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EPA Takes Action to Protect Public Health by Proposing Cancellation of Pentachlorophenol

This original announcement was published by the EPA on March 5, 2021. Click here for more information.


In support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to making evidence-based decisions to protect human health, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking an important step by proposing the cancellation of the registration of pentachlorophenol. Pentachlorophenol is a heavy-duty wood preservative used primarily on utility poles.

After completing a risk assessment, EPA determined that pentachlorophenol poses significant human health risks to workers. To address this issue, EPA is proposing to cancel all uses of pentachlorophenol through the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) registration review process. The agency will accept public comments on this proposed interim decision (PID) for 60 days in docket EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0653 at

EPA’s proposed action would align the United States with the United Nation’s Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, which has banned the use of pentachlorophenol. EPA has worked with industry stakeholders to identify a number of viable, safer alternatives such as copper naphthenate and DCOIT, along with well-established wood preservatives such as chromated arsenicals and creosote.

This proposed interim decision (PID) is the next step in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) registration review process that EPA conducts at least every 15 years. After considering any comments concerning the PID, EPA will issue an interim decision, which would finalize the cancelation of pentachlorophenol.