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California seeks labeling chlorpyrifos as “developmental toxicant”

State recommendation could lead to increased restrictions on chlorpyrifos use across California

California’s Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR) and Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) are pursuing “health protections” on the popular agricultural pesticide chlorpyrifos, according to the state’s Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA).

On Aug. 18, DPR released an updated draft risk assessment for comments by the public which must be received within 45 days of the announcement. Cal EPA calls this the start of a public and scientific review of the document which could lead to increased restrictions on chlorpyrifos across the Golden State.

DPR is developing interim pesticide restrictions and recommendations for county agricultural commissioners.

Under Proposition 65, OEHHA recommends chlorpyrifos be listed as a developmental toxicant.

“While chlorpyrifos has been protecting crops for more than 50 years, new information in the scientific community leads us to believe the level of risk it poses is greater than previously known,” said CalEPA Secretary Matthew Rodriquez.

“We need to better understand the science to ensure our actions protect public health,” Sec. Rodriguez said. “The actions we are taking today reflect our commitment to the health and safety of all Californians, and the environment.”

On Sept. 15, DPR will hold a public workshop on the updated draft risk assessment at the Pesticide Registration and Evaluation Committee meeting in Sacramento, Calif.  

After DPR’s 45-day comment period closes, DPR’s updated draft risk assessment will be considered by a Scientific Review Panel comprised of nine scientists.

In September, county agricultural commissioners will receive specific interim recommendations from DPR, including increased distances between sites where the chemical is applied and so called “sensitive locations,” including homes and schools.

If the scientific committee adds chlorpyrifos to the Proposition 65 list as a developmental toxicant, businesses which knowingly cause exposures above minimum levels must provide a Proposition 65 warning.

Click here here to review DPR’s updated draft risk assessment and other related documents.

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