Published online: Oct 05, 2007 EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs
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The EPA has approved a one-year registration of iodomethane (methyl iodide) under highly restrictive provisions governing its use.

Iodomethane can serve as an alternative to methyl bromide. The risk assessment process for iodomethane has been one of the most thorough analyses ever conducted on a new pesticide. It has incorporated state-of-the-art methods and extensive chemical-specific toxicology and exposure data. The agency's assessment evaluated the potential for cancer and special sensitivities to the most vulnerable populations. The agency also paid particular attention to potential exposures of those who live, work or spend time in areas near fields where iodomethane might be used.

The risk-assessment techniques, protocols governing generation of toxicology studies and exposure evaluation methods used to support the evaluation of iodomethane have been peer-reviewed by agency scientists, the independent Scientific Advisory Panel or both. By using a thorough evaluation process the agency concluded that there are adequate safety margins and the registration of iodomethane does not pose significant risks.

On Sept. 25, EPA received a letter signed by 54 scientists who oppose the registration of iodomethane as a soil fumigant, citing potential human health and environmental concerns and requested additional peer review. The EPA has discussed its assessment with some of the signatories and sent a letter to inform the scientists of the rigorous science used to support the EPA's decision.

Iodomethane can be used as a pre-plant soil fumigant to control plant pathogens, nematodes, insects and weeds on strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, ornamentals, turf, trees and vines. More information on iodomethane is available on the EPA's website at www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/iodomethane_fs.htm.