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Pesticide Categories: US EPA Reduced-Risk Pesticides. General Overview. May 27, 1998.

US EPA, Office of Pesticide Programs
TRAC May 27, 1998

Staff Background Paper # 2.4


Goal: EPA's Reduced-risk Initiative expedites the registration of conventional pesticides that the Agency believes pose less risk to human health and the environment than existing alternatives. The goal of the program is to quickly register commercially viable alternatives to riskier pesticides such as neurotoxins, carcinogens, reproductive and developmental toxicants and groundwater contaminants. The Initiative, begun in 1993, provides a major incentive for registrants to develop reduced-risk pesticides and ensures these pesticides are available to growers as soon as possible.

Definition: Conventional reduced-risk pesticides have one or more of the following advantages over existing products: low impact on human health, low toxicity to non-target organisms (birds, fish, and plants), low potential for groundwater contamination, lower use rates, low pest resistance potential, and compatibility with Integrated Pest Management. (Biological pesticides, which also have many of these desirable characteristics, are handled through a different expediting process.)

Incentives: The major incentive for a company to come in with a reduced-risk pesticide is registration time. Reduced-risk pesticides are registered in about one-third the time required to register a conventional non-reduced-risk pesticide (on average, 16 months vs 38 months). This allows the chemical to be introduced into the market at the earliest possible time and displace riskier alternatives as soon as possible. It also allows the registrant several additional growing seasons under patent. In addition, although companies are not allowed to put a reduced-risk claim on their labels, EPA believes that companies use the reduced-risk status to marketing advantage.

Procedure: Companies, upon filing a registration application, have the option of compiling a Reduced-risk Rationale and applying for reduced-risk status. The Reduced-risk Committee (composed of Agency experts on human health, environmental fate and effects, biological pesticides, economics, registration, reregistration, and external affairs) reviews the chemical's reduced-risk claims. A meeting is held with the registrant and the Reduced-risk Committee within four weeks of the application. At the meeting, the registrant gives a brief presentation and then answers questions from the Agency. The committee then deliberates and decides to grant or deny reduced-risk status. The average time for a reduced-risk status decision is 30 days.

Trends: Interest in the Reduced-risk initiative continues to grow. Each year the number of applications for reduced risk status has increased. The initiative has received 50 requests for reduced risk to date with 19 of those requests in the past year.

Program Status: See the next page for detailed status of the Reduced-Risk Pesticide Program.

Reduced-Risk Chemicals Program Status (as of 5/12/98)

-- Note from FAN --
The pesticides highlighted in red are organofluorines.

Chemical Pesticide Type
Application Date Month Registered
FY94 Completions
Hexaflumuron Termiticide Below ground bait station January 1993 March 1994
Methyl Anthranilate Bird Repellent Food crops October 1992 September 1994
FY95 Completions
Flumiclorac-pentyl Herbicide Corn, Soybean June 1993 November 1994
Tebufenozide Insecticide Walnut October 1993 May 1995
Hymexazol Fungicide Sugarbeet August 1993 August 1995
FY96 Completions
Fludioxonil Fungicide Corn December 1993 October 1995
Cadre Herbicide Peanut July 1994 March 1996
Mefenoxam Fungicide Ornamentals, Citrus, Nuts, Fruit Trees, Forestry September 1995 March 1996
FY97 Completions
Azoxystrobin Fungicide Turf June 1995 February 1997
Spinosad Insecticide Cotton December 1994 February 1997
alpha-Metolachlor Herbicide All metolachlor uses January 1996 March 1997
Imazamox Herbicide Soybeans December 1995 May 1997
Hexaflumuron (1) Termiticide Above-ground bait station January 1997 March 1997
Azoxystrobin1 Fungicide Grape, Banana, Peach, Tomato, Pecan, Peanut June 1995

November 1995

July 1996

June 1997
FY98 Completions
Fludioxonil 1 Fungicide Potato April 1997 October 1997
Diflubenzuron 1 Insecticide Below ground termite bait station November 1997 January 1998
Cyprodinil Fungicide Stone Fruit February 1996 April 1998
Pending Actions:
Pyriproxyfen Insecticide Cotton June 1996
Tralkoxydim Herbicide Wheat, Barley August 1996
Carfentrazone Herbicide Wheat, Corn November 1996
Diflufenzopyr Herbicide Corn June 1997
s-Dimethenamid Herbicide Corn, Soybean, Peanut June 1997
Fenhexamid Fungicide Grape, Strawberry, Ornamental June 1997
Azoxystrobin Fungicide Almond, Cucurbit, Rice, Wheat July 1997
Tebufenozide Insecticide Pome Fruit, Cotton, Leafy Vegetables, Cole Crops, Sugarcane, Pecan, Forestry, Fruiting Vegetables, Ornamentals September 1997
Pymetrozine Insecticide Potato, Cucurbit, Tomato, Tobacco October 1997
Bifenazate Insecticide Ornamentals December 1997
DPX-MP062 Insecticide Cotton, Tomato, Pepper, Cole Crops, Lettuce, Sweet Corn, Apple, Pear December 1997
Trifloxystrobin Fungicide Pome Fruit, Grape, Cucurbit, Peanut, Turf, Banana January 1998
Pyriproxyfen Insecticide Apple, Pear, Walnut January 1998
Acibenzolar-S-methyl Plant Activator Tomato, Lettuce, Tobacco April 1998
Fludioxonil Fungicide Various seed treatments April 1998

1. New uses of existing active ingredients

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updated May 22, 1998