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Using Antimicrobial Pesticides

ntimicrobial pesticide products contain one or more of about 300 different active ingredients. Manufacturers market these in several formulations such as sprays, liquids, concentrated powders, and gases. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) maintains a list of current, registered pesticides that includes more than eight thousand antimicrobial products. However, nearly half of these are public health products, used to control microorganisms that are infectious to humans. The DPR Microbial Pest Control category does not include antimicrobial pesticide uses covered by the Health Related Pest Control category (Category K). Instead, this category covers all of the non-health related uses of these materials. Category K includes the use of pesticides in official programs for the management and control of pests having medical and public health importance. A

The DPR licensing/certification Category P spans several occupational settings. Unlike other DPR licensing/certification categories, these various occupational set- tings generally have no relationship to each other except for the use of antimicrobial pesticides.

Normally, if you are responsible for controlling microbial pests in the settings under pest control Category P as part of your employment, you most likely spend most of your time on other job duties that probably have nothing to do with manag- ing microbial pests. The common expectations when using antimicrobial pesticides are to handle and use them carefully and responsibly to prevent accidents and avoid injuries to yourself and others.

About one-third of the pesticide illnesses re- ported annually in California are associated with antimicrobial pesticide use. Most of these reported illnesses or injuries involve individuals who actually apply these pesticides. Examples of such illnesses or injuries include accidentally splashing materials into the eyes, developing a rash or burn on unpro- tected skin from caustic substances, or suffering respiratory problems by inhaling vapors from an antimicrobial product. In some cases, repeated over-exposure to certain antimicrobial pesticides may cause chronic health problems.

Learning the pesticide handling, application, safety, and emergency methods described in this manual helps you protect yourself, other employees, the public, and the environment from hazards associated with improper antimicrobial pesticide use. This manual provides the important information you need to know in order to handle and apply these materials legally.

USING ANTIMICROBIAL PESTICIDES

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