Diazinon Risk Assessment Released, EPA Calls for Public Comment

As part of the ongoing implementation on the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the availability of the revised risk assessment for diazinon, a highly toxic organophosphate pesticide.

The revised risk assessment for diazinon, an insecticide/acaricide registered for a wide variety of both residential and agricultural uses, was published in the May 19, 200 Federal Register (Vol. 65, No. 98). According to the revised assessment, there are many dangers associated with the current use of diazinon, including occupational risks, residential risks, accidental exposure, and numerous environmental hazards. There is particular concern for residential handlers; residential post-application exposures; toddlers, following lawn and indoor crack and crevice treatments; and for workers who apply or prepare the pesticide or work in greenhouses within 12 hours of application.

The EPA Office of Pesticide Program's (OPP) Health Effects Division (HED) reports that diazinon, the fifth most commonly used pesticide, is one of the leading causes of acute reactions to pesticide use and that all indoor home and office uses should be considered for cancellation. Additionally, the HED recommends that consumers not handle highly concentrated diazinon products, and people not involved with the application avoid the treated areas.  Poison Control Center data show that a single swallow of 25 percent diazinon can be fatal, and dermal exposures to diazinon have been reported to be life threatening. EPA's now defunct Pesticide Incident Monitoring System recorded 903 diazinon related poisonings between 1966-80.

Diazinon is also associated with numerous environmental hazards, including surface water contamination. It has been known for some time that birds, especially grazing fowl like ducks and geese, are highly susceptible to poisoning, as are beneficial insects such as bees. Approximately 300 incidents of wildlife mortality have been documented in the EPA OPP's Ecological Fate and Effects Division's Ecological Incidents Database. The endangered species levels of concern are also exceeded for wildlife, aquatic life and terrestrial plants in semi-aquatic areas for all registered uses and application rates of diazinon.

For more information on diazinon, see Beyond Pesticides's Diazinon ChemWATCH Factsheet.

Send a letter to your Congressmembers, click here for a SAMPLE LETTER TO CONGRESS. Determine who your Senators and Representatives are by visiting the U.S. Senate website at http://www.senate.gov/senators/senator_by_state.cfm or the U.S. House of Representatives website at http://www.house.gov/writerep/.


The EPA's preliminary risk assessment for diazinon can be viewed at

The Federal Register announcement on diazinon can be found at


Althougth the public comment period ended July 18, 2000, we encourage you to still send comments to the EPA after this date if you have not done so already. It is especially important for EPA to hear from people who have been poisoned by organophosphate pesticides. Please send written comments and/or fill out the Beyond Pesticides's Pesticide Incident Record form and send it to EPA. Whether you have been poisoned by diazinon or not, tell EPA to stop poisoning our communities by this pesticide. Although, individualized comments hold more weight, you can send this SAMPLE LETTER TO EPA.

By email, send you comments to:
[email protected] Electronic submissions will be accepted in WordPerfect 6.1/8.0 or ASCII file.Click here to email EPA right now at [email protected] - all you have to do is highlight the text of the sample letter, copy and paste it in an email to the EPA. Make sure that the subject line of the email states "Control Number OPP-34225." (Please cc. [email protected])

By mail, send your comments to:
Public Information and Records Integrity Branch

Information Resources and Services Division (7502C)

Office of Pesticide Programs/ EPA

401 M Street, SW

Washington, DC 20460

Note on your letter: Control Number OPP-34225.