EPA Celebrates National Pesticide Safety Education Month

This original announcement was published by the EPA on February 4, 2021. Click here for more information.

During the month of February, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) celebrates National Pesticide Safety Education Month to raise awareness for pesticide safety education and share best practices for using pesticides safely in and around your home.

Reading the label every time you use a pesticide is key to ensuring you are using the pesticide correctly and keeping yourself and your family safe. EPA assesses the risks and benefits of all pesticides sold and distributed in the United States and requires instructions on each pesticide label for how to use the pesticide safely.

Here are more tips to follow for all pesticides:

  • Store pesticides in their original containers with proper labels.
  • Store pesticides out of the reach of children and pets, preferably locked up.
  • Use the amount specified on the label. Using more will not be more effective and may harm you, your loved ones and the environment.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after using a pesticide.
  • Wash clothes that have been in contact with pesticides immediately and separately from other items.
  • Don’t let children and pets enter sprayed areas while they are still wet.
  • Keep pesticides away from food and dishes.

Did you know disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) are pesticides regulated by EPA? As consumers, it’s easy to forget that common household products like antimicrobials, weed killers and insect repellents are pesticides and should be used with proper precautions.

EPA supports projects like the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) to educate pesticide applicators, handlers and farmworkers on working safely with, and around, pesticides. NPIC has been a useful resource to consumers especially during the COVID-19 public health emergency in developing bilingual disinfectant safety materials and providing guidance to the public on how to use EPA’s List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus.

National Pesticide Safety Education Month also recognizes the efforts of land-grant Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEPs) as they teach pesticide safety across the country to reach workers and special communities. Through a cooperative agreement with the eXtension Foundation, EPA supports the work of PSEPs to provide workshops and educational tools to approximately 869,000 certified pesticide applicators in a variety of languages and help them meet certification requirements. An additional 2 million people are reached through pesticide safety education programs, including pesticide educators, farm workers and inner-city and rural communities.

Learn more today about pesticide safety by visiting https://www.epa.gov/pesticides.