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Clarification and Time Extension for Water Soluble Packaging Instructions

For Release: June 1, 2017

The Environmental Protection Agency is extending the time for registrants to submit revised labels for products with water soluble packaging. The new language is designed to correct misuse and protect handlers from exposure, and it will clarify that the changes only apply to large mix tanks, such as those often used in agricultural settings, versus smaller tanks, such as handheld or backpack sprayers.  The deadline for submitting revised label instructions, originally May 5, has been extended to October 5, 2017.

When used properly, water soluble packaging can significantly reduce handler exposure during the mixing and loading of pesticides and qualifies as a closed mixing/loading system under the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard. However, some unintended practices in the field can actually increase the risks, negating the intention of the technology.

EPA worked with a task force of pesticide registrants and state officials to examine the issue and develop the improved language to eliminate misuse and to protect handlers.

The Agricultural Handler Exposure Task Force (a group formed by registrants of agricultural products to generate data to support registration) uncovered this problem while conducting exposure studies for water soluble packaging. They observed improper use of products in water soluble packaging, such as spraying the products with high pressure water and intentionally breaking water soluble bags. The task force notified EPA of their observations and offered to work with the agency to draft label language to address the improper use of the products.