Setting Stricter Standards to Protect Infants and Children from Pesticide Risks
Questions on Pesticides?
- National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC)
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How EPA is
The Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) of 1996 dramatically improved the safety standards that EPA uses in evaluating potential pesticide risks, especially risks to children.
- Since FQPA was enacted, EPA has completed a comprehensive review and reassessment of the 9,721 tolerances (maximum permitted residues) for all food use pesticides, taking into account consumption patterns and the special susceptibility of infants and children.
- Effective protection of children has received even greater emphasis through the use of an extra tenfold Children's Safety Factor when establishing tolerances unless data are available to show that a different factor will be protective.
- EPA also completed a comprehensive review of the human health and environmental effects of 613 pesticides first registered before November 1984, requiring risk mitigation measures as needed to protect infants and children.
- Of the 49 organophosphate pesticides registered at the beginning of EPA’s review, 21 have been voluntarily canceled or are being phased out.
- To address residential and dietary risks, including risks to children, EPA eliminated nearly all organophosphate pesticide uses in and around homes and many uses on foods kids eat. We also imposed new restrictions on remaining organophosphate pesticide uses. As a result, organophosphate pesticide poisonings were reduced by 70% from 1994 to 2004, and the amount of organophosphate pesticides used on kids’ foods decreased from 28 million pounds per year to 12 million pounds per year.
- EPA publications to help protect children from pesticides
- Protecting Children’s Health: National Pesticide Program report (32 pp, 2.95mb, About PDF)