Pesticide Contamination Prevention Act Review Process Triggered by Detections of Aldicarb in Ground Water

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Formal Review Process and Regulatory Changes

The formal review process began in October 1988, following the determination that detections of aldicarb degradates in ground water were the result of the legal agricultural use of the parent pesticide, aldicarb. Following a public hearing in April 1989, the PREC subcommittee issued its majority and minority “Findings and Recommendations” to the Director in September 1989. Contrary to the majority findings, the Director determined that aldicarb had not polluted nor threatened to pollute ground water because it had only been detected in areas of California where its use had been prohibited by regulation several years earlier. Despite this determination, regulations further restricting the use of aldicarb were adopted in January 1990, to help assure that the continued use of aldicarb would not pollute ground water.

Current Registration Status

In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Bayer CropScience, the manufacturer, reached an agreement to end use of aldicarb in the United States. A risk assessment conducted by U.S. EPA indicated that aldicarb no longer meets 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 voluntarily phased out production of aldicarb December 31, 2014. All remaining aldicarb uses will end no later than August 2018.