The month of February is National Pesticide Safety Education Month. To celebrate that, the blogs this month are highlighting the various people and organizations working in this area. So far we have focused on the professional applicator side of pesticides. The US Environmental Protection Agency also seeks to inform the public at large through the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC).
The EPA has a cooperative agreement with Oregon State University to house and run NPIC. This is a clearing house for science-based information related to a host of pesticide related issues. In addition to sharing information about pesticides, NPIC works to collect data as well about pesticide incidents. These data are important for tracking training efforts around safety. In addition incident data can help push for a change in a label or in personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance.
The NPIC website has information about pest ID, fact sheets about pesticide hygiene, contact information for medical professionals, as well as historical reviews of pesticides. There are articles discussing the different types of pesticides and many important definitions. These resources are targeted to the public, easily digestible, and rooted in the data EPA collects. As someone who works as a professional in pesticide safety, I use these resources as well.
They also have a toll free number for anyone that has more questions. The staff that answer the phones are extremely knowledgeable and able to quickly provide guidance and support. If they are not able to directly answer a pesticide related question, they have a large resource of contacts to get people to the right place. For more information about the National Pesticide Information Center check out their website and see all the ways they are helping during National Pesticide Safety Education Month
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National Pesticide Information Center – http://npic.orst.edu/
Pesticide Stewardship – https://pesticidestewardship.org/national-pesticide-safety-education-month/