Office of
Pesticide
Programs

Technical
Services
Division
EPA
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Washington, D.C.
20460

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H/ffective and safe use of pesticides is the objec-
tive of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and
Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) as amended in  1972.

  The responsibility for achieving that  objective
belongs to the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA). Within the Agency, the Office of
Pesticide Programs administers the law and
enforces it, in cooperation with the Pesticide
Enforcement Division.

  The amended FIFRA set more  stringent rules
governing the use of pesticides. Among them it:

 requires Federal registration of all pesticides
sold or distributed  interstate as well as intrastate;

 prohibits the use of any pesticide in a manner
not prescribed on  the label;

 restricts the use  of certain very hazardous
pesticides to  certified applicators.

  To carry out these provisions the Office of
Pesticide Programs is  functionally  organized  into
four divisions:

  Registration: Evaluates  applications for
pesticide registration to see that they comply with
FIFRA requirements;

  Criteria and Evaluation: Establishes standards
and criteria for product registration and tolerance
setting;

  Operations: Develops and recommends
pesticide program content and model legislation
for States, provides policy direction to technical
assistance and training programs, and coordinates
information on pesticide accidents and incidents;

  Technical  Services:  Provides technical data for
use by the other divisions, develops  standardized
testing procedures, operates  and interprets  data
from the National  Pesticide Monitoring System,
conducts field studies to determine the effects of
pesticides on  people and develops and
disseminates information relating to pesticides.
My 1975

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Basis  for Regulatory  Action

  Extensive scientific and technical support as
well as constantly updated information are needed
by the Office of Pesticide Programs as a basis for
regulatory actions. These needs are filled by the
Technical Services Division (TSD).
  Specifically, the Office of Pesticide Programs
uses the Division to develop and support
establishment  of standards and criteria to be
applied in setting residue tolerances and human
and environmental safety levels. It evaluates
currently registered chemicals. It assists in the
consideration of regulatory actions such as
cancellations, suspensions and enforcement actions
and it  identifies pesticides and their impact in
accident  investigations.
  The Division also provides these services to
other Federal agencies, to State and local officials
and to the general public upon request.
  This leaflet describes the services offered by the
Technical Services Division through its five
branches: Chemical and Biological Investigations,
Ecological Monitoring, Human Effects
Monitoring, Systems Support, and Information.

Chemical and Biological Investigations Branch

   To determine the  safety,  effectiveness and
quality of registered pesticide products and
products with experimental permits, this Branch
conducts  tests  in laboratories in Beltsville,
Maryland, Corvallis,  Oregon, and Bay St. Louis,
Mississippi.
   Staff biologists  represent  various disciplines
including pharmacology, microbiology, plant  and
animal biology, entomology  and virology.
   Representative studies include: testing of
commercial products such as kitchen cleaners,
crop dusts, disinfectants and flea  collars,
evaluating the efficacy of pesticides in controlling
or repelling insects and other pests in laboratory
and field experiments.
  Chemists in  the Branch are responsible for
maintaining quality control of test methods which
includes studying and supplying other
laboratories with chemical  reference standards.
They test products to determine active
ingredients and check for adulteration,
contamination or inaccurate formulation. They
also analyze samples  furnished by  a field team
investigating accidents allegedly caused by
pesticides.
  Both chemists and biologists work cooperatively
to provide information necessary for determining
the adequacy of pesticide labeling.

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  The Branch  also undertakes special
analytical studies on request.

Ecological Monitoring Branch

  This Branch in cooperation  with  other
Federal,  State and local agencies operates certain
of the National Pesticide Monitoring Programs
required  by  the amended FIFRA.
   These systems  monitor residue levels in various
environmental  components to determine the
concentration,  movement, and at times the origin
of the residues. EMB at its laboratory facility in
Bay St. Louis, Mississippi analyzes residues  in
surface water, soil, agricultural crops, estuarine
fish and  shellfish, and ocean fish. Residues in
human tissues and air are determined at State
laboratories in Michigan and Colorado under
contract.
   One of the  oldest and most  active  projects is
soil monitoring. Thousands  of  field  samples  of
cropland, noncropland. and urban soils are
collected, analyzed and evaluated statistically by
computer to determine whether certain areas
contain higher residues than others.
   Bent on improving monitoring capabilities, the
Branch constantly seeks to develop new
techniques and equipment for greater accuracy in
all aspects of  monitoring.
   Special monitoring projects are undertaken as
needs arise.  In 1974, for example, the Branch
assisted the  Forest Service in monitoring DDT in
its emergency use against the Douglas fir tussock
moth in  the Pacific Northwest.
   The information gained from these monitoring
activities can  form the basis for changes in
EPA's labeling and registration requirements, and
in cancellation or other administrative procedures.

Human  Effects Monitoring Branch
   The Human Effects Monitoring  Branch,
through  its  Epidem' 'ogic Studies Program
(ESP), obtains information concerning the
hazardous effects of pesticides  on human health.
Field sr-4:  s conducted on  individuals who  are
occupa     lly or environmentally exposed to
pesticide- are used to help detect and  define  any
acute or chronic  health effects.  This  field studies
program supplies information on poisonings  with
regard to manner, magnitude, extent, trends, and
specific products  involved. The information  is
made available to the medical profession to help
in developing more efficient means of recognizing,
diagnosing and treating pesticide poisonings.

  To accomplish  this, investigations are

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conducted under contract by universities or State
health departments in 12 States. Three locations
which also have medical  schools offer an
especially wide range of services because of the
cooperative  efforts of the large number of
scientists and medical personnel available.  The
12 projects are located throughout the country
to permit gathering of data which  take into
account all the regional variations in pesticide use.
   One of ESP's special projects is to determine
what type of clothing provides applicators and
farm workers  greatest protection from pesticides.
For example, different weaves of cloth are being
tested to see which permits the least penetration
of pesticides. This is one way ESP attempts not
only to safeguard those occupationally exposed
to pesticides, but also to  provide an early warning
of pesticide dangers for  the general public.
   The Branch also provides diagnostic and
therapeutic assistance in  cases of acute poisoning.

Systems Support Branch
  The Systems Support Branch manages the
computer systems of the Office of Pesticide
Programs. The Pesticide  Analysis  Retrieval and
Control System (PARCS) is located here. This
computer-based information system has stored
and is capable  of retrieving data on thousands  of
registrants and their products, distributors, crop
tolerances, as well  as information on applications
for registration of new products. A subsystem
designed primarily for regional use can answer
queries using either product name  or registration
number. In addition, PARCS has a cross-
reference which identifies all products containing
a specific ingredient and  their manufacturers.
   The computer systems in the  Systems Support
Branch have shortened the  time spent on
petition  and registration processes; provided
data on specific pesticide products or classes of
products; located information in the areas of
toxicology and environmental safety; and provided
an improved ability for locating all types of
pesticide information.
   The Systems Support Branch also provides the
computer power for the Pesticide Episode Review
System, which stores information on pesticide
accidents or episodes. Information is  collected
nationally from EPA regional offices, government
agencies, and private individuals on accidents
related to pesticide misuse, disposal or storage.
   The Systems Support Branch  has several other
data banks; a major one  being developed will
support the  re-registration of all pesticides,
which must  be completed by October 1976.

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Information Branch

   Gathering and disseminating technical
information is the job of the Information Branch.
The Branch, which has at its disposal an
automated information retrieval system and a
well-developed library, compiles bibliographies,
conducts literature searches, and organizes
pesticide documents for publication in the
Federal Register.
   The Branch organizes, publishes and distributes
the Pesticides Monitoring Journal which contains
pesticide residue data collected from various
Federal, State and university monitoring
programs; and the Pesticides Abstracts which
summarizes the  world literature  on pesticides. It
also prepares the EPA  Compendium of
Registered Pesticides, a compilation of all uses
found  on  the labeling of registered  pesticide
products ranging from herbicides to disinfectants.

   For further information about Technical
Services Division and the services it offers, write

     Director, Technical Services Division (WH-569)
     Environmental Protection Agency
     Washington, D. C. 20460
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