EPA Seeks Public Comment on its Interpretation of the Definition of a Label “Panel” in Relation to Placement of First Aid Statements

EPA is inviting public comment on its interpretation and clarification of the definition of a label “panel” and the placement of first aid statements on such labels based on the product’s Toxicity Category.  The Agency’s interpretation and clarification were set forth in a December 2016 memorandum in which the Agency explains that while the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) does not specifically define the term “panel,” the CFR does nonetheless stipulate that first aid statements must appear on the front panel for Toxicity Category I products and any panel for Toxicity Category II and III products.  EPA plans to update its Label Review Manual to reflect this clarification of the term “panel” in relation to the placement of first aid statements on the label for Toxicity Category I products and, in preparation, has established a public comment period ending on March 7, 2017.  Comments may be submitted to EPA docket number EPA-HQ-OPP-2016-0545 which may be accessed by clicking here.

 

In its memorandum, EPA references PR Notice 2001-1 which states, “First aid statements for other than Toxicity Category I products may appear on the front, side or back panel of the label.  Any time first aid statements appear on the side or back panel of the label, EPA expects that a referral statement such as ‘see side/back panel for additional precautionary statements’ will appear on the front panel of the label near the signal word.  First aid statements appearing on the side or back panel of the label would then be grouped near the other precautionary labeling, yet be set apart or distinguishable from the other label text.”

 

The Agency reiterates its long-standing interpretation of the term “panel” as being that portion of a label that is immediately visible on a pesticide product at the time the pesticide is sold or distributed.  As such, first aid language must be readily seen on a visible panel (front, side or back depending on Toxicity Category) and may not be placed inside multi-page labeling (i.e., “extended text,” “accordion,” “saddle stitched,” “pull-out,” “booklet,” or other type of formatted labels) that would be accessible only by manually opening a booklet or unfolding accordion style pages.  EPA states that this interpretation of the term “panel” is consistent with the guidance contained in PR Notice 2001-1.  While EPA acknowledges that it will consider requests for alternative placement of first aid language on a case-by-case basis, the Agency underscores “it is unlikely we would allow Toxicity Category I first aid statements to be placed only within a fold-out label format.”

 

CPDA welcomes feedback from its member companies on the possible ramifications of the Agency’s interpretation of the term “panel.”  Please click here to read EPA’s memorandum.

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Diane Schute

All stories by: Diane Schute