The EPA jumps the shark, banning – ARGON ?

This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “noble” cause corruption. Documentation follows. Eric Worrall writes:

h/t IceAgeNow – the American EPA has stunned observers, with a list of inert additives for pesticide formulations they intend to ban, which includes the noble gas Argon.

Its hard to imagine a more inoffensive substance than Argon. As a noble gas, Argon is chemically inert – it participates in no chemical reactions whatsoever, except under exotic conditions – there are no known chemical compounds which can survive at room temperature which include Argon. Argon is not a greenhouse gas.

But Argon is incredibly useful to industry – among other things, is used as a “shield” gas. Anyone who welds Aluminium or Stainless Steel will be familiar with Argon, which is used with MIG and TIG welders, to blow oxygen away from the electric welding arc, to prevent oxidative damage to the weld joint.

Any effort to regulate the use of this harmless substance would do incalculable damage to American industrial competitiveness, for no benefit whatsoever.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argon

So why on Earth would the EPA plan to ban something as inoffensive as Argon? IceAgeNow has a theory – they think Argon is part of a list supplied by a scientifically illiterate NGO, which the EPA plans to rubber stamp.

If anyone with any real scientific training whatsoever had seen this silly list before it was published, or had taken the trouble to do 5 minutes of research on each entry in the list, to discover how ridiculous and ignorant the inclusion of Argon on a list of dangerous chemicals to be banned really is, then the EPA would not be facing their current very public embarrassment.


 

From Anthony: When I first saw this story, I though surely this must be some sort of spoof or misunderstanding that led to this. Sadly, no. The EPA even has a press release about it:

EPA Proposes to Remove 72 Chemicals from Approved Pesticide Inert Ingredient List

Release Date: 10/23/2014

Contact Information: Cathy Milbourn Milbourn.cathy@epa.gov 202-564- 4355 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting public comment on a proposal to remove 72 chemicals from its list of substances approved for use as inert ingredients in pesticide products.

“We are taking action to ensure that these ingredients are not added to any pesticide products unless they have been fully vetted by EPA,” said Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “This is the first major step in our strategy to reduce risks from pesticides containing potentially hazardous inert ingredients.”

EPA is taking this action in response to petitions by the Center for Environmental Health, Beyond Pesticides, Physicians for Social Responsibility and others. These groups asked the agency to issue a rule requiring disclosure of 371 inert ingredients found in pesticide products. EPA developed an alternative strategy designed to reduce the risks posed by hazardous inert ingredients in pesticide products more effectively than by disclosure rulemaking. EPA outlined its strategy in a May 22, 2014 letter: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558-0003 to the petitioners.

Many of the 72 inert ingredients targeted for removal, are on the list of 371 inert ingredients identified by the petitioners as hazardous. The 72 chemicals are not currently being used as inert ingredients in any pesticide product. Chemicals such as, turpentine oil and nitrous oxide are listed as candidates for removal.

Most pesticide products contain a mixture of different ingredients. Ingredients that are directly responsible for controlling pests such as insects or weeds are called active ingredients. An inert ingredient is any substance that is intentionally included in a pesticide that is not an active ingredient.

For the list of 72 chemical substances and to receive information on how to provide comments, see the Federal Register Notice in docket # EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558. To access this notice, copy and paste the docket number into the search box at: http://regulations.gov. Comments are due November 21, 2014.

General information on inert ingredients can be found at: http://www2.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/inert-ingredients-overview-and-guidance.

=======================================

Here is the GovSpeak document outlining the removal of 72 items:

https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/10/22/2014-24586/proposed-removal-of-certain-inert-ingredients-from-approved-chemical-substance-list-for-pesticide

And here is the list:

Environmental Protection Agency

Office of Pesticide Programs

Supporting document to docket# EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558

Listing of 72 chemical substances proposed for removal from the currently approved inert ingredient list.

EPA-argon-lisr

The full list: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558

My locally saved file: EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558-0002 (PDF)

 

[added] By the way, in case you did not know it, you breath in Argon every day. Argon is the third most common gas in the earth’s atmosphere at 0.93%. That makes it more common than that dangerous carbon dioxide (at ~0.03%)they keep whinging about.

air_composition[1]

atmospheric[1]

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Ian W

Eric asks:
“why on Earth would the EPA plan to ban something as inoffensive as Argon?”
But he then goes on to answer his own question.
“Any effort to regulate the use of this harmless substance would do incalculable damage to American industrial competitiveness”
This would appear to be the rasion d’etre of the current EPA

klem

Wait a minute, at one point didn’t the EPA promote the purchase of Argon filled windows for homes because they reduced heat loss?
This is bizarre.

Barry

Not bizarre at all. It’s being removed from the list simply because it’s no longer being used. Be happy that regulations get updated to avoid no longer needed regulation.

Ben of Houston

You have it backwards. It’s no longer being used, so we are going to ban it’s use. This is INCREASING regulations.

Harold

When did they ever use argon in pesticides? Asking for a friend.

Duster

If you look up the OSHA MSDS, the only hazard is the pressure under which it is stored. Rupture a filled tank and you have a bottle rocket of serious mass. The escaping blast might also cause physical harm or blow matter into your eyes. It might also present a freeze hazard, since it is decompressing and taking up heat in the process. It is not toxic, and presents no known environmental hazard.

Jaakko Kateenkorva

You know, inhaled 100% argon may cause asphyxiation. We aren’t far from the day water gets banned.

Robert B

“We are taking action to ensure that these ingredients are not added to any pesticide products unless they have been fully vetted by EPA”. Unfortunately, this is not a case of it being removed because it is redundant.

Danny Thomas

It’s really just a way to stop the spread of neon lighting!

Richard G

The dual pane windows I had installed in my home 12 years ago were filled with argon gas. They still work great, no leakage. I believe they were made by Atrium in Anaheim, CA.
In high school we would bring in our dirt bikes to welding class and we were required to remove the battery and gas tank before welding. If we were welding the gas tank itself, we were required to keep it filled with argon gas until finished.
I still remember the fool that left the battery in while welding, man that was a friggin bomb when it went off. I would imagine now some 40 odd years later if that were to happen, they would put the school in lockdown and call in SWAT.

Olaf Koenders

I thought they filled double-glazed windows with Nitrogen. It’s far more plentiful, therefore cheaper and only serves one purpose – to remove all water vapour so there’s no internal misting between panes.

Richard G

Olaf, I have never seen windows filled with nitrogen, not that they don’t, just that I’ve never seen them. The three window manufactures I looked at before purchase all used argon.

Keitho

It is hard not to think that Ian. Sometimes in the Occam struggle between clueless and malicious you have to come down on the side of malice.
The EPA is beyond satire.

MattS

Clueless and malicious are not mutually exclusive. I vote for both.

Mike H.

Incompetence is the hiding place of malevolence. Not to say that all who are incompetent are malevolent, just that those who are malevolent and don’t want to be known hide there.

Louis

What happened to intelligence and common sense at the EPA?
Answer: They Argon.

Claudius

Exactly. We use CO2 and Argon in welding operations at the car factory. This whole idea looks to me to be aimed at further crippling the US and Western world’s economies. I say Western world because it’s apparent that these nuts share ideas back and forth.

wayne

“This whole idea looks to me to be aimed at further crippling the US and Western world’s economies. ”
Exactly. Such moves by the EPA make this fact crystally clear.
Told my daughter years ago that it had become apparent quite quickly after he was elected in 2008 that Obama was put in place (lying and illegal) to do just that, destroy the US and the West’s way of life. Everything since has just proved this to be correct.

TheLastDemocrat

some talk radio guy noted a few days ago that progressives hate the two things that leadingly give us freedom: cars and guns.

Stephen DuVal

Argon is used as a cover gas for Sodium Fast Reactors that can provide sustainable energy for the entire world at US consumption levels for 1000’s of years. This technology is not a research project, it was ready for implementation in the 1990’s.
This is just another roadblock being created by the EPA to prevent the use of nuclear to comply with the Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan calls for the reduction of CO2 emissions by 20% from 2012 levels by 2030. While wind and solar receive 100% credit for their CO2 reductions, nuclear power receive credit for only 6% of its CO2 reductions.

David A

“While wind and solar receive 100% credit for their CO2 reductions, nuclear power receive credit for only 6 % of their CO2 reductions.”
==================================================
Don’t ya know…”To watermelons not all low CO2 generation is equal”. (From sequel to ‘Animal Farm”. called “Vegetable Blackbeard’s to Rule the world”

Bill Parsons

The raison d’etre of governmnent in general seems to be self-propogation. In this case, the Department of Energy wants (mandates?) energy efficient windows. EPA sets guidelines for achieving proper insulative levels with its Energy Star program. Argon seems the ideal insulating material. Pella and other Energy Star rated window manufacturers, took advantage of its low cost and extreme efficiency as a thermal blocker. (Energy Star guidelines are set by EPA).
5. Pella InsulShield® energy performers include:
Advanced Low-E Insulating Glass with Argon
Designer Series® Advanced Low-E Insulating Triple-Pane Glass with Argon
SunDefense™ Low-E Insulating Glass with Argon
So what a cozy deal: the Department of Energy mandates and the EPA proscribes. Consumers pick up the tab. (Rinse and Repeat)

People, people, people. Settle down. Look closely at what they are doing:
http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558
Summary:
EPA is providing a list of inert ingredients to the public which the Agency believes are no longer used in registered pesticide products. This notice solicits comment on the proposed list of ingredients to be removed from the list of approved inert ingredients the Agency currently maintains
It is a house-keeping sort of thing. It is not anything to getting one’s panties in a twist over. They are banning nothing.
Read, people, read.
They are removing items from the list of approved inert ingredients for pesticides.
If anything this is a “got’cha” attempt. They want all sorts of people to overreact, then they can say “Got ‘cha!”

Duster

There is house keeping, and then there is “house keeping.” Why remove an inert compound from list of inert compounds? At the very best the action is make work designed to empty a budget item and justify funding levels.

Duster, they maintain a list of items that if it is contained in the product, nothing much needs to be done. If there is something not on that list in your pesticide product, then you have to provide all the information to make sure that the item is appropriate and not excessively dangerous to the public at large. For example, Strontium 90 might be a rather effective pesticide, but does anyone really, really want it in their ant and roach killer?
The list is items that you do not have to do anything about if your product contains it. They are removing items that no one seems to be using anymore for their product from that list. Relax.
I am not with the EPA, but even I understand this. Hell, I ridicule them all the rime, but for crying out loud, let it be over something worthwhile, not something this silly!

Karl Compton

So everything not mandatory is forbidden? And why shouldn’t I be able to use Argon as a propellant if I want to and it doesn’t do any damage, even if no one does it now and there may be technically better solutions? You look silly wearing plaid with stripes, but there’s no conceivable way to write a Constitutional law or regulation against it.
Sorry, there is no reasonable good spin on this.

timg56

If the list is those items a producer doesn’t have to do anything in order to use, then removal from the list means that should someone in the future want to use them, they will have to go through EPA regulation.
This doesn’t look like house keeping – it looks like they are extending their sway.

DonM

Wrong!
How is it “just housekeeping” to reduce what is allowed. Read that again “reduce what is allowed” …
it is a limitation on what is currently allowed.
They may be smart enough to have included it (argon) so they could respond to the public comments by saying “We received 12,000 comments that argon is a substance that is benign and we agree … it will stay on the list. We received RELATIVELY little comment on the others (and as such nobody significant cares) and the other compounds are no longer allowed. Thank you for the very large public input/response … our system of management is obviously very open and responsive.”
This is the recent government standard – both the lazy regulatory practice of stating ONLY what the governed are allowed to do (therefore implying that everything else is restricted), and also patting themselves on the back because of their “fantastic” efforts at gaining public input.

Richard G

wyoskeptic, Those ingredients are currently approved for use in pesticides. They want to remove them from the approved list, hence you will not be able to use them.

JJ

wyoskeptic
Duster, they maintain a list of items that if it is contained in the product, nothing much needs to be done. If there is something not on that list in your pesticide product, then you have to provide all the information to make sure that the item is appropriate and not excessively dangerous to the public at large.

And now there will be fewer things on the list of items about which nothing much needs to be done, including things like argon, about which nothing at all should need to be done. So now, in order to use categorically benign argon, you will be forced to prove the negative.
You say “read people, read” to which we people respond “comprehend dude, comprehend”.

I am not with the EPA, but even I understand this.

No, you really don’t.

Leo G

More likely, the author mistyped Ar when they meant to type As and some factotum later dutifully added the Chemical Abstract number for Argon.

Robert B

Ethane was a typo for what? We have had explosions from too many flea bombs going off in an enclosed area but it is not a pollutant. (Disclaimer: I don’t recommend its use as a shield gas).
EFFECTS OF A SINGLE (ACUTE) OVEREXPOSURE:
SKIN:
No harm expected from gas. Liquid may cause frostbite.
EYES:
No harm expected from gas. Liquid may cause frostbite.
INHALATION:
Asphyxiation. Effects are due to lack of oxyg
en. Moderate concentrations may cause headache,
drowsiness, dizziness, excitation, excess salivation, vomiting, and unconsciousness. Lack of oxygen can
kill.
INGESTION:
An unlikely route of exposure. This product is a
gas at normal temperature and
pressure, but frostbite of
the lips and mouth may result from contact with the liquid.

cba

maybe because it’s # 3 on the components of atmosphere list, behind nitrogen and oxygen? Obviously, man’s use of argon must be increasing the amount of argon in the atmosphere that has escaped or allowed to escape and dissipate from man’s industrial uses. Sooner or later if man keeps putting argon into the air, it’s gonna displace all the oxygen and we’ll suffocate. LOL. who coulda guessed 30 years ago that mental retardation is a communicable disease?

Jimmy Haigh.

Why not ban Oxygen? It turns harmless Carbon into deadly CO2…

Joe B

They will when it dawns on them that O2 is the primordial pollutant.

Yes, Joe. Cyanobacteria about 2.5 billion years ago created the
Mother-of-All Climate Change events.

more soylent green!

Oxygen causes rust. It also permits combustion of fossil fuels. You can’t burn fossil fuels without oxygen. PLUS there’s a health benefit — why do they always bug us about getting more antioxidants in our diets? Why, because oxygen kills! We’d all be far, far healthier with less oxygen.

Taphonomic

And just look at what happened to those cyanobacteria after their cyanobacteriagenic climate change.

Bill

dihydrogen monoxide can be deadly!

Sam Hall

Oxygen causes fires, ban it.

Harold

And rust. The stuff’s wicked corrosive.

Definitely we need to ban oxygen and nitrogen. Nitrogen takes up 78% of the atmosphere and it isn’t fair that one gas hog so much space, until nitrogen learns to share it has to be banned.

asybot

Thanks for the laugh and I have to say that goes to all of you that pointed out the danger of oxygen, the proof of that is in Washington, where the people in charge are so elevated (in their own minds) that they show symptoms of the lack thereof.

Alx

Carbon harmless? It is a co-conspirator with Oxygen in producing deadly CO2. Co-conspirators face the same penalities as the primary parties. EPA must act today and add carbon to some EPA banned list or another. Carbon based life forms may have a few issues with this, but you can’t make an omelot without breaking a few eggs.

Terry

Without Carbon all life on Earth would cease. Carbon Dioxide is not deadly it is life.

Tom in Florida

Keep in mind that O16 was originally C12 until an He4 was added during steller nucleosynthesis. That alone makes it evil.

Alan the Brit

Just checked my diary, it says October 29th not April 1st!

richard

one day when there is nothing left to ban,
The EPA bans the EPA.

Dr. Paul Mackey

Maybe they should do that first?

Barbara Skolaut

BINGO!

Richard G

Think of all the tax dollars that would be saved.

Alberto

Argon? Are they serious? Argon is the third most common gas in the earth’s athmosphere at 0,93%. Will the EPA ban oxygen next?

Nylo

Actually on average Water Vapor is third, Argon is fourth. But regionally the ammount of Water Vapor can vary a lot, in time and space, and you can find more Argon than H2O in many places, especially in deserts.

ShrNfr

They are working on it. It has been rumored that CO2 is part oxygen.

Nylo

And by the way, the proposed banning of Argon was to be expected, after all it’s been years since several greens were captured on video showing agreement to a proposal to ban monoxide of dihydrogen. Banning things is critical for them to be able to feel good with themselves.

Keitho

My old, but very useful, “Nature’s Building Blocks”, tells me that more than 750 000 tonnes a year are extracted from liquid air and that there are 66×10^12 tonnes in the atmosphere. It has many uses in lighting, welding( where it reduces the amount of CO2 generated as an added side dish), high grade metal powders for the manufacture of tools, double glazing, high end car tyres, blue argon lasers used in surgery. Useful stuff and not yet used in pesticides as noted above.
Surprisingly it is reactive and forms argon fluorohydride. The conditions are tricky though, you have to freeze a mixture of argon and hydrogen fluoride on to caesium iodide at -265 C and then expose the whole lot to ultra violet causing them to react and form HArF. It only exists below -246 C but it quickly dissociates as it warms.
Argon is not anybodies enemy.

Employee drug testing needs to begin immediately at the EPA. After the mid-term elections auctions should begin for EPA properties, buildings, offices & assets. Remaining employees can work from their respective NGO offices until they are called by special prosecutors or grand juries.

beng

Sarcasm, I know, but the drug-testing should absolutely begin. It’s the norm in major private industry.
Problem is, no union-member, registered-Democrat gov-employee ever seems to get fired….

nielszoo

I’ve got it. Banning argon allows the EPA to ban almost all pesticides. Since argon is ~1% of the atmosphere unless the container shipping the pesticide is under vacuum or flooded with another non-banned gas there will be argon in every pesticide container thereby making every pesticide illegal. I would add a </sarc> tag, but I’m afraid that the brilliant bureaucrats currently working in our government would use this new, made up out of thin air regulation exactly like that.

Paul Schnurr

Am I reading this right? Are they trying to ban substances just because they’re not being used anymore? This appears to be a waste of time to me.

Tom in Florida

Wouldn’t it be better if they simply put out of list of approved substances that can be used in pesticides? I guess that they feel more powerful by banning rather than approving.

MarkinSandyEggo

Yes, but what this does is makes it so that future pesticides would not have easily available these chemicals to make new products that work better. Just because they are not used today, doesn’t mean that some innovative person may come out with a new use in the future.
This smells to me to be the work of fringe people who want to ban pesticide use. Since these chemicals are not in current use, they can ram this through without resistance.

Wu

Here’s a question for the “un-educated”… a few actually.
Why is Argon used in pesticides in the first place?
What’s involved in getting Argon and containing it?
What’re the current supply, demand and reserve figures?
What are the main uses for Argon? (linked to the question above really)
It’s difficult for many casual readers such as I to know the context around this ban. I would appreciate any factual responses to said questions to help me understand at least where the EPA are coming from regarding this apparently ludicrus decision.

Nylo

Argon is NOT being used in the composition of any pesticides.

Barry

Exactly — it’s being removed from the list simply because it’s not being used.

tmlutas

Actually argon is being used to kill insects:
http://museumpests.net/solutions-fact-sheets/solutions-nitrogenargon-gas-treatment/
I don’t know if the proposed change would affect the acceptability of this method of killing pest insects.
As in all things where government meets stupid, Google is your friend.

DHR

Barry, perhaps your point of view has to do with your concept of Government. In civil society in western countries, you are allowed to do anything not prohibited. Its not that way in the military of these countries and its not that way in civil or the military in the former and currently Communists countries where you are only allowed to do what is permitted, all else being prohibited. I prefer our way.

Greg

This is idiotic, you don’t ban something because it’s not used, you ban something because it can cause proven harm. !000’s of people have too little to do and need to be fired yesterday.

Barry,
Your comments make NO SENSE. You wrote upthread:
It’s being removed from the list simply because it’s no longer being used.
The you write:
Exactly — it’s being removed from the list simply because it’s not being used.
I could make a list a mile long of things we no longer use. That’s just make-work for an EPA bureaucrat. I can’t think of a more lame argument.
If you’re going to defend the EPA, try to find something worth defending. I know it’s a difficult job. But that particular argument is a loser.

You extract Ar from air by refrigeration and compression of .. well, “air” just like you extract Co2 from “air” – It is IMPOSSIBLE to run out of Ar.
From Wikipedia: Industrial

Argon is produced industrially by the fractional distillation of liquid air in a cryogenic air separation unit; a process that separates liquid nitrogen, which boils at 77.3 K, from argon, which boils at 87.3 K, and liquid oxygen, which boils at 90.2 K. About 700,000 tonnes of argon are produced worldwide every year.

Yes, you do need energy to compress and super-cool the liquid air down towards -200 C, but other than that, it is a simple enough process.
Will the EPA regulate the CO2 fire extinguishers next? After all, they DID all but ban the more effective commercial fire-fighting gasses – even on Navy ships where “winning in combat” by fighting fires and explosions is evidently less important than preventing the hole in the ozone layer.

DP

Argon is used when in inert gas is needed. My guess is that it most common use is in welding where it is vented directly back into the atmosphere. It is also used to extinguish fires, again, vented to the atmosphere.

Wu

Thanks for replies guys. What I was thinking was that maybe there’s a sudden drop in argon production or a new tech might need a lot of it which is why I wanted figures on it. If it’s easy and cheap to obtain and store, then there’s no real reason why it’s being retired out of the fertiliser busisness.
I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt – seems like yet another banning for no good reason. (so far)

Neo

It appears it may be necessary to render the EPA as inert as argon

Any effort to regulate the use of this harmless substance would do incalculable damage to American industrial competitiveness. Perfect isn’t it?Soon the west and America will be on equal footing with Africa and the middle east! And the Obama nation that causes desolation will have his collective salvation goals realized.

mark wagner

They are not proposing to ban argon in industrial settings.
They are proposing to ban the use of argon in pesticides. Only.

mark wagner
Submitted on 2014/10/29 at 7:52 am | In reply to Kirk MacPherson.
They are not proposing to ban argon in industrial settings.
They are proposing to ban the use of argon in pesticides. Only.

No. They are removing Argon – a chemically inert gas! that CANNOT REACT CHEMICALLY WITH ANYTHING! – from their previous list of government-approved “inert ingredients” that can be used in pesticides. But Argon IS IN THE AIR that is in the pesticide powder and spray and air-mixtures!
How the bl**dy Hades are they going to keep an inert ingredient naturally in air at 100’s of times the concentration of CO2 – also naturally in the atmosphere. The EPA is making a series of dumb and irrational decisions totally against even basic freshmen-level chemistry – which shows the EPA’s stupidity and incompetence, and calls properly in question every one of their remaining decisions.
Now, what this proves is too things: The EPA is professionally incompetent. And you appear to be professionally “tuned” to accept anything stupid they do, to excuse their stupid decisions, and to “spin” their stupidity into further foolish behavior. Is that deliberate, accidental, brain-washing from their years of propaganda, or are they paying you?

Alan c

Perhaps it is being done to preserve Argon because Argon is in relatively short supply or expensive to produce

cirby

Liquid argon costs about $1.70 per liter, and is almost one percent of the entire atmosphere, so no on both.

Keitho

Yup, there are 66×10^12 tonnes of it in the atmosphere and when we use it, it just goes straight back unchanged.

Gunga Din

Even if it was, it’s inert and harmless. It’s not toxic.
Sure, if it displaces O2 in a confined space you’d be harmed. But that would be due to lack of O2, not argon. That would make how it’s used an OSHA safety issue, not an EPA issue.
If it’s not toxic, how can the EPA say anything about it all other than it’s safe to use as an ingredient? Even if it’s not used anymore in pesticides the most that should happen is that it be considered “unregulated” as an ingredient, not removed from “approved” or require an explanation to justify it’s use.

Gunga Din

It just occurred to me that this might be an example of “bureaucratic think”. The right lobe doesn’t know what the left lobe is doing. 😎

Bruce Cobb

They forgot the deadliest chemical of all, dihydrogen monoxide.
Of course, what really needs banning is the EPA itself.

PiperPaul

They should start and keep laying EPA people off until they all argon.

Barbara Skolaut

PP wins the thread! 😀

Ouch 🙂

David A

Piper wins a prize. We are sending him a new bumper sticker…’STOP Global Whining!”

Peter

Agree. Dihydrogen Monoxide kills millions of people every year, does incalculable damage to the environment in excess, can be used in pesticides and is essential in most industry, and yet it’s production and use is not regulated! I’ve never heard of Argon hurting anyone.

Nigel S

You think that’s impressive? We plan to destroy our entire economy based on the advice of an English literature grad. from FoE. We’re so grateful we’ve put her in the House of Lords.

Many of the 72 inert ingredients targeted for removal, are on the list of 371 inert ingredients identified by the petitioners as hazardous. The 72 chemicals are not currently being used as inert ingredients in any pesticide product. Chemicals such as, turpentine oil and nitrous oxide are listed as candidates for removal.

Never mind the bureaucratic gobble-de-gook about “inert chemicals” being simultaneously “inert” AND “hazardous to your health” …. (I do understand the use of “inert” in pesticide mixes of active and inactive of course.)
But, look at the partial list above: Each of the chemicals listed is commercially, has 6 to 8 PAGES of MSDS safety sheets that MUST BE PROVIDED by OSHA “law” EVERY time the chemical is shipped to a job site or is used at a jobsite. Why does the EPA think the chemical – especially when it used in used as a INERT ingredient in a physical mixture that is not chemically reacting when used properly? (Even sand, wood chips, Argon, NO3, NO2, even N2 will kill if used improperly!)
Oh, by the way – The Ar is probably originally added as an “inert ingredient” in a pesticide list as a joke by some fed-up and disgusted chemist in the pesticide company: “Nobody could be that stupid. But the lawyer said we have to include everything. OK, fine. I’ll include Ar, N2, and O2 and water in this list – that the fed’s will never read anyway – because Ar is a naturally-occurring mixture in air, and we have air mixed i our product ,,,, Yuck, yuck,”

tmlutas

Argon *is* actually used to kill insects.
Why aren’t people checking? It’s not like Google is hard to get to or use.
If we don’t fall into the trap of “too good to check” our side will have a persistent advantage over the CAGW types who actively discourage checking and independent thought. This kind of a story is a good warmup

Duster

Argon is not used to “kill” insects. It is used, with Nitrogen, to create an inert atmosphere with extremely low levels of oxygen in which the insects essentially starve and suffocate to death because of a lack of oxygen. Argon itself is not toxic. The lack of oxygen kills the bugs.

Duster – This is a regulatory story. Argon is being taken off the list of things you don’t have to file paperwork for. You can almost see the future where some rules bound idiot (likely in a highly regulatory blue state) is going to force an exterminator to file paperwork and incur costs because of this decision both in time and in filing fees.
I also note, the only person saying somebody might believe that Argon is toxic is you. I said it was used to kill insects, a true statement. You can do that without being toxic, which is how the substance is used in the real world.
I have no idea why it works better than Nitrogen. Do you?

Alberto

It seems that WADA (the antidoping agency) bans argon as doping since it can be used to create an oxygen deficit in tissues to which the human body reacts by creating extra red blood cells. But that’s too far fetched: I don’t think this decision by EPA has anything to do with WADA.

LevelGaze

Given the composition of atmosphere, it follows that Compressed Air must also be banned. Look forward to running on flat tyres then, just for starters.
A more progressive move – hopefully soon – would be to have all these nutters committed to an asylum for the term of their natural.
Stop the World – I want to get off.

We must recall that very high levels of argon in the air can replace oxygen and cause extreme discomfort andor suffocation. This problem is much more serious if the exposure to argon takes place during exercise.
For example, experiments carried out on rats showed they suffered a lot of discomfort when the rats were forced to run on a threadmill using 200 volt electric shocks in a 10 % argon atmosphere. Our analysis shows 56 % of the rats exhibited erratic walk and bounced of the cage walls after 30 minutes, while 12 % collapsed and died before the 30 minutes were over.
The experiment protocol called for argon concentration increases to 15 and 20 %, but the experiments were suspended.
A follow up experiment was carried out using chimpanzees, It showed they were unable to peel a banana if fed at a temperature ranging between 38 and 42 degrees C in 90 % H2O relative humidity and 20 % argon concentration.
Given the harm observed in animal experiments we decided to discontinue the project, and the the argon atmosphere experiments on humans were cancelled. The rats and the chimps were returned to a recovery center at the St. Louis zoo, where they continue to show somewhat erratic behavior.

Nylo

LOL!

But the rats’ erratic behavior was only due to their irritation at having to share a common break room with climate scientists and EPA lawyers ….
There are some things so cruel that even lab rats will refuse to tolerate!

Gary Pearse

10 to 20%, yes. Similar discomfort arises from oxygen deprivation. At the summit of Mt Everest one breath gives you only 33% of the sea level amount of oxygen. Unless are Sherpa, you are at high risk of pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs) and cerebral edema (fluid in the brain). You end up with disorientation, and a number of other symptoms probably similar to what you describe for chimps in argon, and if not corrected (take oxygen or get to a lower altitude) it can lead to coma and death within 48 hrs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-altitude_cerebral_edema
It ain’t the argon that’s responsible, but I’m sure it is such a stupidly misunderstood experiment that that is where the idea came from. Any idea why they were doing such a diabolical experiment?

The experiment was carried out under a US government grant. I assume you know our organization investigates a diversity of fields? OUr most recent papers were on issues such as social psychology (“Qualitative Analysis of President Obama´s Speech at the UN”), nuclear engineering (“Nuclear Plants Construction: a Proposal for Africa”), and medicine (“Are NASA employees color blind?”). The argon experiments were a minor project. Why would you consider they were poorly designed? We used the EPA and CDC guidelines.

mpainter

EPA guidelines? Not impressed Fernando Leanme. Nor with your torture of rats and chimpanzes on a gummint grant. This is the kind of (r@p that needs to be ended.
concerning EPA bans- who knows the law? Can the EPA ban
any substance on a whim, without demonstrating that such substance is harmful? Who knows this?

Gary Pearse

You are a clever, amusing and diabolical fellow, Fernando! I normally get a joke but my brain has been assaulted over the past decade or so by stuff like this that is regarded to be serious.

Stevan Makarevich

This reminds me of a similar experiment we performed, but with hydrogen instead of argon. Unfortunately, one of the 200 volt electric shocks resulted in an electric arc, so that experiment came to an abrupt end.

Greg Roane

The “erratic walk and bounced off the cage walls”, “12% collapsed and died”, and “continue to show somewhat erratic behavior” wouldn’t have anything to do with “200 volt electric shocks” and “running 30 minutes” on a treadmill, would it?
Also, were the chimps unable or unwilling to peel a banana in 104-107 F @ 90% humidity? Put me in that environment, with or without Ar – wearing a fur coat, no less – and I wouldn’t be peeling anything for you either.

We could consider you for a different experiment if you wish, but you must know how to swim. The experiment is intended to investigate the survival ability of Polynesians to sea level rise.

mpainter

How much $$$ for this one Fernando? Would you care to divulge?

Mapainter our first submittal requested $2.6 million USD. But that includes our overhead as well as the cost to fly to Funafuti and rent a research vessel for the summer of 2015. At that time we would be measuring sea level rise and testing the native population for their perception of how they can survive as the island’s ecosystem collapses. We would also be making a video to help my “Drowning Islands” charity improve cash flow. I assume you are familiar with Drowning Islands ?

mpainter

Yes, Fernando, I am familiar with drowning islands. In fact, I have drowned a few myself. That was before people got grants for doing that. I was born too early.

Keith Willshaw

The same of course is true of Nitrogen so presumably we must also ban air which contains dangerously high levels of N2

Fernando Leanme’s experiments are carefully controlled for excess nitrogen.
Every liter of Argon poured on the too-hot chimpanzees is very carefully monitored, and exactly 1.0 liter of nitrogen is sucked back pout of the enclosure.
I am however, eagerly awaiting the followup experiment wherein his carefully-established team verifies the modeled experiment reducing the levels nitrogen in the enclosure to progressively lower levels by replacing it with an inert substance approved by the EPA. (Bureaucratic brain cells are hard to find and so rare they are on the endangered list already, and thus much more expensive. Politician brain cells are of course out of the question – they have long been extinct.

We are waiting for the Ebola epidemic scare to subside before we proceed with the experiments at Emory University’s high pressure chamber. The experiment protocol is intended to prove CO2 is a harmful pollutant by placing volunteers in a normal atmosphere plus 1 % CO2 at 20 atmospheres for 12 hours, then using a three minute decompression protocol. If we notice any harmful effects we would have the former Ebola ward ready to handle the subjects. If the government can’t handle the Ebola issue by next year we will be moving our team to Australia or some other country with a decent visa ban on incoming visitors from Ebola countries. At that point in time we need to locate a high pressure chamber to proceed with these experiments.

Alx

I hope this experiment is made-up absurdity. A joke basically.
If not I recommend forcing Fernando to run on treadmill using 200 volt electric shocks while continually eating banana and peanut butter sandwiches. If Fernando collapses within 30 minutes, we would have conclusive proof that banana and peanut butter sandwiches are hazardous.
If he lasts 60 minutes we”ll take a 1 hour break and keep repeating the test until he collapses within 30 minutes and have our conclusive proof that banana and peanut butter sandwiches are indeed hazardous.

PiperPaul

I say we start the experiment again, but with a spherical Fernando.

What are you, th local PETA representatives ? Those experiments are run on animals. It’s not like we are tossing them onto wind turbine blades.

Greg

I’ve done similar experiements on myself using only CO2 and alcohol, and perhaps some barley and hops. Similar results.

heh heh even funnier is some seem to have taken you seriously.

No surprise really, Greenpeace had a campaign to ban chlorine and after all, the EPA are Greenpeace’s regulatory arm.
http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2013/07/12/know-your-enemy-the-environmental-regulator/
Pointman

Bill Clinton once said we should ban chlorine and all its compounds. So goodbye table salt, and I don’t know what all the fish in the ocean are going to do, but we can’t have salt in the ocean either.

Man Bearpig

I think its time some Chemists/Chemical Engineers joined up at EPA rather than the bunch of tree huggers conspiracy theorists that seem to be ruling the roost there. Next thing is they will fall for the Di-Hydrogen Oxide trap and ban – well we all know what that is !

James McCown

Next will be helium and xenon, followed by nitrogen.

Once you’ve named CO2 (without which there would be no life) a pollutant everything is fair game.

Alx

Unfortunately and ridiculously so.

Admad

They missed that dam’ Di-Hydrogen Oxide menace, though…

tmitsss

Because the Argon in our incandescent light bulbs is inert it is used by the National Archives to protect the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. If you are banning Argon, starting with the ILB ban then with pesticides, its logical to believe that next you wish to destroy our Independence and Constitution. (sadly I have to note that is sarcasm)
The Argon ban is a IQ test which the EPA has flunked

Barbara Skolaut

“its logical to believe that next you wish to destroy our Independence and Constitution. (sadly I have to note that is sarcasm)”
Sadly, I have to note that it is NOT. These clowns DO “wish to destroy our Independence and Constitution.” >:-(

tommoriarty

Argon is the third most abundant gas in the atmosphere (excluding water vapor), nearly 1%. Nitrogen: 78.08%, Oxygen: 20.95%, Argon: 0.93%.
See image here…
http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/2009/04/18/kyotos-impact-on-atmospheric-co2/
During the construction of the muon drift chambers for the D0 collision point at Fermi Lab we used to store some sensitive parts in Argon. Little did I know how dangerous it was! Thank you EPA

lee

I hope your ‘sensitive parts’ survived OK?

John West

”Any effort to regulate the use of this harmless substance would do incalculable damage to American industrial competitiveness”
This is not an “effort to regulate” Argon or any of the other fairly benign entries on the list like Boron Oxide and Crystalline Silica (Tripoli) but rather removal from the (pre)approved list of inert ingredients available to pesticide formulators without jumping through EPA hoops. Once removed from the list a company that wished to use it in a formulation would have to prove its safe and of course pay a fee.
http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0558-0001
”If an application for registration of a pesticide product includes inert ingredients not on the approved list, the inert ingredient will need approval and require payment of a fee”
”any proposed future use of the inert ingredient would need to be supported by data provided to and reviewed by the EPA as part of a new inert ingredient submission request. The type of data needed to evaluate a new inert ingredient may include, among others, studies to evaluate potential carcinogenicity, adverse reproductive effects, developmental toxicity, genotoxicity as well as environmental effects associated with any chemical substance that is persistent or bioaccumulative”

tmlutas

This is a strike against museums, which use the nitrogen/argon suffocation method to rid themselves of pests without leaving chemical residues on their artwork. How dare they.
The EPA is a bunch of philistines.
/hyperbole
/ha ha but serious

Gary Pearse

Handy for lefties to rewrite history.

”If an application for registration of a pesticide product includes inert ingredients not on the approved list, the inert ingredient will need approval and require payment of a fee”
So it’s a fund-raising effort, then.

Harold

Of all the ‘splanations I’ve read here, that’s the only one that makes any sense. This is an attempt to rectify an earlier screw-up that included AR on an approved list of inert ingredients in the first place. That I can believe.

Robin Hewitt

Argon and Xenon are banned substances for international athletes. It seems that training on a low oxygen atmosphere gives you an advantage when you breathe the real thing in competition. Are they really trying to detoxify pesticides? I can see a problem with that.

Alx

Not for the insects. I think there is a large insect lobby in Washington along wiht the rats.

DirkH

They simply got a list of everything that is in pesticides, declare that they intend to ban each one of them, and wait for the comments.
This way they can spend their time going on vacation without punching out, pretending they are CIA agents, and months later come back and read the comments; then they will take those ingredients off the list that need no banning.

I found a very interesting CAS entry http://www.chemicalbook.com/ProductChemicalPropertiesCB0330440_EN.htm on argon, while doing a search of the CAS number. It seems that someone has concluded that argon is manufactured from amonia, nitrogen, and hydrogen, thru a very complex series of intermediaries. If someone is actually synthesizing argon by this route, it appears that they have discovered the philosopher’s stone (or is spending a fortune on transmutation energy, instead of doing simple fractionation of liquid air) I wonder if the activists just did a CAS search or an MSDS search on these substances, and then just threw any scary ones on to their list. And the EPA is just rubber-stamping it, because they don’t know any better.
As a former govt official or a highly technical agency, I am embarrassed that the competence of the federal government has sunk this low. I have already submitted a comment to them about this. It is appalling.

Keitho

Argon is an element. Tricky to manufacture really.

hunter

heh.

Frank

Argon is produced (non-anthropogenicly) by decay of potassium all the time.

Billy Liar

@Frank
You’re wrong. The average human has 120g of potassium in their body, 0.012% of which is K40, the radioactive isotope. So every human is a little anthropogenic argon factory by decay of K40 through electron capture and the emission of 1.460 MeV gamma ray and a neutrino.

Richard G

Eh, that would explain why my body has been decaying.

ShrNfr

Actually, there is a very rational explanation for this. While discussing the chemicals to be banned, the bureaucrats discussed the issue. They talked about a large number of chemicals and what would happen once those are gone from pesticide. Having discussed the issue of “are gone” they decided that it would be wise to also include argon in the list. Adams modeled Vogons on British civil servants for a reason.

Duster

Oof.

Barry

If one reads just a little more closely, the reason for removing Argon from the list is simply that it is no longer being used, i.e., why waste taxpayer funds monitoring for it if it is no longer used?
“EPA is considering removing from this list a set of 72 chemical substances that are no longer being used as an inert ingredient in a pesticide product.”

tmlutas

Since argon is being used, we have now established that Google use is beyond the technical capabilities of the EPA. Seriously, try googling argon use pesticide. It’s right up there on the top half of the first page.

mebbe

“We are taking action to ensure that these ingredients are not added to any pesticide products unless they have been fully vetted by EPA,”
Barry, I think the quote above is a clear statement of their intent.
Your quote is merely a statement about what it is that they want to withdraw approval for.

Louis Hooffstetter

Barry: It is pointless and stupid to ban elements and compounds simply because they aren’t being used.
You ask “…why waste taxpayer funds monitoring for it if it is no longer used?”
Are you serious? Are you telling us the EPA has been wasting time and money monitoring for inert gasses? How long has this been going on? If you really want to save taxpayer funds, ban the EPA. They clearly don’t know what they are doing.
Do you work for the EPA by chance?
Did you have some hand in this idiotic regulation?

@Barry:
You just don’t give up, do you? Banning something because it is no longer being used is bureaucratic stupidity. That is not in the EPA’s remit. They are supposed to be protecting the environment, not banning the most harmless atoms in existence, for the sole reason that they are no longer used. What if someone wants to use them again? They can’t; they’ve been banned.
Really, Barry, try to pick your battles better. The EPA can’t seem to do it. But you should be able to, before you dig any deeper.

Michael Graebner

It is used with our ICP instrument.

Richard G

Barry, taxpayer funds are not being wasted monitoring it. It is on an approved list of ingredients. If it is removed from the list, taxpayer funds will be wasted to reapprove it if someone wants to use it.
At this point I believe the EPA itself has become a waste of taxpayer funds and should be banned or at least removed from the approved list of government agencies.

Richard Ilfeld

Strangely, I am cheering. If you set out to discipline the agency, they will immediately wrap themselves in the usual memes: “Saving the planet”, “Saving the children”, etc. One needs a few truly obvious stupidities that are indefensible to the average voter ( a low bar) to actually have the political cojones to do anything.

Ian H

The average voter hears the word ‘Argon’ and worries about pesticides possibly poisoning superman.

Alx

“Saving the planet”, “Saving the children”… I guess they are adding “Saving the Insects” to that list.

Rattus Norvegicus

Reading the regulatory notice shows that the ingredients proposed for removal from the approved list are not longer used in pesticides.

mebbe

That’s very helpful, Rattus.
Although your paraphrase changed “currently” to “not longer”, I bet you saw that right up there in the head-post. Maybe just two paragraphs below this;
““We are taking action to ensure that these ingredients are not added to any pesticide products unless they have been fully vetted by EPA,” said Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “This is the first major step in our strategy to reduce risks from pesticides containing potentially hazardous inert ingredients.”
But, thanks, we wouldn’t have caught that important bit.

Louis Hooffstetter

“This is the first major step in our strategy to reduce risks from pesticides containing potentially hazardous inert ingredients.”
That says it all. Jerry, Rattus, Juan, look up the defiition of “inert”.
Jim Jones (and every other commenter here who doesn’t understand what ‘inert’ means) is a proven idiot.

Norway Rat,
Check out the replies to ‘Barry’. One clueless commenter is more than enough here, no need to double up.

juan

Rattus Norvegicus is correct Mr Stealey, and you are the one that appears clueless

FerdinandAkin

The Environmental Protection Agency does not want to ban Argon per se; they want to ban the production of more Argon. They have found that the half-life of Argon (by using sophisticated computer models) is essentially forever.

Greg Roane

Maybe I missed something, but are not pesticides supposed to be … I don’t know … HAZARDOUS? It is how it is defined, no? “Pesticides” are designed to be so hazardous as to actually cause DEATH, are they not?
So, how does the EPA expect the new pesticides of the future to work? Make them water-based and DROWN the pests?

DrTorch

“Its hard to imagine a more inoffensive substance than Argon”
Neon.

Keitho

Yes indeed. Neon is Argon’s very weedy and self effacing little brother. Neon reacts with absolutely nothing no matter how much you torture it.

LeeHarvey

Neon will raise one’s voice when inhaled. I find that offensive.

But… but, neon KILLS!
Just ask the commenters who like to point out that if you are in a room with 100% CO2, it is fatal. It’s the same with neon.
EPA: Ban neon NOW!!

But these are INERT chemicals that are NO LONGER used that they INTEND to ban because they MIGHT BE hazardous! (By the way, if some chemical is “inert” it cannot be hazardous. )

c1ue

I also like how they include Formaldehyde. I guess no more using smoke…

Ian H

That’s just bizarre. I’m not even sure how you would go about adding argon to a pesticide or how you would keep it in there if you did. At room temperature it is a gas.
You guys really need to fix your system of government. Why not give democracy a try? If you had elected people in control of agencies like the EPA then you might be able to stop this kind of nonsense. I understand you guys do elect people, but they don’t control anything and spend most of their time giving speeches to empty rooms. I also understand pork is involved. (Do the Jewish representatives use lamb instead? I must confess I’m not quite clear on the whole pork thing.) Anyway if you are going to go to the bother of electing people why not get them to run the government for you? Just a thought.
The USSR used to have a similar problem of electing a bunch of people to a meaningless circus while the bureaucracy ran amok. They had all sorts of problems as a result, so they changed their system to one where criminals control everything. They haven’t looked back ever since. I don’t actually recommend the Russian system myself, although putting the Russian mafia in charge of the EPA does admittedly have some appeal. In particular having the Russian mafia deal with the person who added Argon to this list sounds to me like a pretty good idea.

tmlutas

Seal a room or a mobile chamber, pump in a mix of nitrogen and argon while reducing the oxygen content to 0.1-0.3%. Argon works better than nitrogen for some reason. It’s a 25% improvement in time before the insects die. Argon coincidentally will also kill certain fungi that will survive in a nitrogen atmosphere.

Ian H

One minor quibble. I don’t know that this use of Argon would be classified as inactive, or indeed as an additive.
However I’m impressed by the merits of your method. You’d probably have to make sure all the EPA people were in the building before you sealed it up though, or the treatment would be ineffective.

As another respondent correctly states, if argon were being used in that way, it would not be considered and inert ingredient. It would have to get its own certification number for use as an active ingredient.

Just Steve

Remember, this is part of the same government that is populated by politicians that:
a: Want to, at the behest of big business and the Chamber of Commerce, import half the population of Nicaragua to this country, adding millions of workers that will help depress wages for said workers.
But….
b: If those same businesses built a factory in Nicaragua, and kept the profit from that factory off shore, the politicians would be indignant claiming the businesses were being unfair to American workers.
So…if you’re looking for intelligence, logic or consistency from Mordor on the Potomoc….good luck with that.

schitzree

First Co2. NOW argon. Who doubts that oxygen will be next?

Walt Allensworth

Naw, but oxygen will be named a “controlled substance” and it’s use will be taxed.

Jimbo

Any effort to regulate the use of this harmless substance would do incalculable damage to American industrial competitiveness, for no benefit whatsoever.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argon
So why on Earth would the EPA plan to ban something as inoffensive as Argon? IceAgeNow has a theory – they think Argon is part of a list supplied by a scientifically illiterate NGO, which the EPA plans to rubber stamp.

The answer to the question is in the first paragraph.

“…do incalculable damage to American industrial competitiveness….”

Star Craving

A tree is known by it’s fruit, treehuggers by their deeds.
The fruits of the EPA have grown bitter indeed.

LeeHarvey

Please, nobody tell them just how corrosive pure oxygen is…

I think that people are missing the point….
If people want to understand this “ban” you need to understand:
a) Architecture
b) Anthropology
c) Psychology
Oh I admit that understanding organic chemistry and agriculture could be useful — not to mention entomology and pesticides but the other aspects are more important…
A good architect understands exactly where to put an unneeded window based on the culture and psychology of the client. During the presentation phase the client can contribute by insisting that a window in some ludicrous/ridiculous placement be removed. Later when the client complains that the design is “wrong” the architect can pull out the review documents, show the client that the unwanted/needed window was removed and that was the only issue they raised and that they had indeed contributed — therefore — “check please”. (Cheque Please! if you’re Canuck or Brit.)
Now, I am not insisting that this is a bogus review with an intent to focus people on irrelevant issues so that the real objective of a total ban on insecticides can be levied — but then I’m not sayin’ that it ain’t either — iffin’ you know what I mean.
So they want to ban trace amounts of mercaptan — from a pesticide???? — uh-huh!
Maybe people with the appropriate knowledge should look at that list and comment on why the other substances cannot be “trace compounds” in a substance intended to poison insects — it might provide some interesting thinking time.
Maybe this is about suckering people into wasted effort. Just sayin’

hunter

+1 good point. The EPA is corrupt and devious.

M Courtney

WillR, this is why it pays to read all the comments. Good point.
You are spot on correct. We all look at the list and pick out the silly item that is banned.
If we are prudent we realise that banning it’s use in one context sets the precedent that “it is bad” and enables the ban to spread to other contexts.
But the real issue is the levels at which they are banned. How many of these substances are being restricted to levels that become uneconomic to measure and so must be banned entirely from any manufacturing process?

And… if you think a little further on your own points — anything and everything can become a crime if the regulations are carefully crafted– with the subsequent heavy penalties.
Yes — it is about destroying industry — through pointless activity and regulation.

Gary Pearse

At 1% of the atmosphere, every 23 breaths we take, one of them is argon. Surely the threshold shouldn’t below that proportion.

Richard of NZ

Assuming that mercaptans are deliberately added, this would be because the smell foul. this would act as a warning to humans and various other animals that something is not right and thus “Keep Away”. They might not be “active” in the killing of pests meaning, but they definitely have an “active” role in safety of use.
P.S. mercaptans are of course quite toxic as are most reduced sulfur compounds.

hunter

The EPA climate policy was written by a convicted embezzler and con-artist with no sicentific credentials.
The EPA cuts insider deal secret deals with NGOs by way of faux lawsuits to bypass the little bit of scrutiny they submit to whenever it is convenient or profitable tot he NGOs.
The EPA does not base its policies on science, but rather on the demands of big green NGOs and other non-scienctific extremists.
End the EPA as it is now organized.

Hunter hit the nail on the head. I can envision a scenario where some nincompoop at the EPA decided Argon should be banned (for what ever reason) and then asked his/her buddy, Richard Windsor, who of course has nothing to do with the EPA in ANY capacity, to mention casually to a mutual friend at the “Physicians for Social Responsibility” that the EPA was looking at Argon. Lo and behold, the Physicians, and lots of their friends declare it harmful. To head off a lawsuit, the EPA complies with the NGO finding and thereby saves the taxpayers millions in legal fees. Gina McCarthy then adds those millions to the list of savings due to EPA regulation.

hunter

And typically in these faux settlements there is a nice fee for the NGO’s troubles.

tolip ydob (There is no such thing as a perfectly good airplane)

Will this prevent using ‘air’ during manufacture and handling?

Well, a couple of others pop up on the list to my attention.
Ethane. A clear, odorless gas. C2 H6. Quite similar to methane, in fact. You know. Methane, butane, ethane, propane. And so on.
Resorcinol. A flavinoid. Can be found in tea. It is one of the natural phenols found in Argan Oil. It is a drug used in Acne medication.
http://www.drugs.com/cons/resorcinol-topical.html
From above:
Uses For resorcinol
Resorcinol is used to treat acne, seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin disorders. It is also used to treat corns, calluses, and warts.
So, it can be used in medicine, but is to be banned from Pesticides.
Now, ain’t that precious?
Then there is tripoli … isn’t that Silica? (Or were they referring to the capital of Libya?)
Rotenone. Organic pesticide. It occurs naturally in the seeds of several plants, including the Jicama Vine. (Wikipedia.)
http://www.simplegiftsfarm.com/rotenone.html
Some green gardeners are gonna be pissed.
Then there is Benzoyl Peroxide. The EPA must LIKE Acne, since it is used in medications to treat ACNE!
http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-1344/benzoyl-peroxide-top/details
Head shake, face palm and raspberry.
Obviously, there are no chemists working at the EPA.
For crying out loud.

mark wagner

They not proposing to ban the use of argon in industrial settings.
They are proposing to ban the use of argon in pesticides.
While that may still be stupid, don’t create a crisis where there is none.

tmlutas

Well, except for the few companies that use argon to kill insects infesting delicate artifacts, mostly in museums. For them it’s a problem because it increases their reporting requirements. But who cares about them. There’s filing fees to collect.

mark wagner

My comment was directed at previous comments regarding “argon windows” and “crippling industry,” etc.
Don’t create a crisis where there is none.
While there may come a day when they attempt additional Argon regulations, however stupid that may be, this is not it.

tmlutas

mark wagner – argon is exempt from paperwork at present due to the exemption it currently benefits from. If it’s taken off the list, it will no longer be exempt and you’ll have to file paperwork on it just like every other potentially harmful substance. No new regulation would have to be passed, the exemption removal does all the harm just by itself.
I agree that one should not “create a crisis where there is none”. We also should not be asleep at the switch when someone is doing something regulatorily noxious. Both are equivalent hazards.

As has been pointed out, this seems to ban the use of argon as an inert/inactive ingredient in pesticides, meaning it is in the mix for some technical reason — Ican’t imagine what, but typically inert ingredients are used to help a pesticide adhere to a surface, dry quickly, spread out thin (or not), etc. If someone is using argon as a pest control in and of itself, then it must be approved and labeled by the EPA as such. It would be an entirely separate issue.

M Courtney

If you accept the precedent that Argon should be banned then you need to justify taking the risk in in using it for industry.
That isn’t easy.

They are proposing to ban the use of argon in pesticides.
But, why?

Richard G

Mark, the point of the post was to show there is no need to remove inert ingredients from an approved list for pesticides. The fact that uses for argon was the most frequently cited here by commenters was just to show how silly it is, not that it was to banned for all uses.

harrywr2

There is a long list of radioactive isotopes of Argon. Most of them with extremely short half-lives.

Greg Roane

HA! Just like the attention span of most EPA regulators.

LOL, good one ther—
What was I saying?

If you want the Congress to spend money on something, ask them to take the funds away from the EPA. Their purpose was important, but their results amount to more harm than good. We should not be paying them any more.

Bruce Cobb

They not proposing to ban the use of argon in industrial settings.
Not yet anyway. Camel’s nose, tent flap etc. They are mad with power.