April 2008
Responsible
pesticide use is an
important issue across
generations.
Older adults may
be more susceptible
to the effects of
exposure to
pesticides because
of age-related
changes in how
the body processes
chemicals.

Using an integrated
pest management
system  can help you
avoid unnecessary use
of pesticides.

                        Effective  Control
                        of  Household  Pests
                        Information for Older Adults and
                        Their Caregivers
       Did you know that
       eight out of ten U.S.
       households use pes-
       ticides both indoors
and outside their homes?1
Examples of pesticides in
common use include cock-
roach sprays and baits, termite
control products, rat poison,
flea and tick sprays and pow-
ders, weed killers, bug sprays,
and kitchen and bath disinfec-
tants.

Environmental
Hazards
of Pesticides

Exposure to high levels of pesti-
cides, usually due to improper
application of a product, may
lead to acute effects such as
headaches, dizziness, muscle
twitching, weakness, and
nausea. Long-term and/or
excessive exposure to some
pesticides has been linked to
cancer, reproductive effects,
and effects on the central ner-
vous system.
Preventing Exposure

Grandparents can play an
important role in keeping chil-
dren safe by placing hazard-
ous pesticides out of reach.
Emergency room surveys
suggest that children under
age six are more likely to
be poisoned while visiting
grandparents where poisons
are more likely to be in reach
and without child-resistant
closures than when in their
own homes. In addition, while
older adults account for only
2.8% of reported poisoning
incidents, they account for
5.9% of all cases with a mod-
erate to major medical out-
come and 28% of deaths.2
     If you or a family
      member shows
   symptoms of having
      been poisoned,
  call the National Poison
     Control Center at
      1-800-222-1222
Footnotes:
1 U.S. EPA, National Household Pesticide Usage Study, 1992,
 Office of Pesticide Programs
2 National Poison Control Center Data, 1993-1998

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What You Can Do to Control
and Reduce Exposure
to  Pesticide Hazards

Tips for home pesticide use:
   Read the label. The pesticide label is
    your best guide for safe and effective use
    of pesticides. If you have impaired vision,
    ask for assistance.
   Store pesticides only in their original
    containers. Never use an empty pesticide
    container for another purpose.
   Use a  community disposal program in
    your neighborhood. Check with your
    local solid waste management  authority,
    environmental agency, or health depart-
    ment to find out if your community has
    a hazardous waste disposal program. If
    not, carefully follow the disposal instruc-
    tions on the label.
   Never use outdoor-pesticides indoors.
   Keep people and pets away from areas
    where pesticide sprays and foggers are
    applied. Read the label to determine
    when  it is safe for people or pets to
    re-enter the area.
   Avoid  spraying where you prepare or
    store food, and avoid treating entire
    floors, walls or ceilings.
   Limit pesticide applications to infested
    areas and use only the amount recom-
    mended on the product label.
   Avoid  applying  pesticides outdoors on
    a windy day. Before spraying close the
    doors  and windows of your home.
   After applying a pesticide, wash any
    parts of your body or clothes that might
    have come in contact with the  pesticide.
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Use Integrated Pest
Management (IPM) -
Avoid Unnecessary Use
of Pesticides
The US EPA recommends using
an overall pest management strat-
egy, often called "integrated pest
management (IPM)" for control
of pests in homes or apartment
buildings. IPM is a pest manage-
ment system that combines non-
chemical control strategies with
less toxic pesticide use minimizing
risk to human health and the
environment.
For example, you might use traps,
baits and gels instead of sprays
to control pests. IPM minimizes
health risks for susceptible popu-
lations, such as older adults.

Learn More About EPA's
Aging Initiative
EPA's Aging Initiative is working to
protect older adults from environ-
mental health risks through the
coordination of research, preven-
tion strategies and public educa-
tion. Visit www.epa.gov/aging.
For more information on
pesticides, call 703-305-5017
or visit our web site at
www.epa.gov/pesticides.
AGING
     initiative
     Publication Number EPA-100-F-04-009

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