The Cardno ChemRisk View
U.S. EPA Proposes New Pesticide Application Regulations
Posted on behalf of the author, Mary Willis
The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a proposal for new restrictions on the application of “high risk” pesticides, which constitutes approximately 5% of all pesticide usage. This class of pesticides is not available to the general public; however, private applicators with proper certification can obtain these products for commercial use. Among the changes to the current rules, the U.S. EPA intends to require applicators to be at least 18 years old, thus eliminating the previous loophole through which minors were able to apply these pesticides under supervision. High risk pesticide exposure during childhood has been associated with endocrine system disruption and decreased neurocognitive function, and the proposed EPA policy change is echoing these concerns. In addition to restricting who can apply for high risk pesticide application certifications, the U.S. EPA also proposed increased safety training standards for all individuals who work with this class of chemicals. The rules particularly focus on a mandatory three year certification period to continue hazard education and strengthening the criteria for recertification. Through this set of proposed regulations, the U.S. EPA hopes to reduce the incidence of adverse health effects from pesticide application.