September 26, 2021

‘The label is the law’: Remember pesticide, chemical safety protocols

Muncie, Ind. — It’s crucial to read labels on pesticides before each application.

Mark Carter, Purdue Extension educator in Delaware County, asked farmers to be cautious each time they apply chemicals, when speaking at the Davis Purdue Ag Center field day.

“Read the label,” he said. “It gives direct information about toxicity, active ingredients, mixing, personal protective equipment, first aid treatment, registration number and special instructions for use. The label is the law.”

According to Environmental Protection Agency, reading the label not only prevents accidents, but it saves money.

• Buy the right product. Read the label to make sure it’s the right product for the job. You’ll save money and frustration.

• Buy the right amount for your needs. Buy only what you need and pass the rest on to someone else who can use it. Some products might not be good if stored for long periods of time. A larger size might not be a good value if you can’t use it all.

• Use the right amount of product for the job. Labels indicate the correct amount to use. Using more than what’s recommended is not better. It wastes the product and the money you’ve spent. In some cases, using more than the recommended amount can hurt people, pets and the environment.

9 Pesticide Tips

The EPA also shared these nine tips for choosing pesticides:

1. Identify the problem.

2. Find the product that solves the problem. All products do not work in every situation. Labels tell you what a product is meant to do and how it should be applied.

3. Pay attention to warnings. Warnings and directions tell you how to use products safely and correctly.

4. Use the product the right way. Product labels tell you how to safely use products for best results.

5. Store products out of the reach of children and pets.

6. Always keep products in original containers.

7. Prevent harm to the environment. Outdoor lawn and garden products that run into ponds, creeks, or other water supplies can contaminate drinking water and kill fish and birds. Apply products according to label directions.

8. Don’t forget about wildlife. Spraying products on a windy day can carry the product into the water supply for wild animals.

9. Follow proper instructions for disposal.

Learn more at www.epa.gov/pesticide-labels.

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor