As of Dec. 1, a final set of soil fumigant product label changes went into effect, fully implementing important new protections for workers and bystanders. The amended product labels incorporate the second and final phase of mitigation measures required by the EPA’s 2009 Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (REDs) for the soil fumigants methyl bromide, chloropicrin, metam sodium/metam potassium, and dazomet. Fully implementing the new risk mitigation measures represents a sea change in worker and public protection. These measures will help protect workers, handlers and bystanders from exposure to potentially harmful airborne concentrations of the fumigant pesticides.
The new measures appearing on soil fumigant Phase 2 labels include buffer zones and posting, emergency preparedness and response measures, training for certified applicators supervising applications, Fumigant Management Plans, and notice to State Lead Agencies who wish to be informed of applications in their states. Measures added to labels in the first phase of implementation included Phase 1 Fumigant Management Plans, good agricultural practice requirements, and new worker protection measures among other things. Phase 1 labels were approved in 2010.
After Dec. 1, only soil fumigant products bearing the Phase 2 measures may be sold and distributed by registrants. Distributors and retailers who are not registrants may sell and distribute existing stocks of products bearing Phase 1 labels until their supplies are exhausted. Likewise, growers and applicators may apply products bearing old labels until those supplies have been exhausted.
The newly approved labels are available through the Pesticide Product Label System (PPLS) at www.epa.gov/pesticides/ppls. Visit the Office of Pesticide Programs’ Soil Fumigant Toolbox at www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/soil_fumigants/ for more information about soil fumigants and new requirements for their safe use.