Fungicide residue exceeded safe limit

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Ethylene thiourea (ETU) is a carcinogenic break down product of a fungicide used on oriental tobacco (ethylthiocarbamate). While the industry was aware that at least one European country (Germany) had a regulatory limit of 0.05 ppm of ETU for food products, this document reveals that several tobacco companies were aware that levels of this chemical far exceeded acceptable risk limits: in their oriental tobaccos: "...RJR and PM estimate that smoke EBDC + ETU levels will far exceed above the risk level. Both companies claim measured average EBDC levels across their oriental of 12-15 ppm..."

Key quotes

The subject of EBDC and ETU should have been discussed at this week's ...meeting in Canada in a session on the evaluation of agricultural chemicals. They should have covered the following points: 1. Risk assessment 2. The relevance of historic residue data 3. Potential requirements for new measurements os residues in tobacco and in smoke. In addition is has been stated that the Food Law in Germany included a regulatory limit of 0.05 ppm ETU and that this may be applicable to tobacco smoke... EBDC History: Fungicide type discovered in early 1940's. Most common fungicide used in 1960's and 1970's. Market Status: Rohm and Haas [a manufacturer] has voluntarily pulled all products except for a state label in North Carolina... DuPont [another manufacturer] has voluntarily pulled all products. Used more heavily in oriental tobacco. EPA: EPA is expected to exclude all EBDC food uses which present a risk of > 3 x 10 -6 (3 cancer victims/1,000,000). Residue: RJR and PM estimate that smoke EBDC + ETU levels will far exceed above the risk level. Both companies claim measured average EBDC levels across their oriental of 12-15 ppm...


Title EBDC & Ethylene thiourea (ETU).
Author Richard R. Baker British American Tobacco (UK & Export) Limited
Date 19900504 (May 4, 1990)
Type Fax ; Correspondence
Bates No. 589101240/1242
Collection Brown & Williamson
Pages 4
URL: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/ulm41f00

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