In 1996, EPA created a new class of products – minimum risk pesticides – that did not have to be registered. (These pesticides are often referred to as exempt 25(b) products.) The goal was to let pesticides that posed little or no risk become available to consumers without the manufacturers going through the expensive and time-consuming registration process. The EPA would also benefit by being able to focus resources on higher risk pesticides.
The ground rules for qualifying for minimum risk status are very specific, including restrictions on ingredients. All components of these products must come from lists of both active and inert ingredients that “are demonstrably safe for the intended use.” The active ingredients kill, destroy, mitigate, or repel the pests named on the label, while the inert ingredients help the product work better in other ways.