EPA’s Preliminary Organophosphate Risk Assessments (October 2015)

The EPA released preliminary human health and ecological risk assessments of seven organophosphate pesticides (OPs) including dimethoate, dicrotophos, chlorpyrifos-methyl, tribufos, terbufos, profenofos, and ethoprop. These seven compounds are the first organophosphate insecticides for which preliminary risk assessments have been completed under EPA’s registration review program. These compounds, which are used widely in agriculture, act by inhibiting the action of certain enzymes in the nerve cell causing both short and long-term effects.

Agency scientists retained the FQPA 10X safety factor due to uncertainty in the human dose-response relationship in regards to neurodevelopment. EPA is receiving public comments and concerns until November 24, 2015 on both the position paper in support of the FQPA 10X safety factor for each individual OP human health risk assessment and for the risk assessments themselves. A position paper is included in the docket for each organophosphate (see Table 2 of the
Federal Register Notice for the docket number for each organophosphate).

The EPA has phased out many OP residential and some agricultural uses over the past 15 years. These risk assessments show that although efforts have already been made in the past to eliminate some of the uses of OP pesticides, further mitigation may be required. If EPA determines that there are risks to workers from the use of these OPs, the agency will take action to reduce or eliminate those risks as part of the registration review process.

Comments will be accepted until November 24, 2015.

For more information and a complete list of all major changes see:


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