Atrazine - EPA Approves Management Proposal 2/90
P.O. Box 18300 Greensboro, North Carolina 27419
February 5, 1990
SUBJECT: EPA APPROVES ATRAZINE MANAGEMENT PROPOSAL
Over the last few years, CIBA-GEIGY has communicated with you
about our activities towards reducing exposure to atrazine.
Additionally, we have periodically sent out communiques on the
In late 1988, an atrazine management program was proposed to the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by CIBA-GEIGY and
other registrants (producers) of the herbicide. We are pleased to tell
you that on January 26, 1990, the EPA announced the approval of
the program (with modifications).
Adoption of the management program means that several voluntary
exposure reduction measures will be adopted through changes in the
labels of all atrazine products registered by the EPA.
The resulting benefits will be: a reduction in potential exposure to
the herbicide by farmers and farm workers, a reduction in the
potential for infiltration of the herbicide into groundwater and
surface water, and a general reduction of the volume of the product
released into the environment.
Revised labeling is to be adopted by September 1, 1990, for atrazine
(along with all atrazine-containing products) to be sold for the 1991
use season. There is no requirement that stocks of products
remaining in channels of trade be relabeled. Atrazine-containing
products will become Restricted Use Pesticides (for use only by
certified applicators or persons under their direct supervision)
because of groundwater concerns. Exempt from this would be lawn
care products containing 2% atrazine or less in the formulation.
In announcing acceptance of the program, the EPA said "We
commend the technical manufacturers for their consideration of the
need to reduce exposure to atrazine. The label amendments designed
to reduce groundwater contamination may certainly reduce the
point-source problem. In addition, restriction to use by certified
applicators has the potential to reduce the risk of groundwater
contamination due to mixing/loading, application, and disposal."
The label revisions (in addition to the restricted use classification)
included the following:
1 Users must wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants (or equivalent),
chemical resistant gloves, and water-proofed boots. In addition,
persons involved in mixing and loading operations are required to
use chemical resistant rubber or neoprene gloves and a face shield or
2 Groundwater contamination may be reduced by diking and flooring
of permanent liquid bulk storage sites with an impermeable
3 This product may not be mixed/loaded or used within 50 feet of all
wells, including abandoned wells, drainage wells and sink holes.
4 Postemergence applications to corn and sorghum must be made
before the crops reach 12 inches in height.
5 The maximum application rate for corn and sorghum is three
pounds of active ingredient per acre per calendar year. Applications
of the product for quackgrass suppression in corn and sorghum are
restricted to spring application only. No fall applications are
6 Applications for industrial weed control in noncrop areas may not
exceed a combined maximum of 10 pounds of active ingredient per
acre per calendar year.
7 Do not apply this product through any type of irrigation system.
The use changes adopted by the EPA are similar to those already
implemented under atrazine management programs in Wisconsin
Also, the September will include the deletion of the uses on
pineapples, proso millet and rangeland.
revised labeling that will be sent to the EPA in
1990 will not only reflect the above revisions, but
If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at (919) 632-
2171 or Mr. Tom Parshley at (919) 632-7207.
John F. Ellis, Ph.D.