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Termiticide Data and Labeling Requirements


Current as of: August 1997

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What is EPA announcing?

EPA is announcing new standards for the registration and use of termite control products applied to soil. Pesticide Regulation (PR) Notice 96-7, which was issued in final on October 1, 1996, requires a minimum number of years of proven effectiveness and new labeling statements before such termiticide products can be registered by EPA. The new labeling statements include: for example, additional precautionary statements to protect applicators, bystanders, and pets; instructions on using application rates less than required by the label; and requirements for personal protective clothing based on the toxicity of the product.

What types of termiticide products are subject to the new requirements?

The new requirements apply only to soil treatment termiticide products. They do not apply to products such as fumigants, baits, and wood preservatives.

When do label changes take effect?

By October 1, 1997, all products distributed or sold by the registrants and supplemental registrants of the products must bear approved labeling consistent with the PR Notice. AU products distributed or sold by others (e.g., distributors, retailers) must have approved labeling by October 1, 1999. This will allow for a two year period during which existing stocks produced before October 1997 can still be sold.

For how many years must a product prove effective before it can be registered?

Soil treatment termiticide products should demonstrate that they are effective for at least 5 years before they can be registered by EPA- A product with less than 5 years of data proving its effectiveness will not be registered unless the Agency determines through its risk assessment procedures that the product is significantly less toxic than the currently registered alternatives. Even a reduced risk pesticide will be required to submit efficacy data demonstrating effectiveness.

Why is retreatment prohibited in most cases, and under what conditions is retreatment allowed?

Annual retreatment is prohibited in most cases to protect residents from unnecessary exposures and risks. If a sufficient amount of a termiticide product is applied the first time, then additional applications should not be needed. Retreatment of a structure is only allowed if there is clear evidence that reinfestation or barrier disruption has occurred. When retreatment is necessary, the timing and type of these retreatments will vary, depending on factors such as termite pressure, soil types, sod conditions, and other factors which may reduce the effectiveness of the barrier.

What is the minimum application rate for these products?

EPA is concerned that application at rates lower than the minimum would likely require more frequent applications which, in turn, would increase the risks to applicators and residents. Under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), a pesticide may be applied at any dosage, concentration, or frequency less than the: specified on the label unless the label specifically prohibits it. In the case of soil treatment termiticides, pre-construction applications (made prior to installation of the final grade) are prohibited at less than minimum labeled rates. This restriction must be made explicit on the product's label. However, there are often circumstances encountered in post-construction treatment (following installation of the final grade) that make application at the full label rate impossible or undesirable. Therefore, postconstruction applications are allowed at less than labeled rates unless states prohibit such applications.

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When are variable concentrations allowed?

The use of variable concentrations or a range of concentrations on registered labels will be allowed only if each concentration is supported by product performance data, since any change in concentration will affect the product's efficacy.

What are the limitations on the use of these products?

Soil treatment termiticide products intended for commercial use must contain a statement limiting the use of these products to commercial applicators licensed or registered by the state to apply termiticide products. Since some states may have more restrictive requirements regarding qualifications of persons who apply termiticides, applicators are advised to consult their state's structural pest control regulatory agency prior to use. Termiticide products classified for "Restricted Use" will remain so classified, and their labels must bear the required restricted use statements. Restricted use termiticides may only be applied by or under the direct supervision of an applicator who is certified in the category that includes termite control.

What precautionary statements must be included on the label?

Precautionary statements must be made explicit on product labels. The labels will be standardized so they bear the following statement to protect applicators, bystanders, and pets:

" When treating adjacent to an existing structure, the application or must check the area to be treated, and immediately adjacent to an existing structure, for visible and accessible cracks and holes to prevent any leaks or significant exposures to persons occupying the structure. People present or residing in the structure during application must be advised to remove their pets and themselves from the structure they see any signs of leakage. After application, the applicator is required to check for leaks, AUI resulting in the deposition of termiticide in locations other than those prescribed on this label must cleaned up prior to leaving the application site. Do not allow people or pets to contact contaminated areas or to reoccupy contaminated areas of the structure until the clean up is completed. "

What personal protective clothing and equipment should be worn during application of an use product?

The type of personal protective clothing and equipment will vary depending on the toxicity of and the amount of expected exposure to the formulated product. Each product label must specify these requirement EPA has established four toxicity categories and three grades of protective equipment requirements. So that EPA can determine the appropriate toxicity category and personal protective equipment (PPE) requirement for a product, the termiticide registrant must submit toxicity data to EPA on the end use product. Most end use termiticide products are concentrates that must be diluted prior to use. If the registrant would like separate PPE requirements on the label for the end use dilution product, then toxicity data for the use dilution mustbe submitted to EPA.

What prompted the Agency to take this action, and how did EPA work in partnership with states and industry to finalize these new policies?

The PR Notice culminates a multi-year collaborative effort by EPA and key stakeholders. In 1989, a committee comprised of representatives of states, industry, and EPA issued a Termiticide Labeling Report with recommendations on how to improve product labels and practices and, thereby, ensure greater protection of human health and the environment. The report led the Agency to propose a number of changes in 1991 and 1994. The notice issued in October reflects the Agency's analysis of the comments received on these proposals. It also represents a collaborative effort between the EPA, states, and the regulated community. In fact, members of the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO) took part in an EPA workgroup that analyzed comments submitted by a wide variety of stakeholders (pest control operators registrants, state regulators, pest control associations, and environmental groups) before the Agency finalized its policy.

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