Pesticide Information Leaflets for Pesticide Applicators

The Pesticide Information Leaflets (PIL) series addresses various topics of interest ranging from general information to specific topics of concern. This page presents the current list of PILS that are appropriate for pesticide applicators.

No. 4: Pesticide Emergancy and Non-Emergency Information and Resources. Rev. June 2012. 3 pp.

Pesticide users, consumers, and others have questions about pesticides. This leaflet provides telephone numbers and websites to access knowledgeable sources on these issues.

No. 7: Cholinesterase Testing. Rev. 2011. 3 pp.

Cholinesterase is an enzyme necessary for proper nerve impulse transmission. If the amount of this enzyme is reduced below a critical level, nerve impulses to the muscles can no longer be controlled, resulting in serious consequences and even death. Two classes of insecticides, the organophosphates and the carbamates, act as cholinesterase inhibitors; that is, they reduce the amount of cholinesterase available for the body's use. This leaflet explains how to have your cholinesterase level tested.

No. 8: Factors Affecting Groundwater Contamination. June 2012. 3 pp.

Groundwater is the source of water for wells and springs. It fills spaces between particles of soil or cracks in bedrock. The factors that affect the likelihood of groundwater contamination are discussed in this leaflet.

No. 9: Protecting Groundwater from Pesticides. Rev. April 2012. 3 pp.

Once thought to be safe from contamination, groundwater is now a threatened resource. Pesticide users, from commercial operators treating large acreages to homeowners treating their lawns, can take the protective measures discussed in this leaflet to prevent contamination of our water resources.

No. 10: Using Insect Repellents Safely. Rev. June 2012. 6 pp.

Historically, insect repellents have been used against mosquitoes, blackflies, and other annoying pests. Increasing concern about Lyme disease, transmitted by the deer tick, and West Nile Virus, transmitted by mosquitoes, has resulted in a corresponding increase in the use of repellents. This leaflet explains how to use available products in the safest manner.

No. 11: Pesticide Safe Use Checklist. Rev. May 2013. 3 pp.

Pesticides are designed to be toxic to the pests they control, but may also pose potential hazards to humans, especially if not used with proper care. This leaflet provides a checklist of safe practices to be used in conjunction with the label directions anytime you plan to use a pesticide.

No. 13: Disposal of Pesticide Containers. Rev. June 2012. 2 pp.

Pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc.) are designed to be toxic. Improper disposal of pesticides or their containers can lead to environmental contamination and may incur both civil and criminal penalties. This leaflet explains how to properly prepare empty pesticide containers for disposal.

No. 14: Pesticide Record Keeping Requirements in Maryland. Rev. April 2012. 4 pp.

Certified private and commercial applicators are required to maintain records of all pesticides they apply. Although there are some differences between the state and federal regulations, complying with the Maryland law satisfies requirements under both laws. This leaflet outlines the basic responsibilities that pertain to these laws and regulations.

No. 16: Handling Pesticide Spills. Rev. April 2013. 5 pp.

Everyone who uses pesticides needs a plan for dealing with pesticides spills. Performing the evaluations in this guide and following the risk reduction recommendations will help you avoid spills when possible and manage spills appropriately if they occur.

No. 18: Pesticide Applicator Checklist. Rev. May 2013. 6 pp.

Improper use of pesticides can lead to human health effects and contamination of our environment. This leaflet will help you develop a list of things to work on that will ensure your use of pesticide is legal, cost effective, and as safe as possible.

No. 26: Comparing Symptoms of Heat Stress and Pesticide Poisoning. Rev. June 2013. 3 pp.

When a pesticide user becomes ill while working with organophosphate or carbamate pesticides in a hot environment, determining whether the handler is suffering from heat exhaustion or pesticide poisoning can be confusing. This leaflet compares and contrasts these two possible causes of serious illness.

No. 27: Understanding Pesticides. Rev. May 2013. 2 pp.

This leaflet explains what pesticides are and offers a brief discussion of their regulation, risks and benefits, and responsible use.

No. 28: How to Read a Pesticide Label. Rev. June 2013. 9 pp.

The pesticide label is a legal document, and it is a violation of the law to use a pesticide in any manner inconsistent with the label. This leaflet explains how the pesticide label is derived and arranged, and helps the reader interpret the information presented on the label.

No. 29: How to Read a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Rev. June 2013. 6 pp.

The MSDS provides information about a product's composition, physical and chemical properties and hazards, toxicological information, and first aid procedures. This leaflet explains how the MSDS is derived and arranged, and helps the reader interpret the information contained in the MSDS.

No. 35: Synopsis of the Maryland Pesticide Applicators Law and Regulations. Rev. June 2012. 8 pp.  

This leaflet presents an abridged version of the Maryland regulations governing the use, sale, storage, and disposal of pesticides; certification of pesticide applicators; and other matters under the enforcement authority of the Maryland Department of Agriculture. The leaflet is not intended as a substitute for the actual regulations.

No. 37: Section 25(b) Pesticides: Minimum Risk? Rev. July 2012. 4 pp.

In 1996, EPA exempted certain pesticides, considered to pose minimum risk to humans and the environment, from the requirement to be reviewed and registered prior to sale and use, provided the products satisfy certain conditions. This publication explains the conditions associated with minimum risk pesticides, provides links to lists of active and inert ingredients currently accepted for this classification, and discusses the concerns held by many pesticide educators and state regulators.

No. 39: Pesticide Storage and Security. Rev. June 2012. 5 pp.

Concerns about pesticide security include the potential for human injury, environmental harm, vandalism or theft with possible misuse of products, and, unfortunately, the potential for use by terrorists and saboteurs. This leaflet describes general good storage practices as well as considerations to prevent theft and/or accidental exposure from storage areas.

No. 40: Pesticide Regulatory Information Resources on the Internet. Rev. August 2013. 2 pp.  

This leaflet provides internet resources on the laws dealing with pesticide regulation and associated regulations and policies. Two basic laws, the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA), define how pesticides may be registered, sold, used, transported, stored, and disposed of in the U.S. Additional laws address specific concerns such as safety of pesticide workers (the Worker Protection Standard), protections for endangered species (the Endangered Species Act), and other issues.

No. 41: Mode of Action of Structural Pest Control Chemicals. Rev. August 2013. 8 pp.  

This leaflet reviews physiological processes important in the insect and human systems and presents common modes of action for insecticides and rodenticides used by structural pest control operators.

No. 42: Mode of Action of Landscape Insecticides and Miticides. Rev. August 2013. 9 pp.

This leaflet reviews physiological processes important in the insect and human systems and presents common modes of action for insecticides and miticides used by landscapers. To understand how pesticides work, it is necessary to understand how the pests’ targeted systems normally function. It is also helpful to understand how human systems function in order to see similarities and differences between humans and the pests we try to control. Another reason it is important to understand the modes of action of the pesticides we use is to prevent development of pesticide resistance in the target pest(s).

No. 43: Mode of Action of Insecticides and Related Pest Control Chemicals for Production Agriculture, Ornamentals, and Turf. Rev. August 2013. 13 pp.

This leaflet reviews physiological processes important in the insect and human systems and presents common modes of action for insecticides and miticides used by growers of agricultural and ornamental commodities. To understand how pesticides work, it is necessary to understand how the pests’ targeted systems normally function. It is also helpful to understand how human systems function in order to see similarities and differences between humans and the pests we try to control. Another reason it is important to understand the modes of action of the pesticides we use is to prevent development of pesticide resistance in the target pest(s).

No. 44: Research Results from the Agricultural Health Study. Rev. February 2011. 7 pp.

The Agricultural Health Study is a long-term project examining health outcomes for pesticide applicators and their spouses. This leaflet provides highlights of the study.

No. 46: First Aid for Pesticide Emergencies. May 2013. 3 pp.

Pesticide exposures require immediate care. This leaflet provides basic first aid information that can be used alongside specific instructions on pesticide labels and from health care professionals.