On April 28, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a notice of intent to suspend the registration of the pesticide Dimethyl Tetrachloroterephthalate (DCPA), also known as dacthal, which is widely used on leafy greens and broccoli. The notice cites the lack of complete data available to make a robust, defensible human health risk assessment of DCPA as the reason for the pesticide’s registration suspension. The lack of available data is due to the registrant of DCPA’s failure to submit necessary information on the pesticide’s toxicity, as was requested by EPA.
The suspension of DCPA follows years of campaigns against the pesticide from consumer groups, such as the Environmental Working Group. EPA states that preliminary data examining the effects of DCPA on the thyroid during fetal development suggests that fetuses are more sensitive to the possible toxic effects of DCPA on the thyroid than their mothers. Therefore, EPA has concerns about DCPA exposure to pregnant individuals and unborn children. After the suspension of DCPA’s registration becomes final and effective, all uses and sales of the pesticides will be illegal.