March 23, 2023

EPA Seeks Early Mitigation of Exposures to Four Organophosphate Pesticides

Based on updated exposure risk assessments, EPA will implement expedited protections related to some uses of four organophosphate (OP) pesticides. To support the agency’s action, EPA has released the exposure risk assessments for the four pesticides years ahead of schedule, according to a press release issued by the agency on March 15.

For the OP pesticides diazinon, ethoprop, phosmet, and tribufos, EPA assessments identify potential risks to workers who perform certain tasks such as mixing, loading, and applying the pesticides. Potential risks also exist to workers and bystanders who could be exposed to spray drift.

All pesticides sold or distributed in the United Sates are legally required to be registered by EPA. As described on the agency’s website, the registration process includes review of the pesticide’s ingredients; the sites or crops on which it is to be used; the amount, frequency, and timing of its uses; and storage and disposal practices.

EPA’s review of the four OP pesticides for registration is not scheduled to be completed until 2025 at the earliest, according to EPA. The agency intends to put protections in place early based on its recognition that several uses of the pesticides present significant human health risks. EPA did not specify which protections it would implement.

“The science is clear: some uses of these four pesticides pose a serious health risk to the people that are exposed to them,” said Michal Freedhoff, assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

The updated exposure risk assessments and other materials are available in the registration review dockets on for diazinon, ethoprop, tribufus, and phosmet.