In the last blog we discussed how the first part of a label is all about telling you “What is it?”, and we found out our jug is Blamo, which has 95% trimethyldeathallzazene. Ok, I am sure that means very little to any of you, so what might your next question be? I know mine is “Is it Dangerous”
“Is it dangerous?”
The EPA requires extensive testing of pesticides and one of the most important pieces of information they look for is the hazard each pesticide might pose. That word hazard is an important one, as it is NOT the same as risk. Hazard represents the possible harm or danger something has. For instance, an alligator can be hazardous, it is strong, has sharp teeth, and could drown someone. The radioactive core left over from the Chernobyl disaster is a hazard, that radiation is extremely harmful. The point is hazard is something that can be defined and DOESN’T change. The same applies to pesticides, they have a definable “hazard” associated with them.
A label will use a “Signal Word” to quickly convey information about the hazard of a pesticide. Some products have such little hazard that there is no signal word at all. Next in line is “Caution”, then slightly more hazard “Warning”, then even more “Danger” and finally “Danger Poison” which always has skull and crossbones associated with it. These are always found on the front of the label in bold letters just below the active ingredients section.
For Blamo we can see that it is Danger Poison, with skull and crossbones next to it. This signifies that this product has a higher hazard associated with it. Now remember, this is simply a description of “hazard”, we will talk about what is needed to be at “risk” in the next blog. So the first page of our label tells us what it is and Is It Dangerous (or it’s possible hazard). Stay tuned all month as we navigate the remaining portions of the label.