United States
                      Environmental Protection
Prevention, Pesticides
and Toxic Substances
October 2000
SERA    Propetamphos  Facts
               EPA has assessed the risks of propetamphos and reached an Interim Reregistration Eligibility
        Decision (IRED) for this organophosphate (OP) pesticide. Provided that the risk mitigation measures
        outlined in this document are adopted, propetamphos fits into its own "risk cup"; that is, its aggregate
        risks are within acceptable levels. Propetamphos is also eligible for reregistration, pending a full
        reassessment of the cumulative risk from all OPs.
               Propetamphos is an insecticide used indoors
        for the control of insects, such as ants, cockroaches,
        fleas and termites.  Propetamphos residues in food
        and drinking water do not pose risk concerns.
        Additionally, risks are low to workers who mix, load,
        and apply propetamphos at commercial and
        residential use sites. There are also no environmental
        risk concerns. However, there are post-application
        risk concerns for adults, and especially children
        entering areas treated with propetamphos.  With
        mitigation canceling all residential use, propetamphos
        fits into its own "risk cup". With other mitigation
        measures, propetamphos' worker risks also will be
        below levels of concern for reregistration.

               EPA is reviewing the OP pesticides to
        determine whether they meet current health and safety
        standards. OPs need decisions about their eligibility
        for reregistration under FIFRA. Additional OPs with
        residues in food, drinking water, and other non-
        occupational exposures also must be reassessed to
        make sure they meet the new Food Quality
        Protection Act (FQPA) safety standard.
               EPA's next step under the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) safely standard is to complete
        a cumulative risk assessment and risk management decision encompassing all the OP pesticides, which
        share a common mechanism of toxicity.  The interim decision on propetamphos cannot be considered
        final until this cumulative assessment is complete. Further risk mitigation may be necessary at that time.
           The OP Pilot Public Participation Process

                The organophosphates are a group of
         related pesticides that affect the functioning of the
         nervous system.  They are among EPA's highest
         priority for review under the Food Quality Protection
                EPA is encouraging the public to
         participate in the review of the OP pesticides.
         Through a six-phased pilot public participation
         process, the Agency is releasing for review and
         comment its preliminary and revised scientific risk
         assessments for individual OPs.  (Please contact
         the OP Docket, telephone 703-305-5805, or see
         EPA's web site, www.epa.gov/pesticides/op .)
                EPA is exchanging information with
         stakeholders and the public about the OPs, their
         uses, and risks through Technical Briefings,
         stakeholder meetings, and other fora. USDA is
         coordinating input from growers and other OP
         pesticide users.
                Based on current information from
         interested stakeholders and the public, EPA is
         making interim risk management decisions for
         individual OP pesticides, and will make final
         decisions through a cumulative OP assessment.

       The propetamphos IRED was made through the OP pilot public participation process, which
increases transparency and maximizes stakeholder involvement in EPA's development of risk
assessments and risk management decisions. EPA worked extensively with affected parties to reach
the decisions presented in this IRED document, which concludes the OP pilot process for


      Propetamphos is an OP insecticide used indoors for the control of insects, primarily ants,
       cockroaches, fleas, and termites.  Propetamphos may be applied at indoor residential, medical,
       commercial, and industrial buildings and equipment, such as homes, apartments, stores, schools,
       hospitals, offices and factories. It may also be used in food service establishments where there
       is no contact with food, and where no processing, packing, or warehousing of food occurs.

       Total annual usage is low, and estimated at 90,000 pounds active ingredient. The typical rate of
       dilution varies from 0.5% to 1.0% active ingredient solution.  Propetamphos is applied as a
       water dilution through a compressed air sprayer, often with a low pressure hand wand.

Health Effects

       Propetamphos can cause cholinesterase inhibition in humans; that is, it can overstimulate the
nervous system causing nausea, dizziness, confusion, and at very high exposures (e.g., accidents or
major spills), respiratory paralysis and death.
       Dietary exposures from food are not of concern for the entire U.S. population, including infants
       and children, provided food is removed or covered prior to an area being treated. Because
       propetamphos is only used indoors, exposure from drinking water sources is not expected.

       Risks are low, but still of concern for workers who mix, load, and apply propetamphos at
       commercial and residential use sites.

       Risks are of concern for adults, and especially children, from combined dermal, inhalation, and
       (for children only) oral routes of post-application exposure from re-entering areas treated with

       Because propetamphos is used indoors, exposure to the environment is not expected, and
       therefore, ecological risks are not of concern to the Agency.

       In order to  support an IRED for propetamphos, the following risk mitigation measures are

       To mitigate dietary (food) risks:
             for use in food service establishments, all food must be either covered or removed prior
              to the area being treated.

       To mitigate worker risks:
             reduce the maximum rate of dilution from 1.0% to 0.5% active ingredient solution;
             applicators must wear personal protective equipment consisting of a long-sleeve shirt,
              long pants, shoes and socks, and chemical-resistant gloves; and
              only protected handlers may be in the area during applications.

       To mitigate non-occupational risks to persons re-entering treated areas (post-application risks):
              cancel all residential uses;
              prohibit use in structures children and the elderly occupy, such as or including homes,
              schools, day-cares, hospitals, nursing homes (except for areas of food service when
              food is covered or removed prior to treatment);
              cancel all spot, broadcast, and termiticide treatment; and
              restrict the method of application to crevice treatment only, as defined in OPPTS
              860.1460 Food Handling.
Next Steps
       Numerous opportunities for public comment were offered as this decision was being
       developed.  The Propetamphos IRED, therefore, is issued in final (see www.epa.gov/REDs/ or
       www.epa.gov/pesticides/op ) without a formal public comment period.  The docket remains
       open, however, and any comments submitted in the future will be placed in this public docket.

       To effect risk mitigation as quickly as possible, time frames for making the changes described
       in the Propetamphos IRED are shorter than those in a usual RED.  All labels need to be
       amended to include the above mitigation and submitted to the Agency within 90 days after
       issuance of this IRED.

       For propetamphos, tolerances for residues in food commodities will remain in effect and
       unchanged until a full reassessment of the cumulative risk assessment for all OP pesticides is
       completed.  Upon completion of the cumulative risk assessment, EPA will issue its final
       tolerance reassessment decision for propetamphos and may request further risk mitigation
       measures. For all OPs, raising and/or establishing tolerances will be considered once a
       cumulative assessment is completed.