How To use Pesticide Action Network's Online Pesticide DatabaseDo you want to know the health effects of pesticides your child's school uses? Visit www.pesticideinfo.org for answers. The Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Online Pesticide Database brings together a diverse array of information on pesticides from many different sources to apprise you of human and environmental hazards associated with pesticide active ingredients, their breakdown products and pesticide product additives like adjuvants and solvents.
• A Java-enabled browser, either Netscape 4.0 or higher, or MS Explorer 4.0 or higher.
• A network connection, either through a phone line modem, DSL, or cable modem.
How To Find Information On A PesticideGetting Started
1. Open Netscape or Internet Explorer and go to http://www.pesticideinfo.org.
2. Click the gray Open Database button to enter the search mode. You will be taken to the Basic Chemical and Product Search page.
Defining Your Search: Product Or Chemical?
The PAN Pesticide Database Web site provides information on both pesticide products and pesticide chemicals. A pesticide product is what the consumer, exterminator, or farmer purchases from a retailer or pesticide distributor. Common products you might have heard of are Raid™ and Roundup™. Pesticide products comprise active and other ingredients. Active ingredients are specific chemicals designed to kill a particular pest(s), appear on the product label, and may be listed by common name (e.g., diazinon, permethrin) or formal chemical name (e.g., O,O-diethy-lO-[3,5,6 trichloro-2-pyridyl] phosphorothioate). The other, “inert” ingredients dilute the pesticide, make it easier to apply and/or allow different components to mix properly.
How To Find Information About A Pesticide Active Ingredient (Chemical)
1. From the Basic Product and Chemical Search page, click the Chemical button.
2. Type into the search box the name of the pesticide active ingredient(s) on the form your child’s school sends home or on the pesticide product label.
3. Click the Search button. A short list of chemicals appears, among them the one you entered. If your search does not yield any results, see the Troubleshooting Your Search section of this fact sheet.
4. Click the More button for the chemical you are interested in to learn more about it. This takes you to the Chemical Information page, which provides both summary and detailed toxicity information for the chemical, plus links to other Web sites with helpful resources.
How To Find Information About A Pesticide Product (Brand Name)
1. From the Basic Product and Chemical Search page, click the Product button.
2. Type into the search box the name of the pesticide product on the form your child’s school sends home or the pesticide product label in large letters (e.g., Roundup™ or Raid™).
3. Click the Search button. A list of products appears that begins with the name you entered. If your search does not yield any results, see the Troubleshooting Your Search section of this fact sheet.
4. Select the product you are interested in carefully, because many products have very similar names. To ensure that you investigate the correct product, compare U.S. EPA product registration numbers in the list with the one on the school’s form or the product label. Your search may produce more than one page of results. View subsequent results pages by clicking the number of the next page of results.
5. Once you locate the product of interest, click the More button to go to the Product Information page for summary toxicity data for each active ingredient in the product.
6. To learn still further about each active ingredient, click its name to proceed to the Chemical Information page, with more detailed toxicity information.
Finding Definitions And References
Pesticide toxicity information can look confusing and technical at first glance, but the PAN Pesticide Database provides definitions and links to clear explanations of what information means. You can access them in these ways.
• Terms that are defined and explained are underlined. Clicking on any underlined term will link you to its definition.
• The sidebar menu on the PAN Pesticide Database home page contains a site table of contents. Click the Definitions/References link for an overview page that describes the available information and provides links to the pages on which it is found. The direct link is: http://www.pesticideinfo.org/documentation3/ref_overview.html
• The navigation bar (blue buttons) at the top of the Search page or any of the data pages displays a button labeled Definitions/About the Data that links to the overview page that describes all documentation.
What If No Information Is Available For The Chemical?
Large question marks appear in the summary toxicity information for many pesticides. Some information about that particular toxin may exist in the registration documents (compiled by U.S. EPA) or scientific literature, but question marks indicate absence of a “weight-of-the-evidence” evaluation. Such evaluations require a panel of experts to assess all available laboratory studies for a particular type of toxicity (cancer, birth defects, reproductive harm, etc.), as well as any human health effects data, to determine a consensus hazard rating for the chemical. Most “official” toxicity rankings (e.g., U.S. EPA, World Health Organization) follow this procedure.
This is the best system in place for objectively evaluating the intrinsic hazards of chemicals, but be aware that even it is subject to political pressure and funding constraints. For more information about such data limitations, see http://www.pesticideinfo.org/documentation3/ref_toxicity1.html.
Further facts on a pesticide may be available through the Resources links on the Chemical Information page. Good places to start are U.S. EPA fact sheets (REDs); consumer fact sheets; and the National Library of Medicine’s Toxnet, Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB) and Toxline. Learn about these resources at:
Troubleshooting Your Search
• Check the spelling of the pesticide name. Perhaps the notice your school provided contained mistyped information.
• If you know what letter or letters the pesticide name starts with, type only the beginning part of the name into the search box. For example, you might enter “mal” to locate malathion. The shorter the entry, and the more general the search, the longer your list of results.
• Be sure to search for only one chemical or product at a time. You cannot type in “raid, dursban” in hopes of finding both simultaneously.
• Use the Browse mode to find the product or chemical. Clicking on the letter or number the product or chemical begins with yields an alphabetical list of all products or chemicals that start with that letter or number. The list may be long and require scrolling through several pages to find the pesticide of interest.
For more detailed information on how to use the PAN Pesticide Database, go to the Help pages at:
The PAN Pesticide Database is a collection of datasets from a variety of government organizations and scientific publications. While all care has been taken to ensure that the information it contains is as accurate as possible at the time of preparation, PAN and its funders bear no responsibility for errors or omissions in the original data sources or for data sources that may have changed since incorporation into the database. Information in this database in no way replaces or supersedes information provided on the pesticide product label or under other regulatory requirements.
Please refer to the pesticide product label. Should you have comments about the database or suggestions for changes, please contact Pesticide Action Network: 415-981-1771; email@example.com.
You can download a printer-friendly PDF version of this fact sheet by clicking the link below:
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