California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has listed six chlorinated triazine pesticides as reproductive toxicants under Proposition 65, despite industry opposition to the listings.
The chemicals added to the Proposition 65 list include:
Atrazine (CAS No. 1912-24-9)
Propazine (CAS No. 139-40-2)
Simazine (CAS No. 122-34-9)
des-ethyl atrazine (DEA) (CAS No. 6190-65-4)
des-isopropyl atrazine (DIA) (CAS No. 1007-28-9) and
2,3-diamino-6-chloro-s-triazine (DACT). (CAS No. 3397-62-4)
OEHHA’s listing is based on what it contends is the formal identification of the chemicals by the U.S. EPA in the following reports:
Triazine Cumulative Risk Assessment (U.S. EPA, 2006b)
2006 Decision Documents for Atrazine (U.S. EPA, 2006a)
Atrazine. Toxicology Disciplinary Chapter for the Reregistration Eligibility Decision Document (Second revision) (U.S. EPA, 2002a)
Memorandum on ATRAZINE/DACT – Fourth Report of the Hazard Identification Assessment Review Committee (U.S. EPA, 2002b)
Reregistration Eligibility Decision Document for Simazine (U.S. EPA, 2006d)
Propazine: Revised HED [Health Effects Division] Risk Assessment for the Tolerance Reassessment Eligibility Decision Document (TRED) (U.S. EPA, 2005)
Report of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) Tolerance Reassessment Progress and Risk Management Decision (TRED) for Propazine (U.S. EPA, 2006c)
Concurrent with its listing announcement, OEHHA released its responses to public comments submitted by members of the regulated community. The bulk of the comments concerning the triazine pesticide listings were submitted by Syngenta Crop Protection.
The company said in its comments that the triazine pesticides were not formally identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as reproductive toxicants.
“The statements by U.S. EPA quoted by OEHHA and the use of developmental and reproductive endpoints as the basis for calculation of references doses by U.S. EPA do not represent ‘conclusions’ or ‘formal identification.’” Syngenta commented.
According to Syngenta scientists that formerly worked at the agency, “EPA does not identify hazards, only endpoints for regulatory actions.”
The company scientists said EPA takes a precautionary approach in identifying endpoints, and has no statutory or regulatory mandate or authority to formally identify pesticides as toxicants. “There is no process for formally identifying pesticides as developmental or reproductive toxicants. Such designations are not the role of the EPA.”
OEHHA responded by saying the documents cited in its Notice of Intent to List the chemicals meet the criteria for identification because:
“[T]he list, report, or document specifically and accurately identifies the chemical, and has been … [p]ublished by the authoritative body in a publication, such as, but not limited to, the federal register for an authoritative body which is a federal agency, or…otherwise set forth in an official document utilized by the authoritative body for regulatory purposes”
The agency added:
“Several of the comments are premised on US EPA not having a process for ‘formally
Identifying’ chemicals as causing reproductive toxicity, and not having a “mandate” to formally identify chemicals as causing reproductive toxicity or create a list of chemicals causing reproductive toxicity. There is no requirement in Proposition 65 or the implementing regulations that the authoritative body have such a process or mandate.
The law and implementing regulations clearly contemplate that OEHHA will rely on the conclusions and findings of the authoritative body. Similarly, there is no requirement that the authoritative body develop and issue a list of chemicals causing developmental or reproductive toxicity or that it make its identification of the reproductive toxicity of a chemical in any specific manner. Scientific organizations such as US EPA are generally not focused on creating a list of chemicals known to cause reproductive and developmental toxicity.”
The listings of the six triazine pesticide chemicals takes effect on August 3.
OEHHA also added beta-myrcene (CAS No 123-35-3) to the Proposition 65 list as a carcinogen. Beta-myrcene is used as a flavoring agent and as an intermediate in the fragrance industry. The agency’s listing takes effect on March 27.
OEHHA’s proposed listing had been fiercely opposed by trade associations from the flavor, fragrance and agricultural industries since it requested data on the chemical in 2012. The associations contend beta-myrcene was not formally identified by the National Toxicology Program because OEHHA relied upon an NTP technical report for the identification of the chemical as a carcinogen.
“OEHHA’s intent to list beta-myrcene based on the cited Technical Report is unauthorized, illegal, and does not represent a sound scientific approach,” the associations asserted in public comments submitted last year.”
Beta-myrcene occurs naturally in several fruits and vegetables such as carrots, and tree nuts. It also occurs naturally in hops used to brew beer.