Thursday, January 30, 2014

Another New Use for Methyl Bromide

Today the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published a notice in the Federal Register (79 FR 4867-4868) proposing to add another use of methyl bromide to their current Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Treatment Manual under the immediate need provisions of 7 CFR §305.3. This time it is for the treatment of kumquats for fruit fly infestations.

The new treatment schedule, T101-n-3, has been added to the PPQ subject to revision or removal based upon comments received per this notice. Public comments may be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal (; Docket # APHIS-2013-0095). A copy of the Treatment Evaluation Document (TED) supporting this adoption may be found in that docket.


Once again the folly of excluding methyl bromide from the list of DHS chemicals of interest (COI)  for the CFATS program based upon the putative ‘phasing out’ of the chemical by EPA is exposed. While greatly reduced, the use of methyl bromide will continue for the foreseeable future as it is an effective pesticide that is readily adaptable to treatment of new pests.

Since this is a toxic inhalation hazard (TIH) chemical (which is why it is such an effective pesticide) it should be included in the CFATS list of COI that trigger reporting to DHS. 

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