Pesticides must be registered with EPA

Pesticides must be registered with EPA unless they meet the criteria for a minimum risk pesticide. EPA evaluates pesticides to ensure that when they are used according to label directions they will not harm people, non-target species or the environment. 

EPA examines:

  • the ingredients of a pesticide;
  • where it will be used (e.g., in the home or on food);
  • the amount, frequency and timing of its use; and
  • how it will be discarded or stored.

Companies are required to submit to EPA for review information about the health effects of pesticides, including:

  • cancer,
  • reproductive effects,
  • neurological effects, and
  • acute and chronic toxic effects.

EPA also funds pesticide research engaging the nation's best scientists and engineers to improve knowledge about how we are exposed to pesticides and their health effects.

Once registered, pesticides are periodically reviewed for safety. If new concerns arise, EPA can change the conditions for using them or cancel their registrations. 

It is illegal to use a pesticide product inconsistent with its label directions.