The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice in today’s Federal Register (78 FR 3417-3418) announcing that they had officially ordered the cancelation of the “product registrations and to amend the technical/manufacturing use label” for iodomethane products manufactured by Arysta. The action was taken at the request of the manufacturer.
The EPA announced their intention to cancel the registration back in November. I noted at the time that this action was really a non-issue since Arysta had already stopped selling the product in the United States. The EPA received only one comment on that earlier notice (a complaint that the action will still allow Arysta to manufacture this product line for export use only) that had no effect on this action.
Iodomethane fumigants had been touted as a replacement for the more dangerous (and ozone depleting) methyl bromide fumigants that the EPA has been trying to phase out since 2005 under requirement under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Long time readers will no doubt recall that this phase-out was used as justification by DHS for not listing this toxic inhalation hazard (TIH) chemical in the DHS list of chemicals of concern.
Today’s action ensures that the ‘phase-out’ will continue for some in determinant length of time and the continued manufacture, storage and transportation of methyl bromide will continue to put communities at risk of a potential terrorist attack. DHS needs to reconsider their non-listing of methyl bromide.