CSPA Commends EPA Denial of Pesticide Fogger Petition

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's denial of a New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s petition to reclassify pesticide total release foggers as restricted-use products in the city is within the best interests on consumers, according to the Consumer Specialty Products Association (CSPA).

“Thousands of New York City consumers rely on pesticide foggers to control insect infestations in their homes that can lead to health problems, and we commend the EPA for making this decision that will help keep this method of pest control cost-effective for those consumers,” said Chris Cathcart, CSPA president.

EPA stated in its response to the petitioners that it would not classify the pesticide foggers as restricted use because “the weight of evidence does not show that the products, when applied in accordance with their directions for use…may generally cause, without additional regulatory restrictions, unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.” Data on adverse incidences reported did not support removing the products from the hands of consumers.

“Our data revealed that more than 6 million foggers sold throughout the state from 2005 through 2008 were used safely by consumers,” Cathcart said. “Less than 0.01 percent reported any adverse effects from using the products. Similar to the finding in a report by the Centers for Disease Control published in fall of 2008, our data on adverse effects were often associated with improper use.”

The current regulatory requirements for these products under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) assures that the most meaningful information for consumers is included on the product label, including instruction on proper use, storage and disposal.

Along with announcement that the agency has denied the petition, it also is making changes to how the products are labeled under FIFRA.

“We are willing to make reasonable changes to our product labels that will further encourage proper product use and will continue working diligently with the EPA on this important issue,” Cathcart concluded.

FIFRA provides the basis for regulation, sale, distribution and use of pesticides in the United States and authorizes EPA to review and register pesticides for the specified use for which a registrant applies. Before registering a new pesticide or new use for a registered pesticide, EPA must first ensure that the pesticide, when used according to label directions, can be used without posing unreasonable risk to human health and the environment. To make such determinations, EPA requires extensive scientific studies and tests from applicants. When EPA registers a pesticide, it approves the product’s label, which includes (among other things) directions for use, hazard warnings, and precautions. It is a violation of FIFRA for any person to use a pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its EPA-approved labeling.

CSPA is a trade association representing the interests of some 240 companies engaged in the manufacture, formulation, distribution and sale of $80 billion annually of consumer products that help household, institutional and industrial customers create cleaner and healthier environments.

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