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Public Comment Sought on Findings of the Draft Review of Diazinon

NRA 00/12    7 November 2000

Public comment is being called for on the findings and regulatory approach proposed in the draft review of the health, safety and environmental aspects of diazinon, an insecticide widely used in the livestock industries.

The review is being conducted by the National Registration Authority for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (the NRA) as part of its ongoing program of review of agricultural and veterinary chemicals that have been used in Australia over many years.

Diazinon was included in the review program because of concerns over toxicity, agricultural worker health and potential environmental and trade effects according to Dr Ron Eichner, Manager, Chemical Review.

'While it is clear from the review that diazinon is a valuable tool particularly for the rural sector there is ample evidence pointing to the need to strengthen the regulatory framework in place to control many aspects of its use.' Dr Eichner said.

'For example, the use of emulsifiable concentrate formulations of the chemical in domestic settings simply poses risks that aren't acceptable by today's standards.' Dr Eichner said.

'The NRA therefore proposes the cancellation of these formulations of diazinon products currently available for domestic use in the house, the home garden and on pets.'

'On the other hand the review concludes that a case exists for continuing the availability of diazinon for pest control on livestock and some agricultural uses.' Dr Eichner said.

Comments on the review findings need to be submitted to the NRA by Wednesday, 29 November 2000.

'I would expect that information obtained during this public comment phase will result in further refinement and revision of the current draft review outcomes.' Dr Eichner said.

The NRA's chemical review program is a long term, systematic and detailed assessment of older chemicals in use in Australian agriculture to ensure that they meet today's efficacy, health, safety and environmental standards.

The draft Diazinon Review Report and a summary document can be found on the NRA website www.nra.gov.au A hardcopy of the draft Diazinon Review Report can be purchased for $100. To obtain copies of these documents contact Nikki Darby by phone on 02 6272 3213, fax 02 6272 3551 or by writing to the NRA at PO Box E240, Kingston, ACT, 2604.

For Information:- Dr Ron Eichner on 02 6272 5248 or Dennis O'Leary on 02 6272 3797

NRA REVIEW OF DIAZINON - BACKGROUNDER

Diazinon was nominated for review in the NRA's Existing Chemical Review Program due to concerns about toxicity to target animals and users, environmental effects and residues and trade implications.

Diazinon is an organophosphorus insecticide and acaricide used in the control of sucking and chewing insects and mites in a range of situations. It is

  • the most widely used organophosphate chemical in livestock industries for ectoparasite control on sheep, cattle and other animals

  • used in collars and washes for external parasite control in companion animals

  • used in agriculture and horticulture for control of insects in crops, ornamentals, lawns, fruit and vegetables

  • of strategic importance to a small number of industries such as pineapples, mushrooms, onions and the nursery industry

  • also used as a pesticide in domestic, agricultural and public buildings.

It is anticipated that many uses will not be continued as a result of this review.

The NRA review process has broadly determined that:

  • diazinon is currently considered to be valuable for several important uses;

  • diazinon has the potential to form toxic impurities in emulsifiable concentrate (EC) formulations stored under inappropriate conditions;

  • domestic use of EC formulations of diazinon poses an unacceptable risk to the general public;

  • commercial/agricultural use of EC formulations which do not contain added stabiliser poses an unacceptable risk to workers;

  • conditions of registration of diazinon products other than those specified above can be changed in such a way that diazinon will not pose an unacceptable risk to human health, the environment and trade

  • additional label warnings are required on some diazinon products;

  • further information is required in order to assess the impact of turf use of diazinon on avian and aquatic invertebrates;

  • occupational health and safety and residues data will be required to support continued registration of some diazinon products;

  • uses requiring new information where a commitment has been received to generate data to support continued registration can be maintained during a specified period. After this period these uses can continue only if they are supported by new information and data.

The draft review concludes that a case exists for the retention of diazinon for pest control in animal and certain agricultural uses but within a new regulatory framework. The review work undertaken so far has identified significant gaps in the residue data available. The NRA is seeking to address the problem which will take considerable time. In the interim, where a commitment to generate the residue data is obtained and where overseas data suggests safety standards can be met, it is proposed that uses continue at least until the data has been supplied and assessed. The NRA will then determine whether or not the registration of these uses of diazinon should continue and if so, under what conditions.

The draft Diazinon Review Report and a summary document can be found on the NRA website. A hardcopy of the draft Diazinon Review Report can be purchased for $100. To obtain copies of these documents write to the APVMA at PO Box E240, Kingston, ACT, 2604.

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