California took another step toward curtailing the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos (Lorsban) by releasing a list of recommended interim restrictions.

In a news release on Nov. 15, the state’s Department of Pesticide Regulation suggests county agricultural commissioners impose several temporary measures starting Jan. 1 while the department works toward permanent state-wide restrictions. They include banning all aerial applications, discontinuing use on most crops except for critical uses, requiring a quarter-mile buffer zone during and after applications and requiring a 150-foot setback from buildings.

Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide, acaricide and miticide produced by Dow AgroSciences, primarily used to control foliage and soilborne insect pests. In the tree fruit and grape industries, it is used during dormancy and pre-bloom, though many growers have begun to phase out use of the chemical.

California is in the process of listing it as a toxic air contaminant, which could take two years.

To view the news release, and read a list of the “critical uses,” visit

-by Ross Courtney