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Pesticide Use & Regulation

The Illinois General Assembly, in the introduction to the Illinois Pesticide Act (415 ILCS 60/1 et seq.) states: "The purpose of this Act is to regulate in the public interest the labeling, distribution, use and application of pesticides as herein defined. 

It is recognized that pesticides are valuable and necessary to Illinois' agricultural production and to the protection of man and his environment from pests, but it is essential to our general health and welfare that they be regulated to prevent adverse effects on man and his environment. 

New pesticides and application methods are continually being synthesized or discovered, which may be valuable for pest control. However, such pesticides may cause unreasonable adverse effects on the environment or may be injurious to animals or man if not properly used. It is, therefore, deemed necessary to provide for the regulation of pesticides."

The Illinois Pesticide Act has evolved over the years to become the comprehensive statute that it is today. In earlier times, five separate Illinois statutes provided for the regulation of various aspects of pesticides and their use in the state. They were listed in Public Act 81-197, the legislative instrument which consolidated them into the present Illinois Pesticide Act in 1979, as follows:

  • An Act in relation to the use and application of 2,4-D and related herbicides, approved July 22, 1959;

  • The Economic Poison Act, approved August 24, 1961;

  • An Act relating to custom or public application of pesticides, to license and regulate such activity, to provide penalties for violation thereof, and to make an appropriation in connection therewith, approved July 21, 1965, as amended;

  • The Pesticide Control Act, approved July 2, 1959;

  • An Act to create an interagency committee on pesticides to study, advise, and recommend any needed legislation concerning pesticides and to approve all proposed rules and regulations pertaining to the labeling, sale, use, or application of pesticides, approved August 9, 1965, as amended.