US EPA - Environmental Protection Agency

EPA Issues One-Year Registration for Soil Fumigant Iodomethane

EPA has approved a one-year registration of iodomethane (methyl iodide) under highly restrictive provisions governing its use. Iodomethane is an alternative to the ozone-depleting pesticide methyl bromide – reflecting the U.S. commitment to protecting the earth's ozone layer. The risk assessment process for iodomethane has been one of the most thorough analyses ever conducted on a new pesticide. When used according to EPA's strict procedures, iodomethane is not only an effective pesticide, but also meets the health and safety standards for registering pesticides.

The risk-assessment techniques, protocols governing generation of toxicology studies, and exposure evaluation methods used to support the evaluation of iodomethane have been peer-reviewed by agency scientists, the independent Scientific Advisory Panel or both. By using a thorough evaluation process, the agency concluded that there are adequate safety margins and the registration of iodomethane does not pose unreasonable risks.

On Sept. 25, EPA received a letter signed by 54 scientists who oppose the registration of iodomethane as a soil fumigant, citing potential human health and environmental concerns, and requesting additional peer review. EPA has discussed our assessment with some of the signatories and sent a letter to inform the scientists of the rigorous science used to support EPA's decision.

Iodomethane can be used as a pre-plant soil fumigant to control plant pathogens, nematodes, insects, and weeds on strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, ornamentals, turf, trees, and vines.

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