In response to congressional requests, GAO reported on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to determine the: (1) risks associated with the use of nonagricultural pesticides; (2) extent of public information concerning such risks; and (3) requirements for professional pesticide applicators to protect the public from misuse.
Matter for Congressional Consideration
|Because it may be several decades before EPA assesses the chronic health risks of nonagricultural pesticides, Congress may wish to consider whether pesticide labels should state that EPA has not assessed the pesticides' chronic health risks in accordance with current standards.||Congress has not acted on this recommendation. This point was repeated in the GAO transition report and is still a valid issue. A congressional hearing on March 28, 1990, dealt with the issue, but no action was taken. No further consideration is contemplated.|
|Congress may wish to consider whether the: (1) public should be notified when public places are treated with pesticides; and (2) federal government should have a role in ensuring that the public is notified.||Legislation addressing this issue is unlikely to be considered by Congress any time in the near future.|
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Environmental Protection Agency||1. If the Administrator, EPA, does not have the resources to act against unacceptable safety claims by pesticide distributors, he should inform Congress, so it can decide whether to authorize additional resources, or grant EPA relief from this enforcement responsibility.|
|Environmental Protection Agency||2. The Administrator, EPA, should seek an arrangement between EPA and FTC for controlling unacceptable safety claims by professional pesticide applicators. If additional resources are needed, Congress should be so informed.|
|Environmental Protection Agency||3. The Administrator, EPA, should: (1) encourage states that do not have unrestricted pesticide applicator control programs to institute such programs; and (2) develop a model pesticide applicator control program for voluntary use by the states.|