California Department of Pesticide Regulation
<fontfamily><param>Arial</param>SACRAMENTO - Cal/EPA's Department of
Pesticide Regulation has proposed regulations that would exempt certain
kinds of minimum-risk pesticides from registration requirements.
DPR's registration process requires payment of fees and submission of
specific studies before products can be advertised and sold for pest
control in California.
Among the substances proposed for exemption are many common household
and food products that currently must be registered in California as
pesticides when labeled and sold for pest-controlling purposes. They
include substances such as garlic, peppermint, rosemary, corn oil,
cedar chips, and castor oil.
The proposed regulations were authorized by 1997 legislation (SB 445,
Monteith). This bill allowed DPR to exempt certain chemicals from
registration after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had done
The major category of exempt chemicals are low-risk substances that
have a wide range of other, nonpesticidal uses as foods, medicines, or
household items. All are on U.S. EPA's exempt list and were evaluated
by DPR scientific staff for potential hazards.
The Department is proposing to divide 40 federally exempted,
minimum-risk substances into two lists. The first includes several
spices and herbs (such as cinnamon, cloves, garlic, mint, and
rosemary), sodium chloride (common table salt), several oils (including
corn oil, cottonseed oil, and linseed oil), and zinc metal strips.
Because of their widespread and long-standing use, and the fact they
pose minimum risk to users, products containing these 22 substances
will be exempted without further restrictions.
The 18 chemicals that DPR proposes to place on the second list have
the potential to cause eye or skin irritation, although they also
include many food or household substances, such as citric acid, clove
oil, mint oil, white pepper, and corn gluten meal. Pesticide products
that contain more than 8.5 percent of a chemical on this list must have
label language requiring use of eyewear and gloves.
For substances on both lists, the label will have to identify the name
and percentage of each active ingredient and the name of each inert
ingredient. Moreover, all ingredients in a formulation must qualify
for exemption. Only inert ingredients that U.S. EPA has classified as
minimum-risk would be allowed. Among these approximately 160 inerts
are beeswax, dextrose, eggs, gelatin, honey, lanolin, milk, sawdust,
To qualify for exemption, products containing these 40 chemicals
cannot make claims to control or mitigate microorganisms that pose a
threat to human health, including but not limited to
disease-transmitting bacteria or viruses. Claims that specify possible
control for disease carried by insects or rodents would also be
prohibited. In addition, the product must not include any false or
Besides the low-risk compounds on the two lists, DPR also proposes to
exempt from registration four other categories of substances: certain
natural cedar products; pheromones labeled for use in traps or the
pheromone traps themselves (as defined in the regulation); certain
preservatives (including embalming fluids and products used to preserve
laboratory animal specimens); and foods used as pest attractants that
contain no chemical or biological toxicants.
Products exempted from registration will remain under DPR oversight.
The Department will require manufacturers to submit reports of any
adverse effects from the use of the exempted products so that DPR can
reassess exemptions if necessary.
Copies of the proposed regulations are available on DPR's Web site
<<http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/legbills/r99-001.htm>, or by calling Ann
Prichard at (916) 324-3931. Comments may be submitted until 5:00 p.m.
on May 12, 1999. E-mail comments may be sent to
<<email@example.com>. Address written comments to: Ann Prichard,
Department of Pesticide Regulation, 830 K Street, Sacramento 95814.
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