(CN) – The EPA wants to end all indoor aerosol, spray and liquid formulas of the insecticide propoxur, often used in pet collars, after a human health assessment found risks to children.
Propoxur is registered for use by pest control operators to kill a variety of insects, including crickets, ants, cockroaches, silverfish and other pests.
The Environmental Protection Agency in 2007 canceled its approval to use propoxur sprays inside homes, day care facilities and schools.
Last year it reached an agreement with Sergeant’s Pet Care Products and Wellmark International to zero out flea and tick pet collars containing propoxur marketed under the trade names Bansect, Sentry, Zodiac and Biospot.
The agreement came after the EPA conducted a propoxur pet collar risk assessment in the fall of 2013 in response to a Natural Resources Defense Council petition.
The EPA risk assessment found, in some but not all scenarios, unacceptable risks to children from exposure to propoxur pet collars on the first day after application. Because the manufacturers could not find a way to eliminate the risk, they agreed to stop making the products.
The manufacturers were allowed to produce the pet collars until April 1 this year. They will not be allowed to distribute the products after April 1, 2016.
The Wednesday proposal by the EPA would cancel all indoor aerosol, spray and liquid formulations of propoxur inside hospitals and other commercial or institutional facilities where children may be present, and all use in food-handling establishments.
The cancellations would mean there would be no remaining food uses and no tolerance levels for propoxur. Bait formulations and outdoor uses of the insecticide would still be available.
“We are taking strong steps to protect human health – especially the health of children – from this widely used insecticide,” said Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “The agency will continue its work to reduce exposure from pesticides that pose the greatest risk to those who are the most vulnerable.”
The EPA reduced human exposure to carbamates, the class of insecticide that includes propoxur, by 70 percent from 1995 to 2013.
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