EPA and industry ban acutely toxic pesticide

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the chemicals company, Cheminova, have signed an agreement to end all use of the organophosphate pesticide ethyl parathion.

The new agreement immediately stops the use of ethyl parathion on corn grown for seed, and phases out its use on alfalfa, barley, corn, cotton, canola, sorghum, soybean, sunflower, and wheat over the next three years. All use of the pesticide in the US will cease by the end of October 2003, and halts the import of technical grade ethyl parathion, and cancels registrations of ethyl parathion used to manufacture other end-use pesticide products.

According to the EPA, ethyl parathion is one of the most acutely toxic pesticides still registered for use in the US, and is also one of the most restricted on the US market. The new arrangement builds on a 1991 agreement between the EPA and the registrants limiting the pesticide to nine crop sites, and adding restrictions to the application and post-application work practices. However, the EPA still considered that high risks may remain for workers and for wildlife.

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