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Pesticide News Story: Phosmet Final Decision Released

For Release: January 19, 2007

EPA is issuing its final decision on the restricted-entry intervals for nine uses of the organophosphate pesticide phosmet. Consistent with EPA’s June 2006 proposal, most restricted entry intervals will be lengthened and additional mitigation will be implemented to protect workers and bystanders. This risk mitigation will be included on labels of phosmet products sold or distributed by the registrant after June 2008. The nine uses include: apples (including crabapples), apricots, highbush blueberries, grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, and prunes.

Additional mitigation includes lower seasonal maximum application rates, prohibition of phosmet application until after certain high-exposure activities have occurred, a 25-foot buffer zone around occupied dwellings for ground applications, a 50-foot buffer zone around occupied dwellings for aerial applications, and health protective entry restrictions for pick-your-own operations. Additional biomonitoring or other data is also required to address remaining uncertainties in the existing database.

After evaluating the risks and benefits of phosmet use, EPA found in its 2001 Phosmet Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision (IRED) that 36 uses were eligible for reregistration, three uses would be canceled, and nine uses would be available on a time-limited basis for a period of five years, contingent on the submission of biomonitoring and other data by Gowan Company, the sole technical registrant. EPA announced in the IRED that it would revaluate these uses in 2006 and today’s decision completes that process.

Phosmet is an alternative to the organophosphate pesticide azinphos-methyl on several major crops including apples, blueberries, and pears. Azinphos methyl is being phased out over a six-year period due to occupational and ecological concerns.

EPA’s phosmet decision document and other information about this pesticide are available on the Agency’s Phosmet website. Additional information may be found in phosmet docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2002-0354 at regulations.gov.

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