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February’s National Pesticide Safety Education Month Highlights Nationwide Efforts to Promote Safe Pesticide Use

WESTMINSTER, Colorado – February 1st, 2019 – The second annual National Pesticide Safety Education Month gets underway February 1st, to reinforce core principles of safe handling and use and to raise awareness of and support for the land-grant university Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEPs). The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), American Phytopathological Society (APS) and Entomological Society of America (ESA) are among the many organizations promoting safe handling and use of pesticides and the important role of PSEPs. Pesticide safety is a must, whether the applicator is an unlicensed homeowner or certified in one or more of the federal or state categories of use.

“Every day, educators across the United States are helping individuals apply pesticides in the best way on a variety of sites,” says Lisa Blecker, University of California PSEP coordinator. “PSEPs serve consumers and the pesticide applicator industry, educating on the need for the safe use of pesticides in both the home and workplace,” explains Jon Johnson, Penn State University PSEP coordinator.

“There is a growing need for education on pesticides and proper use, especially newer technologies and how to avoid non-target injury,” observes Cecil Tharp, Montana State University PSEP coordinator. “Understanding all the available pest management tools and making the appropriate decisions are central to Integrated Pest Management,” adds Clyde Ogg, University of Nebraska PSEP coordinator.

“A dedicated National Pesticide Safety Education Month reinforces education before many pesticide users are getting ready to apply pesticides in the spring,” notes Mimi Rose, Ohio State University PSEP coordinator. Gene Merkl, Mississippi State University PSEP coordinator, sums it up – “Following the pesticide label and other pesticide regulations are absolute requirements.”

Visit the National Pesticide Safety Education Month webpage to see how many of the 24 types of pesticides you use, and review basic pesticide safety principles and key safety information from the label. Learn how hazard, toxicity, exposure, and risk management relate to the pesticide label and what to consider when hiring a pest management professional. Score your own pesticide safety practices; visit the website of your state’s Pesticide Safety Education Program, and more.

Organizations interested in becoming a sponsor are encouraged to complete and submit the appropriate sponsor commitment form located on the webpage. Current ‘Adopt-A-PSEP’ sponsors of 2019 National Pesticide Safety Education Month are Syngenta, Tessenderlo Kerley, Inc./NovaSource, and Valent U.S.A. LLC. Current government sponsors are the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

About the Weed Science Society of America
The Weed Science Society of America, a nonprofit scientific society, was founded in 1956 to encourage and promote the development of knowledge concerning weeds and their impact on the environment. The Society promotes research, education and extension outreach activities related to weeds, provides science-based information to the public and policy makers, fosters awareness of weeds and their impact on managed and natural ecosystems, and promotes cooperation among weed science organizations across the nation and around the world. For more information, visit www.wssa.net.

About the American Phytopathological Society
The American Phytopathological Society (APS) is a nonprofit, professional scientific organization. The research of the organization’s slightly less than 5,000 worldwide members advances the understanding of the science of plant pathology and its application to plant health. For more information, visit www.apsnet.org.

About the Entomological Society of America
The Entomological Society of America (ESA) is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has over 7,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry and government. Members are researchers, teachers, extension services personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, research technicians, consultants, students and hobbyists. For more information, visit www.entsoc.org.

Lee Van Wychen
Executive Director of Science Policy
National & Regional Weed Science Societies
[email protected]