Effort Seeks Cuts In Pesticide Drift | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 92 Issue 43 | p. 20 | Concentrates
Issue Date: October 27, 2014

Effort Seeks Cuts In Pesticide Drift

Department: Government & Policy
Keywords: pesticides, EPA, spray drift

A voluntary EPA program for pesticide makers is aimed at reducing the amount of pesticides lost to drift during spraying applications. The agency hopes that the new initiative will decrease the exposure of farmworkers to pesticides and save farmers money by reducing pesticide loss. Manufacturers that opt to participate would test new technologies—such as nozzles, spray shields, and chemicals that reduce drift—for the potential to decrease spray drift compared with a standard determined by EPA. Companies would submit their test data to EPA, which would give the product a rating of one to four stars, depending on the percentage reduction in spray drift. Manufacturers could then choose to include the star rating on their product label. EPA estimates that up to 10% of pesticides sprayed on agricultural crops move away from the intended target. That amounts to about 70 million lb, or $640 million worth, of pesticides lost to pesticide drift each year, according to EPA. Star ratings for drift reduction could appear on pesticide labels by next fall.

 
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