Chlorpyrifos

On 24 June 2019, we announced a proposed decision to remove all uses of chlorpyrifos in domestic and home garden products, and in certain public spaces such as parks and footpaths. The proposed decision is to suspend uses of these products after 28 days and cancel these uses after three months.

A full list of affected products is available in the Special Gazette, 24 June 2019. Find out how to participate in the consultation.

The issue

Chlorpyrifos is an insecticide used to control different kinds of pests, including ants, termites and mosquitos. Products containing chlorpyrifos are used in and around the home, in home gardens, in public spaces, and in agriculture.

Based on credible scientific evidence of risks to human health and the environment, we have been taking progressive action by restricting the use patterns of products containing chlorpyrifos for a number of years.

On 24 June 2019, we announced a proposed decision to remove all uses of chlorpyrifos in domestic and home garden products, and in certain public spaces such as parks and footpaths. The proposed decision is to suspend uses of these products after 28 days and cancel these uses after three months.

This decision is the result of a comprehensive review of the chemical’s health and environmental impacts.

Chlorpyrifos products can continue to be used in agricultural settings and under permit only if used according to label instructions. This includes the appropriate use of protective equipment.

We are consulting with the agriculture and biosecurity sectors ahead of our assessment of these use patterns. This will help us more fully understand the critical uses of chlorpyrifos before we make a Proposed Regulatory Decision on these categories. A critical use is one with no other alternative.

To make a submission on either the domestic use of chlorpyrifos or agricultural use, visit the consultation page.

Our role in regulating products containing chlorpyrifos in Australia

All products containing chlorpyrifos that are registered for use in Australia have been through the APVMA’s robust chemical risk assessment process and are safe and effective providing they are used according to label instructions.

The APVMA uses a weight-of-evidence approach to risk assessments that considers the full range of risks on health and the environment and how these risks can be minimised through clear instructions, restricted uses and safety directions.

This approach is consistent with best practice among international regulators and the APVMA is a well-respected member of international standard setting bodies. Australia’s decision on chlorpyrifos is consistent with overseas regulators who have also removed domestic and home garden uses of chlorpyrifos.

Our progressive action on chlorpyrifos

We have been taking action on chlorpyrifos for a number of years.

In 2001–02, consistent with the information available at the time, we removed high concentration chlorpyrifos products for home garden and domestic use from sale in Australia.

Our 2019 action to suspend and cancel the domestic and home garden uses of chlorpyrifos products includes the consideration of hundreds of studies that looked at environmental and health impacts of these products.

Chlorpyrifos products can continue to be used in agricultural settings and under permit only if used according to label instructions, but we are currently consulting on agricultural use patterns to inform a Proposed Regulatory Decision on this category in the future.

How do I know if a product contains chlorpyrifos?

All chemical products registered with the APVMA have an APVMA or NRA approval number. Flip the pack and check the back to see if it has a number. Check your product name and approval number against the list.

If your product is not on this list, or if you are using it in an agricultural setting or on a permit, you may continue to use the product according to the label directions.

What alternative products can I use?

There is a wide range of chemical and non-chemical products that are alternatives to chlorpyrifos products. Alternatives can be found using the APVMA’s PubCRIS product search tool. You can filter the search by pest, host, and product type.

Your local retailer will also be familiar with alternative products.

How do I dispose of affected chlorpyrifos products?

Always follow the label instructions for the proper disposal of chemicals and their containers.

Your local state or territory agricultural chemical regulator can provide advice on disposal.

You can also contact ChemClear (1800 008 182) for advice on disposal of agricultural and veterinary chemicals.

Retailers and pest control professionals should contact their supplier to discuss the disposal of commercial stocks of affected chlorpyrifos products.

See further information for:

Information for product registrants

What's the decision?

On 24 June 2019, we announced a proposed decision to remove all remaining uses for domestic and home garden areas, and certain public spaces, from products containing chlorpyrifos. You have received direct correspondence outlining our decision and the next steps in the Proposed Regulatory Decision process.

Chlorpyrifos products can continue to be used in agricultural settings or under permit only if used according to label instructions.

Where can I have my say?

We are running a two-stage consultation to determine the best course of action for registered chlorpyrifos products currently in the Australian market.

  • Stage one (which runs until late September 2019) focuses on the use of chlorpyrifos in domestic and home garden settings, as well as certain public spaces
  • Stage two will focus on uses in agriculture, biosecurity, and under permit.

We are also consulting to more fully understand the use patterns of chlorpyrifos in agriculture before we make a Proposed Regulatory Decision on this category of chlorpyrifos products.

To participate in these consultations, see our consultation page.

What happens to combination use chlorpyrifos products?

For products with mixed domestic and agricultural uses, an application can be lodged with the APVMA to remove domestic uses from label instructions if agricultural uses are to continue. More information has been provided to product registrants on this process.

Information for the pest control industry

What is changing?

As a result of the suspension of the use of chlorpyrifos products, including those used in certain public spaces, the chemical products you use may need to change.

Which products are affected? Where do I find alternatives?

A full list of affected products is available in the Special Gazette, 24 June 2019.

There is a wide range of alternatives to chlorpyrifos products. Contact your local retailer to discuss alternative options.

Other products can also be found using the APVMA’s PubCRIS product search tool. You can filter the search by pest, host, and product type.

How do I dispose of affected chlorpyrifos products?

Always follow the label instructions for the proper disposal of chemicals and their containers.

Pest control professionals should contact your supplier to discuss the disposal of commercial stocks of affected chlorpyrifos products.

Your local state or territory agricultural chemical regulator can also provide advice on disposal.

You can also contact ChemClear (1800 008 182) for advice on disposal of agricultural and veterinary chemicals.

Information for farmers

Can I continue to use chlorpyrifos for agriculture, biosecurity, or permitted uses?

Yes, chlorpyrifos products can continue to be used in agricultural settings or on permit only if used according to label instructions with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

As with all agricultural chemicals, the APVMA recommends the use of good on-farm hygiene practices such as removing work clothing and boots before entering the home and regular laundering of work clothing.

Following the safety and use directions on the label allows you to control and mitigate any exposure. 

What do I do with my unwanted home and garden chlorpyrifos products?

Always follow the label instructions for the proper disposal of chemicals and their containers.

Your local state or territory agricultural chemical regulator can provide advice on disposal.

You can also contact ChemClear (1800 008 182) for advice on disposal of agricultural and veterinary chemicals.

Where can I have my say?

We are consulting with anyone who uses chlorpyrifos (either as a registered product or on a permit) for critical agricultural or biosecurity purposes. A critical use is one with no other alternative.

We are undertaking this consultation so that we can more fully understand the critical use patterns of chlorpyrifos before we make a Proposed Regulatory Decision on products with agricultural or biosecurity uses.

To participate in this consultation, see our consultation page.

Information for retailers

What does the proposed decision change for my business?

As a result of our Proposed Regulatory Decision (PRD), no domestic and home garden use chlorpyrifos products will be available for sale in Australia after 28 days.

All chemical products registered with the APVMA have an APVMA or NRA approval number. Flip the pack and check the back to see if it has a number. Check the product name and approval number against the list.

If the product is not on this list, or if it is used for agricultural purposes or under permit only, it may continue to be sold and is unaffected by our Proposed Regulatory Decision.

A consultation about the agricultural uses of chlorpyrifos products is underway.

What do I do with chlorpyrifos stock?

Always follow the label instructions for the proper disposal of chemicals and their containers.

You should contact your supplier to discuss the disposal of commercial stocks of affected chlorpyrifos products.

Information for local government

What is changing?

As a result of the proposed restriction of the use of chlorpyrifos products, including those used in certain public spaces such as parks and footpaths, the materials your council uses may need to change.

Which products are affected? Where do I find alternatives?

A full list of affected products is available in the Special Gazette, 24 June 2019.

There is a wide range of chemical and non-chemical products that are alternatives to chlorpyrifos products. Contact your local retailer to discuss the options.

Alternatives can also be found using the APVMA’s PubCRIS product search tool. You can filter the search by pest, host, and product type.

What do council staff need to do?

Always follow the label instructions for the proper disposal of chemicals and their containers.

Contact your supplier to discuss the disposal of commercial stocks of affected chlorpyrifos products.

Your local state or territory agricultural chemical regulator can also provide advice on disposal.

You can also contact ChemClear (1800 008 182) for advice on disposal of agricultural and veterinary chemicals.

Information for state and territory regulators

What's the decision?

We are running a two-stage consultation to determine the best course of action for registered chlorpyrifos products currently in the Australian market.

  • Stage one (which runs to late September 2019) focuses on the use of chlorpyrifos in domestic and home garden settings
  • Stage two will focus on agricultural uses.

What happens to mixed use chlorpyrifos products?

For products with mixed domestic and agricultural uses, an application can be lodged with the APVMA to remove domestic uses from label instructions if agricultural uses are to continue.

How do people dispose of affected chlorpyrifos products?

Always follow the label instructions for the proper disposal of chemicals and their containers.

We are directing people to the state or territory agency for any disposal or control of use queries.

We are also directing people to ChemClear (1800 008 182) and to their local supplier to discuss the disposal of commercial stocks of affected chlorpyrifos products.

Where can people have their say?

A consultation with those who use chlorpyrifos products for critical uses (for which no alternative exists) in agriculture, biosecurity, or under permit is open from June to September 2019.

To participate in these consultations, see our consultation page.

To protect your privacy, please do not include contact information in your feedback. If you would like a response, please contact us.