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Aug. 4, 2021

Organophosphate Pesticides in the United States

Inherently neurotoxic to humans, organophosphate pesticides (such as chlorpyrifos) pose a risk to children’s neurodevelopment and normal neurological function. At high levels of exposure, organophosphate pesticides can be lethal.

Exposure to organophosphate pesticides during pregnancy has been linked to neurodevelopmental disorders like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism.

Earthjustice is committed to mitigating both human and environmental exposure to this toxic class of pesticides. Of the dozens of organophosphate pesticides that still remain in use in the U.S., we have chosen to examine 17 in this database because of their heavy use and/or serious health effects. About the data

What products are organophosphate pesticides used on?

Acephate, bensulide, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, dimethoate, ethoprophos, malathion, naled, phorate, and phosmet are among the organophosphate pesticides registered for use under the category of “agricultural crops.”

Where are organophosphate pesticides used in the U.S.?

For 14 of the 17 organophosphate pesticides in this database, see one-year usage estimates (EPest-low) for the most recent year available. Additional maps compare to EPest-high estimate usage. (How do EPest-low and EPest-high differ?)
State Volume of organo-phosphate pesticides (lb.) Number of organo-phosphate pesticides
Nationwide
No data available for Alaska, D.C., Hawaiʻi, U.S. Terr.
16,194,772 14
Alabama368,870 7
Alaska
No data available for Alaska.
- -
Arizona326,553 9
Arkansas849,821 5
California2,268,220 11
Colorado266,055 5
Connecticut11,479 4
Delaware11,295 3
Florida680,004 12
Georgia1,397,920 10
Hawaiʻi
No data available for Hawaiʻi.
- -
Idaho157,543 7
Illinois75,754 8
Indiana41,323 8
Iowa301,433 5
Kansas505,245 8
Kentucky56,120 6
Louisiana1,058,670 5
Maine5,543 2
Maryland14,775 5
Massachusetts15,305 4
Michigan202,622 6
Minnesota835,139 8
Mississippi896,146 6
Missouri438,534 6
Montana8,062 3
Nebraska140,041 4
Nevada56,179 7
New Hampshire4,593 3
New Jersey27,434 5
New Mexico46,022 7
New York275,750 4
North Carolina436,364 9
North Dakota787,209 3
Ohio147,630 7
Oklahoma715,277 7
Oregon145,977 6
Pennsylvania136,978 7
Rhode Island1,230 2
South Carolina270,252 9
South Dakota106,453 1
Tennessee313,539 5
Texas957,655 9
Utah68,962 6
Vermont4,532 3
Virginia160,447 8
Washington419,868 6
West Virginia16,502 4
Wisconsin98,674 7
Wyoming64,774 3
State Concentration of organo-phosphate pesticides (lb/mi2) Number of organo-phosphate pesticides
Alabama107 7
Alaska - -
Arizona228 9
Arkansas77 5
California185 11
Colorado29 5
Connecticut60 4
Delaware17 3
Florida208 12
Georgia247 10
Hawaiʻi
No data available for Hawaiʻi.
- -
Idaho22 7
Illinois2 8
Indiana2 8
Iowa8 5
Kansas15 8
Kentucky7 6
Louisiana204 5
Maine10 2
Maryland7 5
Massachusetts70 4
Michigan18 6
Minnesota27 8
Mississippi137 6
Missouri21 6
Montana1 3
Nebraska5 4
Nevada63 7
New Hampshire34 3
New Jersey43 5
New Mexico37 7
New York49 4
North Carolina63 9
North Dakota21 3
Ohio9 7
Oklahoma59 7
Oregon32 6
Pennsylvania22 7
Rhode Island55 2
South Carolina108 9
South Dakota4 1
Tennessee44 5
Texas35 9
Utah42 6
Vermont7 3
Virginia39 8
Washington60 6
West Virginia14 4
Wisconsin7 7
Wyoming27 3

Organophosphate Pesticides

Learn about 17 of the most dangerous and commonly used organophosphate pesticides. Details.
Name Used In
No data for Alaska, D.C., Hawaiʻi, U.S. Territories. For 2017 (most recent year available).
acephate 25 states
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia
bensulide 10 states
Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Wisconsin
chlorethoxyfos 3 states
Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska
chlorpyrifos 48 states
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
chlorpyrifos-methyl
No state usage data available.
-
coumaphos
No state usage data available.
-
diazinon 14 states
California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia
dichlorvos
No state usage data available.
-
dicrotophos 15 states
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia
dimethoate 28 states
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming
ethoprophos 11 states
California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin
malathion 28 states
Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington
naled 6 states
Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, Utah
phorate 21 states
Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin
phosmet 40 states
Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin
terbufos 19 states
Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
tribufos 17 states
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia

Registered Crops

EPA allows organophosphate pesticides to be applied on a variety of crops and feed crops.
Crop Number of Organophosphate Pesticides
Fruits and Vegetables 10
Orchards and Grapes 7
Cotton 7
Alfalfa 4
Corn 5
Soybeans 2
Wheat 2
Other Crops 6

High Residue Foods

Food products found to contain high levels of organophosphate pesticide residues. A relatively small sample of food products is tested. No detection does not necessarily mean that there are no residues of concern. Details.
Food Number of Organophosphate Pesticides
Basil 5
Cilantro 5
Mangoes 2
Mustard Greens 2
Raisins 1
Snap Peas 1
Frozen Spinach 1
Frozen Strawberries 1
Sweet Bell Peppers 1

Human Health Effects

Even at low levels of exposure, organophosphate pesticides can lead to serious negative health effects.
Health Effect Number of Organophosphate Pesticides
Neurodevelopmental Harm 17
Cancer 8
Reproductive Toxicity 8
Endocrine Disruption 1
Immunotoxicity 1

High Risk Exposure Routes

EPA has determined that these routes of exposure pose a risk of concern to human health. Details.
Exposure Type Number of Organophosphate Pesticides
Occupational Handlers
Includes field workers and handlers.
17
Food and/or Drinking Water 16
Residential 15
Residential Bystander
People who live near areas where pesticides are applied. Details.
12
Spray Drift 12
Wide Area Public Pest Control 4
chlorpyrifos, DDVP + naled (naled can degrade into dichlorvos), malathion, naled