California to register fumigant
The label will require stringent measures to protect worker and public health.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has announced that it will register the soil fumigant methyl iodide (also known as iodomethane) in late December.
The decision follows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s approval of specific California labels for four methyl iodide products. The labels require measures to protect worker and public health that are more stringent than those required by the EPA, Florida, and other states where it is applied. EPA registered methyl iodide in 2007 as a replacement for methyl bromide, which depletes ozone in the upper atmosphere. Methyl iodide does not harm the ozone layer, according to a press release from DPR.
The agency received more than 50,000 public comments after DPR Director Mary-Ann Warmerdam proposed registration of the fumigant last April. Most of the people expressed concern about potential health risks.
Methyl iodide products are made by Arista LifeScience Corporation and sold under brand name Midas. The fumigant is licensed for use in 47 other states to treat soil to kill weed seeds, plant disease organisms, and nematodes before planting crops. It can be applied by drip irrigation under a protective tarp or injected into the soil using a tractor that automatically places a tarp over the ground after application.
The California label requires stricter buffer zones, use of DPR-approved tarps during application, more ground water protections, reduced application rates, and stronger protections for workers.
More information is available at the California DPR Web site.