University of FloridaSolutions for Your Life

Download PDF
Publication #PI-118

Pesticide Tolerances and Exemptions1

M. A. Mossler and F. M. Fishel2

When pesticide manufacturers want to register a pesticide for use on food crops, a tolerance must be obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many pesticides have tolerances, which are defined as the amount of pesticide that can legally exist in a specific commodity. Tolerances can be obtained for a single food item, such as tomato, or for a group, such as the fruiting vegetables, which includes eggplant, pepper, and tomato. If the pesticide does not elicit adverse effects in a battery of tests, it may receive issuance from the EPA of an exemption from the requirement of tolerance. EPA regulations for both tolerances and exemptions are found in The Code of Federal Regulations, Title 40, Part 180 (

Table 1 presents exemptions from the requirement of tolerance for pesticides registered for use in Florida. Although these pesticides are exempted from the requirement of tolerance, some are registered for use on just a few food crops (e.g. imazamox) while others can be used on many if not all food crops (e.g. ferric phosphate). The common name of the pesticide, its most common trade name (although others may exist), and pesticide type are listed alphabetically. The list is current as of August, 2008.

There are also live organisms that are used as pesticides, such as Bacillus thuringiensis, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus pumilus, Beauveria bassiana, phage (bacteria-killing viruses), and caterpillar-selective viruses. All of these are exempt from requirement of tolerance as well.

Florida growers sell to foreign markets, and often, the tolerance is not the same between the United States and the importing country. If you need assistance in comparing tolerances to those for other countries, please contact the UF/IFAS Pesticide Information Office at 352 392-4721, or email:


Table 1. 

Exemptions from the requirement of tolerance for pesticides registered for use in Florida.

Common Name

Trade Name

Pesticide Type


Azatin® Insecticide/Miticide

Boric acid

Prev-Am® Insecticide/Miticide


Shotgun® Animal feeding repellent


Kocide® Fungicide

Ferric phosphate

Sluggo® Mollusicide


Surround® Insecticide/Fungicide


Raptor® Herbicide


Enquik® Herbicide

Methyl anthranilate

Rejex-It® Bird feeding repellent


Extinguish® Insecticide


Sunspray® Insecticide/Miticide

Pelargonic acid

Scythe® Herbicide

Pheromones (arthropod & plant)

Checkmate® Attractants

Potassium bicarbonate

Kaligreen® Fungicide

Potassium phosphite

K-phite® Fungicide

Pyrethrin +/- rotenone or PBO

Pyrellin® Insecticide


M-Pede® Insecticide/Miticide


Kumulus® Miticide/Fungicide



This document is PI-118, one of a series of the Pesticide Information Office, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date April 2006. Revisied June 2009. Reviewed June 2012. Visit the EDIS website at


Mark A. Mossler, doctor of plant medicine, Pesticide Information Office, Agronomy Department; Frederick M. Fishel, associate professor, Agronomy Department, and Director, Pesticide Information Office; Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The use of trade names in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information. UF/IFAS does not guarantee or warranty the products named, and references to them in this publication does not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition. Use pesticides safely. Read and follow directions on the manufacturer's label.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.