EPA has released final guidance which clarifies where first aid statements should appear on the label of pesticide products. In December 2016, EPA released a memorandum titled Guidance for Pesticide Registrants in which the Agency set forth its proposed 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 initially established a 30-day public comment period on its proposal and then subsequently granted a 60-day extension for comment that ended March 7, 2017.
In its memorandum, the Agency articulated its 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. EPA maintained that 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.
In both the response document released at the end of the public comment period and the recently issued final guidance document, EPA affirms that it will continue to require that Toxicity Category I products have first aid statements visible on the front panel except in cases where a variation has been approved. Toxicity Categories II and III products must have statements on a front, back, side or inside panel (any panel). These statements are optional for Toxicity Category IV products. In addition, EPA provides the following recommendations:
- For Toxicity Category I products, the Agency strongly recommends that registrants consider placing duplicative first aid language on the very back page of the booklet/accordion/saddle stitch label that is immediately stuck to the container in case the booklet/accordion/saddle stitch label is accidentally removed.
- Regardless of whether a registrant chooses to place the first aid statements for Toxicity Categories II and III products on a visible front, back, side or inside panel, it is recommended that duplicative first aid language appear on the very back page of the booklet/accordion/saddle stitch label that is immediately attached to the container in case the booklet/accordion/saddle stitch label is accidentally removed. EPA states that this recommendation is not intended to suggest other information that registrants typically include on the very back page should be moved elsewhere.
- The Agency recommends that the registrant community consider designing new booklets/accordion/saddle stitch labels that are not easily removed from the containers. Per 40 CFR part 156.10(a)(4) the labels are to be “securely attached” to the immediate container of the pesticide product. However, the Agency believes that in many instances these labels are easily removed which is why many registrants have already chosen to put the duplicative first aid statements on the very last page (as recommended above) of the label that is attached to the container.
The final guidance document may be accessed by clicking here.