Diazinon Risk Assessment Released, EPA Calls for Public Comment
As part of the ongoing implementation on the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the availability of the revised risk assessment for diazinon, a highly toxic organophosphate pesticide.
The revised risk assessment for diazinon, an insecticide/acaricide registered for a wide variety of both residential and agricultural uses, was published in the May 19, 200 Federal Register (Vol. 65, No. 98). According to the revised assessment, there are many dangers associated with the current use of diazinon, including occupational risks, residential risks, accidental exposure, and numerous environmental hazards. There is particular concern for residential handlers; residential post-application exposures; toddlers, following lawn and indoor crack and crevice treatments; and for workers who apply or prepare the pesticide or work in greenhouses within 12 hours of application.
The EPA Office of Pesticide Program's (OPP) Health Effects Division (HED) reports that diazinon, the fifth most commonly used pesticide, is one of the leading causes of acute reactions to pesticide use and that all indoor home and office uses should be considered for cancellation. Additionally, the HED recommends that consumers not handle highly concentrated diazinon products, and people not involved with the application avoid the treated areas. Poison Control Center data show that a single swallow of 25 percent diazinon can be fatal, and dermal exposures to diazinon have been reported to be life threatening. EPA's now defunct Pesticide Incident Monitoring System recorded 903 diazinon related poisonings between 1966-80.
Diazinon is also associated with numerous environmental hazards, including surface water contamination. It has been known for some time that birds, especially grazing fowl like ducks and geese, are highly susceptible to poisoning, as are beneficial insects such as bees. Approximately 300 incidents of wildlife mortality have been documented in the EPA OPP's Ecological Fate and Effects Division's Ecological Incidents Database. The endangered species levels of concern are also exceeded for wildlife, aquatic life and terrestrial plants in semi-aquatic areas for all registered uses and application rates of diazinon.
For more information on diazinon, see Beyond Pesticides's Diazinon ChemWATCH Factsheet.
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YOU CAN STILL SEND COMMENTS TO EPA
EPA's preliminary risk assessment for diazinon can be viewed at
Althougth the public comment period ended July 18, 2000, we encourage you to still send comments to the EPA after this date if you have not done so already. It is especially important for EPA to hear from people who have been poisoned by organophosphate pesticides. Please send written comments and/or fill out the Beyond Pesticides's Pesticide Incident Record form and send it to EPA. Whether you have been poisoned by diazinon or not, tell EPA to stop poisoning our communities by this pesticide. Although, individualized comments hold more weight, you can send this SAMPLE LETTER TO EPA.
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