Legacy pesticides (including DDT and chlordane) are chemicals that were once used in the US but are now canceled or banned because of health risks to humans, animals, or the environment. The legacy these pesticides leave behind is their long-lived persistence in the environment. Once released, they may take many years to degrade.
Several of these pesticides have been found to accumulate in the tissue of people and animals. Some breakdown products of these pesticides may be more persistent or toxic than the original.
More about legacy pesticides:
- These chemicals may move in the environment by runoff and erosion. If you have questions about risks to water, many states have private drinking water programs for more information.
- Sediment in water can hold pesticides for a long time, until disturbed.
- Topping contaminated soil with clean fill dirt may reduce exposure for children and pets in contaminated areas.
- Historical land use records for your area may inform you about possible pesticide use in the past.
- Soil testing can be very expensive and the results are often difficult to understand.
- Just because a pesticide is present in the environment does not mean there is a meaningful health risk.
- If you have unwanted stored pesticides, you can contact your local household hazardous waste, call 1-800-CLEANUP (800-253-2687), or talk to your state's environmental agency.
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.
Information about Specific Legacy Pesticides:
Last updated April 29, 2021