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

Phosmet

fosz-met

Primarily used on orchards and grapes. Registered for use on pick-your-own farms. Registered as a U.S. pesticide in 1988. Reregistered in 2006. Currently under registration review.

Overview

Phosmet is used in 40 states.

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

Phorate is used in 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, 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 phosmet usage by state and county.

Human Health Effects

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

Cancer

Neurodevelopmental Harm

Reproductive Toxicity

High Risk Exposure Routes

People are exposed to phosmet 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.

ResidentialExposure through post-application from pick-your-own farms.

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

Spray Drift

Percentage of Crops

Phosmet is applied on food widely grown and consumed in the United States.

Peaches (55%)

Nectarines (50%)

Apple (40%)

Blueberries (40%)

Pears (40%)

Cherries (30%)

Oranges (25%)

Registered Uses

Where EPA allows phosmet to be used.

Agricultural Crops: alfalfa, fruit and vegetables, orchards and grapes

Livestock

Pick-Your-Own Farm Fruits and Orchards

Additional Information

Estimated Use of Phosmet 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 phosmet. (How do EPest-low and EPest-high differ?)

EPest-low

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

EPest-high

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

U.S. Tolerances Categories & Commodities for Phosmet

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

Tolerances have been set for phosmet for: Agricultural Commodities and Milk Eggs Meat and/or Poultry. Maximum residue limits have been set for phosmet by the U.S. EPA for the following commodities:

Alfalfa
Almond
Apple
Blueberry
Cattle
Cherry
Citrus
Crabapple
Cranberry
Goat
Grape
Hog
Horse
Kiwifruit
Milk
Nectarine
Pea
Peach
Pear
Pistachio
Plum
Potato
Sheep
Sweet Potato
Tree nuts

U.S. EPA Human Health Risk Assessments for Phorate

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 phosmet.

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