The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released for public comment several draft risk assessments – one combined ecological risk assessment covering 22 sulfonylurea (SU) chemicals, and individual human health risk assessments for each of them, with the exception of bensulfuron-methyl, which has not yet been completed. 

Risks appear to be limited to other plants that are not the intended target of the pesticide. Using a new approach to assessing risks from related chemicals, we have combined the 22 separate ecological risk assessment into one document, focusing on risks to plants. This single document approach is intended to increase efficiency and consistency by assessing risks from a group of similar compounds at the same time. This approach makes for a level playing field for each product as we consider possible approaches to reduce risk.

We generated separate human health risk assessment documents for each of the SUs because of differences in toxicity endpoints and points of departure.

The SUs are an established and widely used class of agricultural pesticides used in the United States to control broadleaf and grassy weeds and registered for many agricultural and non-agricultural uses. 

This Federal Register Notice also announces the availability of draft registration review human health and ecological risk assessments for an additional 13 pesticide chemicals that are not sulfonylureas. 

To access the draft human health and ecological risk assessments, go to Docket No. EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0386 at

EPA will accept comments until Nov. 24, 2015.