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Landscape Insecticide Use Changes

May 22, 2002

The Food Quality Protection Act of 1996 requires that pesticides be evaluated for their exposure to various segments of the human population, particularly chil-dren. The concept of a risk cup is used to determine the amount of exposure. If children are at a greater risk from a pesticide exposure due to their developing bodies, eating patterns, behavior, or other factors, the risk cup is made 1/10th as large.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) considers that organochlorine, organophosphate, and carbamate pesticides present a potentially greater risk to children because a child’s nervous system continues to develop for years after birth and these pesticides affect nerve transmission. In addition, they have common food and residential uses. Thus, USEPA has been evaluating these pesticides before many others, resulting in reduced use patterns and some product elimination from the marketplace. Most of these pesticides are insecticides.

USEPA has completed most of the individual risk-cup evaluations of organophosphate and carbamate insecticides. It has yet to complete aggregate risk-cup evaluations for the organophosphates and carbamates as a group. This may cause additional restrictions in the future. The status of the more commonly used landscape and residential insecticides that have been addressed follows. Several of these are the result of voluntary cancellations. Previously purchased products can still be used according to the label on the container.


Dicofol, sold as Kelthane, will have all residential uses eliminated, including residential landscapes. Applications with handheld equipment will be eliminated, and applicators using other equipment must be protected by enclosed cabs.

Endosulfan, sold as Thiodan, used in and around the home, in public buildings, and in recreational areas, has been canceled.

Lindane is no longer registered for use in buildings and landscapes.

Methoxychlor product labeling has been suspended since June 2000.


Acephate, sold as Orthene, will have essentially all indoor and outdoor homeowner residential uses deleted, except when using a hose and sprayer to outdoor non-turf, ornamental plants, and individual ant-mound treatments. Some indoor uses are still approved for commercial buildings. Landscapes, including residential areas, can be treated except for granular use of Orthene on ornamental trees and shrubs and application with low pressure wands. Home lawns cannot be treated, but golf courses and sod farms can still be treated, but not aerially. Rates will be reduced for greenhouse applications.

Chlorpyrifos, sold as Dursban, has had all residential indoor and outdoor uses eliminated except for use in ant baits and mosquito adulticide public health programs. Some indoor commercial building uses still remain. All other outdoor uses have been eliminated except for use on golf courses, road medians, industrial sites, and some wood treatments. Some fire ant treatments remain. Termite uses are being phased out. Selling products with old labeling became illegal on December 31, 2001.

Diazinon products with indoor uses, except for mushroom houses, will not be sold after December 31, 2002. Diazinon is no longer available as Knox Out for greenhouse use. All outdoor nonagricultural prod-ucts, including those for lawn, garden, and landscape uses, will be phased out and cannot be sold after August 2003.

Dimethoate, sold as Cygon and under other trade names, will not be sold for residential and public-area uses after March 12, 2003. Some agricultural and other nonagricultural uses will also be eliminated at that date.

Isofenphos, sold as Oftanol, will no longer be available.

Phosmet, sold as Imidan, will be canceled in all products used in or around the home or on pets.


Bendiocarb, sold as Turcam, Ficam, Closure, and under other names, was canceled for all uses as of December 31, 2001. (Phil Nixon)
Author: Phil Nixon


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