Several environmental groups have petitioned the EPA to remove 72 chemicals from its list of substances approved as inert ingredients in pesticide products.
Yet these inert chemicals - the non-active ingredients added to pesticides - including turpentine oil and nitrous oxide - are not currently used in current pesticides on the market.
The Center for Environmental Health, Beyond Pesticides, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and others petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to make the change.
The EPA is requesting public input on the proposal.
“We are taking action to ensure that these ingredients are not added to any pesticide products unless they have been fully vetted by EPA,” said Jim Jones of the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.
Jones added, “This is the first major step in our strategy to reduce risks from pesticides containing potentially hazardous inert ingredients.”
EPA developed an alternative strategy designed to reduce the risks posed by hazardous inert ingredients in pesticide products more effectively than by disclosure rulemaking.
EPA outlined its strategy in a May 22, 2014 letter to the petitioners: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558-0003.
Many of the 72 inert ingredients targeted for removal are on the list of 371 inert ingredients identified by the petitioners as hazardous.
Most pesticide products contain a mixture of different ingredients. Ingredients directly responsible for controlling pests, including insects or weeds, are called active ingredients.
For the list of 72 chemical substances and to receive information on how to provide comments, see the Federal Register Notice in docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558.
To access this notice, copy and paste the above docket number into the search box at http://regulations.gov.
Comments are due by Nov. 21, 2014.
Click this link - http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/inert-ingredients-overview-and-guidance - to gain general information on inert ingredients.