FEATURE/Tips for safe use of pesticides offered by Ohio Pest Control Association.
While a potential threat in the hands of a child, pesticides can be harmless to a trained exterminator or a careful homeowner who follows certain basic safety rules.
The Ohio Pest Control Association (OPCA), a professional organization of state-licensed firms dedicated to the elimination of household pests, offers the following suggestions for handling pesticides safely:
1. Be sure you really need a pesticide. Some ant and fly problems, for example, can be controlled with good sanitation. Keep your kitchen clean. Don't leave dirty dishes in the sink, especially overnight. Keep garbage in tightly-closed containers. Make sure screens fit tightly on windows.
2. If you do need a pesticide, select the right one. Any OPCA member will offer free advice, even by telephone, regarding your particular pest problem. You can also contact Ohio State University's Cooperative Extension Service. If you have a question about a specific pesticide or a branded product, the Chemical Referral Center at 1-800-262-8200 will help.
3. Read the pesticide label carefully before using, and never apply more than the label specifies. All pesticides are registered for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). But their safe use depends on following directions.
4. All pesticide labels say, "Keep Out of Reach of Children." But not every householder does. The EPA reports that most pesticide poisonings involve children under the age of 5. Never transfer a pesticide to a container that would attract children, such as a soft-drink bottle. It's best to store pesticides under lock in their original containers, away from food or dishes.
5. Pesticides that require protective clothing should be applied only by trained pest control applicators. But if you spill a pesticide on your skin, wash with soap and water immediately.
6. If a spray or fog is used, vacate the premises for at least the time period suggested by the applicator. Some solvents used in pesticides leave odors which are unpleasant, but these smells are rarely toxic. Air out your home if an odor remains.
7. If someone feels sick after using a pesticide, call your local poison control center, your doctor or your local hospital immediately. Keep on hand a bottle of Syrup of Ipecac, which induces vomiting, but do not use Ipecac unless told by your poison control center or physician.
The Ohio Pest Control Association notes that pesticides have helped remove disease-carrying elements from our gardens and homes and improved our quality of life. When used and stored properly, they benefit all of us.
Note: To interview an expert on pesticides in your area, please
call Art Merims at 216/522-1909.
CONTACT: Art Merims Communications, Cleveland
Art Merims, 216/522-1909
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|Date:||May 15, 1996|
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