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US EPA Proposes Risk Mitigation Measures for Residential Use of Sulfuryl Fluoride Fumigant

On May 25, 2021, the US EPA released the draft risk assessments of Sulfuryl Fluoride, a residential fumigant targeting termites, powder post beetles, old house borers, bedbugs, carpet beetles, moths, cockroaches, rats, and mice.

All uses of Sulfuryl Fluoride were evaluated during the registration review and the draft risk assessments include combined ecological draft risk assessment and drinking water assessment, and the occupational and residential risk assessment.

In December 2016, the EPA Office of Inspector General report was concluded, recommending the agency to amend uses and assess the clearance devices used to determine safe reentry levels in homes after fumigation. As Sulfuryl Fluoride is the only fumigant approved for residential use, EPA is allowing continued use of sulfuryl fluoride as a structural fumigant but consumers should follow guidance from the pesticide applicator on how to prepare their houses for fumigation and when to reenter the house following fumigation.

Therefore, an Interim Re-entry Mitigation Measures Memorandum was drafted, including the following label revisions for all sulfuryl fluoride products:

  • Require more posting of warning signs to be clearer that there is no admittance to fumigation tents during fumigation;

  • Require a fumigant management plan for residential fumigations;

  • Require additional registrant-sponsored applicator stewardship and training; and

  • Only allow use of the clearance devices shown to be effective

In addition, EPA is proposing to require remote fumigations and aeration from outside of the fumigated space, increase aeration time to 12 to 24 hours, require active aeration (e.g. use of fans), and require portable stacks, which aligns with California’s Aeration Plan that has yielded positive results.

After a thorough review of public comments, EPA will issue the Final Interim Re-entry Mitigation Measures Memorandum, including the label requirements for sulfuryl fluoride products. Registrants will then have 60 days to submit revised labels reflecting these new requirements to the agency.

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