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EPA decides not to ban daminozide.

EPA decides not to ban daminozide

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided not to pursue an immediate ban on daminozide, a plant-growth regulator that the agency suspects may be a potent carcinogen (SN:9/7/85, p. 149). The decision is based partly on the agency's acceptance of a finding by its scientific advisory panel (SN: 10/12/85, p. 230) and the Agriculture Department that existing animal-toxicology studies are not adequate to determine the potential health risk posed by daminozide, according to Jack Moore, an assistant administrator of EPA. Moreover, new estimates by the agency -- using the actual percentage of crops treated with the chemical, instead of a maximized, worst-case estimate -- suggest that original lifetime-exposure estimates may have greatly exaggerated risk.

However, "because of continued concerns about the potential risk of cancer from lifetime exposure," Moore says EPA is placing conditions on the continued use of this chemical. They include a reduction in the amount of daminozide that can be applied to apples, the primary crop on which it's used, and the amount of chemical residue that will be allowed on fresh apples and apple products. In addition, the agency has given Uniroyal Chemical Co. of Middlebury, Conn., sole maker of the product, four years to provide better toxicology data on both daminozide and its potent breakdown product, UDMH.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Mar 8, 1986
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