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Pesticide Advisory - Metam Sodium, Metam Potassium & Dazomet are now Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP)

Pesticide Advisory - Metam Sodium, Metam Potassium & Dazomet are now Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP)
In 2009, EPA finalized the Reregistration Eligibility Document (RED) outlining new safety measures for soil fumigant pesticides that will increase protections for agricultural workers and bystanders – people who live, work or otherwise spend time near fields that are fumigated. For the soil fumigants methyl bromide, chloropicrin, dazomet, metam sodium, and metam potassium, EPA is now requiring a suite of new mitigation measures that will work together to protect human health. When fumigants dissipate from the soil, workers or bystanders who are exposed to these pesticides may experience eye or respiratory irritation, or more severe and irreversible effects, depending on the fumigant and level of exposure. The newly required mitigation measures are designed to work together to protect bystanders, handlers and workers and be implemented through changes in the product labels.

One major change that Oregon Pesticide Dealers and users of soil fumigants should be aware of is the change in EPA classification of metam sodium, metam potassium and dazomet to Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP). 
This change in classification requires that only licensed pesticide applicators be allowed to purchase, and use, or supervise the use of, these soil fumigant products. The correct category that must be on an Oregon Commercial Pesticide Applicator license or an Oregon Public Applicator license for any RUP soil fumigant product is the Agriculture-Soil Fumigation category. Soil fumigant products may be sold to, or used by persons holding a valid Oregon Private Applicator license as well. Private applicator licenses are not category specific.

The EPA Registration numbers of metam sodium, metam potassium and dazomet soil fumigants did not change with the classification to RUP. Since distribution of existing stocks of products without the RUP classification on the label is allowed, it is imperative that pesticide dealers clearly identify on the sales records (receipt) if the product was labeled as RUP or general use. This change to RUP classification will also require private applicators to maintain record information as required by USDA. All affected product labels are now distributed as Restricted Use Pesticides.

For more information you may call Janet Fults at 503-986-4635 or jfults@oda.state.or.us
Date of this advisory: September 2011