The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) protects human health and the environment by regulating pesticide sales and use and fostering reduced-risk pest management. DPR’s strict oversight includes product evaluation and registration, en vironmental monitoring, residue testing of fresh produce, and local use enforcement through the county agricultural commissioners.
Pesticides are unique among toxic substances. They are not an unwanted byproduct of another process, for example, of an industrial operation or an automobile engine. Pesticides are produced specifi cally for their toxicity to a target pest and must be purposely introduced into the environment to do their job. Therefore, regulation of pesticides does not focus solely on assessing toxicity but also on managing risk by controlling exposure. The effects – benefi cial, harmful or benign – of pesticides or any substance are dependent on several factors. The most important is exposure – how much and how often.
That’s why local, state and federal pesticide programs focus on protecting people and the en vironment from harmful exposures to pesticides. If a pesticide cannot be used safely, then its use will be banned. But the initial step is to impose strict controls on use. DPR protects public health and the environment with the nation’s most rigorous and com prehensive program to evaluate and control pesticide use.