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State of California Department of Pesticide Regulation - page 25 / 104





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What Are Pesticides?

“A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling, or miti- gating any insects, rodents, nematodes, fungi, or weeds, or any other forms of life declared to be pests; and any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulato , defoliant, or desiccant.”

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)

esticides are chemicals designed to control or eliminate pests. Manufacturers produce most pesticides through complicated chemical processes, although some materials used to manufacture pesticides occur naturally (such as sulfur). A few pesticides are products not commonly thought of as pest control agents or pesticides, such as chlorine, household disinfectants, mosquito repellents, and plant growth regulators. P

The intended use of a chemical or material determines its classification as a pes- ticide. For example, under federal law, sulfur dioxide gas is a pesticide when wine makers use it to sanitize wooden wine barrels and wine bottle corks, but not when producers use it as a food or beverage preservative. Some agricultural producers use pure sulfur dust to control powdery mildew or other pests on their crops, but they may also use the same material as a soil amendment, in which case it is not considered a pesticide. A substance meets the legal definition of a pesticide when used to control pests, so it must be registered and legally labeled for this purpose.

All materials used in California for controlling microbial pests must undergo federal and state registration and their containers or packaging must bear registered, approved pesticide labels. In fact, federal and state laws prohibit the commercial use of any material for the specific purpose of controlling pests if that material does not bear a legal pesticide label. Therefore, wine producers cannot sanitize wooden wine



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