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California Environmental Protection Agency

Department of Pesticide Regulation

Date: February 19, 1999 (99-06)
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Media Contact:
Veda Federighi,
(916) 445-3974
Glenn Brank
(916) 445-3970


SACRAMENTO -- Cal/EPA's Department of Pesticide Regulation this week began legal proceedings to cancel the registration of pest strips containing the pesticide dichlorvos, also called DDVP.

(Pest strips are pesticide-impregnated resin strips commonly hung in an area to control insects. The most commonly known brand name is "No-Pest Strip." A list of affected products follows this release.)

The action was taken after a DPR risk assessment found an inadequate margin of safety for children in residences and other indoor areas where pest strips might be used. (If there are inadequate margins of safety, it does not necessarily follow that there is an adverse health impact, but the chance of some individuals experiencing toxic effects increases.)

There are 11 pest strip products containing DDVP registered in California, four registered by Amvac Chemical Corp. of Los Angeles, five by Loveland Industries of Greeley, CO, and two by Spectrum Group, St. Louis, MO (The specific products are listed below.)

Pesticide registrants have 15 days to request a hearing after receipt of the cancellation notice. If they do not request a hearing, the product's registration will be canceled. Sales of canceled products by registrants is prohibited, but products in the channels of trade may continue to be sold, and those in the hands of consumers can continue to be used.

"The law provides for immediate suspension of products that pose a clear and substantial danger, but this is not the case in this situation," said Jean-Mari Peltier, DPR Chief Deputy Director. "Our action is not based on illness data or known problems, but on a risk assessment. Risk assessments are inherently theoretical since they are based in large part on extrapolations of effects seen in animal studies. However, we do have concerns about exposure of children which can be addressed by removing pest strips from home use."

Ten of the 11 pest strip products are labeled for agricultural, industrial, and/or commercial uses in addition to label uses in homes and other buildings where children might be present (for example, motels, museums, or public buildings). Registrants may avoid cancellation of these 10 products by voluntarily changing the labels to delete problematic uses.

DDVP has a variety of uses, primarily in commercial and agricultural settings. It is used to control household, agricultural, and stored product insects, and is available in liquid form as well as the pest strips. It is also contained in some pet flea collars (which are not considered a problem because of limited exposure to humans). It is used to control insects in livestock and has limited use on vegetable crops.

There are 36 products containing DDVP registered in California not affected by this action. They include nine pet collars, five wasp and bee sprays, two products designed for use in outdoor insect traps and utility cabinets, three manufacturing use products, and 17 mixed-use products. DPR's risk assessment also showed potential exposure problems for adults--primarily workers--using these 17 products. To address these concerns, DPR formally notified registrants of the mixed-use products that changes be made to resolve exposure problems. Typically, registrants respond by making changes in labeling, and depending on the product in question, the changes might include deleting problem uses, adding requirements for protective equipment for applicators, or establishing a 24-hour interval between application and reentry. If registrants do not resolve the problem issues, DPR will include the affected products in the cancellation proceeding.

Under federal law, only the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can mandate changes in pesticide labeling. DPR has shared its findings on DDVP with U.S. EPA, and the federal agency is considering its own actions against various DDVP products.

DDVP is an organophosphate insecticide. Organophosphates are a class of insecticides that affect the nervous system of the target pest. Overexposure in humans can result in neurotoxic symptoms.

In 1996, there were 13,097 pounds of DDVP reported used in California, including 8,569 pounds applied by professional applicators for structural pest control, and 2,555 pounds in poultry houses, feedlots, corrals, and other animal husbandry uses. However, most uses of DDVP do not have to be reported, including institutional, commercial, and home uses.

DDVP is one of the 200 pesticides subject to priority scrutiny under the Birth Defect Prevention Act. This law required the Department to collect data on potential health effects on all pesticides, beginning with a priority list of pesticides of highest concern. The data are used to assess a pesticide's potential risk to public and worker health under typical use conditions.

"With data collection for these pesticides complete, we expect to have risk assessments completed on 35 high priority pesticides by mid-1999," said Peltier. "By definition, these risk assessments are being done on pesticides that have the greatest chance of posing health problems. We can expect to find that some current uses will warrant mitigation measures, cancellation or suspension."

Risk assessment is a process designed to answer questions about how toxic a pesticide is, what exposure results from its various uses, what is the probability that use will cause harm, and how any unacceptable risk of harm can be mitigated.

The Department of Pesticide Regulation is one of six boards and departments within the California Environmental Protection Agency.

DDVP Strips/impregnated Products to Be Canceled

The following registrants have been sent notices of cancellation for the DDVP strips listed. Products marked with an asterisk (*) could avoid cancellation if the registrants remove certain uses from the label (for example, household uses, and uses in motels, cabins, garages, wardrobes, and storage spaces of homes).

Affected products registered by Amvac Chemical Corporation, 2110 Davie Avenue, Commerce, Calif.

  • Alco Insect Strip*, EPA Reg. No. 5481-338-AA
  • Alco No-Pest Strip*, EPA Reg. No. 5481-338-ZA
  • Amvac Insect Strip*, EPA Reg. No. 5481-344-ZA
  • Alco Pest Strip*, EPA Reg. No. 5481-348-ZA

Products registered by Loveland Industries, Inc., 14520 WCR 64, Greeley, CO

  • Loveland Industries Inc. Pest Strip*, EPA Reg. No. 5481-338-AA-36208
  • Prozap Pest Strip*, EPA Reg. No. 5481-338-ZA-36208
  • Prozap Insect Guard Jr.*, EPA Reg. No. 5481-338-ZB-36208
  • Prozap Insect Guard*, EPA Reg. No. 5481-338-ZC-36208
  • Prozap Moth Guard*, EPA Reg. No. 5481-338-ZD-36208

Products registered by Spectrum Group, P.O. Box 15842, St. Louis, Mo.

  • Hot Shot Ultimate Bug Killer for Small Spaces*, EPA Reg. No. 5481-348-AA-8845
  • Hot Shot Ultimate Moth Killer, EPA Reg. No. 5481-348-ZA-8845 (label contains no acceptable uses)

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