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Pesticide Safety Tips
Although pesticides can be useful, they also can be dangerous if used carelessly or not are stored properly. Here are some tips for safer pest control:
The most effective way to reduce risks posed by pesticides is to use non-chemical control methods to reduce or eliminate pest problems. Around the home, such measures include removing sources of food and water (such as leaky pipes) and destroying pest shelters and breeding sites (such as litter and plant debris).
If you decide you must use pesticides, always read the label first and follow the directions to the letter, including all precautions and restrictions.
Don't use products for pests that are not indicated on the label and don't use more pesticide than directed by the label. Don't think that twice the amount will do twice the job.
Use protective measures when handling pesticides as directed by the label, such as wearing impermeable gloves, long pants, and long-sleeve shirts. Change clothes and wash your hands immediately after applying pesticides.
Before applying a pesticide (indoors or outdoors), remove children, their toys, and pets from the area and keep them away until the pesticide has dried or as recommended by the label.
Don't spray outdoors on windy or rainy days. Take precautions to keep the pesticide from drifting or running off into the vegetable garden, pool, or neighbor's yard.
Remove or cover food during indoor applications.
If using a commercial applicator or lawn care service, ask for information about potential risks and safety precautions to take.
Don't buy more pesticides than you will need. If you have leftover pesticides, check with your local government to determine whether your community has a household hazardous waste collection program or other program for disposing of pesticides. If no community program exists, follow label directions and any state or local regulations regarding disposal.
Keep the telephone number of your area Poison Control Center near your telephone: 1-800-222-1222.
Here are some tips to follow if you have children or if children visit your house or yard:
Always store pesticides away from children's reach, in a locked cabinet or garden shed. Child-proof safety latches also may be installed on cabinets and can be purchased at local hardware stores and other retail outlets.
Never transfer pesticides to other containers that children may associate with food or drink.
Never place rodent or insect baits where small children can get to them.
Teach children that "pesticides are poisons" - something they should not touch.
Alert others to the potential hazard of pesticides, especially care givers and grandparents.
IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY, try to determine what the person was exposed to and what part of the body was affected before you take action, since taking the right action is as important as taking immediate action. If the person is unconscious having trouble breathing, or having convulsions, give needed first aid immediately. Call 911.or your local emergency service. If the person does not have these symptoms, contact your local Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. Have the product container with you when you call for assistance - remember to act fast!
General First -Aid Guidelines:
Swallowed poison. Induce vomiting. ONLY if the emergency personnel on the phone tell you to do so. This will depend on what the child has swallowed; some petroleum products or caustic poisons will cause more damage if the victim is made to vomit.
Poison in eye. Eye damage can occur, within minutes with some types of pesticide. If poison splashes into an eye, hold the eyelid open and wash quickly and gently with clean, running water from the tap or a gentle stream from a hose for at least 15 minutes. Do not use eye drops or place chemicals or drugs in the wash water.
Poison on skin. If pesticide splashes on the skin, drench area with water and remove contaminated clothing. Wash skin and hair thoroughly with soap and water. Later, discard contaminated clothing or thoroughly wash it separately from other laundry.
Inhaled poison. Carry or drag victim to fresh air immediately. If you are able to get to the victim because of fumes, immediately contact the Fire Department. Loosen victim's tight clothing. If the victim is blue or has stopped breathing, give artificial respiration (if you know how) and call rescue service for help. Open doors and windows so no one else will be poisoned by fumes.
For more information about pesticides, call the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) toll-free at 1-800-858-7378, 7 days a week (except holidays) 6:30 a.m. - 4:30 pm. (Pacific Time), 9:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. (Eastern Time). You also may write to:
Office Of Pesticide Programs
Communications Services Branch (7506C)
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20460
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