Online Quiz Promotes Smart Use of Consumer Home & Garden Pesticides in California

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

Gardeners and homeowners can take a quiz at www.applyresponsibly.org to learn more about protecting their water and environment. By passing the quiz, consumers will receive a free gardening gift.

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.

Most gardeners and homeowners want to be conscientious when it comes to using outdoor insecticides.

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

“This online quiz and free 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, blogs and social networking – all aimed at driving people to the http://www.applyresponsibly.org 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
  •     For small treatment areas, consider a ready-to-use pesticide instead of one that needs to be mixed

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.”

ABOUT APPLY RESPONSIBLY
“Apply Responsibly” is a public awareness program funded by the Urban Pyrethroid Stewardship.
Through http://www.applyresponsibly.org and educational materials, the industry alliance promotes the responsible use, storage and disposal of insecticides commonly used in the garden and outside home as a way to help protect California’s water and environment. The following companies are members of the Stewardship: AMVAC Chemical; Bayer CropScience; Cheminova, Inc.; DuPont Crop Protection; FMC Corporation; Syngenta Crop Protection; and Valent BioSciences Corporation.

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Stevan Allen

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