Mar. 29, 2017
The Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has confirmed the current registration of pest control products containing chloropicrin in Canada after a special review of this active ingredient.
According to the PMRA, the European Commission prohibited all uses of chloropicrin due to health and environmental concerns in 2011.
Chloropicrin is typically applied once per year as a soil fumigant. Fumigation occurs in the early spring or late fall either before the crop is planted or after the crop season. In limited cases, fields may be fumigated in both the spring and fall. When chloropicrin is applied it is injected into the soil and the soil is sealed to prevent release.
Despite chloropicrin's very high acute toxicity, the special review proposes continued registration based on risk management measures provided to protect handlers. The special review does not consider risk to bystanders, nearby communities or residents during soil fumigation and off gassing from treated fields; or exposure to workers handling treated poles and timber.
And the PMRA has previously implemented extensive additional mitigation measures to protect bystanders and nearby residents as well as workers using chloropicrin as a wood treatment.
Chloropicrin is also described as having potential risk to birds and mammals through inhalation of chloropicrin off-gassing from fumigated fields at subchronic and chronic durations. However, based on one or two fumigations per year and the rapid degradation/dissipation through the atmosphere, continuous subchronic and chronic exposure to birds and mammals is expected to be minimal and is not of concern.
Potential exposure to birds and mammals following chloropicrin fumigation is expected to be of an acute duration which was not of concern. The PMRA implemented extensive risk reduction measures in 2014 to minimize the release of chloropicrin emissions from treated fields. The measures include restrictions regarding site conditions and practices that must be followed before or during application. These measures further minimize potential exposures and risks to birds and mammals.