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Global ban on the pesticide sulfluramide

Global ban on the pesticide sulfluramide

The application of sulfluramide-based insecticides for the control of the leaf cutter ant or as it is called in other latitudes as arriera, bachacas or zompopas, has become popular among farmers, forestry technicians, agronomists, due to its easy application, practicality and effectiveness.

However, these attractant baits based on sulfluramide, given their toxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation can cause adverse ecological effects at a global level, for which the use of insecticides based on sulfluramide is currently restricted by environmental authorities.

Sulfluramide, upon degradation, becomes PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate). PFOS is a toxic, extremely persistent and bioaccumulative pollutant, which is subject to global restriction measures by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

Despite the dangerous nature of PFOS, several exemptions from its use have been made. One of the “acceptable uses” is the use of sulfluramide in baits for the control of leaf cutter ants of the genera Atta spp. and Acromyrmex spp.

The ninth Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention, to be held from April 29 to May 10, 2019, in Geneva, Switzerland, will assess whether exemptions and “acceptable uses” for PFOS are still necessary. Governments that are Parties will make the decision to accept or modify the recommendation of the New POPs Review Committee to allow sulfluramide for agricultural use.

This brochure seeks to inform civil society and government representatives about the environmental and public health problems involved in the use of sulfluramide when transforming into PFOS.

- To download the file (PDF), click HERE

With information from:

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