EPA 730-N-97-005
                               WASHINGTON, D.C. 20460
                                                                          OFFICE OF
                                                                    PREVENTION, PESTICIDES AND
                                                                       TOXIC SUBSTANCES
                                     SEP 1 11997
                                  PR NOTICE 97-4

ATTENTION:     Persons Responsible for the Registration of Pesticides

SUBJECT:         Consumer Access Numbers on Pesticide Labels

       This notice describes EPA policy on including telephone numbers and other access
numbers, such as internet addresses, on pesticide product labeling.  The notice also explains
how the telephone number of the National Pesticide Telecommunications Network
(NPTN) hotline may be used on the label.

       Addition of telephone numbers, including the NPTN phone number) and internet
addresses may be done at any time without notification to EPA. EPA strongly encourages
registrants to include such  information when labels are routinely reprinted.


       Pesticide products are required to be labeled with the name and address of the
registrant. EPA does not currently require that the label provide a telephone number so
that users and others can contact the registrant directly and immediately.  EPA does not
require a telephone number because it appreciates that staffing such a number and
responding to inquiries can be an expense that some companies may not be able to afford.

       However, a number of registrants, particularly larger companies, have voluntarily
included a telephone number on the label as a customer service.  Direct access to the
registrant allows the company to provide immediate information or answer questions on
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the pesticide product, its ingredients, and uses, and to gain valuable information about
user/consumer concerns and perceptions.  Some registrants provide a "hotline" (toll-free)
service, while others do not.

       EPA, in conjunction with the Oregon State University, also provides a hotline for
public information on pesticides via the NPTN. The NPTN dispenses objective scientific
information on a variety of pesticide topics, including pesticide toxicology, health and
environmental effects, recognition and management of pesticide poisonings, laboratory
analyses, clean-up and disposal of pesticides, and emergency treatment information. The
NPTN also receives information from callers about pesticide incidents and directs callers to
the appropriate sources for pesticide incident investigations.  In cases of human and animal
emergencies, callers can be telephone switched directly into a Poison Control Center from
NPTN.  Currently the NPTN operates seven days a week, 6:30 am to 4:30 pni Pacific
tune. NPTN can be accessed via:

       -Telephone:  1-800-858-7378
       *FAX: 1-541-737-0761
       * E-mail:  nptn@ace.orst.edu
       K Internet:  http://ace.orst.edu/info/nptn/

       A number of registrants have included the NPTN hotline number on labeling, and,
in some cases, EPA has required that the number be  included on labeling.

       EPA believes that,  although the label should be the principal source of user
information on a pesticide product, users should have as many sources of information
about pesticides as possible.  EPA is aware that  users may not fully understand labels, or
may have additional questions or concerns after reading the label. Being able to call
directly to the registrant that makes the product (or reach the registrant electronically) may
be a valuable source of information for some consumers.

       In 1996, EPA began a Consumer Labeling Initiative (CL1), which has as its goal the
improvement of consumer labeling (focussing on pesticide products).  In the first phase of
the CLI, one-on-one interviews were conducted with users of household pesticides (both
indoor and outdoor) and pesticide and non-pesticide cleaning agents.  Consumers in these
interviews indicated a desire for telephone numbers on labels to access product and safety
information.  The CLI Phase I report recommended that EPA also explore other ways of
making such information available to consumers.  This notice follows through on these


      A. Telephone numbers. EPA encourages registrants to include a company
telephone number or toll-free hotline number on the pesticide label. If a number is
included, it should include a phrase or statement indicating the kinds of information the
number should be used for, or if it may be used for all information, a simple lead-in phrase.
The explanatory statement may include hours of service. For example:

            For information on [product usage,  etc.}, call 1-800-555-0000,
            Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.

                   or, more simply,

            Questions?  1-800-555-0000.

      B.  Use of the NPTN hotline number.  A registrant may include on his labeling
the NPTN hotline number, whether or not he also includes a company number, using the
following statement:

            For information on this pesticide product (including health
            concerns, medical emergencies, or pesticide incidents), call the
            National Pesticide Telecommunications Network at 1-800-858-

      C.  Internet homepages. EPA also encourages registrants to include on the label an
Internet homepage address at which consumers may access information on a product.  By
making information available electronically, a company may reduce the volume of
telephone calls that it receives. Registrants are reminded, however, that individual product
claims on a company homepage must not exceed those approved by the Agency in
connection with the product's registration. Claims that exceed those approved by EPA in
conjunction with registration may result in the product's being misbranded under FEFRA
sec. 12.

      D. Adverse effects information.  Registrants are reminded of their obligation
under FIFRA sec. 6(a)(2) to report to EPA any factual information regarding unreasonable
adverse effects they become aware of. Such information may be received through
consumer telephone calls or electronic access.

      A registrant may at any time add or delete a registrant telephone number,
explanatory statement about the telephone number, the NPTN hotline statement in IILB.

or Internet homepage address on a product label without notifying EPA (a "non-
notification" under 40 CFR 152.46).

      For information on this notice, contact Jean M. Frane, Field and External Affairs
Division, at 703-305-5944, or by e-mail to Frane.Jean@epamail.epa.gov.

      For information on the NPTN, contact Frank Davido, Information Resources and
Services Division, at 703-305-7576 or by e-mail to Davido.Frank@epamail.epa.gov.
                                            Daniel M. Barolo, Director
                                            Office of Pesticide Programs