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Learn about 17 of the most dangerous, widely used organophosphate pesticides in the U.S.

Bensulide

ben-suh-lyd

Primarily used on vegetables and fruit. Registered as a U.S. pesticide in 1991. Reregistered in 2006. Currently under registration review.

Overview

Bensulide is used in 10 states.

Map of where the organophosphate pesticide bensulide is used in the 48 contiguous United States.

Bensulide is used in Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Data is not available for Alaska, D.C., Hawaiʻi, and U.S. Territories. Data represents the most recent year available from USGS. Details.

See detailed maps of bensulide usage by state and county.

Human Health Effects

Even at low levels of exposure, bensulide can lead to serious negative health effects.

Neurodevelopmental Harm

Reproductive Toxicity

High Risk Exposure Routes

People are exposed to bensulide through food and drinking water, even if they don’t live near areas where pesticides are sprayed. Details.

Food and/or Drinking Water

Occupational Field WorkersPeople performing post-application activities in previously treated fields, but do not directly apply pesticides themselves. Details.

Occupational HandlersPeople involved in pesticide application process. Details.

Residential

Residential BystanderPeople who live near areas where pesticides are applied. Details.

Spray Drift

High Residue Foods

Where residue levels of bensulide exceeded allowable limits or were not legally allowed to have residues. Details.

[No high residue foods were specifically identified from the USDA's PDP database. ]

No detection does not necessarily mean there are no residues of concern. A relatively small sample of food products is tested and not all organophosphate pesticides are tested for.

Moreover, current U.S. pesticide tolerance levels are not protective against neurodevelopmental harm in children, so detections at or below tolerance levels do not indicate no harm.

Registered Uses

Where EPA allows bensulide to be used.

Agricultural Crops: fruit and vegetables

Golf Courses

Residential Turf

Additional Information

Estimated Use of Bensulide on Crops

Most recent agricultural crop usage data as provided by the U.S. Geographical Survey’s Pesticide National Synthesis Project. Does not reflect universal usage of bensulide. (How do EPest-low and EPest-high differ?)

EPest-low

EPest-low: Estimated use in millions of pounds of bensulide by year and crop.
USGS

EPest-high

EPest-high: Estimated use in millions of pounds of bensulide by year and crop.
USGS

U.S. Tolerances Categories & Commodities for Bensulide

The U.S. EPA sets maximum residue limits — known as “tolerances” — on the amount of bensulide that may remain in and on foods. The tolerance is the residue level that triggers enforcement actions.

Tolerances have been set for bensulide for: Agricultural Commodities. Maximum residue limits have been set for bensulide by the U.S. EPA for the following commodities:

Carrot
Leafy Vegetables
Onion
Roots

U.S. EPA Human Health Risk Assessments for Bensulide

Human Health Risk Assessments are conducted by the U.S. EPA to estimate the nature and probability of harmful health effects in people who may be exposed to pesticide. They are used to make informed decisions about approving new pesticides and new uses of registered pesticides, and during our regular review of existing pesticides. Read the assessment for bensulide.

Learn about 17 of the most dangerous, widely used organophosphate pesticides in the U.S.