According to EPA's latest survey of the pesticide industry's sales and usage, U.S. pesticide applicators used some 1.1 billion pounds of active ingredients in 2007, a decline of about 8 percent from 2001. The report shows agriculture accounted for some 80 percent of all U.S. pesticide use in 2007, with home and garden uses contributing about 8 percent and the remaining 12 percent attributed to the industrial/commercial/government sector.
The top three most commonly used pesticide ingredients in 2007 were the herbicides glyphosate and atrazine along with the fumigant metam sodium - the same three also were the most commonly used in 2001. The use of glyphosate jumped from an estimate of 85 million pounds to 90 million pounds in 2001 to some 180 million pounds to 185 million pounds in 2007, while atrazine use dropped slightly to 73 million pounds to 78 million pounds in 2007 from 74 million pounds to 80 million pounds in 2001, and metam sodium declined from 57 million pounds to 62 million pounds in 2001 to 50 million pounds to 55 million pounds in 2007.
Organophosphate use has declined, the survey found, from 73 million pounds in 2001 to 33 million pounds in 2007. In 2000, these chemicals accounted for 72 percent of all U.S. insecticide use, compared to 35 percent in 2007.
The report also noted that pesticide sales in the United States reached nearly $12.5 billion in 2007, about 32 percent of global sales, up from $7.2 billion in 1988 and $11.1 billion in 2000. The agricultural sector accounted for $7.8 billion of sales in 2007, with herbicides contributing $4.2 billion, insecticides $2 billion and fungicides and other pesticides $1.6 billion.