This section has been reviewed and updated as needed: May 2014
For retail sale to and application
Or Persons Under Their Direct supervision.
For Public operators no fee is required to obtain a pesticide license. Public operators include personnel who apply or supervise the application of pesticides for town, city, county, state or federal governmental agencies. The same training courses and tests are administered to both public operators and commercial pesticide applicators. Application for pesticide licensing (certification) is to be made to the Pesticide Section, North Carolina Department of Agriculture, Post Office Box 27647, Raleigh, North Carolina 27611.
Individuals engaged in structural (indoor) pest control are licensed by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, Structural Pest Control Division under authority of the N.C. Structural Pest Control Act of 1955.
Licensed Pesticide Applicator
Licensing is required for individuals applying pesticides or supervising any type of pesticide application as part of their job. Licensed Pesticide Applicators are subject to recertification every 5 years, based on established requirements by the North Carolina Pesticide Board. Individuals may contact the Pesticide Section for complete details of the recertification program. Once an employee receives their annual license, they are required to provide the Health and Safety Office with a copy and each annual renewal license thereafter.
Employee applying Pesticide under an Licensed Applicator
The Licensed Applicator is required to train his or her employees on using, mixing, applying, storing, and disposing of pesticides as outlined in the Read Label section of this document. Employee signatures, date of class, outline of material covered, and signature of the Licensed Applicator are required to document this pesticide application training. Documentation of training is to be forwarded to the Health and Safety office.
Before choosing a pesticide, read the label to determine whether:
- the pesticide is the correct one for the job
- the pesticide can be used safely under the application conditions
Before mixing the pesticide, read the label and MSDS to determine:
- what protective equipment is to be used
- what the pesticide can be mixed with (compatibility)
- how much pesticide to use
- the mixing procedure
To reduce pesticide overuse and waste, always adhere to the mixing ratio on the label.
Before applying the pesticide, read the label to determine:
- what safety measures are to be followed
- where the pesticide can be used (livestock, crops, structures, etc.)
- how to apply the pesticide
- whether there are any restrictions for use of the pesticide
Before storing or disposing of the pesticide or pesticide container, read the label to determine:
- where and how to store the pesticide
- how to decontaminate and dispose of the pesticide container
- where to dispose of surplus pesticides
Questions concerning pesticide storage or disposal are to be directed to the University Health and Safety Office at 919-962-9752.
- CAUTION means the product is relatively low in toxicity to the handler or applicator
- WARNING means the product is moderately toxic to the handler or the applicator
- DANGER, usually appears with the word POISON and a pictogram of the skull and crossbones, means the product is highly toxic to the handler or applicator
- through the mouth (orally)
- through the skin and eyes (dermally)
- through the lungs (by inhalation)
People may be poisoned without realizing the seriousness of the exposure especially if pesticides enter through the skin and lungs.
Oral poisoning can be caused by:
- not washing hands before eating, drinking or smoking
- mistaking the pesticide for food or drink
- accidentally applying pesticides to food
- carelessly splashing pesticide into the mouth
Dermal poisoning can be caused by:
- not washing hands after handling pesticides or their containers
- splashing or spraying pesticides on unprotected skin or eyes
- wearing pesticide-contaminated clothing (including boots and gloves)
- applying pesticides in windy weather
- wearing inadequate protective clothing and equipment during mixing or application
Inhalation poisoning can be caused by:
- prolonged exposure to pesticides in closed or poorly ventilated spaces
- accidentally breathing vapors from fumigants and other toxic pesticides
- breathing fumes, dust, or mist during application without appropriate protective equipment
- inhaling fumes that may be present immediately after a pesticide is applied (reentering the area too soon)
- not having a good seal on the respirator or using an old or inadequate cartridge or canister
- splashing a pesticide into the mouth
- spilling or spraying a pesticide onto your clothing
- being contaminated by broken equipment
Chronic exposure is repeated exposure to pesticides over a period of time. Chronic exposure may go unnoticed since some pesticides may persist in the body for a long time without any obvious signs or symptoms of poisoning. If a person using the pesticide continues to be exposed to these pesticides, residues in their body may increase. An additional risk is that even low-level chronic exposure may lead to serious illness. Chronic exposure most often occurs in the workplace because of:
- faulty or inadequate protective clothing or equipment
- early reentry
- inadequate cleanup of clothing and body
- contaminated working conditions
Personal Protective Equipment
To prevent pesticides from entering the body, the person applying pesticides are to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE is to be provided to employees according to the guidelines on the pesticide label. The lack of any statement or the mention of only one piece of equipment does not rule out the need for additional protection. No safety recommendations can cover all situations. Knowledge of pesticide toxicity will allow employees to assess potential hazards and guide them in selecting the kind of protection needed. As with all types of PPE, it is important to inspect the equipment before and after each use.
|Formulation||Caution||Label Signal Word Warning||Danger|
|Dry||Long-legged trousers and long sleeved shirt; shoes and socks.||Long-legged trousers and long-sleeved shirt; shoes and socks; wide-brimmed hat; gloves||Long-legged trousers and long-sleeved shirt; shoes and socks; hat; gloves; appropriate respirator if dust in air or if MSDS or label precautionary statement says: “poisonous or fatal if inhaled.”|
|Liquid||Long-legged trousers; long-sleeved shirts; shoes and socks; wide-brimmed hat.||Long-legged trousers and long-sleeved shirts; shoes and socks; wide-brimmed hat; rubber gloves. Goggles if required by label precautionary statement. Respirator if label precautionary statement says: “Do not breathe vapors or spray mist” or “Poisonous if inhaled.”||Long-legged trousers and long-sleeved shirt; rubber boots; wide-brimmed hat; rubber gloves; goggles or face shield. Appropriate respirator if label or MSDS precautionary statement says: “Do not breathe vapors or spray mist” or “Poisonous if inhaled.”|
|Long-legged trousers; long-sleeved shirt; shoes and socks; wide-brimmed hat; gloves; rubber apron.||Long-legged trousers and long sleeved shirt; shoes and socks; wide-brimmed hat; rubber gloves; goggles or face shield; rubber apron. Respirator if label precautionary statement says: “Do not breathe vapors or spray mist” or “Poisonous (or fatal or harmful) if inhaled.”||Long-legged trousers and long-sleeved shirt; rubber boots; wide-brimmed hat; rubber gloves; goggles; rubber apron; appropriate respirator when recommended by MSDS or label.|
(prolonged exposure to spray, or application in enclosed area)
|Long-legged trousers and long-sleeved shirt; boot; rubber gloves; water proof wide-brimmed hat.||Water repellent, long-legged trousers and long-sleeved shirt; rubber boots; rubber gloves; rubber apron, water-proof wide-brimmed hat; face shield; cartridge or canister respirator.||Water-proof suit; rubber boots; water proof hood or wide-brimmed hat; face shield; appropriate respirator when recommended by MSDS.|
Pesticides must be disposed of through the Health and Safety Office. Pesticides are never to be disposed of in dumpsters, sinks, or drains of any kind. For assistance with disposal of pesticides contact the University Health and Safety Office at 919-962-9752.
- Pesticide applicators name(s)
- Date material is applied and time of day
- Location and description of treated area
- Type of surface treated
- Target pest
- Equipment used
- Pesticide used
- Amount of formulation used
- Total amount of pesticide applied and the rate of application
- Size of treated area
These records are to be available for inspection by the Health and Safety Office and/or N.C. Pesticide Board or its agents at their request.