Insecticides used in ant baits and chemicals found in wood treatment substances are among the additions to the New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) priority list for re-evaluation.

The EPA is responsible for regulating chemicals considered hazardous under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO). This includes making decisions about whether to approve the use of new hazardous substances in New Zealand and reassessing approvals of those already in use.

The Priority Chemical List contains 43 substances that, according to the EPA, are most in need of review in New Zealand, drawn from a long list of 1200 chemicals that they have reviewed.

The six additions to the Priority Chemical List are:

Azocyclotin, insecticide used in spider mite control products

Chromates, a group of industrial chemicals found in wood treatment substances

Hydramethylnon, insecticide used for ant bait for professional and domestic use

Nonylphenol, a multi-purpose chemical found in pesticides, cleaning products and veterinary drugs for professional and home use.

Propiconazole, a fungicide used in the production of fruits, cereals, grass seed and turf

Tricresyl phosphate is used as a flame retardant in a variety of products, such as adhesives, lubricants and surface coatings.

Siobhan Quayle, a spokesperson for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said: “All of these chemicals scored high when we tested them for human and environmental health hazards, and they have been added to the Priority Chemicals List on that basis.

“We are updating the Priority Chemicals List to ensure that risks to people and the environment continue to be effectively managed. Over time, we will review the rules that apply to each of these chemicals in our re-evaluation work program to ensure that they are fit for purpose. ”

More than 150,000 hazardous substances have been approved for use in New Zealand. These approvals do not expire; and the only way they can be modified or revoked is through a formal re-evaluation process.

“We now have a dedicated team focused on the progress of these reviews, with several re-evaluations underway, including those of the methyl bromide in log spray and the horticultural spray ingredient hydrogen cyanamide,” says Siobhan Quayle.