EPA plans to change the pesticide management policy, which will be the most significant change since the adoption of FQPA (Food Quality Protection Act) in 1996. The plan intends to extend the risk assessment procedure developed from FQPA to the occupational and non food pesticide use fields. According to the plan, the purpose of this policy change is to further protect agricultural workers and children from exposure to pesticides. Lisa Jackson, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said, "We need to have this policy change so that everyone, especially vulnerable groups, such as children, can avoid serious health risks caused by exposure to pesticides."
EPA is prepared to apply the risk assessment technology developed from FQPA to "the assessment of any pesticide, whether it belongs to FQPA or not, as long as the scientific practice of risk management application is good and the law allows". Specifically, it includes: using additional safety factors to protect children; Pay attention to the overall risk caused by multiple sources; The general toxicity mechanism was used to assess the risk of pesticide accumulation. It is also preparing a detailed assessment of the risks posed by pesticides to children and children of agricultural workers.
This policy change aims to resolve the "divergence" between the FQPA risk basis standard in Chapter 408 of the FFDCA (Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act) and the risk/benefit standard of FIFRA (Federal Insecticide, Bactericide and Rodenticide Act). Because there is no scientific basis to prove whether the risks at work are different from those at non work, occupational pesticide exposure is excluded from "legal reasons" by Chapter 408 of FFDCA.
FQPA is applicable to non occupational exposure caused by pesticide used in food, including pesticide from food, drinking water and residence. The Environmental Protection Agency uses FQPA risk assessment method to assess occupational exposure risk or the exposure risk caused by the use of non food crop pesticides. There is no clear legal requirement in FIFRA. However, failure to do so will lead to significant environmental justice consequences. Therefore, it aims to apply FQPA risk assessment technology to assess risks within the scope of FIFRA.
The Environmental Protection Agency pointed out that because agricultural practitioners may be exposed to pesticides through occupational and non occupational exposure, the lack of overall and cumulative risk assessment may lead to underestimation of exposure and risk. It believed that there was no scientific reason not to carry out such an assessment. As children may also be exposed to pesticides through occupational and non occupational pesticide use, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to expand the safety factor of FIFRA risk assessment by 10 times to assess children's risk under FQPA.
According to the EPA, some procedural changes will be implemented immediately, while others will be determined by the progress of risk assessment methods in the next 6-18 months. It includes risk assessment of children of child labor and agricultural workers, and integration and accumulation risk assessment of adult workers and children. The assessment method of pesticide exposure caused by volatilization and drift of pesticides also needs to be improved.
The EPA policy document on the revision of risk assessment methods will be open to the public for comments before February 8, 2010. Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a draft and a request for pesticide drift labels to protect children from exposure to pesticides due to spraying drift. The EPA extended the solicitation period of the two notices by 60 days until March 5, 2010.