The Environmental Protection Agency has sent a letter to registrants of products with water soluble packaging (WSP) with revised instructions to be placed on the label of those products. When used properly, WSP can significantly reduce handler exposure during the mixing and loading of pesticides, qualifying it as a closed mixing/loading system under the Agricultural Worker Protection Standard. However, some unintended practices in the field are actually increasing the risks, negating the intention of the technology.
EPA worked with state officials and a task force of pesticide registrants to examine the issue and develop the improved language in order to eliminate misuse and protect handlers.
The Agricultural Handler Exposure Task Force (a group formed by multiple registrants of agricultural products to generate exposure data in support of 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 intentional breaking of water soluble bags. The task force notified EPA of their observations and offered draft label language to address the improper use of the products.
The new label language includes detailed, step-by-step instructions specifically designed to correct misuse and protect handlers from exposure.