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Call for Public Comment on Review of the Insecticide - Dichlorvos

NRA 00/9 27 July 2000

Public comment is now being sought on the draft findings of a review into the health, safety, environmental and efficacy aspects of the use of the insecticide, Dichlorvos. The review is being conducted by the National Registration Authority for Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (NRA) as part of its extensive program of analysis of agricultural and veterinary chemicals that have been in use for many years.

Dr Ron Eichner, Manager of the NRA's Chemical Review Program, said that the review was undertaken because of a number of serious issues identified with the past use of the chemical. These include toxicological concerns, regulatory action taken in the United States over environmental factors and poisoning incidents.

'Drawing on all the evidence available to it, the NRA draft findings conclude that use of Dichlorvos could be continued but with tighter usage conditions designed to overcome the risks the chemical does hold', Dr Eichner said.

'The main thing is to ensure that public exposure to the chemical is limited'.

'Dichlorvos is an effective insecticide that is a useful tool for the mushroom, flower, milling, grain handling and other industries. As long as the risks are controlled it can still be of service', he said.

'The draft review findings are now readily available for comment and I urge anyone with an interest to provide the NRA with their comments on the findings themselves or other issues identified in the review' Dr Eichner said.

Comments need to be submitted to the NRA by Friday 15 September 2000.

The NRA's chemical review program is a long term, systematic detailed assessment of older chemicals in use in Australian agriculture to ensure that they meet today's efficacy, health, safety and environmental standards.

The draft review findings Volume I (review summary) and Volume II (technical report) can be found on the NRA website. A copy of Volume I is available free and Volume II for $100 by contacting the NRA by phone on 02 6272 3213, fax 02 6272 3551 or by writing to the NRA at PO Box E240, Kingston, ACT, 2604.

For Information:- Dr Ron Eichner on 02 6272 5248 or Dennis O'Leary on 02 6272 3797 (now 02 6210 4700)


The insecticide dichlorvos has been reviewed as part of the NRA's Existing Chemicals Review Program. Public comment is now sought on the draft review report, with comments to be submitted to the NRA by Friday 15 September 2000.

Dichlorvos is a volatile organophosphorus insecticide with fumigant action which is used against a variety of insects in agricultural and veterinary situations.

Main uses are: grain, pest-strips, pest control operators, animal/mushroom houses, glass/greenhouses, avocados and one veterinary use in horses.

Dichlorvos was placed under review in accordance with Division 4 of Part 2 of the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Code Act, 1994 because of:

  • toxicological concerns and human poisoning;

  • adverse occupational health effects resulting from sprayed workplaces;

  • United States regulatory action arising from environmental concerns; and

  • residue violations in cereals and their products.

Information for the review was collected from scientific studies and submissions from chemical companies, members of the public, user groups and government organisations.

After considering all this information, the NRA has broadly decided that dichlorvos:

  • continues to be an effective insecticide;

  • is important to the mushroom, ornamental and cut flower industries, flour millers and grain handlers and use in empty glass/greenhouses;

  • should have no adverse effects on public health from its continued use in Australia;

  • its current use pattern is such that it does not harm the environment; and

  • has deficiencies in data relating to occupational health and safety and residues in food.

On the basis of the available information, the NRA considers that the risks identified with the use of dichlorvos could be managed by:

  • varying the conditions of registration with recommending product label warnings to minimise the exposure of humans, birds, bees and aquatic organisms to dichlorvos; and

  • requiring both worker exposure and/or residue data within specific time frames; and

The NRA's Existing Chemicals Review Program systematically examines agricultural and veterinary chemicals registered in the past to determine if they continue to meet current standards for registration. Chemicals for review are chosen on pre-determined publicly available selection criteria. Public participation is a key aspect of the program.

For interview and further information: Dr Ron Eichner (02) 6272 5248.

List of Registered Products:

NCRIS Number

Product Name



Addimix Dichlorvos Insecticide 500 EC

Addimix Pty Ltd


Nevweb Dichlorvos 1140 Insecticide

Australian Generics Pty Ltd


Insectigas-D DDVP Insecticide

BOC Gases Australia Ltd


Chemical Enterprises Dichlorvos 500EC Insecticide

Chemical Enterprises (Queensland) Pty Ltd


Chemical Enterprises Terminator Insecticide Surface Spray

Chemical Enterprises (Queensland) Pty Ltd


Knock-Down Residual Spray Insecticide

Chemical Formulators Pty Ltd


Vapona 500 Insecticide

Cyanamid Agriculture Pty Ltd


David Grays D.D.V.P. 500 Insecticide

David Gray & Co. Pty Ltd


Scientific Professional Formulation Insecticide

David Gray & Co. Pty Ltd



Enviroblox Pty Ltd


Permakill Insecticide

Flamestar Pty Ltd


Nufarm Dichlorvos 1140 Insecticide

Nufarm Ltd (Laverton)


QM Provap 500EC Insecticide

Quadron Manufacturing Pty Ltd


Mortein Moth And Insect Strips

Reckitt & Colman Pty Ltd


Catch Cockroach Killer Household Insecticide-Fumigant

Sara Lee Household & Body Care (Australia) Pty Ltd


Catch Fly Killer Household Insecticide-Fumigant

Sara Lee Household & Body Care (Australia) Pty Ltd


Catch Moth Killer Household Insecticide-Fumigant

Sara Lee Household & Body Care (Australia) Pty Ltd


Catch Small Space Fly Killer Household Insecticide-Fumigant

Sara Lee Household & Body Care (Australia) Pty Ltd


Sureguard Ministrip Household Insecticide-Fumigant

Sara Lee Household & Body Care (Australia) Pty Ltd


Sureguard Pest Strip Household Insecticide-Fumigant

Sara Lee Household & Body Care (Australia) Pty Ltd


Divap 1140 Insecticide

United Phosphorus Ltd


Divap 500EC Insecticide

United Phosphorus Ltd


Oximinth Plus Oral Worm & Bot Paste For Horses

Virbac (Australia) Pty Ltd

The draft report Volume I (Review Summary) and II (full technical assessments) can be read on the NRA's website. To obtain copies of these documents please phone (02 6272 3213), fax (02 6272 3551) or write to Chemical Review, The National Registration Authority, PO Box E240, KINGSTON ACT 2604. Volume I is free of charge and Volume II is $100.