ExxonMobil fluids not impacted by recent FIFRA action

EPA’s revocation of the methyl naphthalene tolerance exemption does not impact the use of ExxonMobil fluids in agrochemical formulations

On December 14, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the revocation of approvals for 72 inert ingredients used in pesticide products. Methylnaphthalene, CAS No. 1321-94-4, is one of the chemicals removed.

ExxonMobil heavy aromatic fluids (e.g. ExxonMobil™ aromatic 200 fluid, Solvesso™ 200 and their related grades) are substances typically containing both 1-methylnaphthalene and 2-methylnapthalene. The EPA’s action was not motivated by concerns about hazard or risk and has no current or future impact on the use of any ExxonMobil heavy aromatic fluids in agrochemical formulations.

ExxonMobil fluids are substances, not mixtures

ExxonMobil hydrocarbon fluids are complex substances produced through the refining of petroleum and have a specific Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) descriptor, e.g. solvent naphtha (petroleum) heavy aromatic (64742-94-5).

Because they have been approved as substances, the individual components require no separate evaluation or approval. Furthermore, the approval status of the substance is not directly impacted by that of various components that may be present.

FIFRA inerts exemptions continue to apply to ExxonMobil fluids

The 14 December action by the EPA led to the immediate withdrawal of those 72 chemicals from EPA’s InertFinder database whereas ExxonMobil aromatic 200 fluid and related grades are still searchable in the database by its CAS number.

Separately, in December, 2016 the EPA Inerts Branch confirmed to ExxonMobil that the relevant fluids have been added to their Trade Name Database.

Removal of 72 inert ingredients is due to their lack of use

In the 14 December, 2016 Federal Register Notice, the US EPA stated the following (emphasis added):

C. What action is the Agency taking? EPA is removing 72 chemical substances from the current listing of inert ingredients approved for use in pesticide products because these chemical substances are no longer used as an inert ingredient in any registered pesticide product.

Furthermore, in their May 22, 2014 letter to California Attorney General Kamala Harris, the EPA laid out four steps they will take for their inert ingredient strategy. This strategy indicates that food-use inert ingredients (including ExxonMobil Aromatic 200 Fluid and others), which were re-evaluated under the Food Quality Protection Act, meet current safety standards and gives priority focus to those inerts which have not had tolerance reassessments (i.e. non-food use inert ingredients).

The EPA’s action was driven by ‘housekeeping’ and was not motivated by concerns about hazard or risk. ExxonMobil heavy aromatic fluids are confirmed by the EPA under the Food Quality Protection Act to be safe for intended use.

For more information, please contact your ExxonMobil sales representative.

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