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Rule

Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate; Exemption From the Requirement of a Tolerance

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This regulation establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of sodium lauroyl sarcosinate when used as an inert ingredient in antimicrobial pesticide formulations applied to food-contact surfaces in public eating places, dairy-processing equipment, and food-processing equipment and utensils at an end-use concentration not to exceed 10,000 parts per million (ppm). Clorox Services Company representing Clorox Professional Products Company submitted a petition to EPA under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), requesting establishment of an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. This regulation eliminates the need to establish a maximum permissible level for residues of sodium lauroyl sarcosinate when used in accordance with this exemption.

DATES:

This regulation is effective May 12, 2021. Objections and requests for hearings must be received on or before July 12, 2021, and must be filed in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178 (see also Unit I.C. of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION).

ADDRESSES:

The docket for this action, identified by docket identification (ID) number EPA-HQ-OPP-2020-0451, is available at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Office of Pesticide Programs Regulatory Public Docket (OPP Docket) in the Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), West William Jefferson Clinton Bldg., Rm. 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001. The Public Reading Room is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the Start Printed Page 25957Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the OPP Docket is (703) 305-5805.

Due to the public health concerns related to COVID-19, the EPA Docket Center (EPA/DC) and Reading Room is closed to visitors with limited exceptions. The staff continues to provide remote customer service via email, phone, and webform. For the latest status information on EPA/DC services and docket access, visit https://www.epa.gov/​dockets.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Marietta Echeverria, Registration Division (7505P), Office of Pesticide Programs, Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001; main telephone number: (703) 305-7090; email address: RDFRNotices@epa.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

You may be potentially affected by this action if you are an agricultural producer, food manufacturer, or pesticide manufacturer. The following list of North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) codes is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a guide to help readers determine whether this document applies to them. Potentially affected entities may include:

  • Crop production (NAICS code 111).
  • Animal production (NAICS code 112).
  • Food manufacturing (NAICS code 311).
  • Pesticide manufacturing (NAICS code 32532).

B. How can I get electronic access to other related information?

You may access a frequently updated electronic version of 40 CFR part 180 through the Government Publishing Office's e-CFR site at http://www.ecfr.gov/​cgi-bin/​text-idx?​&​c=​ecfr&​tpl=​/​ecfrbrowse/​Title40/​40tab_​02.tpl.

C. How can I file an objection or hearing request?

Under FFDCA section 408(g), 21 U.S.C. 346a(g), any person may file an objection to any aspect of this regulation and may also request a hearing on those objections. You must file your objection or request a hearing on this regulation in accordance with the instructions provided in 40 CFR part 178. To ensure proper receipt by EPA, you must identify docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2020-0451 in the subject line on the first page of your submission. All objections and requests for a hearing must be in writing and must be received by the Hearing Clerk on or before July 12, 2021. Addresses for mail and hand delivery of objections and hearing requests are provided in 40 CFR 178.25(b).

In addition to filing an objection or hearing request with the Hearing Clerk as described in 40 CFR part 178, please submit a copy of the filing (excluding any Confidential Business Information (CBI)) for inclusion in the public docket. Information not marked confidential pursuant to 40 CFR part 2 may be disclosed publicly by EPA without prior notice. Submit the non-CBI copy of your objection or hearing request, identified by docket ID number EPA-HQ-OPP-2020-0451, by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be CBI or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute.
  • Mail: OPP Docket, Environmental Protection Agency Docket Center (EPA/DC), (28221T), 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460-0001.
  • Hand Delivery: To make special arrangements for hand delivery or delivery of boxed information, please follow the instructions at http://www.epa.gov/​dockets/​contacts.html.

Additional instructions on commenting or visiting the docket, along with more information about dockets generally, is available at http://www.epa.gov/​dockets.

II. Petition for Exemption

In the Federal Register of September 30, 2020 (85 FR 61681) (FRL-10014-74), EPA issued a document pursuant to FFDCA section 408, 21 U.S.C. 346a, announcing the filing of a pesticide petition (PP IN-11391) by Clorox Services Company representing Clorox Professional Products Company, P.O. Box 493, Pleasanton, CA 94566-0803. The petition requested that 40 CFR 180.940(a) be amended by establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance for residues of sodium lauroyl sarcosinate (CAS Reg. No. 137-16-6) when used as an inert ingredient at an end-use concentration not to exceed 10,000 ppm in antimicrobial pesticide formulations applied to food-contact surfaces in public eating places, dairy-processing equipment, and food-processing equipment and utensils. That document referenced a summary of the petition prepared by Clorox Services Company, the petitioner, which is available in the docket, http://www.regulations.gov. There were no comments received in response to the notice of filing.

III. Inert Ingredient Definition

Inert ingredients are all ingredients that are not active ingredients as defined in 40 CFR 153.125 and include, but are not limited to, the following types of ingredients (except when they have a pesticidal efficacy of their own): Solvents such as alcohols and hydrocarbons; surfactants such as polyoxyethylene polymers and fatty acids; carriers such as clay and diatomaceous earth; thickeners such as carrageenan and modified cellulose; wetting, spreading, and dispersing agents; propellants in aerosol dispensers; microencapsulating agents; and emulsifiers. The term “inert” is not intended to imply nontoxicity; the ingredient may or may not be chemically active. Generally, EPA has exempted inert ingredients from the requirement of a tolerance based on the low toxicity of the individual inert ingredients.

IV. Aggregate Risk Assessment and Determination of Safety

Section 408(c)(2)(A)(i) of the FFDCA allows EPA to establish an exemption from the requirement for a tolerance (the legal limit for a pesticide chemical residue in or on a food) only if EPA determines that the exemption is “safe.” Section 408(c)(2)(A)(ii) of the FFDCA defines “safe” to mean that EPA has determined that “there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue, including all anticipated dietary exposures and all other exposures for which there is reliable information.” This includes exposure through drinking water and in residential settings but does not include occupational exposure. Section 408(b)(2)(C) of FFDCA requires EPA to give special consideration to exposure of infants and children to the pesticide chemical residue in establishing an exemption and to “ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue.”

EPA establishes exemptions from the requirement of a tolerance only in those cases where it can be clearly demonstrated that the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide chemical residues under reasonably foreseeable circumstances will pose no harm to human health. In order to determine the risks from aggregate exposure to pesticide inert ingredients, the Agency considers the toxicity of the Start Printed Page 25958inert in conjunction with possible exposure to residues of the inert ingredient through food, drinking water, and through other exposures that occur as a result of pesticide use in residential settings. If EPA is able to determine that a tolerance is not necessary to ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result from aggregate exposure to the inert ingredient, an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance may be established.

Consistent with FFDCA section 408(c)(2)(A), and the factors specified in FFDCA section 408(c)(2)(B), EPA has reviewed the available scientific data and other relevant information in support of this action. EPA has sufficient data to assess the hazards of and to make a determination on aggregate exposure to sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, including exposure resulting from the exemption established by this action. EPA's assessment of exposures and risks associated with sodium lauroyl sarcosinate follows.

A. Toxicological Profile

EPA has evaluated the available toxicity data and considered their validity, completeness, and reliability as well as the relationship of the results of the studies to human risk. EPA has also considered available information concerning the variability of the sensitivities of major identifiable subgroups of consumers, including infants and children. Specific information on the studies received and the nature of the adverse effects caused by sodium lauroyl sarcosinate as well as the no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) and the lowest-observed-adverse-effect-level (LOAEL) from the toxicity studies are discussed in this unit.

Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is metabolized to the fatty acid lauric acid and the amino acid sarcosine, both of which are found naturally in food. Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate has low acute oral toxicity, and results on a surrogate chemical showed low dermal toxicity. Two acute inhalation studies in rats showed varying LC50 values (lethal concentration for 50% of the animals), with one study reporting the LC50 to be between 0.05-0.5 mg/L and the other indicating a LC50 of 1 to 5 mg/L. These studies indicate that sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is potentially toxic if inhaled. However, inhalation exposure to sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is not likely because it is unlikely that sodium lauroyl sarcosinate will volatilize based on its physical/chemical properties (e.g. vapor pressure and Henry's Law Constant). Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate caused minimal eye irritation, did not cause skin irritation, and was not a skin sensitizer.

Repeat dose oral toxicity testing in rats include a 90-day, 6-month, and 2-year study. In addition, a developmental toxicity test was conducted. High repeated exposures to sodium lauroyl sarcosinate in the diet resulted in minor irritation to the stomach in studies up to 2 years. This effect was not seen as an adverse effect of treatment and therefore, the NOAEL for the 6-month and 2-year studies were 1,000 mg/kg/day, the highest dose tested. When the test substance was administered by gavage, the effects were more severe and include, in addition to increasing thickness in the stomach wall, a yellow discoloration of non-glandular gastric mucosa, more severe squamous cell hyperplasia, hyperkeratosis/parakeratosis, inflammation and edema of the non-glandular gastric mucosa. Systemic effects of sodium lauroyl sarcosinate have not been observed in animal studies.

Sodium lauroyl sarcosine tested negative for genotoxic effects in various studies. Similarly, there was no evidence of carcinogenicity or neuropathological changes or effects reported in any of the studies. The agency does not believe sodium lauroyl sarcosine is carcinogenic or neurotoxic.

B. Toxicological Points of Departure/Levels of Concern

The local effects seen in the stomach in the 90-day and developmental studies are the result of gavage dosing and are not relevant for end point selection for the purposes of assessing this chemical as an inert ingredient in pesticide formulations. Therefore, no toxicological significant endpoint of concern for sodium lauroyl sarcosinate has been identified in the database.

C. Exposure Assessment

1. Dietary exposure from food, feed uses, and drinking water. In evaluating dietary exposure to sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, EPA considered exposure under the proposed exemption from the requirement of a tolerance. Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is currently exempt from the requirement of a tolerance under 40 CFR 180.1207 for use as an inert ingredient (surfactant) at levels not to exceed 10% in pesticide formulations containing glyphosate. Dietary exposure to sodium lauroyl sarcosinate may occur from eating foods treated with pesticide formulations containing this inert ingredient, from eating foods that come in contact with surfaces treated with pesticide formulations containing the inert ingredient, and drinking water containing runoff from soils containing the treated crops. In addition, sodium lauroyl sarcosinate is used as an additive in food packaging. However, no toxicological endpoint of concern was identified for sodium lauroyl sarcosinate and therefore, a quantitative assessment of dietary exposure is not necessary.

2. Non-dietary exposure. The term “residential exposure” is used in this document to refer to non-occupational, non-dietary exposure (e.g., textiles (clothing and diapers), carpets, swimming pools, and hard surface disinfection on walls, floors, tables).

Residential exposure to sodium lauroyl sarcosinate may occur based on its use as an inert ingredient in pesticide formulations registered for residential uses. Additional non-dietary exposure may occur from use of sodium lauroyl sarcosinate in household products and cosmetics. However, no toxicological endpoint of concern was identified for sodium lauroyl sarcosinate and therefore a quantitative residential exposure assessment for sodium lauroyl sarcosinate was not conducted.

3. Cumulative effects from substances with a common mechanism of toxicity. Section 408(b)(2)(D)(v) of FFDCA requires that, when considering whether to establish, modify, or revoke a tolerance, the Agency consider “available information” concerning the cumulative effects of a particular pesticide's residues and “other substances that have a common mechanism of toxicity.”

EPA has not found sodium lauroyl sarcosinate to share a common mechanism of toxicity with any other substances, and sodium lauroyl sarcosinate does not appear to produce a toxic metabolite produced by other substances. For the purposes of this action, therefore, EPA has assumed that sodium lauroyl sarcosinate does not have a common mechanism of toxicity with other substances. For information regarding EPA's efforts to determine which chemicals have a common mechanism of toxicity and to evaluate the cumulative effects of such chemicals, see EPA's website at http://www.epa.gov/​pesticides/​cumulative.

D. Safety Factor for Infants and Children

Section 408(b)(2)(C) of the FFDCA requires EPA to retain an additional tenfold margin of safety in the case of threshold effects to ensure that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm will result to infants and children from aggregate exposure to the pesticide chemical residue. As noted in Unit IV.B., there is no indication of threshold Start Printed Page 25959effects being caused by sodium lauroyl sarcosinate. Therefore, this requirement does not apply to the present analysis. Moreover, due to the lack of any toxicological endpoints of concern, EPA conducted a qualitative assessment of magnesium sulfate, which does not use safety factors for assessing risk, and no additional safety factor is needed for assessing risk to infants and children.

E. Aggregate Risks and Determination of Safety

Taking into consideration all available information on sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, EPA has determined that there is a reasonable certainty that no harm to the general population or any population subgroup, including infants and children, will result from aggregate exposure to sodium lauroyl sarcosinate. Therefore, the establishment of an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance under 40 CFR 180.940(a) for residues of sodium lauroyl sarcosinate when used as an inert ingredient in antimicrobial pesticide formulations applied to food-contact surfaces in public eating places, dairy-processing equipment, and food-processing equipment and utensils at a maximum end-use concentration of 10,000 ppm is safe under FFDCA section 408.

V. Analytical Enforcement Methodology

An analytical method is not required for enforcement purposes since the Agency is establishing an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance without any numerical limitation.

VI. Conclusions

Therefore, an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance is established under 40 CFR 180.940(a) for sodium lauroyl sarcosinate (CAS Reg. No. 137-16-6) when used as an inert ingredient in antimicrobial pesticide formulations applied to food-contact surfaces in public eating places, dairy-processing equipment, and food-processing equipment and utensils at an end-use concentration not to exceed 10,000 ppm.

VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

This action establishes an exemption from the requirement of a tolerance under FFDCA section 408(d) in response to a petition submitted to the Agency. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has exempted these types of actions from review under Executive Order 12866, entitled “Regulatory Planning and Review” (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993). Because this action has been exempted from review under Executive Order 12866, this action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, entitled “Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use” (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001) or Executive Order 13045, entitled “Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks” (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997). This action does not contain any information collections subject to OMB approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), nor does it require any special considerations under Executive Order 12898, entitled “Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations” (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

Since tolerances and exemptions that are established on the basis of a petition under FFDCA section 408(d), such as the exemption in this final rule, do not require the issuance of a proposed rule, the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), do not apply.

This action directly regulates growers, food processors, food handlers, and food retailers, not States or Tribes, nor does this action alter the relationships or distribution of power and responsibilities established by Congress in the preemption provisions of FFDCA section 408(n)(4). As such, the Agency has determined that this action will not have a substantial direct effect on States or Tribal Governments, on the relationship between the National Government and the States or Tribal Governments, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government or between the Federal Government and Indian Tribes. Thus, the Agency has determined that Executive Order 13132, entitled “Federalism” (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999) and Executive Order 13175, entitled “Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments” (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000) do not apply to this action. In addition, this action does not impose any enforceable duty or contain any unfunded mandate as described under Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) (2 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

This action does not involve any technical standards that would require Agency consideration of voluntary consensus standards pursuant to section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note).

VIII. Congressional Review Act

Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 180

  • Environmental protection
  • Administrative practice and procedure
  • Agricultural commodities
  • Pesticides and pests
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
End List of Subjects Start Signature

Dated: May 4, 2021.

Marietta Echeverria,

Acting Director, Registration Division, Office of Pesticide Programs.

End Signature

Therefore, for the reasons stated in the preamble, 40 CFR chapter I is amended as follows:

Start Part

PART 180—TOLERANCES AND EXEMPTIONS FOR PESTICIDE CHEMICAL RESIDUES IN FOOD

End Part Start Amendment Part

1. The authority citation for part 180 continues to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Authority

Authority: 21 U.S.C. 321(q), 346a and 371.

End Authority Start Amendment Part

2. In § 180.940, in paragraph (a), add alphabetically the inert ingredient “Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate” to table 180.940(a) to read as follows:

End Amendment Part
Tolerance exemptions for active and inert ingredients for use in antimicrobial formulations (Food-contact surface sanitizing solutions).
* * * * *

(a) * * *

Start Printed Page 25960

Table 180.940(a)

Pesticide chemicalCAS reg. No.Limits
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate137-16-6When ready for use, the end-use concentration is not to exceed 10,000 ppm.
*         *         *         *         *         *         *
* * * * *
End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2021-10000 Filed 5-11-21; 8:45 am]

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