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Agreement to Terminate All Uses of Aldicarb

Current as of October 2010

EPA and Bayer CropScience, the manufacturer, have reached an agreement to end use of the pesticide aldicarb in the United States. A new risk assessment conducted by EPA based on recently submitted toxicity data indicates that aldicarb no longer meets our rigorous food safety standards and may pose unacceptable dietary risks, especially to infants and young children.

To address the most significant risks, Bayer has agreed to first end aldicarb use on citrus and potatoes, and will adopt risk mitigation measures for other uses to protect groundwater resources. The company will voluntarily phase out production of aldicarb by December 31, 2014. All remaining aldicarb uses will end no later than August 2018.

Additionally, EPA plans to revoke the tolerances (legal pesticide residues allowed in food) associated with these commodities. EPA initiated this action to ensure that we continue to have the safest food supply possible.

Aldicarb is an N-methyl carbamate insecticide used on a variety of agricultural crops including mainly cotton, potatoes and citrus. It has no residential uses.

On this page you will find information about the status of EPA’s initiative to terminate uses of aldicarb and revoke associated food tolerances.

Aldicarb Regulatory Action, August 2010

EPA’s August 2010 risk assessment indicates that aldicarb no longer meets the Agency’s rigorous food safety standards and may pose unacceptable dietary risks, especially to infants and young children. To ensure we have the safest food supply possible, EPA is initiating action to terminate uses of aldicarb, and also plans to revoke aldicarb tolerances.

Based upon current toxicological studies, aldicarb at levels higher than those typically found in food has the potential to cause neurotoxic effects, such as sweating, nausea, dizziness and blurred vision, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

The U.S. has a safe and abundant food supply, and children and others should continue to eat a variety of foods, as recommended by the Federal government and nutritional experts.

Regulatory Response

To ensure that the U.S. has the safest food supply possible, EPA is taking prompt action to end aldicarb use. EPA is requiring the aldicarb manufacturer, Bayer CropScience, to address concerns raised by the data. This action includes ending aldicarb use on citrus and potatoes within the next year and implementing additional mitigation for other uses to protect groundwater resources.

As reflected in the Memorandum of Agreement, Bayer has agreed to voluntarily phase out production of aldicarb by 2015. Remaining uses of aldicarb will end in August 2018. EPA also plans to revoke aldicarb tolerances associated with these commodities.

Allowing some uses of aldicarb to continue over the phase out period will give growers time to transition to lower risk products. By immediately canceling aldicarb use on citrus and potatoes, and requiring additional risk mitigation measures for three remaining crops in certain states, as detailed below, the use of aldicarb on all the remaining crops throughout the U.S. during the phase out period will meet EPA's standard for ensuring food and drinking water sources are safe.


Cotton/Peanuts/Soybeans in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina

Remaining Uses

During the phase-out, aldicarb use may continue on cotton, dry beans, peanuts, soybeans, sugar beets, and sweet potatoes.

Next Steps

EPA's Federal Register Notice [October 7, 2010] announces receipt of the registrant's request for voluntary cancellation of their aldicarb product registration and termination of all aldicarb uses. The comment period closes November 8, 2010. EPA plans to grant the requested cancellations after the close of the comment period.

For further information, please see:

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Background on EPA’s Reevaluation of Aldicarb

Aldicarb Special Review, 1984

Aldicarb was first registered in 1970. Marketing of aldicarb was stopped in Long Island in 1980 due to high levels of aldicarb degradates found in ground water there. In 1981, aldicarb was classified as a restricted use pesticide and in 1984 was placed under Special Review.

EPA uses the Pesticide Special Review process when it has reason to believe that the use of a pesticide may result in unreasonable adverse effects on people or the environment. The Special Review process usually involves intensive review of only a few or just one potential risk. The review generally involves evaluating existing data, acquiring new information and/or studies, assessing the identified risk, and determining whether risk reduction measures would ensure that the pesticide will not cause unreasonable adverse effects to human health or the environment. Special Review procedures allow opportunities for public comment and participation at several points in the decision-making process.

Aldicarb currently remains in Special Review because of concerns regarding ground water contamination. With this voluntary phase-out, EPA will begin the steps to close out the Special Review.

For further information, please see:

Aldicarb Reregistration Eligibility Decision, 2007

Through the pesticide reregistration program, EPA conducted human health and environmental fate and effects risk assessments for aldicarb and assessed whether aldicarb tolerances are safe. In completing the Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED)(PDF) (191 pp, 2.4 MB,About PDF) in 2007, EPA identified potential human health risks of concern from drinking water exposure associated with aldicarb uses, and potential environmental risks of concern to birds, mammals and fish. The Agency determined that products containing aldicarb were eligible for reregistration, provided that risk mitigation measures were adopted and label amendments were made to reflect those measures.

The aldicarb risk mitigation measures included:

These mitigation measures have been adopted and the required data were submitted. The new studies and information provided the basis for EPA’s July 2010 revised dietary risk assessment.

Aldicarb Revised Dietary Risk Assessment, 2010

In EPA's August 4, 2010, aldicarb revised acute dietary exposure and risk assessment, the Agency concludes that aggregate dietary (food and drinking water) exposure reflecting the current uses of aldicarb exceeds the Agency’s level of concern for infants, children ages 1-2, and children ages 3-5.

EPA’s dietary exposure and risk assessment for aldicarb was conducted using recent food consumption data from USDA. It incorporates new toxicity data that modified the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) safety factor.

EPA’s aldicarb acute dietary exposure assessments are highly refined, incorporating monitoring data from the USDA Pesticide Data Program (PDP) for the most highly consumed commodities. EPA incorporated into the assessment:

EPA also refined the aldicarb acute aggregate risk estimates from food and ground water. Incorporating information from USDA food consumption diaries, and factoring in cholinesterase inhibition related to aldicarb exposure, EPA estimated exposures and risks on each eating occasion throughout the day. This eating occasion analysis enabled the Agency to consider the body’s ability to recover from cholinesterase inhibition by aldicarb.

Aldicarb Uses and Properties

Aldicarb is registered for use as a systemic insecticide and nematicide on agricultural crops. During the phase-out, aldicarb will continue to be registered for use on cotton, dry beans, peanuts, soybeans, sugar beets, and sweet potatoes. Aldicarb products are not intended for sale to homeowners or for use in residential settings.

Aldicarb is formulated and marketed solely as a granular pesticide under the trade name Temik®. Bayer CropScience is the basic producer.

A restricted use pesticide, aldicarb may be applied only by trained, certified pesticide applicators.

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For Additional Information

Background information about EPA’s reevaluation of aldicarb including the Aldicarb RED is available on the Agency’s aldicarb reregistration Web page

Information about the aldicarb Special Review is available in the Aldicarb Special Review docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2006-0197 at Regulations.Gov. See also general information about the Special Review Process.

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