EPA Report on U.S. Pesticide Use

News Article

A new report released by the EPA indicates that pesticide usein the U.S. equaled about 8.8 pounds per capita, relatively stableat about 2.2 billion pounds of pesticide active ingredients. Thetitle of this new report is "Pesticide Industry Sales and Usage,1992 and 1993 Market Estimates," and was assembled by EPA's ArnoldAspelin. Conventional pesticide use remained at about 1.1 billionpounds of active ingredient. Wood preservatives and disinfectants(non-conventional pesticides), pushed total U. S. pesticide use toabout 2.2 billion pounds of active ingredient.

The report lists a number of interesting highlights associatedwith pesticide usage. For instance, pesticide use occurs on morethan 900,000 farms and in 69 million households in the U. S. Also,annual U. S. Pesticide user expenditures totalled approximately$8.5 billion in 1993.

Herbicides were the leading type of pesticides used, in termsof both user expenditures and volume. The two most widely usedpesticides in U. S. agricultural crop production were alsoherbicides: atrazine (AAtrex, others) and metolachlor (Dual). Thethird most widely used pesticide in agriculture is sulfur, followedby alachlor (Lasso), methyl bromide, cyanazine (Bladex),dichloropropene (Telone), metam sodium (Vapam), and trifluralin(Treflan).

During 1993, conventional pesticide user expenditures totaled$4.7 billion for herbicides, $2.5 billion for insecticides, $584million for fungicides, and $594 million for other pesticides.

In the non-agriculture sectors, the report stated that 2,4-Dwas the top pesticide used last year, followed by chlorpyrifos(Dursban), diazinon, glyphosate (Roundup), and malathion.

Copies of the report can be obtained by writing to: U. S.EPA, NCEPI, P. O. Box 2419, Cincinnati, OH 45242-2419.

Adapted from Chemically Speaking by the University of FloridaCooperative Extension Service, July, 1994.

This article originally appeared in the September 16, 1994 issue, p. 138.