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EPA Revisions to the Worker Protection Standard

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working on updating the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) in order to ensure better protection to farm workers. The WPS was last updated in 1992, and the most recent update is in the process of taking effect in the coming years. The Federal EPA released a proposed legislation last week that would soon adopt closed system requirements at the national level.

So what does this mean for you? Significant changes to the personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements, specifically the use of closed systems, will be in place. Closed systems will be required to be used for all Toxicity Category I pesticides (labeled "DANGER"), and the use of a closed system with other pesticides exempts users from the pesticide label PPE requirements (less PPE required for Toxicity Category II labeled "WARNING" and category III labeled "Caution").

A Closed System is a device or set of components that enables chemical to be transferred from its original container into a sprayer without exposing the user to the chemical. Closed Systems have been around for years and have recently become an emerging trend in agriculture. They continue to gain popularity because of increased awareness for worker safety.

The EPA proposed to establish specific design criteria and operating standards for closed systems based on California's existing standards. California implemented the regulation for use of closed systems over 10 years ago.

The Hypro Closed System Cleanload currently meets California requirements, and will meet the closed system requirements that the EPA is implementing. The system is simple and intuitive to use. Hypro's Closed System Cleanload handles small amounts of liquid, as well as dry formulations.

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