DEP Calls for Residents to Use Caution When Applying Pesticides
Commercial Applicators to Notify Public Before Large-Scale
(04/48) Trenton -- With
an increase in landscape and gardening activities this spring
and summer, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today urged New Jersey's
residents to use caution when applying pesticides, and reminded
commercial applicators to provide the public advance notice
before undertaking large-scale pesticide applications and
to notify homeowners on request for small-scale applications.
"Widespread indiscriminate use of
pesticides can be harmful to people and to the environment,"
said Commissioner Campbell. "I encourage all residents
to apply pesticides sparingly and explore non-chemical alternatives
Pesticides can be beneficial, but they
can also pose risks to human health and the environment
if improperly handled. The risk to human health can result
from several sources: direct exposure through improper use,
residual pesticides on food, and release into the environment
from improper storage or disposal. Children and infants
are particularly susceptible to pesticide exposure.
The effects of exposure to pesticides include
poisoning, eye damage, disruption of the endocrine/hormone
system, and respiratory ailments. Numerous studies have
linked cancer and asthma to pesticide exposure.
Commissioner Campbell also stressed that homeowners should
check the credentials of professional pesticide applicators
to ensure that they have valid DEP-issued licenses for both
the pesticide applicator and the business. Applicators for
weed, termite and household pest controls are licensed through
the department's Pesticide Control Program and are required
to carry a license when applying pesticides.
For large-scale outdoor pesticide use, such as for gypsy
moth or mosquito control, DEP requires the pesticide applicators
to place one legal advertisement and one prominent display
advertisement in two newspapers circulated in the proposed
target area at least seven days before the scheduled application
date. Commercial pesticide applicators also are required
to give an individual advance notice of a pesticide application
if that individual requests it of the applicator. Sign posting
on lawns and at public buildings is also required when pesticides
are being used.
Some pesticides can also harm plants. A common pesticide
called Clopyralid can stunt the growth of certain plants
such as tomato, sunflower and bean plants. Clopyralid has
been detected in mulch or compost made from grass clippings.
Homeowners are urged not to recycle their grass clippings
for mulch if they use herbicide products containing Clopyralid.
Also, homeowners should not offer grass clippings containing
Clopyralid to municipalities for use as mulch.
Residents who suspect pesticide misapplication should call
DEP's Bureau of Pesticide Compliance at 609-984-6568 (during
off-hours, any suspected environmental violations should
be reported to DEP's 24-hour hotline at 1-877-927-6337).
For a pesticide health emergency, call the New Jersey Poison
Information System at 1-800-222-1222.
DEP posts information on the use of Integrated Pest Management
(IPM) practices that provide homeowners with effective and
economical alternatives to routine pesticide spraying. Through
IPM, a combination of pest management methods can be used
including biological controls, barriers and simple household
remedies like the application of a soap and water solution.
For more information, visit the DEP Pesticide Control Program's