified pesticide applicators.

EPA has taken proactive steps, outside of the standard registration review process, to ensure paraquat is used in a manner that is safe and consistent with the label directions. This includes a safety awareness campaign and changes to labels and product packaging to stop improper uses, which have led to poisonings and deaths. Additionally, specialized training for certified applicators who use paraquat was released earlier this year to ensure that the pesticide is used correctly. EPA is continuing to evaluate the effectiveness of these measures as the agency works to complete the required registration review process.

The proposed interim decision (PID) for paraquat is the third step in EPA’s four-step process for evaluating a pesticide registration application that EPA conducts at least every 15 years. It is not a denial or an approval of the active ingredient.

In the PID, EPA proposes mitigation measures to reduce the human health and ecological risks identified in the agency’s human health and ecological risk assessments (step two). The agency published the draft risk assessments for paraquat in October 2019. The ID is the fourth step in the registration review process. In the ID, EPA finalizes mitigation measures to reduce the human health and ecological risks.

Additional information on the proposed interim decision for paraquat is available on EPA’s website.



EPA Makes Paraquat Draft Risk Assessments Available for Public Comment

This original announcement was published by the EPA on October 15, 2019 and can be accessed here.

Today, EPA is taking an important step in its regulatory review of paraquat—an herbicide used in agricultural and commercial settings only. The draft risk assessments are the product of an extensive evaluation of available data on the health and environmental impacts associated with the pesticide. The agency is seeking public input on draft human health and ecological risk assessments. These draft risk assessments are the next step in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) registration review process and are not a denial or an approval of the herbicide. Public comments will be accepted until December 16, 2019.

Additional Background

Paraquat is already applied annually to control invasive weeds and plants in more than 100 crops—including cotton, corn, and soybeans, and there are presently no direct alternatives to this product. All paraquat products are Restricted Use Products. Additionally, paraquat products can only be applied by certified pesticide applicators. EPA does not allow the use of paraquat in residential areas.

EPA has taken proactive steps, outside of the standard registration review process, to ensure paraquat is used in a manner that is safe and consistent with the label directions. This includes a safety awareness campaign and changes to labels and product packaging to stop improper uses, which have led to poisonings and deaths. Additionally, specialized training for certified applicators who use paraquat was released earlier this year to ensure that the pesticide is used correctly. EPA is continuing to evaluate the effectiveness of these measures as the agency works to complete the required registration review process.

EPA found no dietary risks of concern when paraquat is used according to label instructions. The draft human health risk assessment identifies potential risks to workers who apply paraquat or enter treated fields after application. There are also potential risks from spray drift to bystanders at the edge of the field. The draft ecological risk assessment identifies potential risks to mammals, birds, adult honey bees, terrestrial plants, and algae. Historically, EPA has received feedback from the public linking the proper use of paraquat to Parkinson’s Disease, however, EPA’s review of the available information in the draft assessment did not support a causal relationship. As with all aspects of the draft risk assessments, the agency is seeking additional feedback from the public during the 60-day public comment period on the relationship between paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease.

After public comments on the human health and ecological risk assessments are reviewed, EPA will determine whether updates or revisions to the assessments are necessary. EPA will propose additional risk mitigation measures, if necessary, in 2020, via its Registration Review Proposed Interim Decision. Learn more about paraquat today.