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EPA Seeks Public Comment on Draft Guidance for Pesticide Volatilization Screening Methodology for Human Health Risk Assessments

For Release: March 28, 2014

EPA is releasing for public comment draft guidance on how the agency will evaluate pesticide volatilization in our human health risk assessments.

Volatilization of a pesticide is the physical movement, after a pesticide has been applied, of the pesticide vapor through the air from the intended site to any off-target site. It does not include pesticide movement by wind (spray drift or windblown soil particles) or erosion after application. Volatilization is dependent on a number of physical and chemical properties, weather conditions and other factors. Once off target, pesticide volatilization can result in inhalation exposure to people, such as bystanders.

This guidance, when finalized, will further strengthen EPA’s routine assessments of every chemical to protect consumers from pesticide risks from residues in food and to protect workers who apply pesticides and consumers who use pesticides in and around homes. The volatilization screening methodology will provide a consistent and health-protective framework to assess the potential inhalation risk to bystanders resulting from volatilization of conventional pesticides. The screening methodology will also promote consistency among scientists who consider volatilization for pesticides.

The March 26, 2014, Federal Register Notice specifically seeks input on the draft guidance that describes EPA's screening methodology for evaluating volatilization in human health risk assessments. The guidance document, “Human Health Bystander Screening Level Analysis: Volatilization of Conventional Pesticides,” and its four appendices describe the development of the screening tool, the guiding principles behind the screening tool, the various inputs utilized in the screening tool, and the results of a screening analysis that EPA has recently completed using this methodology.

For more information, see Docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0219 at www.regulations.gov.

 

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