Pesticides and Food:
Health Problems Pesticides May Pose
Laboratory studies show that pesticides can cause health problems, such as birth defects, nerve damage, cancer, and other effects that might occur over a long period of time. However, these effects depend on how toxic the pesticide is and how much of it is consumed. Some pesticides also pose unique health risks to children.
For these reasons, the Federal Government, in cooperation with the States, carefully regulates pesticides to ensure that their use does not pose unreasonable risks to human health or the environment. In particular, the Federal pesticide program is designed to ensure that these products can be used with a reasonable certainty that they will pose no harm to infants, children, and adults.
For further information on health and environmental risks from pesticides:
- Human Health Risk Assessment - overview of EPA's approach to assessing Human health risks from pesticides
- Environmental Risk Assessment - overview of EPA's approach to assessing environmental risks from pesticides
- Registration and chemical-specific information - Through this page, EPA has numerous documents providing detailed information about pesticides, such as their toxicity, use patterrns, and registration status. However, not all pesticides are currently featured on the Website.
- Citizen's Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety - understanding control of household pests; alternatives to chemical pesticides; how to reduce exposure; how to handle an emergency; how to choose a pest control company; and address lists of EPA Regional Offices and State Pesticide Agencies
- Regulations addressing occupational exposure - overview of EPA's programs to protect workers from exposure to pesticides and requiring training and certification of applicators