The 90-day public comment period has started for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal for pesticide applicators who apply restricted use pesticides. These pesticides are not available for purchase by the general public, require special handling, and may only be applied by a certified applicator or someone working under his or her direct supervision.
The goal of this proposed rule is to reduce the likelihood of harm from the misapplication of toxic pesticides and ensure a consistent level of protection among states. EPA has determined that use of restricted use pesticides would be safer with increased supervision and oversight. EPA is proposing stricter standards for people certified to use restricted use pesticides and to require all people who apply restricted use pesticides to be at least 18 years old. Certifications would be renewed every three years. Additional specialized licensing is also proposed for certain methods of application that can pose greater risks if not conducted properly, such as fumigation and aerial application. Individuals working under the supervision of certified applicators would now need training on using pesticides safely.
State agencies issue licenses to pesticide applicators who need to demonstrate under an EPA-approved program their ability to use these products safely. Many states already have in place some or many of EPA’s proposed changes. The proposed revisions would reduce the burden on applicators and pest control companies that work across state lines. The proposal promotes consistency across state programs by encouraging inter-state recognition of licenses.
Distribution of Certain Mouse and Rat Control Products Ends
On April 1, 2015, Reckitt Benckiser ceased all distribution of 12 d-CON products that do not meet EPA’s current safety standards. EPA reached an agreement with Reckitt, the manufacturer, to cancel these products because they are sold without a protective bait station and pose risks to children and pets. Additionally, eight of the 12 products pose unacceptable risks to certain wildlife. Retailers may sell and consumers may buy these products according to the label until stocks are exhausted. Users of these d-CON products must read and follow the product label instructions.
Household rodenticide products that comply with the Agency’s safety criteria are widely available and are required to be sold and used with a bait station in most use scenarios. EPA encourages consumers to use rodenticide products with bait stations, as proper use of a bait station reduces the risk of accidental exposure to children, pets, and non-target wildlife.
The Center for Integrated Pest Management has launched the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship website. This site is designed for anyone who applies, sells, stores or disposes of pesticides. The website complements the work of Extension agents and Pesticide Safety Education Programs. It covers a wide variety of stewardship topics ranging from storage, handling and disposal, drift runoff and has an extensive section for Homeowners.