DEP Calls for Residents
to Limit Pesticide Use to Minimize Health Risks and Environmental
Commercial Applicators to Notify Public Before Large-Scale
(03/66) TRENTON - In anticipation
of increased landscape and gardening activities this spring
and summer, Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP)
Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today urged New Jersey's
residents to use pesticides sparingly and reminded commercial
applicators of their obligation to provide the public advance
notice before large-scale pesticide applications.
"Homeowners and licensed applicators
need to protect themselves and the environment from pesticide
misuse and overexposure," said Commissioner Campbell.
"I encourage all residents to explore alternative pest
control measures that are not only safe, but also help New
Jersey minimize the contribution of pesticides to water
Although pesticides can be beneficial,
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.
Through the pesticide web link pcpnj.org
accessible from its homepage www.nj.gov/dep,
DEP posts information on the use of Integrated Pest Management
(IPM) practices that provide homeowners 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.
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,
as well as required liability insurance for pesticide use.
Applicators for weed, termite and household pest controls
are among those licensed through the department's Pesticide
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 by law to give an individual
advance notice of pesticide application if that individual
requests it of the applicator. Sign posting on lawns and
at public buildings is also required when pesticides are
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.
Through the federal EPA's website www.epa.gov,
individuals can access a Citizen's Guide to Pest Control
and Pesticide Safety. Local Rutgers County Extension
offices also provide access to good sources of specific
pest control information.
The effects of exposure to pesticides include
poisoning, eye damage, disruption of the endocrine/hormone
system, and respiratory ailments.