In the more than 45 years since chlorpyrifos was first registered with the U.S. government, it has been one of the most thoroughly-studied insecticides on record: Over 5,000 scientific studies have been conducted on potential health and environmental effects. Chlorpyrifos continues to receive considerable research interest, in part because there has already been a great deal of research on the product (so future researchers have the groundwork laid for them) and also because, as a result of its widespread usage on crops, human exposure to trace levels are possible.
In this section of the site, we explain the biological effects of chlorpyrifos and how regulatory guideline studies are used by EPA to establish limits for allowable exposures to chlorpyrifos. This includes how these exposure limits may be influenced by development of new scientific data.
We also discuss efforts Dow&AgroSciences and other chlorpyrifos registrants – in conjunction with EPA and other agencies – have made to help ensure responsible use of chlorpyrifos to protect consumers, farm workers, and bystanders from harm.
Finally, we provide summaries and analyses of some of the most relevant research regarding human health questions – by both independent experts and by Dow AgroSciences scientists. From these summaries, you can link to or download the full articles, where available.
The weight of the scientific evidence supports the responsible use of chlorpyrifos. By providing these perspectives and links for further information on human health-related research, we hope to foster a more informed picture of chlorpyrifos than has been available in the mainstream press and in the communications of groups who have opposed use of chlorpyrifos and many other pesticides as they undergo reevaluation by EPA.
For some divergent perspectives on pesticides and human health considerations, see the following articles:
“Citizen’s Guide to Pesticides and Pesticide Safety”, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2005.
“Available Information on Assessing Exposure from Pesticides in Food: A User’s Guide”, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2000.
“A Generation in Jeopardy: How Pesticides are Undermining our Children’s Health and Intelligence.” Pesticide Action Network of North America, 2012.
Felsot, A.S. “Pesticides and Health: Myths vs. Realities”, American Council on Science and Health, 2011.
“Simplifying the Pesticide Risk Equation: The Organic Option.” The Organic Center, 2008
“A Review of the Science on the Potential Health Effects of Pesticide Residues on Food and Related Statements Made by Interest Groups”, Alliance for Food and Farming, 2010.
“Pesticides in the Air – Kids at Risk.” Earthjustice, 2009
“Pesticides - Assessing Risk and Evaluating Epidemiological Studies: A Guide for Journalists”, CropLife International, 2011