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Daily News Archive
From April 9, 2002

Ethion Phased Out

Another organophosphate has been voluntarily phased out. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it has cancelled the registration of all pesticide products produced by Chemnova AGRO A/S, FMC Corporation, and Micro-Flo Corporation containing ethion.

Stipulations for the phase out are as follows:

  • Cancellation of manufacturing-use products will be effective on October 1, 2003.
  • Cancellation of end-use products will be effective on December 31, 2003.
  • As of December 31, 2003, Chemnova AGRO A/S, FMC Corporation, and Micro-Flo Corporation are prohibited from distributing or selling existing stocks of the end-use products, unless the sale or distribution is for export or for the purpose of manufacturing a product intended for export.
  • As of October 1, 2004, all sale and distribution of existing stocks of end-use products is prohibited, unless the sale or distribution is for export or for the purpose of manufacturing a product intended for export.
  • As of December 31, 2004, all use of existing stocks o fthe end-use products is prohibited.

Ethion is an organophosphate pesticide registered for use on citrus in Florida and Texas, and cattle in eartags. Exposure to ethion is typical of organophosphate exposure and varies according to the degree of exposure. Effects could include nausea, cramps, diarrhea, excessive salivation, blurred vision, headache, fatigue, tightness in chest, abnormal heartbeat and breathing, loss of coordination, convulsions, coma, and death. Skin exposure may cause contact burns. Persons with respiratory ailments, recent exposure to cholinesterase inhibitors, impaired cholinesterase production, or with liver malfunction may be at increased risk from exposure to ethion.

Organophosphates are the first group of chemicals to go through tolerance reassessment under the Food Quality Protection Act. Organophosphates are known to pose known risks of acute and chronic toxicity to humans as well as wildlife. They are used widely on many food crops, as well as in residential and commercial settings. People may be exposed to them routinely in several ways - through the diet, in drinking water, around the home, and while applying these pesticides.

To view the Federal Register Cancellation Notice, see http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-PEST/2002/March/Day-22/