Pesticide Safety and Regulations

Pesticide Disclaimer

The USER is always responsible for the effects of pesticide residues, as well as for problems that could arise from drift or movement of the pesticides from his property to that of others. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. Follow all directions, precautions, and restrictions that are listed. Do not use pesticides on plants or sites that are not listed on the label.

The pesticide rates in referenced articles and publications are recommended only if they are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency and your state Department of Agriculture. If a registration is changed or canceled, any uses listed on this web site are no longer recommended. Before you apply any pesticide, fungicide or herbicide, check with your Cooperative Extension agent for the latest information.

Trade names are used on this web site only to give specific information for educational purposes. This site does not endorse or guarantee any product and does not recommend one product instead of another that might be similar.

When used as recommended on their labels, pesticides are safe to the user and environment. However, all pesticides are poisonous (at least to the target pest) and, if misused, they may be hazardous to man and animals and may also contribute to the pollution of the environment.

Before using any pesticide, read the label in its entirety. Note any special precautions, such as the necessity of wearing special protective clothing when applying the chemical, and possible phytotoxic reactions. Follow all safety precautions set forth on the label.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Safety Tips

  • Risk = toxicity x exposure. By simply reducing exposure, you reduce risk.
  • Become familiar with the use of a pesticide before using it. Know its toxicity and the necessary precautions for its safe use.
  • Where product labels specify wearing personal protection equipment (PPE), do so and keep all safety equipment such as face masks, respirators and protective clothing clean, on hand and in good working order.
  • Mix pesticides in a well-ventilated area or outdoors. Avoid contact with skin, and do not breathe vapors.
  • Much of the potential exposure to pesticides comes through your skin and hands. Wear rubber gloves when handling. Rinse the gloves before you take them off. Then wash your hands thoroughly. “Rubber Glove Zone” decals, booklets and videotapes are available from: NACA 1155 15th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20005.
  • Where product labels specify, do not re-enter treated areas unprotected until the re-entry interval specified on the product label has passed. Post Do Not Enter signs.
  • Cleanup is an important part of the application operation.
  • Do not save used pesticide containers. Dispose of old containers properly.
  • Handle clothing contaminated with pesticide with rubber gloves. Garments saturated with full strength liquid concentrate should be discarded. Launder clothing immediately after each day’s use. Keep contaminated clothing separate from other garments. Pre-rinse contaminated clothing. Wash it separately in hot water. Use the full or normal water level and small loads. Use the recommended amount of heavy-duty liquid detergent with oil-removing abilities. Line dry the garments. Run an empty load after washing contaminated clothing and clean the washing machine thoroughly. Use disposable protective clothing and equipment whenever possible when handling pesticides.

Avoiding groundwater contamination

Many of the agricultural chemicals identified in contaminated groundwater have been herbicides. However, surface runoff water contamination has been reported for Texas communities resulting from certain imported fire ant treatments. Landscapers must take precautions to minimize the leaching of chemicals. Precision application to the root zone and controlled irrigation for as long as possible after treatment should reduce leaching.

Pesticides must be stored away from water supplies and wells. If available, use returnable, recyclable containers. Install a back siphon or back-flow device on the water line to keep fertilizer or pesticide from siphoning back down the pipe used to bring water from the aquifer.

In addition, do everything possible to eliminate runoff which can carry fertilizers and pesticides into groundwater.

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