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Pesticide News Story: EPA Releases Cumulative Assessment on a Group of Closely Related Herbicides

For Release: March 29, 2006

The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that the cumulative risk associated with chloroacetanilide pesticides (acetochlor and alachlor) are below the Agency’s level of concern. The chloroacetanilides group also includes butachlor, which was not incorporated into the cumulative assessment because there are no U.S. registrations or established tolerances. The chloroacetanilides share a common mechanism of toxicity (they cause a common toxic effect by the same sequence of major biochemical events) due to their ability to cause nasal tumors. EPA is inviting public comment until May 30, 2006, on its Choloracetanilide Cumulative Risk Assessment, issued on March 29, 2006. The chloroacetanilide cumulative assessment is available at http://www.regulations.gov in docket #EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0202, and also will be available on the EPA's Assessing Pesticide Cumulative Risk Web page at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/cumulative/index.htm.

EPA also has evaluated the dietary (food and drinking water) human health risks associated with all currently registered uses of the herbicide acetochlor. The Agency has determined that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from exposures to the pesticide from food and non-occupational sources, including drinking water, residential uses and other non-occupational sources of pesticide exposure for which there is reliable information. EPA reassessed 12 tolerances (legal limits for pesticide residues in food) established for residues of acetochlor in/on raw agricultural commodities and they all met federal safety standards. The Agency reassessed the existing tolerances for acetochlor on the following commodities: corn forage, stover, and grain and the rotational crops, sorghum forage, stover, and grain; soybean forage, hay, and grain; and wheat forage, straw, and grain. Under federal law, acetochlor is not subject to reregistration -- EPA’s comprehensive reevaluation and re-licensing process -- because it was initially registered as a pesticide active ingredient after November 1984, but its tolerances must be reassessed. The Agency's March 29, 2006, Federal Register Notice announcing its Report on Food Quality Protection Act Tolerance Reassessment Progress and Risk Management Decision (TRED) for Acetochlor is available on the Agency's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr. The Actochlor TRED is available at http://www.regulations.gov in docket #EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0227, and will also be available at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/status.htm.

 

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