If a pesticide is classified for "Restricted Use" by U.S. EPA, a product can only be legally used
by a certified pesticide applicator or under the direct supervision of a certified applicator. The assumption underlying the "Restricted Use" system is that certified applicators can use the most hazardous pesticides in ways that will not result in unreasonable risks.
Two problems undermine the potential effectiveness of "Restricted Use:" few substantive safe use requirements have been imposed on certified applicators and relatively few pesticides are classified as restricted use. Like all users, certified applicators are obliged to follow pesticides label instructions. For some restricted use pesticides, these instructions establish relatively stringent protective measures (e.g., clothing or reentry requirements). However, no limits are placed on frequency or quantity of pesticide applications by the restricted use process. Certification is not designed to reduce the use of the most hazardous pesticides, but rather to shift such uses from untrained consumer to professional applicators.
Restricted use status affects relatively few pesticides. The U.S. EPA determines whether a pesticides should be classified for restricted use based on its acute toxicity. Although the agency has established more stringent toxicity criteria for pesticides with residential and institutional uses than for agricultural uses, only a small number of pesticides with substantial uses are restricted.
MORE ON RESTRICTED USE
Code of Federal Regulations 40 CFR Subpart I, Section 152.160
United States Code 7 USC 136i