Oregon IPM Center Newsletter - Vol I Iss 3 - Fall 2020 - REIs v PHIs

Need to know: Restricted Entry Intervals & Pre-harvest Intervals

At a recent integrated pest-management strategic planning meeting, some questions came up about how Pre-harvest intervals (PHIs) and Restricted Entry Intervals (REIs) are related and how they differ.  

Restricted Entry Interval (REI)

  • A Restricted Entry Interval (sometimes called a re-entry interval or a field re-entry interval) is the amount of time immediately following a pesticides application that workers are not allowed to enter the treated area. These can be anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
     
  • REIs for are found on the pesticide label under “Agricultural Use Requirements”. Some REIs are the same all crops for that pesticide, and others are different for different crops. Read and understand the entire label before any pesticide application. REIs only apply to agricultural settings. When the same product is used in non-agricultural settings, the “Agricultural Use Requirements” do not apply.
     
  • If multiple pesticides are applied at the same time to an area, the longest REI must be followed.
     
  • REIs are designed to minimize exposure to pesticides and increase worker safety. After all, agricultural workers may be exposed to pesticides on a regular basis.
     
  • Signs should be posted any entry points to make sure to keep workers out of the treated area during the REI. Posting signs may be a requirement, under the Worker Protection Standard.
     
  • REIs may be inside or outside. When working in a greenhouse, for example, the REI applies to the whole room, not just the treated benches.
     
  • An “early entry worker” may perform work in a treated area during the REI, but there are strict requirements. Learn more here. 

Pre-Harvest Interval (PHI)

  • A Pre-Harvest Interval is a period of time that must occur following a pesticide application before that crop can be harvested. These can range from a 0 days (can be applied up to harvest) to a couple of months. It allows the pesticide to break down in the environment to decrease toxicity risks and also to meet minimum residue levels set by the EPA.
     
  • PHIs for are found on the pesticide label under “Agricultural Use Requirements”. Some PHIs are the same all crops for that pesticide, and others are different for different crops. Read and understand the entire label before any pesticide application.
     
  • Harvesting before the PHI has been completed is against the law. 


     

       

How are they related? 
  • Both are designed to reduce pesticide exposure and increase safety, to pesticide workers and to consumers.
     
  • Both must be followed by law, along with any other restrictions and instructions on the label. 

 

Find out more:

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This article appears in Oregon IPM Insider, Vol 1 Iss 3, Fall 2020. Developed with help from Kaci Buhl, PSEP.