Pesticide News Story: Azinphos-Methyl Uses Cancellation September 30, 2012; Use of Existing Stocks Allowed through September 2013
For Release: August 30, 2012
After considering comments from growers and other stakeholders, EPA has completed a final risk-benefit analysis for the remaining uses of the organophosphate insecticide azinphos-methyl (AZM). AZM can present health risks to workers and can cause negative ecological impacts, while effective alternatives to this insecticide are available to growers. EPA has decided to maintain the September 30, 2012, effective date for cancellation of the remaining uses of AZM, on apples, blueberries, sweet and tart cherries, parsley, and pears.
Due to unusual bad weather conditions in 2012, EPA will modify the cancellation order to allow growers to use only existing stocks of AZM in their possession for another year, through September 30, 2013. All the required mitigation measures now reflected on AZM labeling will remain in effect during this use. Distribution or sale of AZM after September 30, 2012, remains prohibited. This decision will not result in greater use of AZM than originally anticipated, and provides a safer alternative to disposal arrangements.
First registered in 1959, AZM has been used to control insect pests on a wide variety of agricultural crops and on ornamentals, tobacco, and trees. In the late 1990s, EPA began reevaluating AZM with the full involvement of a wide range of stakeholders. In 2001, certain uses were immediately canceled or phased out over a four-year period because of concerns regarding worker health and negative ecological impacts.
In 2006, EPA announced a final decision to phase out the remaining ten AZM uses in three phases, with the last uses ending September 30, 2012. This phase-out helped facilitate the transition to safer alternatives, and includes mitigation measures such as reduced application rates and buffer zones around water bodies and occupied dwellings. In July 2012, EPA released and sought comment on an updated grower impacts assessment for the remaining uses of AZM, which has been useful to the agency in developing this final decision on AZM.
EPA’s final AZM risk-benefit analysis will be available on the azinphos-methyl regulatory actions page, and in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2009-0365 at www.regulations.gov. Further information is available in AZM docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0061 at Regulations.gov.