Jan 30, 2015
Agreement limits use of methomyl

EPA and the manufacturers of the insecticide methomyl have agreed to cancel some uses and limit use on certain crops to reduce risks to drinking water.

From 1995 to 2013, exposure from food to carbamates, which includes methomyl, fell by approximately 70 percent. This action is a continuation of EPA’s efforts to reduce carbamate use, thereby protecting people’s health, according to an EPA press release.

EPA found drinking water risks during the periodic evaluation of methomyl and negotiated with the manufacturers to voluntarily cancel certain uses. Voluntary cancellation is the quickest way to eliminate risk.

While Florida and California were the areas of greatest concern for risks from methomyl in drinking water, the following measures will be implemented nationwide:

  • reducing the number of applications to corn, celery and head and leaf lettuce;
  • reducing the number of applications and the seasonal maximum application rate for peppers

These measures are currently being phased in, ensuring timely implementation of the changes for several crops, according to EPA.

First registered 1968 and then re-registered in 1998, methomyl is restricted and must only be used by certified and trained applicators and has no residential uses. The only non-agriculture use of methomyl is in fly bait.

EPA will continue the registration review process for methomyl. The next step in that process is the release of the methomyl draft risk assessment in 2016.

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