The agency says it is taking this action in response to petitions by the Center for Environmental Health, Beyond Pesticides, Physicians for Social Responsibility and others. These groups asked the EPA to issue a rule requiring disclosure of 371 inert ingredients found in pesticide products.
Many of the 72 inert ingredients targeted for removal — such as turpentine oil and nitrous oxide — are on the list of 371 inert ingredients identified by the petitioners as hazardous. The 72 chemicals are not currently being used as inert ingredients in any pesticide product, according to the EPA.
Ingredients that are directly responsible for controlling pests such as insects or weeds are called active ingredients. An inert ingredient is any substance that is intentionally included in a pesticide that is not an active ingredient.
For the list of 72 chemical substances and to receive information on how to provide comments, see the Federal Register Notice in docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558. To access this notice, copy and paste the docket number into the search box at http://regulations.gov. Comments are due Nov. 21.
Last week the EPA launched a voluntary drift reduction technology program to encourage the use of safer pesticide spray products to reduce exposure and pesticide movement while saving farmers money in pesticide loss.