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Help Phase Out Sulfuryl Flouride!

by Josh Vincent — last modified Aug 05, 2013 03:33 PM

Industry lobbyists have secured a provision in the House Appropriations Bill for 2014 that effectively eliminates the EPA's plan to phase out the dangerous fumigant sulfuryl fluoride. Please urge your representative to strike this language.

NCAP has endorsed the following letter urging the House Committee on Appropriations to remove section 449 from the House Fiscal Year 2014 Interior and Environment Appropriations Act. This section will prohibit the EPA from implementing their plan to phase out the toxic fumigant sulfuryl flouride. 

Please tell your representative to strike this provision from the bill!

July 31, 2013 
The Honorable Harold Rogers 
Chairman Committee on Appropriations 
U.S. House of Representatives 
H 307 The Capitol 
Washington, DC 20515 
  
The Honorable Nita Lowey 
Ranking Member Committee on Appropriations 
U.S. House of Representatives 
H 307 The Capitol 
Washington, DC 20515
 
Re. Full Committee Markup of the Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill, FY 2014 
 
Dear Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Lowey,
 
On behalf of our members and supporters we urge you to strike section 449 from the House Fiscal Year 2014 Interior and Environment Appropriations Act. This section will prohibit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from fulfilling its decision to phase-out sulfuryl fluoride food-related uses.
 
Section 449 on sulfuryl fluoride reads as follows: 
 
None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the Environmental Protection Agency to prepare and finalize an order under section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 346a) that in any way removes, withdraws, revokes, or stays tolerances for the pesticide chemical sulfuryl fluoride if that final order takes into consideration aggregate or cumulative exposure to other substances related to sulfuryl fluoride or its metabolites or degradates. 
 
In 2006, Fluoride Action Network, Beyond Pesticides and Environmental Working Group petitioned EPA to revoke all previously approved food-related uses for sulfuryl fluoride.The EPA Office of Pesticide Programs released a revised sulfuryl fluoride human health risk assessment finding that aggregate exposure for infants and children under the age of seven exceeds the chemical’s safe reference dose level. As a result, EPA proposed an order to cancel all allowable pesticide residue levels (tolerances) and phase out all food-related uses of sulfuryl fluoride over a three-year period. Order Granting Objections to Tolerances and Denying Request for a Stay: Sulfuryl Fluoride, 76 Fed. Reg. 3,422 (Jan. 19, 2011). 
 
The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. §§ 301 et seq., as amended by the Food Quality Protection Act, Pub. L. No. 104-170, 110 Stat. 1489 (1996), requires EPA to ensure that aggregate uses of pesticides meet a health-protective safety standard. EPA must be able to meet its Congressional mandate to protect vulnerable populations such as children from chemical exposures, particularly to chemicals used in pesticides. 
 
Sulfuryl fluoride rapidly breaks down into the fluoride anion in the human body and on treated foods. A 2006 fluoride report by the National Academy of Sciences determined that Americans are at risk of excessive fluoride intake, which could weaken teeth and bones. See Nat’l Academy of Sciences, Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards (2006). NAS also noted an emerging body of science that implicates fluoride in other serious health problems, including neurotoxicity, hormone disruption and the rare bone cancer osteosarcoma.
 
In view of this finding, and others, sulfuryl fluoride poses a risk to human health. Therefore, we urge the House Appropriations Committee to remove section 449 from the bill. Doing so will ensure that EPA can continue to fulfill Congress’ longstanding interest in protecting children’s health. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Jay Feldman
Executive Director
Beyond Pesticides
 
Heather White
Executive Director
Environmental Working Group
 
Paul Connett, PhD.
Executive Director
Flouride Action Network
 
Kim Leval
Executive Director
Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides