EPA to Ban Use of Endosulfan
September 8th, 2010
In June 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took action to ban the use of endosulfan
in the United States because it poses unacceptable risks to
agricultural workers and wildlife, and can be pervasive in the
The decision was based on a revised ecological risk assessment
report, first written in 2002, which highlights that farm workers face
greater risks than were previously known. The EPA also found that
endosulfan, a colorless solid, poses excessive risk to aquatic and
terrestrial wildlife, as well as to birds and mammals that consume
aquatic prey which have ingested endosulfan.
The EPA’s revised assessment from 2010 is a comprehensive review of
all available exposure readings and ecological effect information for
endosulfan, including independent peer-reviewed recommendations made by
the endosulfan Scientific Advisory Panel.
benzodioxathiepin-3-oxide), a dioxathiepin (broadly classified as an organochlorine),
is a broad-spectrum contact insecticide and acaricide that is used on a
wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and cotton, as well as on
ornamental shrubs, trees, vines, and herbaceous plants in commercial
agricultural settings. It has also been used in wood preservation and
home gardening. According to the EPA, crops, such as tomatoes,
cucurbits, potatoes, apples, and cotton, were treated with the highest
amounts of endosulfan between 2006 and 2008.
Endosulfan has emerged as a controversial agrichemical due to its acute toxicity, potential for bioaccumulation, and role as an endocrine disruptor. The EPA is currently drafting a more detailed report of their decision.
For more information on the EPA’s decision visit: