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

Georgia Pest Management Newsletter

Your source for pest management and pesticide news

December 1999/Volume 22, No. 12

Season's Greetings!

Here's hoping that this holiday season finds you and your loved ones safe, warm, and full of hope for the coming new year. Thanks for supporting us. The new year promises to be active and exciting. Look to GPMN to keep you informed.

INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT

The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, the Georgia Pest Control Association, and the Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation are teaming up to provide 'IPM in Schools' training on February 8, 2000, in Macon

FOOD QUALITY PROTECTION ACT

The Pesticide Impact Assessment Program (PIAP), a critical element for reasonable implementation of FQPA, has been changed from formula funding to competitive funding
EPA has promised to complete reviews for all 39 organophosphates, aldicarb, carbofuran, and atrazine within 18 months
The preliminary risk assessments for dicrotophos and trichlorphon are available
The EPA seeks comments on its latest science policy paper, 'Guidance for Performing Aggregate Exposure and Risk Assessments'
The EPA held an open meeting Dec. 8-9 to discuss how to consider the accumulation of toxic effects from pesticides with a similar mode of action

BIOTECHNOLOGY

EPA is considering new testing requirements for genetically modified crops to ensure the safety of the environment
The USDA launched a new web site to provide information about biotechnology

HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT

The EPA plans to revise its policy for estimating pesticide contamination in surface water
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a study on the human health effects of spraying malathion to control Med fly
Harvard scientists have identified populations of head lice in the U.S. that cannot be controlled with one of the most widely used pediculicides
People are still using carbofuran to kill birds
Fifteen years after thousands of people were killed in a poison gas leak at a Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal, India, lawyers have filed a class action lawsuit in New York charging the corporation with violating the fundamental human rights of the victims and survivors of the disaster
China has of the global cotton stockpile

METHYL BROMIDE

China has never ratified the Copenhagen amendment to the Montreal Protocol that establishes a phase-out schedule for methyl bromide
1,3 dichloropropene (Telone) and chloropicrin are the best current replacements for methyl bromide, but current regulations make Telone use infeasible in many situations
Nonchemical alternatives show promise as replacements for methyl bromide

NEW TOOLS, INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

The USDA has released 'Pest Management in U.S. Agriculture', a report on the adoption of various pest management practices by field crops and some fruit/vegetable crops
Look for Termidor, a new termiticide, soon

REGULATORY NEWS

Canada will soon conduct pesticide reregistration similar to the ongoing U.S. process
Tisan and DDS-164 are pesticides registered to sanitize floors and silverware

CANCELED

At the request of the registrants, popcorn is scheduled for deletion from thirteen products containing chlorpyrifos


 

Integrated Pest Management

The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, the Georgia Pest Control Association, and the Legal Environmental Assistance Foundation are teaming up to provide 'IPM in Schools' training on February 8, 2000, in Macon. We will provide general IPM training and specific information about how you can reduce pesticide risks at your school. Both school personnel and pest control companies are invited to attend at no charge. Watch for details.

Food Quality Protection Act

Bad News. The Pesticide Impact Assessment Program (PIAP), a critical element for reasonable implementation of FQPA, has been changed from formula funding to competitive funding. The USDA PIAP program was developed to provide 'real-world' information about how pesticides were used: which pesticides were critical, how applicators really used pesticides, and what other alternatives were available. The program took on additional importance with the compressed regulatory schedule of FQPA. Without PIAP information, EPA will make improper decisions about some pesticide uses because the Agency will not have all of the facts. As usual, minor crops face the greatest threat because there is less available information concerning pesticides used on these crops.

Until the FY 2000 budget, PIAP was administered via formula funding. The amount of money that every state received was based on pesticide use, minor crops, number of farms, etc. The main point is that every state got money every year. The PIAP program had continuity, and states were able to plan based on regular funding. In many states, the money paid for employees to do the PIAP work.

In the infinite logic of the federal budget process, PIAP funding has been changed to competitive funding. Under this system, each state has to compete for the PIAP money. Some states will get more money under this system. Other states will get none. And the winners and losers will change with each competitive cycle. The continuity of the system is lost. States that do not successfully compete for money may be left entirely out of the FQPA decision process.

Because of the uncertain nature of future PIAP funding, states are already cutting back on PIAP activities. Employees paid with PIAP funds are moving to other positions. Our office will continue to do as much as we can to provide data for the FQPA process and to provide you with information about the progress of FQPA. We simply cannot afford to be left out. However, our program is losing more than $60,000 per year; PIAP activities will be reduced. The irony of the situation is that the federal government will not save one dime through this funding revision. The amount of money in the PIAP program will not change; but it will buy far less.

According to California Agriculture (Sept-Oct, '99), the EPA has promised to complete reviews for all 39 organophosphates, aldicarb, carbofuran, and atrazine within 18 months. If EPA meets this schedule, pay attention and be prepared to act quickly. You should already be planning how to protect pesticides that are critical for your industry and what you will do if pesticide registrations are canceled.

The preliminary risk assessments for dicrotophos and trichlorphon are available at http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/op/

If you are interested in either of these chemicals, you have approximately 60 days to offer EPA additional information. Both of these risk assessments are likely to be modified significantly as EPA receives and analyzes more information. For more details, please contact Karen Angulo at 703-308-8004.

In case you missed it, the preliminary risk assessment for the big daddy, chlorpyrifos, is also available. You have about two more weeks to comment on the preliminary analysis. Dow AgroSciences has been very critical of the EPA risks assessment for chlorpyrifos.

The EPA seeks comments on its latest science policy paper, 'Guidance for Performing Aggregate Exposure and Risk Assessments.' The paper describes the general principles and specific procedure for assessing aggregate, non-occupational human exposure and risk from a single chemical by all relevant pathways or routes of exposure. EPA is currently considering food, drinking water, and residential scenarios for oral exposure and residential scenarios for exposure through the skin. The paper lists several questions on which EPA particularly would like to receive comments. Commenting on this paper before January 10 is your opportunity to influence how FPQA is implemented. Review the policy on the Web. http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/trac/science/

The EPA held an open meeting December 8-9 to discuss how to consider the accumulation of toxic effects from pesticides with a similar mode of action. In other words, how do we add, subtract, or multiply the effects of all the organophosphates to which a child might be exposed? Cumulative risk assessment will be where the manure hits the whirling device that provides air movement. Some of the risk estimates for individual pesticides looked unreasonable and difficult to resolve. The cumulative assessment will consider all organophosphates (and possibly all carbamates) at the same time.

It will be critical for our best and brightest minds to help EPA develop a reasonable method for evaluating a group of similar pesticides. Otherwise, many critical pesticide registrations may be canceled by EPA or dropped by registrants in the face of expensive additional data requirements.

Biotechnology

According to Reuters, the EPA is considering new testing requirements for genetically modified crops to ensure the safety of the environment. EPA scientists believe "that the unique and novel aspects of plant-pesticides indicate that there should be testing guidelines and data requirements specific for these products," he added. The testing requirements will probably follow current tests on mallards, quail, rainbow trout, earthworms, etc. that are required for most conventional pesticides. The EPA is also seeking information about the environmental fate of genetically engineered plants and their unique components.

Emotions concerning genetic engineering are running high. Critics of genetic engineering were highly visible at the recent meetings of the World Trade Organization. On the other hand, industry scientists stress that EPA must consider the environmental risks of the conventional pesticides replaced by genetic engineering. Additional testing would greatly increase the cost of bringing new genetically engineered products to market. The data that EPA is considering seems important for two reasons: 1) to identify potential risks and 2) to allay public fears.

Look for recommendations from the EPA panel in the next few months. (Thanks to E. Kane for sending that story)

The USDA launched a new web site to provide information about biotechnology. It is worth a look. http://www.aphis.usda.gov/biotechnology/

Health and the Environment

The EPA plans to revise its policy for estimating pesticide contamination in surface water. As an initial screen of surface water contamination, the Agency has been using estimates of how much pesticide could be expected to run into a pond located in the area treated with pesticides. Critics pointed out that the old model was not realistic and created a worst case scenario. The EPA used monitoring data to revise the risk assessment for pesticides that did not pass this initial screen.

The new model replaces the farm pond with a 'drinking water reservoir' scenario and considers the amount of cropping area around the reservoir. Future refinements may also include the percent of the crops that are treated with pesticide. The EPA Scientific Advisory Panel also encouraged EPA to continue development of more comprehensive 'watershed' modeling for pesticide contamination of surface water. The paper is available through the OPP Docket and on the Internet. (FR, 11-10-99) http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/trac/science/.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released a study on the human health effects of spraying malathion to control Med fly. The CDC found that 123 people were possibly or probably poisoned. An additional 107 people reported symptoms of illness. Approximately 132,000 people live in the area sprayed with malathion. (from the CDC website, 11-12) http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr

Harvard scientists have identified populations of head lice in the United States that cannot be controlled with one of the most widely used pediculicides (impress your friends at Christmas parties with this new word. It can be hard to work into table conversation, however). Permethrin is a very common active ingredient for head lice shampoos. Most head lice collected in Massachusetts and Idaho were not killed by permethrin. Conversely, head lice collected from Borneo (where permethrin has not been a widely used pediculicide) were killed quickly by permethrin.

What is a mother (or father) to do? It is enough to make any parent scratch their head in bewilderment (or maybe it's the head lice). Do not lose hope. It is not necessary to move to Borneo. We will help you.

We are launching a statewide head lice educational program right away. Head lice are a common problem in every state, but many people are ignorant about head lice and the best ways to control them. As a result, many schools spray classrooms, buses, etc. with pesticides to control head lice. These pesticide applications do no good for control of head lice, but children and school staff are exposed to unnecessary pesticide risk.

Look for our informational brochures in every school and on the web in January. There will be a brochure for schools and one for parents. In the meantime, follow these basic guidelines.

  1. Inspect your children's scalp regularly for head lice and nits (eggs). Pay close attention near the scalp and near the hairline. Check your child daily if head lice are reported at their school.
  2. If you discover head lice on your child, act immediately. Head lice are not a medical emergency, but they are easier to control in the early stages.
  3. The best way to rid your children of head lice is with a nit comb. The process can be very tedious, but it works. However, grooming with a nit comb is not feasible for all kinds of hair.
  4. If effective nit combing is not possible, purchase and apply an over-the-counter lice shampoo. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY!! Remember these are pesticides. We do not recommend products that contain lindane.
  5. If the shampoo does not seem to work, DO NOT use more than the label directs. Visit a physician and be sure the doctor understands what kind of pesticide you have tried. If an over-the-counter permethrin product did not work, a prescription variety of the same pesticide may not provide control.
  6. NEVER apply products like kerosene to anyone. They are very dangerous.
  7. NEVER spray pesticides anywhere to control head lice. Tell your children's school that they should never spray classrooms, buses, etc. to control head lice. They are exposing your children to unnecessary pesticide risks.
  8. Look for our new brochure in the next couple of months.
  9. Never buy used combs or hairpieces from Massachusetts or Idaho even if the price is attractive.

For more information about the head lice publication, call 617-432-3952. For more information about head lice control and prevention, hit the web. http://www.headlice.org/

People are still using carbofuran to kill birds. Good-bye to carbofuran? Someone in New York City has been using breadcrumbs and carbofuran to kill birds in Central Park. Carbofuran, an agricultural pesticide, has no legitimate use in Central Park. Even worse, more than 25,000 red-winged blackbirds, cowbirds, grackles, starlings, etc., were killed in Illinois. Officials have not determined if the Illinois bird kill was intentional. (AP, 8-28 & 10-21 via Chemically Speaking, 11-99)

Unfortunately, this type of incident paints EPA into a corner. The label already prohibits the use of carbofuran to kill birds. What can the Agency do to keep the pesticide out the hands of irresponsible people, except cancel registrations? We, the responsible users of pesticides, should be the primary regulators of pesticides. If someone wants a little carbofuran or a little aldicarb to 'take care of' an animal problem, turn them down. If you know that a neighbor is illegally using pesticides, tell them to cut it out. After all, the irresponsible users are forcing EPA to take valuable pesticide tools from all of us.

Fifteen years after thousands of people were killed in a poison gas leak at a Union Carbide pesticide factory in Bhopal, India, lawyers have filed a class action lawsuit in New York charging the corporation with violating the fundamental human rights of the victims and survivors of the disaster. Local estimates placed the death toll at more than 16,000 fifteen years ago. The lawsuit claims that Union Carbide showed 'reckless and depraved indifference to human life in the design, operation and maintenance' of their facility in Bhopal. Union Carbide paid $470 million in an out-of-court settlement in 1989. The company claims that all suits were settled at that time.

The Bhopal Group for Information and Action (BGIA) and other groups representing the victims say that over 120,000 survivors are still in need of medical attention and that ten to 15 people die each month due to injuries and illness caused by the disaster. (PANUPS, 12-2-99)

China has of the global cotton stockpile. They are expected to become a net exporter of cotton for the first time in six years. (California Agriculture, Sept-Oct 1999)

Methyl Bromide

China has never ratified the Copenhagen amendment to the Montreal Protocol that establishes a phase-out schedule for methyl bromide. Additionally, China is reportedly building a 'world-scale' facility for producing methyl bromide. Public action groups are trying to pressure China into ratifying the phase-out schedule. (Pesticide & Tox. Chem. News, 11-18-99) However, China is not blind to the potentially enormous advantage they could gain by refusing to play 'phase out'. If everyone else stops using methyl bromide, China may be able to argue that Chinese production and use poses no significant threat to the ozone layer.

1,3 dichloropropene (Telone) and chloropicrin are the best current replacements for methyl bromide, but current regulations make Telone use infeasible in many situations. Telone use sites are currently required to have a surrounding 300-foot buffer. Many smaller growers may not be able to maintain this buffer zone. Additionally, applicators are required to wear complete, full-body protection. The protective clothing is likely to cause heat stress problems.

The registrants are working with EPA to alleviate some of the health concerns and concomitant regulatory hurdles. A new formulation would allow growers to apply the product through irrigation systems, eliminating human exposure. Additional data may indicate that a buffer less than 300 feet may provide adequate protection for other people near application sites. (Pesticide & Tox. Chem. News, 11-18-99)

Nonchemical alternatives show promise as replacements for methyl bromide. Many people feel that the phase-out of methyl bromide is an opportunity to re-examine our cropping systems and introduce a larger component of nonchemical pest control methods. It is unlikely that any one chemical or nonchemical control can replace all of the applications of methyl bromide, but targeted control methods seem to work in some situations. In Florida, a continued program that combined solarization and compost reduced weed counts as effectively as methyl bromide. Steam treatment is reported as a good alternative to methyl bromide for eradication of golden nematode on farm equipment. Additionally, the steam treatment takes less time and does not corrode metal like methyl bromide. (Pesticide & Tox. Chem. News, 11-18-99)

New Tools, Information You Can Use

The USDA has released 'Pest Management in U.S. Agriculture,' a report on the adoption of various pest management practices by field crops and some fruit/vegetable crops. Some highlights:

  1. Scouting is the most widely used Integrated Pest Management (IPM) technique. About 80 percent of fruit and vegetable acreage (for the crops in this report) is scouted.
  2. Cotton and potatoes use IPM more than any other field crops.
  3. Weeds are the biggest problem in field crops, and farmers need more tools for IPM of weeds.

If you want to read more, visit this USDA web site. www.econ.ag.gov/epubs/pdf/ah717

Or call 202-694-5050

Look for Termidor, a new termiticide, soon. This product reportedly controls termites for five years or more. The active ingredient, fipronil, is already registered for many ag, ornamental, and home uses. (Chemically Speaking, 11-99)

Regulatory News

Canada will soon conduct pesticide reregistration similar to the ongoing U.S. process. Most of the pesticide active ingredients registered in Canada were approved about two decades ago, and approximately 150 were approved nearly 40 years ago. The Canadian review will be coordinated with the U.S. review and is scheduled for completion by 2006.

Tisan and DDS-164 are pesticides registered to sanitize floors and silverware; some bonehead out west thought they would also be good to use on children's toothbrushes. Friendly Systems Inc. of Irving, Texas, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for selling these products to two Head Start programs. Many of the children exposed developed blisters/burns in the mouth and other medical problems. The company was fined $450,000; placed on five years probation; and ordered to pay more than $10,000 to the Crime Victims Assistance Foundation and Head Start. (EPA Press Advisory 11-4-99)

Canceled

At the request of the registrants, popcorn is scheduled for deletion from thirteen products containing chlorpyrifos. If you grow popcorn and need chlorpyrifos, you should take a look at the Nov. 10, 1999, Federal Register.

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: mailto:%20pguillebeau@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/ces/wnews.html

Sincerely:

Paul Guillebeau, Assistant Professor & Extension Entomologist