Priority chemicals list

Our priority chemicals list identifies the chemicals we believe are most in need of review here in New Zealand.

The chemicals on the priority list make up part of the larger screened chemicals list, which were screened using our FRCaST screening tool.

The chemicals on the priority list are categorised as either Group A or Group B chemicals.

Find out about how we identified and categorised the chemicals on our screened chemical list.

We are working on reassessing chemicals on the priority list.

We will not necessarily work through the priority chemicals list in the order it appears on our website. This is for many reasons. It is a ‘living’ list, and may be changed as new information comes to hand, prompting us to reprioritise our focus on chemicals with higher risk profiles.

Chemical nameDescription
2,4-DB (sodium salt) 2,4-DB is a herbicide mainly used to control broadleaf weeds in an agricultural setting. It has a similar structure to 2,4-D (also an agricultural herbicide). It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for human health risk and its moderately high score for environmental risk.
4,4'-(1-Methylethylidene)bis[2,6-dibromophenol]
(TBBPA)
TBBPA is a brominated chemical widely used for its fire retardant properties. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score on human health risk though its score for environmental risk was moderately low. Concerns over its persistence also contributed to its high score.
Alachlor Alachlor is a herbicide mainly used in crops. It is part of the chloroacetanilide family. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for human health risk and high score for environmental risk. Concern about persistence also contributed to its high score.
alpha-Cypermethrin Alpha-cypermethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide with approvals for home use products, veterinary medicines, and agricultural products. It is a specific mixture of cypermethrin isomers. See 'cypermethrin' entry also. It is categorised in Priority Group A due to its very high scoring for both human health risk and environmental risk. Availability to home users was also a contributing factor to the score.
Amitrole Amitrole is a non-selective herbicide used in agricultural settings, public areas, and in home garden products. It is a member of the triazole family. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for human health risk though its score for environmental risk was moderately low. Its availability to home users also contributed to its high score.
Ammonium pentadecafluorooctanoate (APFO) Ammonium pentadecafluorooctanoate (APFO) is used in an industrial setting as a chemical intermediate, but is also present in consumer products. It is the ammonium salt of perfluorooctanoic acid. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for human health risk though its score on environmental risk was low. Concerns regarding persistence and bioaccumulation also contributed to its high score.
Benzo[a]pyrene Benzo[a]pyrene is mainly encountered in an industrial setting but has presence in consumer products also. It is categorised in Priority Group A due to its very high score for human health risk and high score for environmental risk. Concerns regarding its presence in the home, persistence and bioaccumulation also contributed to its high score.
Bifenthrin Bifenthrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide used in both domestic and agricultural settings. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for environmental risk though its score for human health risk is moderately low. Availability for home use and concerns over persistence were also contributing factors to its score. 
Bioresmethrin Bioresmethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide with approval for use in both domestic and agricultural settings. It is categorised in Priority Group A due to its very high score on both human health risk and environmental risk. Approvals for home use was a contributing factor also. 
Brodifacoum Brodifacoum is a vertebrate toxic agent (VTA) targeting mainly rodents and possums. It is used in both domestic and commercial settings. It is categorised in Priority Group B on the basis of its high scoring both for human health risk and the environmental risk. Availability for home use and concern over persistence were contributing factors. 
Bromadiolone Bromadiolone is a vertebrate toxic agent (VTA) used for targeting  rodents.  It is used in both domestic and commercial settings. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high scoring for human health risk though its score for environmental risk was moderately low. Availability for home use and concern over bioaccumulation were contributing factors. 
Carbaryl Carbaryl is an insecticide in the carbamate family. It currently has approvals for use in horticultural settings and in home use veterinary medicines products. It is categorised in Priority Group A due to its very high scoring for both human health risk and environmental risk. Concerns about its degradation pathway in the environment and its availability to domestic users also contributed to the score. 
Carbendazim Carbendazim is a fungicide used for control of fungal diseases in various crops. It also has potential for use on turf in public areas and as a timber treatment. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for human health risk though its score for environmental risk was moderately low. Concerns regarding its persistence also contributed to the score. 
Chloropicrin Chloropicrin is a chlorinated compound used in agricultural settings as a soil fumigant. It is used by licenced professionals to control a range of soil-borne pests. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its high scoring for both human health risk and environmental risk. 
Chlorpyrifos Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide currently approved for commercial use in crops, as a veterinary medicine and as a timber treatment chemical. It is categorised in Priority group B due to its very high score for environmental risk and moderately high score for human health risk. Concerns about its persistence and potential for use in public areas also contributed to the score. 
Cyfluthrin Cyfluthrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide with approvals for use in both domestic and commercial settings. It is categorised in Priority group B due to its very high score for environmental risk and moderately high score for human health.
Cyhalothrin Cyhalothrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide with approvals for commercial use. See 'lambda-cyhalothrin' entry for the more commonly used mixture of isomers. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for environmental risk and moderately high score for human health risk. Concerns about its persistence also contributed to the score. 
Cypermethrin Cypermethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide with approvals for home use products, veterinary medicines, and agricultural products. See the 'alpha-cypermethrin' entry also. It is categorised in Priority Group A due to its very high scoring for both human health risk and environmental risk.  Availability to home users was also a contributing factor to the score. 
Cyproconazole Cyproconazole is a fungicide from the triazole family. It is used on various crops, turf and as a wood preservative. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for human health risk though its score for environmental risk is moderately low. Potential for use in public areas also contributed to its score. 
Deltamethrin Deltamethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide with approvals for home use products, veterinary medicines, and agricultural products. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for environmental risk and high score for human health risk. Availability to home users was also a contributing factor to the score. 
Diazinon Diazinon is an organophosphate compound used as an insecticide. It has currently has time-limited approvals for agricultural and home garden use. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for human health risk and high score for environmental risk. 
Dichlobenil Dichlobenil is a herbicide used for controlling various weeds. It can be used on certain crops and in more general purpose weed control. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for human health risk and high score for environmental risk. Potential exposure in public areas also contributed to the score. 
Dichlorvos Dichlorvos is an organophosphate compound used as an insecticide. It has current approvals for use in various crops and as part of biosecurity insect control. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its high score for both human health risk and environmental risk. 
Diuron Diuron is a herbicide and algicide. It has current approvals for use on crops and for water treatment chemicals. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for human health risk and high score for environmental risk. Concerns about its persistence also contributed to its score. 
Fenitrothion Fenitrothion is an organophosphate compound used as an insecticide. It currently has approvals for insect control uses, although use on crops and pasture is prohibited. It is categorised in Priority Group A due to its very high score for both human health risk and environmental risk. 
Fenthion Fenthion is an organophosphate compound used to treat domestic animals for fleas. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for human health risk and its moderately high score for environmental risk. 
Flocoumafen Flocoumafen is  a vertebrate toxic agent (VTA) used for targeting rodents. It is used in both domestic and commercial settings. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for human health risk and its high score environmental risk. Availability for home use and concerns about bioaccumulation also contributed to its score. 
Flumioxazin Flumioxazin is a herbicide used for weed control. It currently has approval for use in an agricultural setting. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its high score for both human health risk and environmental risk. 
Folpet Folpet is a fungicide for use on certain crops. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its high score for both human health risk and environmental risk. Availability for home use contributed to its score. 
Lambda-cyhalothrin Lambda-cyhalothrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide. It has approvals for both agricultural and domestic uses. It is a specific mixture of cyhalothrin isomers. See 'cyhalothrin' entry also. It is categorised in Priority Group A due to its very high score for both human health risk and environmental risk. 
Maldison Maldison (also known as Malathion) is an organophosphate compound used as an insecticide. It is currently used in agricultural settings. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its high score for both human health risk and environmental risk. 
Oxadiazon Oxadiazon is a herbicide used to control weeds in an agricultural setting. It also used in home garden products. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for both human health risk and environmental risk. Availability for home use also contributed to its score. 
Paraquat Paraquat is a herbicide used mainly in an agricultural setting. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its high score for both human health risk and environmental risk. 
Permethrin Permethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide. It has approvals for use in agriculture, veterinary medicines, timber treatments and home use products. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its high score for environmental risk and its moderately high score for human health risk. Availability for home use also contributed to its score. 
Pirimiphos methyl Pirimiphos-methyl is an organophosphate insecticide. It is used on certain crops and in grain storage. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its high score for both human health risk and environmental risk. 
Propargite Propargite is a pesticide used for controlling mites. It is used mainly in horticultural settings. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for human health risk though its score for environmental risk is moderately low. 
Propoxur Propoxur is an insecticide that is part of the carbamate family. It currently has approvals for home use insect control products, veterinary medicines and agricultural products. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for human health risk though its score for environmental risk is moderately low. 
Tributyltin oxide Tributyltin oxide is a tin containing organic compound. It is mainly used as a timber treatment. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for human health risk and its high score for environmental risk. Concerns over persistence and potential for bioaccumulation also contributed to its score. 
Trifluralin Trifluralin is a fluorine containing herbicide. It is currently used in agricultural settings. It is categorised in Priority Group B due to its very high score for human health risk and its high score for environmental risk. Concerns over persistence and potential for bioaccumulation also contributed to its score.