Pesticides are substances used to prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate any pest ranging from insects, animals and weeds to microorganisms such as fungi, molds, bacteria and viruses. Pesticides may be toxic and harmful to the environment and to people if they are used improperly. At the same time, they help to manage and prevent pests that spread disease, that damage crops, buildings, and other property, and that are a public nuisance.
The lead state agency for regulating pesticides is the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) consults with the MDA, federal environmental and health agencies, and others to:
- Provide information to the public about pesticide health risks;
- Develop health-based standards and/or advisory levels for pesticides and other contaminants in groundwater and air;
- Provide consultation to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture about pesticide health risks, and health risk assessment guidance/policy; and
- Encourage efforts to prevent unnecessary exposures to pesticides and pests.
For more information about our pesticide-related activities, see: