Today the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it has proposed cancelling the registration of the wood preservative pentachlorophenol, commonly known as Penta. Penta has been used at least as early as the 1930s and was first registered as a pesticide with EPA on December 1, 1950. Historically, Penta was a widely used biocide in the United States, but in 1987 uses of Penta as an herbicide, defoliant, mossicide, and disinfectant were removed from product labels. Penta is a restricted use pesticide that is mainly used for treating utility poles. Only pressure and thermal treatments of Penta are allowed under the current product registration. There are no manufacturers of Penta in the United States, and only one in North America. Alternatives to Penta used by utility pole manufacturers include creosote, creosote solutions, copper naphthenate and DCOI. EPA conducted a risk assessment and determined that Penta poses significant human health risks to workers, prompting its proposed cancellation.
Through the Pesticide Registration Review program, EPA reviews all registered pesticides to ensure that each pesticide continues to satisfy the statutory standard for registration, that is, the pesticide can perform its intended function without unreasonable adverse effects on human health or the environment. In addition to Penta, creosote and chromated arsenicals are other wood preservatives subject to re-registration this year, for which EPA has prepared preliminary interim decisions.
EPA is accepting public comment on the proposed decision to cancel the registration for Penta for the next 60 days.
To learn more visit: https://www.regulations.gov/document/EPA-HQ-OPP-2015-0349-0015