GHS Implementation in EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs
Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, EPA is responsible for registering pesticides for use in the U.S., including review and approval of pesticide labels. Full implementation of GHS would require EPA to:
- complete economic and regulatory impact analyses and
- conduct rule-making to change current classification and labeling regulations.
Given the size and scale of the pesticide market in the United States and the importance of label review in the U.S. system of pesticide regulation, EPA recognizes that significant time and effort would be required to implement the GHS label changes and conduct effective outreach and education activities. After labeling rules and policies change, there would need to be time for a transition to the new labels. Implementation will also require coordination at a national and international level to avoid unnecessary disruptions. EPA foresees this process occurring in multiple stages over several years to produce concrete outputs which will contribute to attaining the public health protections and programmatic benefits GHS offers.
EPA recognizes that many stakeholders would be affected by changes in classification and labeling requirements for pesticide products. EPA efforts to involve stakholders included:
- preparing and soliciting public comments on a White Paper (PDF) (17pp, 88K, about PDF) outlining its initial thinking on how the GHS might be applied to pesticide labels and
- participating in and conducting numerous stakeholder outreach activities and meetings.
EPA will continue to communicate with stakeholders as the Agency moves forward with training and outreach, data collection, coordination, and the development of an implementation strategy that would minimize costs and make the transition as smooth as possible. In 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development
set a goal for implementation of the GHS to the extent possible by 2008. Although EPA will not meet this goal, as other U.S. agencies move forward with their implementation of GHS you may begin to see GHS elements in transport or occupational settings at an earlier date.