Pesticide exports from U.S. ports, 1997-2000

Int J Occup Environ Health. 2001 Oct-Dec;7(4):266-74. doi: 10.1179/107735201800339263.


U.S. Customs records reveal that 3.2 billion pounds of pesticide products were exported in 1997-2000, an average rate of 45 tons per hour. Nearly 65 million pounds of the exported pesticides were either forbidden or severely restricted in the United States; however, no banned pesticide export was recorded for the year 2000. 2.2 million pounds of pesticides regulated under a treaty on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) were exported between 1997 and 1999, with no such export in 2000. Exports of pesticides subject to the prior informed consent (PIC) treaty decreased 97% from the 1997 total of nearly 3 million pounds. Thus, international efforts to reduce the trade in hazardous pesticides may be bearing fruit. However, they are balanced by high rates of export of pesticides designated "extremely hazardous" by the WHO (89 million pounds), pesticides associated with cancer (170 million pounds), and pesticides associated with endocrine disrupting effects (368 million pounds), mostly to developing countries. These findings point in two directions: first, progress is possible, and second, the focus of international efforts should be expanded. From public health and environmental protection perspectives, exports of hazardous pesticides remain unacceptably high.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Commerce / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Commerce / statistics & numerical data*
  • Commerce / trends
  • Developing Countries / statistics & numerical data
  • Disclosure / statistics & numerical data
  • Disclosure / trends
  • Endocrine System Diseases / chemically induced
  • Environment
  • Hazardous Substances / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Pesticides / adverse effects*
  • Pesticides / classification
  • Public Health / standards
  • Public Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Public Health / trends
  • Public Policy*
  • United States
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency / standards
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency / statistics & numerical data
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency / trends


  • Hazardous Substances
  • Pesticides