Pesticides in the Home...
Pesticides in the Home
These items are valuable for home and yard maintenance. However, most pesticides are inherently toxic. Misuse, especially when products are used in inappropriate applications or quantities, can cause illness, injury, and even death.
Unintentional poisonings can happen to anyone, at any time, in many situations. Unintentional poisonings, however, can be prevented. Following label directions for all products, including medication dosages and proper storage of potentially toxic products, are important precautions to heed.
Some products, such as medicines, are easily recognized as a potential source of poisonings, but others may not be as obvious. Many common household products are pesticides. A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or mitigating any pest. Pests include insects, mice and other animals, unwanted plants (weeds), fungi, or microorganisms like bacteria and viruses.
Some people assume that, because most households use pesticides that are available at retail outlets and can be purchased by anyone, pesticides are “safe” to use. This is not necessarily the case. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates pesticides, does not allow pesticide product manufacturers to make safety claims.
Considering the risk inherent in misusing pesticides, it is troubling that annual surveys show that only one out of four American consumers read pesticide product labels which contain important use and emergency care information.
Household products that are classified as pesticides include:
sanitizers, and air fresheners for the kitchen, laundry room, and bathroom
Cockroach sprays and
Insect repellents for
Rat and other rodent
Flea and tick sprays,
powders, and pet collars
Products that kill mold
Some lawn and garden
products, such as weed killers and fertilizers
Some swimming pool and
hot tub chemicals