EPA accepting comments on proposed action on chitosan

Public comment is sought through Nov. 30 on a federal proposal to add chitosan to the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of active ingredients eligible for EPA’s minimum risk pesticide exemption.

Chitosan is a naturally occurring substance found in the cell walls of all crustaceans, most fungi and the exoskeletons of most inserts. It is currently registered with EPA as a fungicide, antimicrobial agent and plant growth regulator that boosts the ability of plants to defend against fungal infections.

According to Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, assistant administrator of the EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution, Chitosan poses no concern to human health and the environment when used as a pesticide, so it makes sense to add it to the agency’s minimum risk pesticide list.

Dunn said that by doing so the EPA can free up resources to review pesticides of higher concern and save taxpayers and industry time and money through a reduced regulatory burden.

Expanding use of safer, naturally derived products like this supports the economy, protects the environment, and turns what was once a waste stream into a value-added product, said Chris Hladick, EPA Region 10 administrator.

EPA’s proposal to add chitosan to its list of active ingredients eligible for the agency’s minimum risk pesticide exemption comes after consultation with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel, which ensured all criteria are met.

Comments may be submitted in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2019-0701 at regulations.gov.

More information on conditions to qualify for this exemption are at epa.gov/minimum-risk-pesticides.