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Are You Responsible? Online Quiz Promotes Smart Use of Consumer Home & Garden Pesticides in California

Stewardship Group Offers Gardening Gift as Part of “Apply Responsibly” Public Awareness Campaign to Protect State’s Urban Waterways

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (May 3, 2010) – Want to prove you’re a conscientious gardener and homeowner when it comes to using outdoor insecticides?

Thought so. That’s why an industry stewardship group today announced it has launched a simple online quiz California consumers to test basic knowledge about responsibly applying products commonly used to control outdoor pests.

“This online quiz and gift giveaway represents a fun, easy and we hope effective way to educate Californians with basic information they can use to protect our environment,” said Fred Pearson, chairman of the Urban Pyrethroid Stewardship, an industry alliance promoting the second annual spring “Apply Responsibly” campaign. “There is growing concern about urban runoff into California’s creeks, rivers and other waterways.”

The stewardship group, comprised of leading pesticide industry companies, was established in 2008 with the goal of better informing California consumers about the important link between responsible pesticide use and safeguarding the state’s water and the environment. Last year’s Apply Responsibly effort reached millions of Californians through media, advertising and community partnerships.

“We recognize and appreciate the different options available for controlling pests, including organic methods,” said Pearson. “But for the millions of consumers who choose to use pesticides, it’s absolutely critical they know how to handle, store and dispose of them properly.”

In addition to the online quiz, the stewardship program is promoting Apply Responsibly messages through advertising, public radio underwriting, mainstream media – all aimed at driving people to the web site. The group is also continuing to make informational brochures available to garden clubs, nurseries and any other organization interested in helping raise pesticide awareness among California gardeners and homeowners.

Apply Responsibly reinforces many existing guidelines and established best practices, including, recommendations that consumers:

  • Use, store and dispose of unused pesticides according to the instructions on the product label
  • Never pour any leftover pesticides down the sink, toilet, sewer or storm drain.
  • Don’t stockpile pesticides. Buy only enough for one season
  • Consider ready-to-use pesticides rather than products that need to be mixed if only a small area needs to be treated

In addition to raising awareness about pesticides in general, the program also seeks to educate homeowners and gardeners about “pyrethroids.”

Insecticides with pyrethroids are used to control a wide range of insects that can infest gardens and enter the home. Chances are most consumers are probably using a pyrethroid if they have purchased consumer pesticide products intended to control mosquitoes, caterpillars, ants, spiders, garden worms, wasps, cockroaches, aphids and other insects that threaten plants, home or health.

“Like any other pesticide, those containing pyrethroids should be handled in strict accordance with the label,” said Pearson. “We all lead busy lives, but it is critical we take a moment to follow product instructions and become responsible consumers.”

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