U.S. EPA Interim Decision to Ban Irgarol (Cybutryne)

EPA Repeals 2015 Definition of WOTUS

On April 28, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a press release announcing its interim decision for irgarol (cybutryne), which finalizes the cancelation of its use as an active ingredient in antifouling paint. EPA arrived at this decision after completing an ecological risk assessment that determined that irgarol is toxic to both freshwater and marine plants.

EPA also stated that its decision will help mitigate occupational handler inhalation and dermal human health risk by requiring irgarol powders to be sold in safe packaging.

EPA had issued a proposed interim registration review decision (PID) on Irgarol (Cybutryne) on Oct. 23, 2020. The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) requires EPA to periodically review pesticides to ensure that risk assessments reflect the best available science. The interim decision is part of a multi-step process to identify risks as well as actions that can help mitigate those risks.

EPA’s interim decision is consistent with steps the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has taken to ban the use of cybutryne in antifouling paint under the Antifouling Systems Convention (AFS). That international treaty prohibits the use of certain substances in anti-fouling paints and other anti-fouling systems deemed harmful to the marine environment. In some countries, including the United Kingdom, irgarol has already been banned from use in marine coatings used on boats.

The interim decision will be published in the Federal Register in the next few weeks under docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0003.

Under EPA’s interim decision, revised labels must be submitted within 60 days after the decision is published in the Federal Register, and the last use of existing stocks must occur before Jan. 1, 2023. For products that are only registered with EPA for antifoulant paint uses, registrants must submit a voluntary cancellation request by Jan. 1, 2023. EPA intends to actively work with registrants to make label amendments and/or product cancellations over the next two years.

Contact ACA’s Rhett Cash for more information.

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