EPA regulates pesticides under the statutory authority of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). The registration requirements for antimicrobial pesticides differ somewhat from those of other pesticides. For example:
- EPA requires special tests to ensure efficacy of public health pesticides when the pests are invisible disease-causing microbes, rather than insects or rodents that may be harboring disease organisms.
- Determining human and ecological risks from exposure to antimicrobial pesticides requires different types of measurements and models than those needed for pesticides largely applied to crops and other plants.
In view of these and other differences, EPA decided that its regulations governing pesticide registration requirements should also incorporate special antimicrobial sections. For more detailed registration information, see:
- Antimicrobial pesticide registration
- Data requirements for registration of antimicrobial pesticides (Part 158W)
Antimicrobials play an important role in public health and safety. While providing health benefits of pathogen removal and, in some cases, safety benefits of materials preservation, they also involve risks of potential efficacy failure and exposure hazards. It’s no wonder, then, that the effectiveness and proper use of these products are of widespread concern. See:
- Antimicrobial testing program
- Consumer products treated with pesticides
- Selected EPA-registered disinfectants
We have some special projects that involve antimicrobial pesticides to try to improve access to information about these products for the public:
- Design for the Environment antimicrobial pesticide pilot: moving toward the green end of the pesticide spectrum
- Pesticide label statements: pilot program to help promote environmental sustainability