Agriculture, forestry and fishing Workplace exposures

EPA finalizes standards on ‘restricted use’ pesticides

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Washington – Certified workers who apply “restricted use” pesticides must be at least 18 years old and have their certification renewed every five years, according to updated standards finalized Dec. 12 by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The final rule, published in the Jan. 4 Federal Register, revises EPA’s existing Certification of Pesticide Applicators regulation. New requirements include specialized licensing for certain methods such as fumigation and aerial application. Additionally, workers supervised by certified applicators must receive training for safe pesticide use that includes protecting their families from exposure at home.

Among the benefits EPA expects are fewer acute pesticide incidents among people, reduced chronic exposure and a decrease in ecologically harmful incidents.

The rule is scheduled to go into effect March 6.

“We are committed to keeping our communities safe, protecting our environment and protecting workers and their families,” Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said in a press release. “By improving training and certification, those who apply these restricted use pesticides will have better knowledge and ability to use these pesticides safely.”

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