Government figures show that nearly 24,000 people visit emergency rooms each year for treatment of pesticide poisonings. These incidents occur because people don't follow label directions on gardening and cleaning products, says Bonnie Smith of the Environmental Protection Agency in Philadelphia. The EPA has launched an effort called "Read the Label First" to help consumers use products safely and responsibly.
The program will change labeling on indoor insecticides, outdoor pesticides, and household hard-surface cleaners. Look for easier-to-read formats with bullet items and plainer language ("First Aid" instead of "Statement of Practical Treatment," for instance.) Also, you'll find common names for some ingredients.
With all gardening and household chemicals, be sure to always read the label and follow all directions exactly.
For more info, visit the EPA site at