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 August 21, 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 August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

Cadavers, a Teen, and a Medical School Dream

AP (Aug. 21, 2014) Contains graphic content. He's only 17. But Johntrell Bowles has wanted to be a doctor from a young age, despite the odds against him. He was recently the youngest participant in a cadaver program at the Indiana University NW medical school. (Aug. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Families Can Now Ask Twitter To Remove Photos Of Deceased

Families Can Now Ask Twitter To Remove Photos Of Deceased

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) In the wake of a high-profile harassment case, Twitter says family members can ask for photos of dying or dead relatives to be taken down. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Reasons Why Teen Birth Rates Are At An All-Time Low

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A CDC report says birth rates among teenagers have been declining for decades, reaching a new low in 2013. We look at several popular explanations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. 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