Proposed Re-evaluation Decision PRVD2019-05, Chlorpyrifos and Its Associated End-use Products: Updated Environmental Risk Assessment

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Pest Management Regulatory Agency
31 May 2019
ISSN: 1925-0967 (PDF version)
Catalogue number: H113-27/2019-5E-PDF (PDF version)

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Table of Contents

Proposed Re-evaluation Decision

Under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act, all registered pesticides must be regularly re-evaluated by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) to ensure that they continue to meet current health and environmental safety standards and continue to have value. The re-evaluation considers data and information from pesticide manufacturers, published scientific reports, and other regulatory agencies. Health Canada applies internationally accepted risk assessment methods as well as current risk management approaches and policies.

Chlorpyrifos is a broad spectrum organophosphate insecticide used to control insects in various settings. In 2000, Health Canada concluded a re-evaluation of chlorpyrifos, focused on non-agricultural uses including uses in and around residential areas (REV2000-05). As a result, most residential uses (except those applied using containerized baits) were removed from chlorpyrifos labels. In addition, mitigation measures were implemented for some agricultural uses including discontinuation of tomato use and lowered maximum residue limits for apples and grapes.

The re-evaluation of chlorpyrifos continued with the examination of agricultural and forestry uses. The health and environmental risk assessments, as well as the proposed decision for agricultural and forestry uses, were published for consultation in 2003 (PACR2003-03). Refinement of the environmental risk assessment presented in that consultation document was limited by a lack of sufficient surface water monitoring data and uncertainties related to the avian risk assessment. Following the consultation, Health Canada implemented measures in 2007 (REV2007-01) to further protect human health, including new engineering controls, personal protective equipment, and restricted-entry intervals. In addition, the environment was further protected by adding environmental precautions and spray buffer zones to the chlorpyrifos product labels. Health Canada has since received additional water monitoring data and updated the environmental risk assessment.

This document (Proposed Re-evaluation Decision PRVD2019-05, Chlorpyrifos and Its Associated End-use Products: Updated Environmental Risk Assessment) presents a summary of the updated environmental risk assessment and the proposed regulatory decision for chlorpyrifos. A value assessment was also conducted.

All products containing chlorpyrifos registered in Canada are subject to this proposed re-evaluation decision. PRVD2019-05 is subject to a 90-day public consultation period, during which the public including the pesticide manufacturers and stakeholders may submit written comments and additional information to the PMRA. The final re-evaluation decision will be published taking into consideration the comments and information received.

Outcome of the Updated Environment Risk Assessment

Currently, chlorpyrifos is used in the commercial production of fruits, vegetables, cereals, grains, legumes, tree nuts, oilseeds, greenhouse and outdoor ornamentals and turf (golf courses, industrial sites, highway medians and sod farms). It is also applied in non-residential, outdoor areas to control mosquito larva in standing water and to reduce adult mosquito populations. Furthermore, it is used to manage certain destructive forest or urban tree insects, and as an indoor and outdoor, non-residential treatment to control insects found in and around buildings. Chlorpyrifos is applied by growers and other certified users using ground equipment as a foliar, soil granular or drench application, and for some uses by aerial application.

An evaluation of available scientific information has not found acceptable risks to beneficial arthropods, birds, mammals and all aquatic biota in the environment for most current chlorpyrifos uses. Greenhouse ornamental, outdoor ornamentals (container stock only) for control of Japanese beetle larvae, indoor and outdoor structural, adult and larval mosquito uses of chlorpyrifos have been shown to be acceptable from the environmental perspective.

Chlorpyrifos is a broad spectrum insecticide that can manage several insect pests on a wide range of use sites, including horticultural, structural, and mosquito control uses. It is one of the most widely sold pesticides in Canada, and is one of the few insecticides registered to manage certain important pests, including invasive alien species, and mosquitoes. Chlorpyrifos has been found to have value to agriculture and other sectors.

Proposed Regulatory Decision for Chlorpyrifos

Under the authority of the Pest Control Products Act and based on the evaluation of currently available scientific information, Health Canada is proposing cancellation of all uses of chlorpyrifos except those listed below, due to risks to the environment (aquatic biota, beneficial arthropods, birds and mammals) that were not found to be acceptable. These uses that are proposed for cancellation include almost all agricultural uses of chlorpyrifos.

Only a small number of uses are acceptable for continued registration with required label changes:

Registered pesticide product labels include specific instructions for use. Directions include risk reduction measures to protect human and environmental health. These directions must be followed by law. As a result of the re-evaluation of chlorpyrifos, additional required label changes are summarized below based on the current labelling standard. Refer to Appendix IV of PRVD2019-05 for details.

Status of Human Health Assessment

Chlorpyrifos is also under re-evaluation in other jurisdictions including the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and the European Food Safety Authority. Due to the recent international reviews, new studies on human health have been generated. Health Canada will be requesting, in the near future, that the relevant new information be provided in order to update the existing human health risk assessment including the drinking water assessment. This update will be presented in a future publication.

International Context

Chlorpyrifos is currently authorized for use in other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries, including the United States, Australia and the European Union. The European Food Safety Authority, Australia Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, and the USEPA are currently reviewing chlorpyrifos.

No decisions by an OECD member country or other international agency to prohibit all uses of chlorpyrifos for health or environmental reasons have been identified.

Next Steps

The public, including the registrants and stakeholders may submit additional information that could be used to refine risk assessments during the 90-day public consultation period Footnote 1 upon publication of PRVD2019-05.

All comments received during the 90-day public consultation period will be taken into consideration in preparation of re-evaluation decision document, Footnote 2 which could result in revised risk mitigation measures. The re-evaluation decision document will include the final re-evaluation decision, the reasons for it and a summary of comments received on the proposed re-evaluation decision with Health Canada's responses.

Additional Scientific Information

There are no additional data requirements at this time for the environmental risk assessment.


Footnote 1

"Consultation statement" as required by subsection 28(2) of the Pest Control Products Act.

Return to First footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

"Decision statement" as required by subsection 28(5) of the Pest Control Products Act.

Return to First footnote 2 referrer

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