EPA cancels registration of organophosphate diazinon

EPA has canceled its registration of the organophosphate diazinon, setting the stage for the final phase out of one of the most widely used home and garden insecticides. The cancellation order comes nearly three years after a December 2000 EPA risk assessment. Syngenta, the manufacturer of the chemical for residential uses, agreed to phase out its use. Existing stocks may be distributed until December 31, 2004.

Diazinon is used on a variety of agricultural crops and livestock, on turf and for residential control of various insects indoors and outdoors. According to the EPA’s Web site, the Agency has concerns for potential children’s’ exposures in the home. Potential routes of exposure for children may include inhalation of vapors and airborne particles and dermal contact.

Diazinon is highly toxic to birds, mammals, honeybees and other beneficial insects. It is also very highly toxic to freshwater fish and invertebrates following acute exposure. The endangered species levels of concern are exceeded for terrestrial wildlife, aquatic life and terrestrial plants.

Diazinon is one of the leading causes of acute insecticide poisoning for humans and wildlife. For humans, the rate of incidents is not high relative to its large volume of usage. The majority of incidents occur in the home. It also is one of the top causes of bird kill incidents.

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