EPA opens comments for pyrethroid review

LCOs have 60 days to tell the agency how they use these products.

December 2, 2016
Chuck Bowen
The Environmental Protection Agency has opened the comment period for its review of pyrethroids, a family of chemicals used in many professional and consumer-grade insecticides.

Pyrethroids are used widely in many industries, but in lawn care are most often the active ingredient in mosquito control for turf and ornamental applications. The chemical class is also used to control termites, and in flea treatments for pets. 

Congress requires the EPA to review all pesticides every 15 years. This review, the first time pyrethroids have been evaluated as a class, focuses mainly on how they impact fish and aquatic plants. 

The comment period is open until Jan. 30. After the comment period, the EPA will issue a proposed risk assessment of the chemical group and, ultimately, recommendations for possible regulatory changes. 

“Depending on the outcome of the assessments, the EPA may require additional mitigations, up to and including cancellation of uses,” said Jill Holihan, Director, Product Development & Regulatory Affairs at FMC. “What is decided and enacted could affect everyone’s use of pyrethroids. Without input from lawn care, there could be use restrictions or even cancellation. The industry needs lawn care professionals to communicate the benefits of pyrethroids to the EPA. Without user input, everyone runs the risk of losing key uses of these pest control tools.”

Holihan leads the Pyrethroid Working Group, a group of industry suppliers including AMVAC Chemical, BASF, Bayer CropScience, FMC, Syngenta Crop Protection and Valent BioSciences, that are monitoring the review process. 

You can read the agency’s full report here and comment here.