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PA EPA ISSUES NEW LABELING REQUIREMENTS FOR TOTAL RELEASE PESTICIDE FOGGERS
Release Date: 02/13/98
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 1998
EPA ISSUES NEW LABELING REQUIREMENTS FOR TOTAL RELEASE
In its continuing effort to increase the public’s right to know about pesticides, EPA signed a final rule on Feb. 4, 1998 for total release fogger pesticides. EPA has determined that, as currently labeled, total release foggers pose an unreasonable risk to pesticide users and property from fires and explosions that can be caused by a build-up of extremely flammable propellants. EPA expects that the additional flammability label warnings required by this rule will reduce the potential for fires and explosions by alerting consumers to the dangers of total release foggers. The required labeling will also provide specific directions for proper use of these products with minimal costs to industry or consumers. The most important elements of the new labeling requirements are the warnings for consumers to limit the number of foggers used and eliminate all ignition sources. Specifically, users will be instructed to use only one fogger per room and to always turn off all ignition sources, such as pilot lights and spark-producing appliances, such as refrigerators and thermostats. In addition, a graphic symbol depicting “fire” will alert users to the potential hazards of these products. EPA is taking this action based on reports of incidents of fires and explosions involving total release foggers over the past several years. For instance, the New York City Fire Department reported 40 incidents of fires or explosions in a 12-year period, 28% of which resulted in personal injuries. EPA has received other reports of extensive property damage from various other locations around the country from states and media articles. EPA believes the reports it has received are only the “tip of the iceberg,” and that there are many more such incidents occurring for which EPA does not receive reports. EPA recognizes the benefits of total release foggers and believes that the labeling changes will significantly reduce accidents resulting from product misuse. This rule will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register on Feb. 18.