LAWRENCE, Kansas (PRWEB) December 31, 2012
The owner of a horticultural company was fined recently for using a restricted use pesticide (RUP) in ways that were inconsistent with the product label. The product’s use was restricted due to human health concerns, but workers had applied the product without proper training or the required personal protective equipment (PPE). In another recent case, a company was fined because it failed to keep the records required for RUPs.
“RUPs are pesticides that have been determined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to have a greater chance of causing harm to public health, farm workers, domestic animals, wildlife, certain crops, water, or other sensitive organisms or sites,” says Gina Alessandri, President of the Association of American Pesticide Control Officials and Director, Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. “As a result, there are more stringent requirements regarding applicator training, oversight and record-keeping, as well as product-specific requirements, such as more extensive PPE.”
The concept of restricted use pesticides originated in California over 60 years ago, when there were concerns about protecting sensitive crops from phenoxy herbicide drift. In 1972, amendments to the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) established RUPs at the national level.
What triggers an RUP classification? A variety of human health concerns may result in a product being restricted. Examples include acute toxicity if exposed to a product through the mouth, skin or lungs, or the ability of the active ingredient to cause genetic changes (mutagenicity) or tumors (oncogenicity) in laboratory tests.
Environmental concerns may also result in an RUP classification, such as toxicity to bees, fish, birds or certain crops, ground or surface water concerns, or a history of accidental exposure. Products may also be restricted based on how complex they are to use (requiring specialized training, equipment and/or clothing).
Here are a few important points to remember about restricted use pesticides:
“Classification of a pesticide as restricted use to protect human health or the environment is a critical component of the pesticide registration process,” says Alessandri. “It allows certain products to be available by establishing stricter conditions of use.”
If you have questions about a restricted use pesticide product, call the pesticide manufacturer, your Cooperative Extension Service or your State Pesticide Regulatory Agency.
This is the fifth in a series on pesticide stewardship sponsored by the Weed Science Society of America. Next month: Certified Applicators.
About the Weed Science Society of America
The Weed Science Society of America, a nonprofit scientific society, was founded in 1956 to encourage and promote the development of knowledge concerning weeds and their impact on the environment. The Weed Science Society of America promotes research, education and extension outreach activities related to weeds, provides science-based information to the public and policy makers, fosters awareness of weeds and their impact on managed and natural ecosystems, and promotes cooperation among weed science organizations across the nation and around the world. For more information, visit http://www.wssa.net
Some Resources on Restricted Use Pesticides