Pesticide Use in India
There are 234 pesticides registered in India. Out of these, 4 are WHO Class Ia pesticides, 15 are WHO Class Ib pesticides and 76 are WHO Class II pesticides, together constituting 40% of the registered pesticides in India. In terms of consumption too, the greatest volumes consumed are of these poisons.
The following is a broad picture of the top pesticide-consuming states in India (total pesticides consumed, in metric tonnes of technical grade material, during 2005-06 to 2009-10, as per official data of the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine and Storage, Govt of India).
Sl. No. State Total pesticides consumed
1 Uttar Pradesh 39948
2 Punjab 29235
3 Haryana 21908
4 Maharashtra 16480
5 Rajasthan 15239
6 Gujarat 13430
7 Tamil Nadu 12851
  All India 210,600


Most consumed pesticides in the country (during 2005-06 to 2009-10)


Sl. No. Pesticide (Technical Grade) Quantity consumed (metric tonnes)
1 Sulphur (fungicide) 16424
2 Endosulfan (insecticide) 15537
3 Mancozeb (fungicide) 11067
4 Phorate (insecticide) 10763
5 Methyl Parathion (insecticide) 08408
6 Monocrotophos (insecticide) 08209
7 Cypermethrin (insecticide) 07309
8 Isoproturon (herbicide) 07163
9 Chlorpyrifos (insecticide) 07163
10 Malathion (insecticide) 07103
11 Carbendazim (fungicide) 06767
12 Butachlor (herbicide) 06750
13 Quinalphos (insecticide) 06329
14 Copper oxychloride 06055
15 Dichlorvos (insecticide) 05833


The following is a list of 24 pesticides registered and used in India, classified as Potential Carcinogens by the US EPA: Acephate (C), Alachlor (B2), Atrazine (C), Benomyl (C), Bifenthrin (C), Captan (B2), Chlorothalonil (B2), Cypermethrin (C), Dichlorvos (C), Diclofop-Methyl (C), Dicofol (C), Mancozeb (B2), Methomyl (C), Metolachlor (C), Oxadiazon (C), Oxyflourfen (C), Permethrin (C), Phosphamidon (C), Propiconazole (C), Propoxur (B2), Thiodicarb (C), Thiophanate Methyl (C), Triadimefon (C), Trifluralin (C).

As can be seen, some of these are also listed in the most-consumed pesticides list in the table above!

As per the EPA classification of carcinogenic pesticides, B indicates Probable Human Carcinogen (B2 indicating sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity from animal studies and C indicates Possible Human Carcinogen (limited evidence of carcinogenicity in animals, in the absence of human data). The above list has been compiled based on Cox, Caroline. 1992, " A new list of carcinogenic pesticides used in food". Vol. 12, No. 4, Winter 1992, pp. 28, Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides for the Indian context.