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Press Release

Alaska Joins with 13 Other States in a Petition to the EPA To Require Disclosure of Hazardous Ingredients in Pesticides

August 1, 2006

(Juneau) - Attorney General David Márquez announced that Alaska joined with 13 other states and the U.S. Virgin Islands to petition the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to require pesticide manufacturers to disclose on the label of their products all hazardous ingredients. More disclosure will lead to greater consumer awareness of the potential health and environmental impacts of using pesticides.

The EPA currently requires that pesticide labels disclose only the product's "active" ingredients that contain toxic materials intended to kill insects, weeds or other target organisms. Pesticide products also contain many other "inert" ingredients, which are intended to preserve or improve the effectiveness of the pesticides' active ingredients. These "inert" ingredients may be toxic themselves.

Nearly 400 "inert" chemicals have been identified by EPA or other federal agencies to be hazardous to human health and the environment, but the EPA does not require them to be included on pesticide labels. Current EPA regulations allows the identity of almost all "inert" ingredients to be omitted from the label based only on their function in the product, not on their health or environmental effects. States are pre-empted by federal law from requiring additional labeling for pesticides.

"The state has an duty to inform and protect its citizens and protect its environment," said Márquez. "Failing to identify harmful ingredients simply because of they are `active' or `inert' makes little sense. People who use or who are impacted by the use of a pesticides should have notice of all that product's potential health risks."

The Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides and 21 other environmental and public health organizations also filed a similar petition with the EPA today.

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