Ministry of Agriculture

Pesticide Labels

Pesticide Label Information

The Pesticide Label

Read the Label First A pesticide label gives important information. It tells you:
  • the active ingredient
  • what the hazards are when you use the product
  • how dangerous the pesticide is
  • how to use it safely
  • the rates at which the product should be used
  • what to do in case of an accident

The label shows the pesticide is registered by Health Canada. It also gives the name and address of the company that makes the pesticide, if you need more information about it.

If all of the required information can't fit on the label, the company may include a booklet or pamphlet with the pesticide. They may also print information on the wrapper, or on stickers or tags that are attached to the container. These attachments are considered part of the label. Make sure you have all the information you need before you use any pesticide.

A pesticide label is a legal document. It tells how the product should be used. It is against the law to use the product in any other way, or to use it in an unsafe way. It is also against the law for anyone to tell you that a pesticide can be used for anything that is not on the label.

Canadian Pesticide Labels

Labels for pesticides registered in Canada may be accessed through the internet. Click on Canadian Pesticide Labels to learn to search for pesticide labels.

Read the Label

Read the Label First Remember: Always Read the Label First!

Labels are constantly changing, especially since the federal government started re-evaluating pesticides. Many pesticide labels now have resistance management categories on the front. More labels are specifying buffer zones and re-entry times. Certain uses are no longer allowed and new uses are being added. Precautions are also being modified. Read the labels carefully and note any changes compared to the product you purchased before. Since there is so much to remember from a label its advisable to read the label:

Before you buy a pesticide

  • Is this the right pesticide for your crop?
  • What is the formulation? How do you mix it?
  • How much do you need?
  • How should you apply it?

Before you mix and apply a pesticide

  • Are there restrictions on using this pesticide?
  • When should it be used? Are there times when you should not use it?
  • What are the hazards?
  • What protective clothing and equipment do you need?
  • What first aid is needed if there is an accident?

Before you store a pesticide

  • Where should you store it?
  • Are there any special instructions (i.e. temperature)

Before disposing pesticides and containers

  • How can you get rid of the container safely?
  • Are there any special instructions?

Information on Labels

Whats on the Main Display panel:

Main Display Panel

Pesticide Container 4. AGRICULTURAL         5. 10 L
2. Emulsifiable Concentrate
3. Herbicide
7. GUARANTEE: (active ingredient)
9. Generic Products
Somewhere St, Anytown B.C. H0H 0H0

The Front Panel Shows:

  1. Trade Name or Product Name - This name is assigned by the registrant or company.
  2. Formulation - States the type of formulation (e.g. emulsifiable concentrate)
  3. Use - States the type of product (e.g. herbicide)
  4. Classification - States the federal classification. This indicates who can use the product. There are four classifications:
    1. Domestic products intended for use in and around the home. They are sold in small packages and have a low toxicity.
    2. Commercial (may also be called Agricultural, Horticultural, Industrial or Forestry) products designed for use in commercial operations, in agriculture, forestry or industry. They are usually more concentrated than domestic products and are sold in larger containers.
    3. Restricted products can only be used by certified pesticide applicators in BC. They have special restrictions on the labels and are more hazardous than the other classifications
    4. Manufacturing products are used by companies that manufacture or formulate pesticides. They are not available to the farmer.
  5. Net Contents - States how much is in the package. The amount is shown in metric units.
  6. Precautionary shapes, symbols and signal words show the main type of danger and degree of danger associated with the product.
  7. Guarantee states the common name of the active ingredient(s) in the product. The active ingredient is the part of the pesticide product that controls the pest. The guarantee also shows how much active ingredient is in the product. The guarantee may be shown as either weight per volume (i.e. 500 grams/liter) or as a percentage by weight (i.e. 40%)
  8. Registration Number (P.C.P. Act#) shows the product can be used in Canada. It may appear as REG.NO. 00,000 P.C.P. Act or Registration Number 00,000 Pest Control Products Act. American products have an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) number. Pesticides with EPA numbers are not allowed to be used in Canada. The registration number identifies the product to the government, manufacturer and Poison Control Centers.
  9. Pesticide Companys Name and Address is the name and address of the company (registrant) that registered the product. They can provide more information about the product.

Secondary Display Panel

Pesticide Container
  1. DIRECTIONS FOR USE - States how to use the pesticide and must be followed exactly. Failure to follow directions could cause crop damage, poor pest control, danger to health, damage to environment or confiscation of a crop due to excess pesticide residues. This sections indicates where the pesticide can be used, what crops or animals it can be used on, the pests it controls, timing and rate of application, resistance management guidelines, mixing instructions, compatibility, and restrictions (pre-harvest intervals, grazing restrictions, pre-slaughter intervals, re-entry intervals).
  2. PRECAUTIONS - States what you must do to protect people and the environment. The most important warnings are in upper case letters. For example: KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN or READ THE LABEL BEFORE USING. Other precautions often on labels include warnings (e.g. Harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin), safety precautions for applicators (e.g. Avoid breathing vapour or spray mist. Avoid contact with eyes, skin and clothing. Wash thoroughly after handling and before eating, drinking and smoking), environmental precautions (e.g. Do not allow spray to contact susceptible plants; Leave a 10m buffer zone between watercourses and the downwind side or the sprayer; Avoid contamination of food for human consumption or livestock feed), and efficacy precautions (e.g. Avoid freezing. If subjected to freezing temperatures, warm to at least 5oC and mix thoroughly before using.)

  3. DISPOSAL - States how to dispose of empty containers or unused pesticide. For example, Triple rinse the container. Crush or break empty container and dispose of container according to provincial requirements.

  4. FIRST AID - States what to do if there is a poisoning. For example, labels could state: In case of poisoning, call physician. If on skin, wash thoroughly with soap and water. If in eyes, flush with water for 5 to 10 minutes and get medical attention. If swallowed, do not induce vomiting, Call a physician immediately

  5. TOXICOLOGICAL INFORMATION - States poisoning symptoms and important information for doctors. For example, symptoms include nausea, vomiting, pinpoint pupils, convulsions and coma. This product may cause cholinesterase inhibition. ATROPINE is ANTIDOTAL.

Special Labeling for RESTRICTED Products

Look for special directions on RESTRICTED products or products classified as COMMERCIAL with a RESTRICTED use. If a product has been classified as RESTRICTED, the label must have a section called NATURE OF RESTRICTION at the top of the secondary display panel, before the directions for use. This section tells you if there are special conditions for using, storing, displaying or distributing this pesticide.

Restricted Uses:
The following example shows how a restricted product may be labeled:

NATURE OF RESTRICTION: This product is to be used only in the manner authorized. Contact local pesticide regulatory authorities about use permits which may be required. This product is to be stored and displayed apart from food and feed.

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