EPA to phase out sulfuryl fluoride — a pesticide contributing to Americans’ overexposure to fluoride

Just days after the federal government announced it wants to lower the safe limit for fluoride in drinking water, the EPA has put out notice that will be phasing out a fluoride-based pesticide used in food storage and processing.

The rationale for phasing out the pesticide sulfuryl fluoride is the same as the reason to lower the safe limits for fluoride in drinking water: To scale back Americans’ exposure to the toxic substance.

“Although sulfuryl fluoride residues in food contribute only a very small portion of total exposure to fluoride, when combined with other fluoride exposure pathways, including drinking water and toothpaste, EPA has concluded that the tolerance (legal residue limits on food) no longer meets the safety standard under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA)….,” the EPA said in a statement on Monday.

The move comes after pressure for changes from environmental and health groups, including the Environmental Working Group (EWG), Beyond Pesticides and the Fluoride Action Network.