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EPA Signs Diazinon Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision
(from August 6, 2002)

The EPA has agreed to phase out and cancel certain additional crop uses and formulations of the organophosphate insecticide diazinon to reduce risks to birds and other wildlife, agricultural workers, and the environment. These actions are part of a second agreement between the EPA and diazinon technical registrants, reflected in the Diazinon Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision (IRED) signed by the EPA on July 31, 2002.

Diazinon is eligible for reregistration, provided that risk mitigation measures specified in the IRED are adopted. Through a notice to be published soon in the Federal Register, EPA will release the Diazinon IRED and invite public comment for 60 days on diazinon's benefits, usage, risks to workers and the environment, and related issues.

Diazinon has been one of the most widely used insecticides in the U.S. for household lawn and garden pest control. Exposure to the insecticide has been linked to brain, kidney and liver damage, along with adverse reproductive effects. It is also highly toxic to birds, and very toxic to aquatic species including freshwater fish and invertebrates.

A December 2000 agreement is phasing out and canceling all residential uses - all indoor use product registrations must be canceled and retail sale must end by December 31, 2002. In addition, all outdoor residential use product registrations must be canceled and retail sale must end by December 31, 2004. A buy-back program will help remove these outdoor residential use products from the market and prevent further sale after that date.

The Diazinon IRED requires a number of measures to be phased in over the next 2 to 5 years, including:

Cancel nearly all granular uses.
Discontinue all aerial application.
Discontinue foliar application to nearly all vegetable crops.
Reduce number of applications per growing season for most uses.
Require engineering controls for mixers and loaders, and closed cabs for applicators.
Set re-entry intervals (REIs) at 2 to 18 days.
Cancel certain crop uses.

The Diazinon risk assessments and a summary of this decision are available on the EPA's web site.