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State Proposes Restriction on Availability of Chlorpyrifos

Contact: Charlotte Fadipe
916-445-3974 |
September 26, 2014 (14-11)

En Español

SACRAMENTO – In an ongoing effort to protect California's environment, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is proposing to make all pesticide products containing the active ingredient chlorpyrifos, used to produce an agricultural commodity, a California restricted material.

This would mean only trained, licensed professionals who have a permit from a local county agricultural commissioner (CAC) would be able to use these products. The CAC can place further conditions on use through the permit.

"The proposed regulation is a very important step to further safeguard the people and environment of California", said DPR director Brian Leahy. "Chlorpyrifos is one of the most widely used old organophosphate classes of pesticides. This key action is intended to reduce the widespread use of chlorpyrifos and help limit unintended exposures to the public."

Chlorpyrifos is used to control pests which threaten more than 60 different crops, including alfalfa, walnuts, oranges, cotton, and grapes. However, once it is applied to the field it has a propensity to move from the site of application via air and water. Excessive exposure to chlorpyrifos in air may cause nausea, dizziness and, at very high exposures, respiratory paralysis. In water, chlorpyrifos may be toxic to freshwater fish, aquatic invertebrates and marine organisms.

The proposed regulation would affect about 30 products used in agriculture. Since 2004, between one and two million pounds of chlorpyrifos has been applied each year in California.

DPR's proposed regulation would mean that all chlorpyrifos products registered for production agricultural use must adhere to the standard requirements for all California restricted materials. This means:

  • Applications must be made or supervised by a certified applicator.
  • Purchase, possession, or use requires the property operator to obtain a permit from the county agricultural commissioner.
  • Businesses require a recommendation from a DPR licensed pest control adviser.

DPR will begin a 45-day comment period to allow public input on the proposed regulation beginning September 26 2014. For details see: