Cooperative Extension Service
The University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Your Source for Pest Management and Pesticide News

October 2001/Volume 24, No. 10

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Could terrorists obtain pesticides from you?
Invasive plants can be just as devastating as unwanted insects or diseases
The EPA has issued revised guidance for the disposal of household pesticides
According to a survey by Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment, most parents do not think about pests or pesticides at their children's schools

NEWS YOU CAN USE

Agricultural engineers at The Ohio State University have developed a biomass-sensing device that calculates the volume of a plant

FEDERAL NEWS

The EPA will conduct a November workshop to help people register low-risk pesticides
Look at the last page for your free Worker Protection Standard (WPS) checklist
The EPA is asking for comments on their draft guidelines for collecting and analyzing samples from playground equipment treated with chromated copper arsenate
Comment periods are open for several important pesticide regulatory decisions

CANCELLED

The EPA has announced that ethion is being cancelled at the request of the registrant
Some uses are being dropped from the labels of metolachlor and fenamiphos at the request of the registrants

IPM NOTEBOOK

This new book investigates why biological control projects fail 90% of the time

FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT -- RE-REGISTRATION

The ongoing EPA process to formulate a cumulative risk assessment has far-reaching implications

DON'T DO IT

In one of the largest enforcement cases ever initiated for pesticide violations, the EPA assessed Micro Flo fines of $3.7 million for 673 violations

BIOTECHNOLOGY

The EPA has just announced that the conditional registration for Bt cotton has been extended for five years
A new issue paper from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology analyzes regulatory procedures for evaluating genetically engineered crops

EPA Worker Protection Standard Checklist

Health and the Environment

Could terrorists obtain pesticides from you? There have already been reports of suspicious people trying to obtain aerial application equipment. As you know, a few pesticides are deadly. However, even a less toxic material could be used to foul a city water supply or create other problems. Take inventory of your agrochemicals and make sure they are secure from unauthorized persons. These guidelines can help.

Security also involves being alert to unusual or suspicious actions. Indications that something is amiss may include unusual behavior by a purchaser or other individual who:

(IPM NET News, October 2001)

Invasive plants can be just as devastating as unwanted insects or diseases. "Why," Dr. R.P Randall recently wrote in an article for the Enviroweeds news group, "are plants considered to be any different than diseases or insects? Plants introduced into the environment interact with other species, leave traces, make changes, and slowly alter the original environment.

"No other class of organisms is transported around the world in such variety and quantity as plants. Millions of tons of bulbs and seeds every year comprising thousands of species are spread all over the planet, and so few people appreciate the enormous potential impacts of all this movement." Very little if any thought is given to importing a new plant species, says Dr. Randall, whereas introducing an insect or pathogen immediately raises serious concern about potential negative impacts.

Because of biodiversity - the vast differences in the flora and fauna between countries, bioregions, and ecosystems--there is a false belief that introducing new plant species will enhance the environment, Randall says, whereas the results can be just the opposite, and often even catastrophic.

While, "It's a quantum leap in peoples' minds to start considering weedy plant species in the same light as infectious pathogens," concludes Randall, "it has to happen or we will eventually end up with a global flora no more diverse than at your favorite nursery." (IPM NET News, October 2001)

If you disagree with Dr. Randall, just take a look at the problems Florida and other states have with Hydrilla. This noxious plant was originally introduced in the 1950s as an aquarium plant. Twenty years later, it was established throughout the state. Hundreds of natural waterways are choked with this aquatic weed. It is highly unlikely that Hydrilla can ever be eradicated, but the states and the nation will spend millions of dollars to control it.

The EPA has issued revised guidance for the disposal of household pesticides. The new instructions direct consumers to call their local solid waste authorities for specific disposal instructions and provide state and local governments greater latitude in carrying out their responsibilities for product disposal and waste management programs. The Agency had discovered that current label directions for disposal were contradictory to local regulations. For example, many municipalities direct pesticide disposal away from landfills.

Additionally, some labels may inadvertently increase risks of exposure. Current label directions frequently instruct households to wrap pesticides in several layers of newspaper for disposal with the household trash. However, even several layers of paper may not protect the sanitation worker, particularly if the person does not know if a pesticide is contained in the package.

For more information, contact the Pesticide Docket at (703) 305-5805 or electronically on EPA's home page at http://www.epa.gov/PR_Notices/ or Amy Breedlove at 703-308-9069 or breedlove.amy@epa.gov

According to a survey by Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment, most parents do not think about pests or pesticides at their children's schools. Parents listed air quality, asbestos, lead, and mold/fungus as environmental qualities of concern at schools. However, parents become concerned very easily about pests and pesticides when these topics are raised.

News You Can Use

Agricultural engineers at The Ohio State University have developed a biomass-sensing device that calculates the volume of a plant and compares the result to the plant's expected ("normal") growth at any point during the growing period. The resulting information can help growers determine the overall health of a crop and whether there is need for inputs such as irrigation, pest management, or fertilization. The sensor alerts growers to a potential problem by comparing measurements of crop growth against a predetermined normal growth rate. The device is similar to a radar unit in that it scans, at a 180-degree angle, the cross section of a crop plant, and creates a map that calculates overall plant volume. Sensors can be mounted on tractors so that growth information can be collected while performing other operations. M.R. Ehsani, Ehsani.2@osu.edu (IPM NET news, October 2001)

The University of Georgia recently hosted the National Symposium on the Future of American Agriculture. You can read about the discussion and find out about the 'next big thing' on the web http://www.uga.edu/caes/symposium.html

Federal News

The EPA will conduct a November workshop to help people register low-risk pesticides. The workshop will provide participants with a better understanding of the registration process in the United States, Canada, and the state of California. The workshop will be in Arlington, VA, on November 13-15.

Instructors will guide participants through the process of registering biopesticides, including microbials, pheromones, biochemicals and genetically engineered plant-incorporated protectants. Topics will include the biopesticide registration submission process, good laboratory practice requirements, scientific assessments and maintenance of existing registrations. Anyone currently involved in development, manufacturing and sales of biopesticides is especially encouraged to attend. For additional information, contact Cheryl Ferrazoli at IR-4 Headquarters at 732-932-9575, ext. 601.

Look at the last page for your free Worker Protection Standard (WPS) checklist. The WPS is receiving greater attention following a federal report that criticized implementation of the standard. We are including the checklist because a county Extension agent told me that many growers were not sure what they were supposed to be doing. Keep in mind that the checklist is not a replacement for the WPS manual, but it will help you keep up with the basics. You can find all of the WPS rules at the EPA web site. www.epa.gov/pesticides/safety

Take WPS seriously. In addition to regulatory fines, you may face civil penalties if a worker is injured.

The EPA is asking for comments on their draft guidelines for collecting and analyzing samples from playground equipment treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA). Because this product could be hazardous to children, the Agency wants to develop protocols to find out if children are being exposed to the pesticide in wood or soil on or near playgrounds. The EPA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission jointly developed the guidelines. Prior to initiating any actual sampling and analysis, a 30-day comment period is open to solicit public input on the study design. The comment period will remain open until October 22, 2001.

Additional information on EPA's ongoing reassessment of CCA-treated wood is available at www.epa.gov/pesticides/citizens/1file.htm

For further information regarding the draft protocols, contact Connie Welch, EPA-OPP, Antimicrobial Division, 703-308-8218; e-mail address: welch.connie@epa.gov

Comment periods are open for several important pesticide regulatory decisions, including atrazine, azinphos-methyl, endosulfan, lindane, and phosmet as well as new drift regulations. Do not sit on the sidelines and complain later.

Azinphos-methyl: 11-13-01
Atrazine: closes 11-26-01
Endosulfan: closes 11-30-01
Lindane: closes 10-29-01
Phosmet: closes 11-13-01
Drift guidance: closes 11-20-01

Cancelled

EPA has published a cancellation order for registrations for all indoor uses, certain agricultural uses, and certain outdoor non-agricultural uses for end-use diazinon products belonging to eight registrants. This order follows up on the August 1 publication in the Federal Register of the Notice of Receipt of Cancellation Requests and Amendments.

Retail sale of existing stocks of products labeled for indoor uses listed in this notice, except mushroom houses, will not be lawful after December 31, 2002. Retail sale of existing stocks labeled for canceled agricultural uses or outdoor non-agricultural uses will be allowed until 1 year after issuance of the final cancellation order. Retail purchasers may continue to use canceled products in accordance with existing labels.

You can find more information at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/op/diazinon.htm

The EPA has announced that ethion is being cancelled at the request of the registrant. Ethion is registered for use on citrus in Florida and Texas and on cattle in ear tags. According to the request for voluntary cancellation, sale of manufacturing use products will end October 1, 2003. EPA expects that use of such products would end by December 31, 2003. End-use products could be sold until October 1, 2004, and EPA expects use of these products would end December 31, 2004. EPA will accept comments on this notice until October 26, 2001. Comments must cite OPP docket number OPP-00742. EPA's risk assessment documents for ethion are available on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/op/ethion.htm

Some uses are being dropped from the labels of metolachlor and fenamiphos at the request of the registrants. The decisions were made in response to reregistration. Bayer Corp. is dropping cotton and pineapple from some fenamiphos formulations. Syngenta is dropping stone fruits and almonds from the label for the technical product.

IPM Notebook

This new book investigates why biological control projects fail 90 percent of the time. Biocontrol's Success: A Review provides insights from a host of international scientists. The book supports the need for biocontrol efforts and offers strategies to improve the likelihood of success. You can buy the 450 page book from Kluwer Academic Publishers, PO Box 17, 3300 AZ Dordrecht, THE NETHERLANDS. Fax: 31-78-654-6474. E-mail: Orderdept@wkap.nl Phone: 31-78-639-2392.

Food Quality Protection Act -- Re-Registration

The ongoing EPA process to formulate a cumulative risk assessment has far-reaching implications. Pay attention to the process and comment when you are given the opportunity.

In short, the cumulative assessment will provide an estimate of the combined risk for a group of pesticides with a common toxic mode of action. In this case, all of the organophosphate insecticides are being combined because they all affect the same nerve enzyme. Keep in mind the process, however, may go far beyond the organophosphates. The Agency is likely to use the same process with dithiocarbamate fungicides, EBDC fungicides, carbamate insecticides, and others.

Do not forget that the Agency made significant regulatory changes based upon assessments of individual organophosphates. The cumulative assessment may bring far greater changes.

The EPA wants to complete the preliminary assessment by December 2001, and they plan to complete revision by August 2002. At least one panelist on the EPA Science Advisory Panel is concerned that this timetable may lead to a model with significant flaws. Furthermore, he contends that other offices within EPA are likely to adopt the model for other regulatory evaluations. In other words, we need to make sure this model is realistic and workable, or we will regret it. (Pesticide & Tox. Chemical News, 9-10-01)

Don't Do It

In one of the largest enforcement cases ever initiated for pesticide violations, the EPA assessed Micro Flo fines of $3.7 million for 673 violations. The suit alleges that Micro Flo has been selling pesticides with a composition that did not match the registration. The EPA also alleges that the company falsified documents that accompanied shipments.

Basically, companies may only import pesticides from sources that have been approved by EPA. This suit contends that Micro Flo imported chemicals from unapproved foreign companies and hid that information from the government. (PANUPS, 9-21-01, based on information from U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance Update, September 18, 2001; U.S. EPA Civil Complaint, FIFRA-04-2001-3000, September 11, 2001; Wright & Sielaty Press Release, September 14, 2001; AGROW, April 13, 2001, August 31, 2001)

Biotechnology

The EPA has just announced that the conditional registration for Bt cotton has been extended for five years. Bt cotton has been genetically altered by the insertion of a gene from Bacillus thuringiensis that allows the cotton to make a toxic protein that kills some types of caterpillars. This toxin is not dangerous for humans or other animals.

Provisions attached to the extended registrations are intended to strengthen insect resistance management, improve grower awareness and stewardship, and prevent gene flow from Bt cotton to weedy relatives. The amended registration requires that some acres be set aside where non-Bt cotton will be grown to serve as a "refuge." These refuge fields will support populations of insects not exposed to the Bt toxin. The insect populations in the refuges will help prevent resistance development when they crossbreed with insects in the Bt fields. Four distinct refuge designs have been developed and are available for growers to implement to limit potential development of insect resistance. One, called the "external, unsprayed refuge option" (also known as the 95:5 refuge) has a 3-year expiration date. By September 2004, EPA will review data on the value of other crops and weed plants as providing additional refuge and will consider whether or not to maintain this option.

Other provisions to maximize protection of the public and environment include an EPA requirement that the company developing this product, Monsanto, will conduct monitoring of any potential impacts from its continued use. The registrant must also educate growers about the best methods of planting Bt cotton to minimize any potential development of insect resistance or gene transfer to other plants.

The details of the EPA decision will be posted at www.epa.gov/pesticides/biopesticides/

A new issue paper from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) analyzes regulatory procedures for evaluating genetically engineered (GE) crops. As you know, the EPA will soon release their decision regarding the continued registration of corn and cotton that have been engineered with genes from Bacillus thuringiensis. CAST released this paper as a public comment to EPA. The report was prepared by a group of nine independent science and policy experts.

In summary, the paper reports that the U.S. regulatory process for GE crops ensures that GE foods are as safe as foods developed through traditional plant breeding. However, the authors felt that the public did not have sufficient access to the rationale behind the regulatory process. The public would have greater confidence if people understood more about the regulations and the procedures applied to GE.

The report deals with four basic questions.

  1. How are safety assessment and regulatory reviews conducted?
  2. Can obvious strengths and weaknesses of that process be identified?
  3. Can improvements be made in conduct and direction of independent research, in performance of safety assessments, in opportunities for consumer participation, or in any other aspects of the regulatory process that will both enhance the quality of the assessments and further ensure the ultimate safety of biotechnology-derived crop products? (now that's a question)
  4. Are there improvements to the regulatory review process for biotechnology-derived plants that will enhance public confidence in the process?

The authors also made a series of policy recommendations.

  1. Retain the current case-by-case safety assessment approach and continue to emphasize regulatory conditions carefully tailored to address risks identified for individual biotechnology-derived plant products.
  2. Finalize the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) current proposal for a mandatory, premarket notification in lieu of the present policy of voluntary consultation for all food products of agricultural biotechnology.
  3. Provide the public with rapid, comprehensive accessibility to applications and supporting health and safety data submitted to regulatory agencies for biotechnology-derived products.
  4. Issue approvals for both food and feed use for crops that are intended to enter commodity streams. There should be no split approvals for commodity crops, as occurred with StarLink corn (approved for only animal feed, it still wound up in human foods).
  5. Provide the additional resources sorely needed for key regulatory review functions.

Finally, the report indicates a need for additional research.

  1. Conduct additional research on selected topics to ensure that present-day questions can be answered and that future developments will be assessed adequately.
  2. Develop rapid screening methods for biotechnology-derived crop proteins in raw agricultural commodities, such as grain and vegetables.
  3. Conduct additional research to support regulatory oversight and product stewardship of biotechnology-derived crops currently on the market.
  4. Carry out additional research on the potential health, safety, and environmental effects of biotechnology-derived products that are not designed to be substantially equivalent to their conventional counterparts (sometimes referred to as next generation biotechnology-derived crops). Such crops would include those having improved competitiveness, enhanced tolerance to stress, or enhanced nutritional value.
  5. Conduct additional research on food allergies and identification and characterization of allergenic food proteins. A centralized, publicly accessible, searchable database of known allergens should be created and maintained.

You can read the entire report at http://www.cast-science.org/ In my opinion, this kind of reasoned dialogue is what we need to resolve issues concerning GE. It is important for society to gain the benefits that can be derived from biotechnology, but it is equally important to maintain public confidence in the food supply and the regulatory process.

The appearance of any trade name in this newsletter is not intended to endorse that product nor convey negative implications of unmentioned products.

Dear Readers:

The Georgia Pest Management Newsletter is a monthly journal for extension agents, extension specialists, and others interested in pest management news. It provides information on legislation, regulations, and other issues affecting pest management in Georgia.

Do not regard the information in this newsletter as pest management recommendations. Consult the Georgia Pest Control Handbook, other Extension publications, or appropriate specialists for this information.

Your input in this newsletter is encouraged.

If you wish to be added to the mailing list, just call us at 706-542-1765

Or write us:

Department of Entomology
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602

E-mail: pguillebeau@bugs.ent.uga.edu

Or visit us on the Web. You will find all the back issues there and other useful information.

http://www.ces.uga.edu/Agriculture/entomology/pestnewsletter/newsarchive.html

Sincerely:


Paul Guillebeau, Associate Professor & Extension Entomologist

EPA Worker Protection Standard Checklist

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires all agricultural employers (including forestry, nurseries, greenhouses, and row crops) to conform to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS). This checklist will help you comply with WPS regulations.

This summary is intended as a checklist for agricultural employers; it does not contain all details of WPS compliance. Agricultural employers should be familiar with "The Worker Protection Standard for Agricultural Pesticides -- How to Comply" developed by the U.S. EPA. Complete WPS information can be found at

Contact your extension office or the Georgia Department of Agriculture (404-656-4958) for assistance.

Information at central location. Provide access. Keep legible and current.

WPS Safety Poster
Nearest medical facility (name/phone/location)
Applications (post before applic. until 30 days after re-entry interval [REI] expires)
Product (name/EPA reg. no./active ingredient)
Location/description of treated area
Date/Time/REI for each application

Training. Valid for 5 years if records (or EPA card) are available.

Workers: Basic training before work. Complete training within 5 days.
Early entry Workers: Complete training before work.
Handlers: Complete training before work.
People with license for restricted-use pesticides (RUP) do not need WPS training.
People with pesticide license can perform WPS training.

Decontamination. Must be within 1/4 mile of workers/handlers. Water must be clean/not too hot. Must be maintained for 7-30 days after REI expires; consult pesticide label for REI.

Workers: Water to wash hands, soap, and single use towels
Decontamination must not be in area being treated or under REI.
Handlers: Water to wash entire body, soap, single use towels, and clean clothes
Also provide decontamination where personal protective equipment (PPE) is removed.
Also provide decontamination in mix/load area.
In areas being treated, supplies must be enclosed.

Emergency Assistance. Act promptly if any worker/handler may be poisoned.

Provide transport to medical facility.
Supply information to medical personnel.
Product name/EPA reg. no./active ingredients
Description of pesticide use.
Details about exposure.

Information Exchange. Between agricultural establishments and commercial applicators

Commercial applicator to agricultural establishment (before application)
Area to be sprayed.
Date/time of application
Product name/EPA reg. no./active ingredient/REI
Does product require oral warning and posting?
All labeling safety requirements.
Agricultural establishment to operator
All areas that will be treated or where REI is in effect.
Restrictions on areas being treated or where REI is in effect.

During applications and REI (restricted entry interval).

No one allowed in area being treated except trained/equipped pesticide handlers.
Nursery workers 100 feet (or more) away from area being treated.
Handlers only in greenhouse during treatment or until air concentration levels on labeling are met (or 2-hr. ventilation with fans).
No workers allowed to enter during REI and contact anything that may have pesticide residues.

Notification.

Some labels require both oral warnings and posting of treated areas.
If label does not specify, you may notify workers orally or by posting.
With oral notification, inform workers of areas that are treated and REI. Tell workers not to enter during REI.
Oral notification must be done before application or before workers begin work.
Post all greenhouse applications.
Posting must be done before application and remain until 3 days after REI expires.
Signs must be visible from all entrances into treated areas.

Early entry by agricultural workers.

No hand labor.
No early entry into areas treated with pesticides that require oral and written warning.
Workers must be 'no-contact' or equipped with PPE required by label.
Workers must receive full WPS worker training before early entry task.
No early entry within 4 hours of pesticide application.
Early entry tasks may be performed for 8 hours out of 24-hour period.

ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES REGARDING PESTICIDE HANDLERS.

Handlers must never allow pesticide to contact anyone except trained/equipped pesticide handlers.
Be sure handlers understand all labeling information for the pesticide(s) they are using.
Handlers have access to labeling throughout handling task(s).
Handlers must be trained in use of all equipment used to handle/apply pesticides.

Monitoring pesticide handlers

Sight or voice contact every 2 hours for pesticides with skull/crossbones.
Constant monitoring for handlers in greenhouses doing fumigation tasks. Monitor should have PPE to enter greenhouse.

Equipment

Inspect pesticide equipment before use.
Cleaning, repair, or adjustment of pesticide equipment by trained/equipped handlers only.

PPE (personal protective equipment)

Provide PPE required by label.
Maintain/clean PPE. Clean before each day it will be used.
Store away from possible pesticide contamination.
Be sure respirators and other PPE are used properly.
Replace respirator filters/cartridges at appropriate intervals.
Provide pesticide-free area to store personal clothes and for putting on/taking off PPE.
PPE may not be taken home.
Dispose of PPE that is heavily contaminated as hazardous wastes.
Inform people who clean PPE of potential hazards and how to protect themselves.
Avoid heat stress.

Crop consultants.

To be exempt from any WPS regulations, consultants must be certified through National Alliance of Independent Crop Consultants or the America Society of Agronomy.

Employers do not need to monitor crop advisors when they enter fields before REI expires.

Employers do not need to provide decontamination site or emergency assistance after application ends.

A person is only a crop consultant when he or she is doing crop consultant tasks. It does not include anyone doing hand labor like weeding, planting, cultivating or harvesting.

Crop advisors can choose appropriate PPE for themselves and their employees. They can ignore the WPS PPE instructions on the label. They must follow all other instructions on the labeling.

Prepared by Paul Guillebeau, IPM/Pesticide Coordinator, Department of Entomology, University of Georgia
U.Ga. Cooperative Extension Service Circular #847.