Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Household pesticide labels lack details on safe use

Date:
April 14, 2010
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Label directions for using some household pesticides are written in a way that may leave consumers with the impression that "if a little is good, more is better," according to a new study. As a result, consumers may use excessive amounts of pesticides that could subject family members and pets to increased exposures.

Labels on moth balls and other household pesticides don’t provide enough information on safe use, researchers say.
Credit: Michael Bernstein, American Chemical Society

Label directions for using some household pesticides are written in a way that may leave consumers with the impression that "if a little is good, more is better," according to a study presented March 22 at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS). As a result, consumers may use excessive amounts of pesticides that could subject family members and pets to increased exposures.

In the study, Linda M. Hall, Ph.D., and colleagues found that minimum and maximum doses are clearly listed on labels for agricultural pesticides. Labels for a household pesticide such as para-dichlorobenzene mention the minimum amount for consumers to use, but don't indicate the maximum amount to be used. Para-dichlorobenzene (pDCB) is the active ingredient in mothballs and other products used to protect silk, wool, and other natural fibers against moths and beetles; caged birds against lice and mites; and for mildew prevention. Hall is with the California Environmental Protection Agency,

"Recently several national studies have shown that minority groups including African-Americans and Hispanics are likely to have elevated blood levels of a variety of indoor air pollutants," Hall said. "Very important among these indoor air pollutants is pDCB, the moth ball ingredient. All uses of pDCB in California are residential. Therefore, it is important that labels clearly define conditions for safe use by untrained residential consumers."

Their review of pDCB labels found that manufacturers specify a minimum rate of application (such as ounces or pounds per cubic foot of storage space) and a minimum treatment time, but no information on the maximum amount for safe use. "While this label sets conditions to protect against the pest insects, it allows consumers to follow the old adage, 'if a little is good, more is better'! Thus, there is no limit on the amount that may be used per cubic foot of storage space. This might account, in part, for the high levels of pDCB seen among some consumers."

Likewise, the study found that labels on moth control products specify a minimum treatment time, typically advising that clothing be treated in a closed container for 7 days. However, labels do not specify a minimum airing procedure to dissipate the pesticide that has seeped into the fabric.

"Thus, the consumer, following label instructions, might take clothing saturated with pDCB fumes directly from storage and wear it immediately," Hall said. "Because no airing conditions are specified, consumers who find the pDCB odor unpleasant and do air clothing, might air it indoors, further contributing to human exposure to this substance."

Hall said the public should be aware of the limitations of current label instructions in order to use pDCB products in ways that minimize exposures.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Household pesticide labels lack details on safe use." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322131419.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2010, April 14). Household pesticide labels lack details on safe use. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322131419.htm
American Chemical Society. "Household pesticide labels lack details on safe use." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100322131419.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A 19-year-old computer science student has been arrested in relation to a data breach of 900 social insurance numbers from Canada's revenue agency. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins