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May 25, 2006

Resmethrin No Longer Allowed on Massachusetts School Property
Department of Agricultural Resources

Changes in Cancer Classification Remove the Use of Resmethrin Insecticide from Outdoor School Property.

Due to the reclassification of resmethrin insecticide as LIKELY TO BE CARCINOGENIC TO HUMANS, pesticide applicators will no longer be permitted to apply resmethrin insecticide on the outdoor grounds of school property. Under Ch. 85 of the Acts of 2000 (section 6 G.), An Act Protecting Children and Families from Harmful Pesticides, pesticides classified as probable or likely human carcinogens are not allowed to be applied to the outdoors of school property (see Section 11. MGL Ch. 132B).

As part of developing the Re-registration Eligibility Decision (RED), EPA has established a new classification for resmethrin as LIKELY TO BE CARCINOGENIC TO HUMANS. This description of carcinogenic potential is based upon a weight of evidence whereby there is strong experimental evidence of carcinogenicity in animals (rats and mice), combined with data indicating relevant human exposures. No human data is presently available which supports describing resmethrin as carcinogenic to humans; however, the weight of experimental evidence shows animal carcinogenicity by a mode or modes of action that are relevant or assumed to be relevant to humans.

Prior to the process of developing the RED, resmethrin had not undergone a complete evaluation and determination under US EPA's program for evidence of human carcinogenic potential. As a result it was previously given a classification of Group D, not classifiable as to human carcinogenic potential.

Although uses for resmethrin include food handling establishments and livestock areas, the primary uses on school property were related to outdoor applications for mosquito abatement by organized mosquito control districts during evening hours or very early morning hours--when schools were not in session.

The EPA is developing this Re-registration Eligibility Decision (RED), for the insecticide resmethrin to ensure that all current health and safety standards are being met. This RED is being developed through a process that involves a detailed review of registered use patterns, maximum allowable residues in foods (tolerances), human and environmental exposure potential, and all data developed to assess its environmental fate and human and environmental toxicity.

EPA is releasing for public comment its human health and environmental fate and effects risk assessments and related documents for resmethrin and soliciting public comment on risk management ideas or proposals. According to EPA’s website, the RED is scheduled for completion in May of 2006. For more information on the RED please see the Federal Register Notice dated November 23, 2005 Volume 70, Number 225); Page 70829-70832.