[Regulatory Update] EPA Responds to NPMA’s Pyrethroid Restriction Concerns

Features - Public Health

The Agency provides further clarification on how new federal labels impact how pest management profesionals apply pyrethroids.

July 31, 2012
Brad Harbison

On April 13, the National Pest Management Association sent a letter to EPA outlining concerns about how new federal labels will restrict how pest management professionals apply pyrethroids.

Specifically, NPMA asked for:

  • Clarification of environmental hazard statements. NPMA asked that EPA clarify whether or not certain label directions were advisory or mandatory;
  • Clarification of the label statement: “Do not water to the point of runoff.” NPMA asked EPA to confirm that if the applicator does not water to the point of runoff, but the customer or another person does water the treated area subsequent to the application, the applicator has not violated the label directions;
  • An amendment to labels allowing products to be used “to treat building surfaces for brown marmorated stink bugs, kudzu bugs, boxelder bugs, spiders, cluster flies, multicolored Asian ladybeetles, clover mites and carpenter bees, provided that the application does not exceed the point of runoff, and the surface being treated is above a permissible treatment site like a lawn, soil, turf or other vegetation, and not above an impervious surface or other use site that may not be treated.”

On May 21, EPA responded to these concerns in a letter addressed to NPMA Senior Vice President Bob Rosenberg.

Regarding the environmental hazard statements, EPA confirmed that those statements are “best management practices” and “not written to be mandatory, enforceable statements.”

In response to NPMA’s question about “watering to the point of runoff,” EPA responded, “If the customer or homeowner, subsequent to the PCO application and watering-in, waters the treated area creating runoff, the applicator would not have violated the label directions.”

In response to NPMA’s request that the Agency allow non-agricultural outdoor use pyrethroid product labels to be amended for certain uses, EPA denied that request, noting that it “believes that the flexibility inherent in the 2009 pyrethroid non-agricultural outdoor labeling initiative covers the scenarios NPMA has raised.”

Rosenberg said NPMA is still discussing this issue with the Agency.


Harbison is Internet editor for www.pctonline.com.


Web Resources
Decisions regarding the future of pyrethroids will continue to unfold, so stay tuned to www.pctonline.com. Two other important resources are:

http://bit.ly/pyrethroid-update —Includes a link to the April 13 letter in which NPMA outlined concerns about how new federal labels will restrict how PMPs apply pyrethroids. Also includes a link to EPA’s May 21 response.

1.usa.gov/LN76TP — This page contains information from various EPA topic pages, fact sheets, and other sources that relate to pyrethroids and pyrethrins.