Effective July 22, ethanedinitrile, a chemical used to kill pests found in wood, can be imported, manufactured, used in New Zealand; an alternative to methyl bromide, EDN is already approved for use in Australia, South Korea, Malaysia and Russia

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand , August 1, 2022 (press release) –

From 22 July 2022, EDN can be imported, manufactured, and used under strict conditions.

Used to kill common pests found in wood, EDN (ethanedinitrile) is an alternative to methyl bromide and is already approved for use in Australia, South Korea, Malaysia, and Russia. 

An Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) decision-making committee granted approval for the fumigant in April, but it did not take effect at that time because guidelines for safe use of the fumigant needed to be finalised. 

“This new fumigant was approved because its benefits are significant, and adverse effects are negligible with the appropriate control measures,” says Dr Chris Hill, General Manager of the EPA’s Hazardous Substances and New Organisms group. 

“EDN decomposes rapidly after use, is ozone-friendly, and there are reduced risks to people and the environment compared with methyl bromide, another log fumigant that is now heavily restricted.” 

Additional rules developed by WorkSafe to protect workers, called safe work instruments (SWIs), will take effect at the same time as the EPA approval on 22 July and include the need for buffer zones when using EDN. 

Other controls for the use of EDN include that it can only be applied by professionals in commercial settings, and the fumigation of export logs or timber can only take place under tarpaulins or in shipping containers.  

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