Consensus Report

Review of California's Risk-Assessment Process for Pesticides (2015)


Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review; while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy. Learn more on our expert consensus reports.

This report reviews the risk-assessment practices used by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation as part of its mission to ensure the protection of workers and public health. Overall, the study finds that the Department of Pesticide Regulation's risk-characterization documents are comprehensive and follow established risk-assessment practices. However, the bulk of the assessments duplicate much of the work of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If the legislative mandates under which it works allow, the Department of Pesticide Regulation could rely on EPA's assessments to identify the critical studies for hazard identification, interpretation of the dose–response data, and derivation of the reference values for most pesticides. That would permit the Department of Pesticide Regulation to focus its efforts on California-specific exposure issues, to tailor the risk assessments to its needs, and to complete them more quickly, the report finds.