Methyl Iodide
To: EPA

Please withdraw approval for the use of methyl iodide for strawberry production.  Methyl iodide is a known carcinogen and neurotoxin.  It is suspected to also cause kidney damage, miscarriages, and may affect the respiratory system.  Given its volatility and reactivity, use in fields would almost certainly lead to significant occupational exposures for farmworkers.  Considering the small concentrations that lead to discernible health issues, methyl iodide use in fields is unwise and dangerous to workers.  NIOSH recommends full face respirators even for low exposures, and the vapour rate at 20 degrees Celsius is significant. The role of fumigants for strawberry fields makes preventing exposure or requiring protective equipment impractical.  Furthermore, that approach neglects neighbors and nearby institutions like schools that could be exposed via air, wind, or water. 

Strawberries can be produced without use of toxic and destructive agricultural chemicals.  I highly support suspending and canceling registration for use of methyl iodide for any agricultural use.

Stephanie Bostic M.S. (Agriculture, Food and the Environment) 

Want to add your voice?  Visit the Federal Register to submit your comments. 

Background: http://www.panna.org/cancer-free-strawberries

Toxicity: http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/hlthef/methylio.html

Say something!  We’re talking about injecting a LOT of it into the dirt and covering it with a tarp.  This is toxic stuff that we are voluntarily synthesizing and allowing to vaporize into our (well, they don’t grow strawberries in large amount in MA) air.  Public comments must be read and considered in the regulatory process.  It’s your civic right and responsibility to shape our regulations as well as legislation and elections.  (Did the guilt trip work?  Good, glad to hear it ;-)).

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