Blogs 1-4 of “Parts of the Pesticide Label” covered personal safety, “How Do I Protect Myself?” At this point many are ready to start using the pesticide, I mean “hey I’m safe, let’s go!” That is all well and good, but our responsibility goes beyond ourselves, we must protect others. These others include people AND the environment, or “How Do I Protect Everything Else?”.
Staying with our Blamo label we see a small section directly after User Safety titled “Environmental Hazards”. It discusses possible toxicity to aquatic invertebrates and says not to get it in water. However, right after that it describes how to put it in WATER??? How can this be. We will discuss some of that in a later blog…for now they are trying to say keep it out of water UNLESS you are using it for specific purposes in the water in a very specific way.
Another label “Whamo” discusses toxicity to wildlife and possible damage to non-target plants. Additionally it provides physical and chemical hazards that should be noted to safely store this product.
Another example of a label with “Blasto” discusses water toxicity again, but now adds a section on pollinator (bee) safety. Blasto also has a Physical/Chemical Hazard section.
No two labels will ever be identical, the information contained within will vary greatly, but what doesn’t change is HOW it is organized. I often come across folks that want to “memorize” the label, which while possibly impressive, is a bad idea. Labels change, and as such your memory might be wrong. Furthermore, you need to read the label Before You Buy AND Before You Use EVERY TIME! You don’t need to memorize the content, but you can memorize HOW it is organized to quickly reference the information you need at the time.
With all those Environmental Hazard statements combined with the information we looked at earlier, it can seem confusing, but hopefully the logic of how its organized makes sense. We have now accomplished two important things thus far in our labels (and every label will be organized this way). We have:
- Protected ourselves
- Protected others and the environment
We have completed the Safety portion of the label, no small task. Next week things get exciting as we move into an entirely different focus on our label.