To increase protection for farm workers and the environment, EPA is proposing to phase out the remaining uses of azinphos-methyl (AZM). Use on almonds, Brussels sprouts, pistachios, walnuts, and nursery stock will be phased out by 2007, and use on apples, blueberries, cherries, parsley, and pears by 2010. During the phaseout, EPA is proposing additional restrictions, including reduced annual application rates, additional worker monitoring, and larger buffer zones to help minimize risks. The Agency expects growers of these crops to successfully adopt and transition to the available safer alternatives. All other uses of this pesticide have been voluntarily cancelled by the manufacturer.
EPA is also seeking comment on lengthening the Restricted Entry Intervals (REIs) for nine phosmet uses. The Agency is proposing these additional restrictions to mitigate potential risk to farm workers.
Both AZM and phosmet are organophosphate (OP) insecticides and are alternatives for one another in many instances. While AZM provides important pest control benefits to growers of apples and other crops, it poses potential risks of concern to farm workers, pesticide applicators, and aquatic ecosystems. The risk of concern for phosmet is for workers reentering treated areas.
These steps are being taken as part of an ongoing reevaluation of existing pesticides. The Agency has carefully considered grower impacts and ecological and worker risks based on new data and information. EPA is publishing this proposal and inviting public comments for 60-days before issuing a final decision. The Federal Register notice is available on EPA’s Web site at [EPA’s FR Notice posting]. Comments may be submitted electronically at http://www.regulations.gov in docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2005-0061 for AZM and docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2002-0354 for phosmet. For additional information on AZM, please visit www.epa.gov/pesticides/op/azm.htm. More information on phosmet is available at www.epa.gov/pesticides/op/phosmet.htm.