Analysis of the interaction of pesticides and their metabolites with the cellular proteins has drawn considerable attention in past several years to understand the effect of pesticides on environment and mankind. In this study, we have investigated the binding interaction of Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA) with a widely used organophosphorous insecticide chlorpyrifos (CPF), and its stable metabolite, 3,5,6-trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCPy) to provide a comparative analysis of the two molecules by employing various spectroscopic techniques viz., UV–vis absorption, Circular Dichroism (CD), and Fluorescence spectroscopy. The fluorescence quenching studies of BSA emission in two different solvents viz., water and methanol in presence of CPF and TCPy have led to the revelation of several interesting facts about the pesticide-protein interaction. It has been found that both the molecules cause static quenching of BSA emission as seen from the Stern-Volmer constant (Ksv) irrespective of the solvent used for the analysis. While TCPy is a stronger quencher in water, it exhibits comparable quenching capacity with CPF in methanol. The solvent dependent differential binding interaction of the two molecules finally indicates possibility of diverse bio-distribution of the pesticides within human body. The UV–vis and CD spectra of BSA in presence of the test molecules have unravelled that the molecules formed ground state complex that are highly reversible in nature and have minimal effect on the protein secondary structure. Furthermore it is also understood that structural changes of BSA in presence of CPF is significantly higher compared to that in presence of TCPY. © 2017 Elsevier Inc.