Friday, March 29, 2013

Excellent Article Explaining How the EPA Allows Untested Pesticides on the Market Through 'Conditional Registration'

 


L. Fraser 'EPA Lets Pesticides on the Market Untested' OnEarth, http://www.onearth.org/article/epa-pesticides-conditional-registration

[Excerpted] Most of us think of pesticides as the chemicals that get sprayed on weeds or used to kill rodents and bugs, but they’re actually found in everything from cosmetics to food containers, as well as antimicrobial textiles (such as the exercise shirt you might have worn to the gym this morning). By killing bacteria and other microorganisms, pesticides can help clothes resist stains or help containers keep food fresh longer. But some have also proven to cause health concerns in humans, kill trees, birds, bees, and fish, or do other unintended harm to the environment....

An internal report by the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs shows that of the more than 16,000 pesticides allowed on the market as of 2010, about 11,000 of them were conditionally registered. Because of the agency’s poor record-keeping and flawed procedures, it remains unclear how many of these conditionally registered pesticides have ever gone through the full gamut of safety testing required by law....

['Nanosilver' received conditional registration yet] ... A 2010 internal EPA report on nanosilver notes: “the same property that makes it lethal to bacteria may render it toxic to human cells.”...

...During the course of reviewing the conditional registration of nanosilver, NRDC filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the EPA’s database of conditionally registered pesticides. “Their recordkeeping is a mess,” says NRDC’s Sass. After the group’s questions compelled EPA to take a closer look, the agency found that of approximately 16,000 pesticides currently on the market, more than two-thirds were conditionally registered

Even worse, the EPA has no system to track whether the data and studies it asked a company to provide for full registration have ever appeared. And if the data were provided, there’s no way to evaluate how many of those studies were reliably conducted. Nor is there any way for the public to access any of the records on these pesticides....

...The EPA press office says that the agency looked at some of the pesticides approved between 2000 and 2010 and found that, of 544 products conditionally registered during that decade, 533 of them had submitted additional data, and all but 10 of those had been reviewed by the agency....


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