Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act

Fact Sheet


Overview

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) is the major U.S. law regulating pesticides. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations implementing FIFRA can be found at 40 CFR Parts 152 to 180. Under FIFRA, the EPA is responsible for registering or licensing pesticide products for use in the United States. Registered pesticides have labels that are approved by the EPA. These approved labels have the force of law, and any use that is not in compliance with the label directions and precautions may be subject to civil and/or criminal penalties. 

Retailers that purchase, store, sell, or dispose of pesticides must be aware of registration, labeling, and other pesticide management requirements. Pesticides are defined broadly and include products that everyone recognizes as a pesticide, such as wasp and hornet killers. However, pesticides also include such products as repellants, antimicrobial dish drainers, and carpet sanitizers. Some stores may be selling pesticides and not realize it. 

The EPA has brought a number of enforcement cases against retailers for selling pesticides that do not comply with FIFRA requirements. 

Note

This fact sheet applies to federal standards. Some states require registration of pesticides and devices in addition to EPA registration.  Also, some states may require registration of pesticides that the EPA does not regulate, or they may have other regulations that apply to pesticides or pesticide devices. Check with your state pesticide regulatory agency. The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) lists contact information for the state agencies that regulate pesticides.

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