This article focuses on the use and regulation of eight toxic pesticides in agricultural production in China. The pesticides are bifenthrin, chlorpyrifus, diazinon, dimethoate, methidathion, omethoate, phosmet and phosphamidon. These pesticides pose widely recognised public health risks in China. So far as we know, the article is the first article in English ever to treat these pesticides systematically from the standpoint of the regulation of risks to human beings and to the environment. Adopting perspectives from public health, economic sociology and law, the article considers the principal characteristics of these pesticides, the main health risks associated with their use in agricultural production and how these pesticides in agricultural production are currently regulated in Chinese law. It identifies a series of policy implications and makes specific policy recommendations concerning risk regulation of these eight pesticides.