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Proposal to List Chlorpyrifos as a Toxic Air Contaminant Opens for Public Comment

Contact: Charlotte Fadipe
916-445-3974 |
September 19, 2018 (18-06)

En Español

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) today has announced a proposed regulation that would pave the way for increased restrictions on the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos in California.

The regulation would designate chlorpyrifos as a "toxic air contaminant", which California law defines as an air pollutant that may cause or contribute to increases in serious illness or death, or that may pose a present or potential hazard to human health. The move comes after an extensive period of scientific and public review.

This agricultural pesticide is used to control pests that threaten more than 60 different crops, including grapes, almonds and oranges.

While the proposed regulation would list chlorpyrifos as a toxic air contaminant (TAC), possible mitigation measures to protect human health and the environment will be considered through a subsequent process involving consultation with other state and local agencies including the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to cancel all registrations for chlorpyrifos within 60 days of its August 9th ruling. The U.S. EPA has not indicated whether it will appeal the order. While this issue is being addressed in the courts, DPR will continue to follow the TAC listing process per California law.

On Friday, Sept. 21, the department will begin a 45-day public comment period on its proposed decision to list the pesticide chlorpyrifos as a TAC. Any person wishing to make a comment on whether the pesticide should be designated as such can submit written comments to In addition DPR will hold a hearing to receive oral comments on this issue on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. at the California Environmental Protection Agency headquarters, 1001 I Street, Sacramento CA. Public comment closes on Nov. 9.

DPR anticipates this proposed regulation to list chlorpyrifos as a toxic air contaminant will take effect in 2019.

More information on Chlorpyrifos.

Quick facts about Chlorpyrifos

  • In California, chlorpyrifos use has significantly decreased in the last decade (from more than 2 million pounds in 2005 to just over 900,000 pounds in 2016)
  • In 2017 it was added to California's Prop 65 list of chemicals known to cause reproductive harm
  • In 2015 DPR made this pesticide a California restricted material. This means that only trained, licensed professionals who have a permit from a local county agricultural commissioner (CAC) may use products containing chlorpyrifos
  • Chlorpyrifos has been prohibited by U.S. EPA for virtually all residential uses since December 31, 2001


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