New Pesticide Exposure Protections Announced in California
Last month, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced new rules for the use of the pesticide chloropicrin. Chloropicrin is widely used in agriculture as a soil fumigant. The news rules are meant to enhance protections for people who work and live near fields treated with the pesticide.
The new measures announced by the DPR include:
- Larger buffer zones - DPR has developed buffer zones for chloropicrin that are often larger than the ones currently required by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) label. In some cases, the new buffer zones have doubled in size. Larger buffer zones will apply when Totally Impermeable Film (TIF) tarps are not used. TIF tarps are a technological advance that is more effective in controlling fumigant emissions in soil.
- Minimum buffer zones - Currently, the minimum buffer zone required when chloropicrin is applied is 25 feet. DPR’s new measures will require a minimum buffer zone of 25-100 feet, depending on whether a tarp is used and the kind of tarp utilized.
- Limiting acreage - DPR is reducing the size of the field where chloropicrin can be used. Current U.S. EPA labels allow chloropicrin applications up to 160 acres per day. DPR is reducing the daily acreage limit to 40 acres per day. If TIF tarps are used, the application can be up to 60 acres per day.
- Notification - In some cases, current requirements specify that homes and businesses within a certain distance of treated fields be notified that fumigation will occur. Notification is only required to be in English. DPR will require that notification also be made in Spanish.
- Notice of intent requirements - DPR will require that growers provide the local county agricultural commissioner details of the upcoming fumigation at least 48 hours before the scheduled application. Current regulation requires a 24-hour notice.
“Chloropicrin is a common pesticide, in 2012 it was used to treat approximately 67,000 acres of farmland in California,” said Michael Chapman, Laboratory Manager of LA Testing’s Garden Grove facility. “The chemical is used in many counties across the state, including Ventura, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Joaquin and Fresno. People can be exposed to it via contaminated food, water and air.”
For those concerned about the presence of pesticides in food products, water or due to exposure at work or in their home, LA Testing provides a wide range of testing services to help protect people and the environment from unnecessary exposure risks. To learn more about testing for pesticides or other environmental, health and safety issues, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
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LA Testing is California’s leading laboratory for food testing and indoor air quality testing of asbestos, mold, lead, VOCs, formaldehyde, soot, char, ash and smoke damage, particulates and other chemicals. In addition, LA Testing offers a full range of air sampling and investigative equipment to professionals and the general public. LA Testing maintains an extensive list of accreditations including: AIHA LAP LLC., AIHA ELLAP, AIHA EMLAP and AIHA IHLAP, NVLAP, State of California, State of Hawaii Department of Health and other states. LA Testing, along with the EMSL Analytical, Inc. network, has multiple laboratories throughout California including South Pasadena, Garden Grove, San Leandro and San Diego.
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