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I wrote recently about the tragic deaths of two young sisters in February, and followed-up with the news that the Environmental Protection Agency was considering new rules to tighten the use of deadly pesticides near homes. Last week, the EPA announced new rules concerning the use of aluminum and magnesium phosphide products and specifically noted the dangers such pesticide fumigants pose to children.

As noted in the release:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is requiring new restrictions on aluminum and magnesium phosphide products to better protect people, especially children, from dangerous exposures. The new restrictions prohibit all uses of the products around residential areas, increase buffer zones for treatment around non-residential buildings that could be occupied by people or animals, and create more protective product labeling. These actions are part of Administrator Lisa P. Jackson’s comprehensive effort to strengthen the agency’s chemical management program and assure the safety of chemicals.

And Steve Owens, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances, emphasized:

Phosphine fumigants are poisons and must be kept away from where our children live. These new safeguards prohibit the use of these toxic pesticides near homes and impose restrictions to protect our families from exposure to them.

In addition to the new use restrictions, the EPA is focusing on improved labeling:

EPA is expediting approval of the new labels to reduce the potential for accidental poisonings. The primary manufacturer is voluntarily implementing the changes. EPA will apply these changes to all aluminum and magnesium phosphide products.

If you are interested in learning more about these pesticides, including the risks, approved uses and labeling issues, look here.

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