The Rural Agricultural Development Authority sees the necessity in notifying farmers and the general public of the proper uses of pesticides.
See below useful information that can greatly assist in the employment of good agricultural practices and pesticides management.
Understanding the Pesticide Label
The use of pesticides has become an indispensable factor of agricultural production. Nearly all pesticides are toxic and can be potentially dangerous to humans if exposure is excessive. Pesticides however, can be used safely. Information on this is contained in the manufacturer’s label.
Pesticide labels can be defined as visual aid and support for concise, practical, easy-understood information on the procedure for using product and for protecting the user and the environment from risk of accident.
By law, certain kinds of information must appear on a pesticide label and applicators have the legal responsibility to read, understand and follow the label directions.
‘Keep out of reach of children’ precaution statementisrequired to be on all pesticide containers. Accidental poisonings and deaths can be prevented by observing this precaution.
Pesticide labels should contain/satisfy the following:
- Product name(or pesticide product) is the pesticide active ingredient(s) and other components, in the form in which it is packaged and sold.
- Type of pesticideThe label must indicate what type of pesticide the product is or what types of pests it will control. For example insecticide, fungicide, herbicide, rodenticide etc.
- Signal word: indicates the toxicity of the product and describes the acute (short-term) toxicity of the formulated pesticide product. The signal word can be either: DANGER, WARNING or CAUTION.
- Active ingredient(common or chemical name)means the biologically active part of the pesticide. Many different pesticides will contain the same active ingredient. By purchasing pesticides according to the common or chemical name you will be sure you are getting the right active ingredient no matter what the trade name or formulation is.
- Pesticide formulation is the mixture of chemicals which effectively controls a pest. Example of formulations are: Wettable Powder (WP), Granules (G), Baits (B), Emulsifiable concentrate (EC) among others.
- Precautionary statements: identify potential hazards and recommend ways that the risks can be minimized or avoided e.g. "Hazards to Humans and Domestic Animals," "Environmental Hazards," and "Physical or Chemical Hazards."
- First aid information: indicates what should be done if the product accidentally contacts eyes, mouth, skin, or is inhaled or ingested.
- Personal protective equipment (PPE): Indicates what protective clothing should be worn when handling and applying the product.
- Directions for use: tells how and where the product can be used. It tells the user how much is okay? Pesticide labels will list the days-to-harvest or preharvest interval (PHI), which is the minimum number of days between the last pesticide application and crop harvest. The pesticide is degraded during PHI so that pesticide residues, if present, will be at levels below tolerances established
10. Storage and disposal: Indicates how the product should be stored and what should be done with leftovers.
11. Manufacturer's contact information: Indicate how the manufacturer can be contacted.
Tips to remember when using pesticides
- Always read the label carefully to ensure that the product is intended for your specific use.
- Do not make assumption that the pesticide can be use on any crop.
- Use of higher than recommended dose rate can waste money and may harm people and the environment. It may not provide better control and can be even less effective.
- Buy only what you need. Storing and disposing of leftover pesticides can lead to unnecessary risks.
- Read the label over before using pesticide instead of relying on your memory. Using pesticides in accordance with the label recommendations ensures safety of our food and environment.
Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA)
Technology, Training and Technical Information Division (TTTI)
Kingston 6, Jamaica, West Indies