Other/Inert Ingredients in Pesticides
Other ingredients are not listed on product labels for EPA-registered pesticides because their identity is considered to be confidential business information. You may also see them listed as “inert” ingredients.
While many of the chemicals used as other ingredients are not known to pose health or environmental risks, some of them can be toxic. In some cases, the other ingredients can pose greater risks than the active ingredient itself.
- Other ingredients may increase shelf-life, attract the pest, or spread the product more evenly on surfaces (surfactants). Adjuvants are "other ingredients" commonly added to improve pesticide performance.
- Examples of other/inert ingredients include kerosene, propane and other petroleum products, wintergreen oil, peanuts, beeswax, and salt.
- Although the other ingredients are not required on the label, the signal word on the label indicates the toxicity of the formulated product (active and other ingredients combined).
- There are maximum residue limits (tolerances) for other ingredients that are used on food.
- You can search for a substance to see if it can be used in pesticides as an other ingredient.
- The same chemical might be an active ingredient in one product and an other ingredient in a different product.
- Only certain other ingredients may be used in Minimum Risk Pesticides and pesticides for organic production systems.
If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated July 24, 2019