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February is National Pesticide Safety Education Month

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The second annual National Pesticide Safety Education Month gets underway during the month of February, to reinforce core principles of safe handling and use and to raise awareness of and support for the land-grant university Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEPs). The Weed Science Society of America, American Phytopathological Society and Entomological Society of America are among the many organizations promoting safe handling and use of pesticides and the important role of PSEPs. Pesticide safety is a must, whether the applicator is an unlicensed homeowner or certified in one or more of the federal or state categories of use.

“Every day, educators across the United States are helping individuals apply pesticides in the best way on a variety of sites,” says Lisa Blecker, University of California PSEP coordinator. “PSEPs serve consumers and the pesticide applicator industry, educating on the need for the safe use of pesticides in both the home and workplace,” explains Jon Johnson, Penn State University PSEP coordinator.

“There is a growing need for education on pesticides and proper use, especially newer technologies and how to avoid non-target injury,” observes Cecil Tharp, Montana State University PSEP coordinator. “Understanding all the available pest management tools and making the appropriate decisions are central to Integrated Pest Management,” adds Clyde Ogg, University of Nebraska PSEP coordinator.

Gene Merkl, Mississippi State University PSEP coordinator, sums it up – “Following the pesticide label and other pesticide regulations are absolute requirements.”

Visit the National Pesticide Safety Education Month webpage to see how many of the 24 types of pesticides you use, and review basic pesticide safety principles, and key safety information from the label. Learn how hazard, toxicity, exposure, and risk management relate to the pesticide label and what to consider when hiring a pest management professional. Score your own pesticide safety practices; visit the website of your state’s Pesticide Safety Education Program, and more.

Organizations interested in becoming a sponsor are encouraged to complete and submit the appropriate sponsor commitment form located on the webpage

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