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Publication #PI224

The EPA Conventional Reduced Risk Pesticide Program1

F.M. Fishel2

Introduction

The Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) of 1996 initiated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Conventional Reduced Risk Pesticide Program. Its purpose is to expedite the review and registration process of conventional pesticides that pose less risk to human health and the environment than existing conventional alternatives. Riskier conventional alternatives are those pesticides EPA deems as having neurotoxic, carcinogenic, reproductive, and developmental toxicity, or groundwater contamination effects. It serves as a means to ensure that reduced risk pesticides enter the channels of trade and are available to growers as soon as possible. Reduced risk decisions are made at the use level. The program does not apply to biological or antimicrobial pesticides, which are handled through separate expediting processes.

Advantages of Reduced Risk Pesticides

Compared to existing conventional pesticides, reduced risk pesticides may provide a number of benefits:

  • low impact on human health

  • lower toxicity to nontarget organisms (e.g., birds, fish, plants)

  • low potential for groundwater contamination

  • low use rates

  • low pest resistance potential

  • compatibility with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices

Criteria for Consideration

EPA established an expedited review for manufacturers applying to register pesticides that may reasonably be expected to accomplish at least one of the following:

  • reduce the risks of pesticides to human health

  • reduce the risks of pesticides to nontarget organisms

  • reduce the potential for contamination of groundwater, surface water, or other valued environmental resources

  • broaden the adoption of IPM strategies, or make such strategies more available or more effective

Carbamate and Organophosphate Pesticides and Current Use Trends

Carbamates and organophosphates (OPs) are a group of closely related pesticides used in agriculture and nonagricultural sites that affect functioning of the nervous system by targeting the cholinesterase system. A main concern with these insecticides is acute toxicity. Additionally, one member of the carbamates widely used in Florida, aldicarb, is strictly regulated largely because of groundwater contamination concerns. Carbamates and OPs are among EPA's first priority group of pesticides for review under the FQPA. EPA made alternatives to OP pesticides the first priority for review and regulatory decision-making. The conventional Reduced Risk Pesticide Program screens OP alternatives for this initiative. Table 1 provides a list of reduced risk and OP alternative pesticides currently registered for use in the United States. Some active ingredients listed in Table 1 are not registered for use in Florida.

EPA determines if a candidate is a potentially significant OP alternative by an approach that includes, but is not limited to, consideration of the following factors:

  • The affected OPs collectively have a significant market share for the specified use pattern.

  • Currently registered alternatives, if any exist, have constraints that prevented their widespread adoption as alternatives to the affected OPs, such as inferior efficacy or pest-resistance issues.

  • The proposed reduced risk alternative appears to overcome many of the constraints of the alternatives.

The IR-4 (Interregional Research Project No. 4) program is involved in making sure that pesticides are registered for use on minor crops. Minor-use pesticides are those that, for a variety of reasons, produce relatively little revenue for their manufacturers; they may be registered for use with a seldom-seen pest or for a crop that is not grown by a large number of producers. However, in Florida's agricultural setting, minor crops include some high-revenue fruit, vegetable, and ornamental crops. Based on publicly available data from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and the CropLife Foundation, a 2009 report by IR-4 indicated that from 1994 to 2006, OP use in the United States has shown an overall decline by approximately 50%. During the same period, carbamate use declined 70%.

A direct benefit of the reduction has been to the environmental load. The environmental load is the rate of application (lbs/acre) of chemicals to the environment. The reduced risk pesticides are generally used at significantly lower application rates than the conventional compounds they are replacing, which has the effect of decreasing the amount of chemical applied to the environment. The trend from 1994 to 2006 has shown a 45% combined decrease in the environmental load for the carbamate and organophosphate insecticides.

Acute toxicity concerns have also been addressed with the increased number of reduced risk pesticides currently registered for use. Of the cholinesterase-inhibiting insecticides, 73% of these compounds most widely used in the United States fall into the highest toxicity class of EPA and none are in the safest class. By contrast, 64% of the reduced risk insecticides fall into the highest safety class, and the rest are in the next safest group III.

Additional Information

Fishel, F.M. 2011. Pesticide Toxicity Profile: Organophosphate Pesticides. PI-50. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pi087.

Fishel, F.M. 2012. Pesticides and Cholinesterase. PI-221. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pi221.

Fishel, F.M. 2013. Specifically Regulated Pesticides in Florida - Aldicarb. PI-74. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pi111.

Nesheim, O.N., F.M. Fishel, and M.A. Mossler. 2011. Toxicity of Pesticides. PI-13. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pi008.

Olexa, M.T., and Z. Broome. 2011. Handbook of Florida Water Regulation: Food Quality Protection Act. FE589. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe589.

Viray, F.A., and R. Hollingworth. 2009. “The Use and Benefits of Reduced Risk Pesticides since the Passage of the Food Quality Protection Act.” The IR-4 Project Newsletter Volume 40, Number 4. New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. Accessed March 2013. http://ir4.rutgers.edu/Newsletter/vol40no4.pdf.

Tables

Table 1. 

Reduced risk (RR)/OP alternative pesticides registered in the United States.

Year

Pesticide*

Pesticide type

Site

Reduced risk (RR)/OP alternative

1994

Hexaflumuron

Insecticide

Belowground bait station (termites)

RR

Methyl anthranilate

Repellent

Cherry, blueberry, grape, forestry

RR

1995

Flumiclorac-pentyl

Herbicide

Corn, soybean

RR

Tebufenozide

Insecticide

Walnut

RR

Hymexazol

Fungicide

Sugar beet (seed treatment)

RR

1996

Fludioxonil

Fungicide

Corn

RR

Imazapic

Herbicide

Peanut

RR

Mefenoxam

Fungicide

All metalaxyl uses

RR

1997

Azoxystrobin

Fungicide

Non-residential turf

RR

Spinosad

Insecticide

Cotton

RR

Alpha-metolachlor

Herbicide

All metolachlor uses

RR

Imazamox

Herbicide

Soybean

RR

Hexaflumuron

Insecticide

Aboveground bait station (termites)

RR

Azoxystrobin

Fungicide

Grape, banana, peach, tomato, pecan, peanut

RR

1998

Fludioxonil

Fungicide

Potato and seed treatments (many crops)

RR

Diflubenzuron

Insecticide

Belowground bait station (termites)

RR

Cyprodinil

Fungicide

Stone fruit

RR

Spinosad

Insecticide

Almond, apple, citrus, brassica leafy vegetables, fruiting vegetables, and leafy vegetables

RR

Pyriproxyfen

Insecticide

Cotton

RR

Tebufenozide

Insecticide

Pecan

RR

Carfentrazone-ethyl

Herbicide

Wheat, corn

RR

1999

Azoxystrobin

Fungicide

Turf (residential), almond, cucurbit vegetables, rice, wheat, canola, potato, stone fruit

RR

Diflufenzopyr

Herbicide

Corn

RR

Tebufenozide

Insecticide

Leafy, brassica, and fruiting vegetables, cranberry, forestry, ornamentals, berry crop group, mint, pome fruit, cotton, sugarcane, turnip, canola

RR/OP

Pyriproxyfen

Insecticide

Pome fruit, walnut

RR/OP

Glyphosate

Herbicide

Glyphosate-tolerant corn, canola, sugar beet

RR

s-Dimethenamid

Herbicide

Corn, soybean, peanut

RR

Spinosad

Insecticide

Sweet corn, cucurbit and legume vegetables, stone fruit, cereal grains

RR/OP

Fenhexamid

Fungicide

Grape, strawberry, ornamentals

RR

Bifenazate

Insecticide

Ornamentals

RR/OP

Trifloxystrobin

Fungicide

Pome fruit, grape, cucurbit vegetables, peanut, turf, banana, ornamentals

RR

Fipronil

Insecticide

Outside home use (termites)

OP

Pymetrozine

Insecticide

Tuberous and corm vegetables, ornamentals, tobacco

RR/OP

2000

Pyriproxyfen

Insecticide

Citrus, fruiting vegetables, tree nuts

RR/OP

Tebufenozide

Insecticide

Ornamentals (residential), tree nuts

RR/OP

Ecolyst

Herbicide/

Insecticide/

Plant growth regulator

Orange

RR

Spinosad

Insecticide

Non-grass animal feed crop group, grain amaranth, cilantro, grass, buckwheat, rye, pistachio, oat, barley, millet, apple, popcorn, ti leaves, watercress, tropical fruit, teosinte, turnip greens

RR/OP

Fenhexamid

Fungicide

Almond, stone fruit

RR

Prohexadione calcium

Herbicide/

Plant growth regulator

Apple

RR

Methoxyfenozide

Insecticide

Cotton, pome fruit

RR/OP

Trifloxystrobin

Fungicide

Almond, fruiting vegetables, hops, potato, sugar beet, wheat, ornamentals

RR

Carfentrazone-ethyl

Herbicide

Cereal grains

RR

Buprofezin

Insecticide

Cucurbit vegetables, head lettuce

RR/OP

Fenpyroximate

Insecticide

Ornamentals (greenhouse)

RR/OP

Indoxacarb

Insecticide

Cotton, fruiting and brassica leafy vegetables, lettuce, sweet corn, pome fruit

RR/OP

Flucarbazone-sodium

Herbicide

Wheat

RR

Glyphosate

Herbicide

Many: refer to http://www.epa.gov/opprd001/workplan/completionsportrait.pdf

RR

Azoxystrobin

Fungicide

Barley, onion, citrus, corn (field, sweet, pop), cotton, leafy, root, and tuberous vegetables, soybean

RR

2001

Fipronil

Insecticide

Home lawn, golf course, commercial and recreational turf and sod farms (fire ant), potting medium mixtures (fire ant)

OP

Thiamethoxam

Insecticide

Barley, canola, cotton, sorghum, wheat (all seed treatment), cotton, pome fruit, cucurbit, fruiting, tuberous, and corm vegetables (all foliar)

OP

Fludioxonil

Fungicide

Strawberry, bulb vegetables, turf

RR

Pyriproxyfen

Insecticide

Food handling establishments

RR

Pistachio

RR/OP

Imidacloprid

Insecticide

Leaf petioles, citrus

OP

Zoxamide

Fungicide

Grape, cucurbit vegetables, tomato

RR

Prohexadione calcium

Plant growth regulator

Grass (grown for seed)

RR

Pyriproxyfen

Insecticide

Pistachio

RR/OP

Mesotrione

Herbicide

Corn (field)

RR

Cyprodinil

Fungicide

Onion (dry, bulb, and green), strawberry

RR

Buprofezin

Insecticide

Almond, citrus, cotton, grape, tomato

RR/OP

Carfentrazone-ethyl

Herbicide

Cotton (defoliant use)

OP

Turf

RR

Fluazinam

Fungicide

Peanut, potato

RR

zeta-Cypermethrin

Insecticide

Alfalfa, corn (field, pop, sweet), head and stem brassica vegetables, leafy brassica greens, leafy vegetables, onion (green), sugar beet, sugarcane, rice

OP

Azoxystrobin

Fungicide

Leafy brassica greens, blueberry, eggplant, grass (grown for seed), jackfruit, juneberry, lingonberry, loquat, mint (spearmint, peppermint), okra, pawpaw, pepper, persimmon, salal, strawberry, tamarind, tropical fruit, turnip (greens), watercress, wax jambu, white sapote

RR

Novaluron

Insecticide

Ornamentals (indoors, non-food)

RR

Spinosad

Insecticide

Artichoke (globe), asparagus, bushberry, cranberry, foliage of legume vegetables, garden beet (root), juneberry, leaves of root and tuber vegetables, lingonberry, okra, pistachio, pome fruit, salal, strawberry, sugar beet (root), tree nuts

RR/OP

2002

Chlorfenapyr

Insecticide

Post-construction control of termites

OP

Imazamox

Herbicide

Alfalfa, canola, legume vegetables, wheat

RR

Pymetrozine

Insecticide

Cotton, leafy, head and stem brassica, and leafy brassica vegetables, hops

RR/OP

Pecans

OP

Bifenazate

Insecticide

Cotton, grapes, hops, nectarine, peach, plum, pome fruit, strawberry

RR/OP

Acetamiprid

Insecticide

Cotton, pome fruit, citrus, grapes, brassica leafy, leafy (excl. brassica), and fruiting vegetables, ornamentals

RR/OP

Trifloxystrobin

Fungicide

Citrus, corn (field, pop), pecan, rice, stone fruit

RR

Cyhalofop-butyl

Herbicide

Rice

RR

Indoxacarb

Insecticide

Alfalfa, peanut, potato, soybean

RR/OP

Fludioxonil

Fungicide

Caneberry, pistachio, stone fruit, watercress

RR

Pyriproxyfen

Insecticide

Stone fruit, blueberry, lychee, guava

RR/OP

Imazethapyr

Herbicide

Rice

RR

Diflufenzopyr

Herbicide

Corn (pop, sweet), grass (forage, hay)

RR

Macalayea extract

Fungicide

Greenhouse ornamentals

RR

Azoxystrobin

Fungicide

Legume vegetables

RR

Methoxyfenozide

Insecticide

Fruiting, leafy, and brassica leafy vegetables, grapes, corn (field, sweet), stone fruit, tree nuts

RR/OP

Fenamidone

Fungicide

Lettuce

RR

Lambda-cyhalothrin

Insecticide

Legume and fruiting vegetables, sugarcane

RR (sugarcane)/OP (all)

Spinosad

Insecticide

Berry group, fig, grape, herbs, peanut, root and tuber vegetables

RR/OP

2003

Lambda-cyhalothrin

Insecticide

Termite barrier

RR

Pyriproxyfen

Insecticide

Brassica leafy and cucurbit vegetables, olive

RR/OP

Cyprodinil

Fungicide

Bushberry, caneberry, pistachio, watercress, brassica leafy vegetables, carrot, herbs, lychee fruits

RR

EH-2001 Rodenticide

Rodenticide

Richardson/Wyoming ground squirrel

RR

Mesotrione

Herbicide

Corn (pop)

RR

Noviflumuron

Insecticide

Aboveground bait station

RR/OP

Pyriproxyfen

Insecticide

Avocado fruits, fig, okra, sugar apple fruits

RR/OP

Clothianidin

Insecticide

Canola, corn (seed treatments)

OP

Methoxyfenozide

Insecticide

Cranberry, cucurbits, okra, peas (black-eyed, southern), turnip (greens)

RR/OP

Azoxystrobin

Fungicide

Artichoke (globe), asparagus, head and stem brassica subgroup, herbs

RR

Emamectin benzoate

Insecticide

Cotton, fruiting vegetables, tobacco

OP

Buprofezin

Insecticide

Bean (succulent), lychee fruits, pistachio

RR/OP

Boscalid

Fungicide

Berries, bulb, fruiting, legume (root except sugar beet, garden beet, radish, turnip), tuberous and corm vegetables, grape, lettuce (head, leaf), peanut, stone fruit, strawberry, tree nuts, turf

RR

Thiamethoxam

Insecticide

Ornamentals, succulent beans (seed), stone fruit, sunflower (seed)

OP

Trifloxystrobin

Fungicide

Root vegetables leaf petioles (except sugar beet) subgroup, except radish

RR

Flonicamid

Insecticide

Ornamentals (greenhouse)

OP

Acequinocyl

Insecticide

Ornamentals (greenhouse)

RR

Bifenazate

Insecticide

Cucurbits, fruiting vegetables, mint, pistachio, tomato (greenhouse), tree nuts

RR

Fenhexamid

Fungicide

Cucumber (greenhouse), fruiting vegetables (except non-bell pepper), kiwifruit, leafy green subgroup (except spinach), stone fruit

RR

Etoxazole

Insecticide

Cotton, pome fruit, strawberry

RR

Quinoxyfen

Fungicide

Grape, hops, cherry

RR

Glufosinate-ammonium

Herbicide

Rice

RR

2004

Fluroxypyr

Herbicide

Corn (field, sweet)

RR

Mesosulfuron-methyl

Herbicide

Wheat

RR

Gamma-cyhalothrin

Insecticide

Alfalfa, brassica head and stem subgroup, canola, corn (field, sweet), cotton, fruiting and legume (edible-podded) subgroup vegetables, garlic, lettuce (head, leaf), tree nuts, onion (dry bulb), pea and bean dry shelled (except soybean) subgroup, pea and bean succulent shelled subgroup, peanut, pome fruit, rice, sorghum, soybean, stone fruit, sugarcane, sunflower, wheat

OP

Novaluron

Insecticide

Cotton, pome fruit

OP

Fenpyroximate

Insecticide

Cotton, grape, pome fruit

RR

Acequinocyl

Insecticide

Strawberry, almond, citrus, pome fruit, field ornamentals

RR

Lufenuron

Insecticide

Termite bait station

RR

Indoxacarb

Insecticide

Fire ant bait

RR/OP

Pyrimethanil

Fungicide

Almond, grape, onion (dry bulb, green), pome and stone fruit, strawberry, tomato, tuberous and corm vegetables

RR

Dinotefuran

Insecticide

Leafy vegetables

RR/OP

Penoxsulam

Herbicide

Rice

RR

Tebufenozide

Insecticide

Citrus, grape, tuberous and corm vegetables

RR

Fenamidone

Fungicide

Cucurbit vegetables, onion (dry bulb, green), potato, tomato

RR

Cyazofamid

Fungicide

Cucurbit vegetables, potato, tomato

RR

Bispyribac-sodium

Herbicide

Turf

RR

Deltamethrin

Insecticide

Corn (field), cucurbit, fruiting, root and tuber vegetables, onion (dry, bulb, green), sorghum, tree nuts

OP

2005

Fenamidone

Fungicide

Ornamentals

RR

Diflubenzuron

Insecticide

Horse oral larvicide feed-through treatment

RR

Dinotefuran

Insecticide

Public health use, cotton, brassica head and stem subgroup, cucurbit and fruiting vegetables, grape, potato

RR/OP

Clothianidin

Insecticide

Turf, ornamentals, pome fruit, tobacco

OP

Thiamethoxam

Insecticide

Mint

OP

Clofentezine

Insecticide

Grape

RR

Mesotrione

Herbicide

Corn (sweet)

RR

Buprofezin

Insecticide

Avocado, guava, peach, pome fruit, sugar apple

RR/OP

Acetamiprid

Insecticide

Potato

RR/OP

Spiromesifen

Insecticide

Brassica leafy, fruiting, tuberous, and corm vegetables, corn (field), cotton, cucurbits, leafy greens, ornamentals, strawberry

RR

Pymetrozine

Insecticide

Asparagus

OP

Etoxazole

Insecticide

Grape, tree nuts

RR/OP

Pinoxaden

Herbicide

Barley, wheat

RR

Aminopyralid

Herbicide

Range and pasture lands, rights-of-way, roadsides, industrial vegetation management

RR

Flonicamid

Insecticide

Cotton, cucurbit and fruiting vegetables, pome and stone fruit, potato, nursery and landscape ornamentals

OP

2006

Boscalid

Fungicide

Celery, spinach

RR

Flumiclorac-pentyl

Herbicide

Cotton defoliant use

RR/OP

Spinosad

Insecticide

Alfalfa, fruit fly bait, mint, onion (green)

RR

Fenhexamid

Fungicide

Ginseng, pear, cilantro, pepper (non-bell), pomegranate

RR

Flonicamid

Insecticide

Head and stem brassica

OP

Trifloxystrobin

Fungicide

Barley, oats

RR

Azoxystrobin

Fungicide

Herbs, spices, safflower, sunflower

RR

Methoxyfenozide

Insecticide

Soybean

RR/OP

Fenpyroximate

Insecticide

Citrus, hops, mint, pistachio, tree nuts

RR

Quinoxyfen

Fungicide

Lettuce (head, leaf), melons, pepper (bell, non-bell), strawberry

RR

Bifenazate

Insecticide

Stone fruit, edible-podded pea, tuberous and corm vegetables

RR/OP

2007

Fluthiacet-methyl

Herbicide

Cotton

OP

Spiromesifen

Insecticide

Tomato (greenhouse)

RR

Flazasulfuron

Fungicide

Turf

RR

Penoxsulam

Herbicide

Turf, aquatic use

RR

Indoxacarb

Insecticide

Grape

RR

Spinosad

Insecticide

Mosquito larvicide use

RR

Spinetoram

Insecticide

Many: refer to http://www.epa.gov/opprd001/workplan/completionsportrait.pdf

RR

2008

Mandipropamid

Fungicide

Brassica leafy, bulb, cucurbit, fruiting, tuberous and corm, and leafy vegetables, grape

RR

Mesotrione

Herbicide

Berry group, cranberry, flax, turf (sod farm, golf courses)

RR

Chlorantraniliprole

Insecticide

Cotton, grape, pome and stone fruit, potato, turf, ornamentals, brassica leafy, cucurbit, fruiting, and leafy vegetables

RR

Spirotetramat

Insecticide

Almond, citrus, grape, hops, onion (bulb), brassica head and stem, brassica leafy greens, cucurbits, fruiting, leafy, and tuberous and corm vegetables

RR

Etofenprox

Insecticide

Mosquito adulticide use

RR

2009

Etofenprox

Insecticide

Rice

RR

Mesotrione

Herbicide

Turf (commercial, residential)

RR

Spiromesifen

Insecticide

Corn (pop, sweet), low-growing berry group

RR

Penoxsulam

Herbicide

Grape, tree nuts

RR

Chlorantraniliprole

Insecticide

Tree nuts, pistachio

RR

Cyazofamid

Fungicide

Fruiting vegetables (regional tolerance), okra

RR

Saflufenacil

Herbicide

Cereal grains, citrus, cotton, foliage of legume vegetables, forage, fodder, and straw of cereal grains, grape, legume vegetables, pome and stone fruit, sunflower, tree nuts

RR

2010

Dinotefuran

Insecticide

Brassica leafy greens, turnip (greens)

RR

Chlorantraniliprole

Insecticide

Artichoke, asparagus, caneberry, cacao, citrus, coffee, corn (field, sweet, pop), fig, forage, fodder, and straw of cereal grains, grass forage, fodder, and hay, herbs and spices, hops, legume vegetables (ex., soybean), mint, non-grass animal feeds, oilseed crops, okra, olive, peanut, persimmon, pomegranate, prickly pear cactus, rice, small vine-climbing fruits, strawberry, sugar, cane, tea, tobacco, tropical fruits, tuberous and corm vegetables, termiticide use

RR

 

Tolfenpyrad

Insecticide

Ornamentals (greenhouse)

RR

Cyazofamid

Fungicide

Brassica leafy vegetables, hops, spinach, turnip (greens)

RR

Spiromesifen

Insecticide

Pea, dry

RR

*New active ingredient reduced risk/OP alternative actions are indicated by italics.

OP alternative status was not considered by the Reduced Risk Program for conventional pesticides until 1999.

Footnotes

1.

This document is PI224, one of a series of the Agronomy Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date January 2010. Revised April 2013. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

F.M. Fishel, 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 do not signify our approval to the exclusion of other products of suitable composition. All chemicals should be used in accordance with 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.