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Ch. 6, pp. 9 - 12
[Pesticide Formulations: formulations | label ]


All the printed information including the label on the product, brochures, and flyers from the company or its agent about a pesticide product is called labeling. The label printed on or attached to a container of pesticide will tell how to use the product correctly and what special safety measures need to be taken. Specific parts of the label include the following:
Brand name:
Each company uses brand names to identify its products. The brand name shows up plainly on the front panel of the label.
Type of formulation:
The same pesticide may be available in more than one formulation.
Ingredient statement:
Each pesticide label must list the names and amounts of the active ingredients and the amount of inert ingredients in the product.
Common name and chemical name:
Pesticides have complex chemical names derived from their chemical composition. Some have also been given a shorter name, or common name, to make them easier to identify. Pesticides may be sold under several brand names, but you may find the same common name or chemical name on all of them.
Net contents:
The net contents tells how much is in the container. This can be expressed in gallons, pints, pounds, quarts, or other units of measure.
Name and address of manufacturer:
The law requires the maker or distributor of a product to print the name and address of the company on the label.
Registration number:
A registration number must be on every pesticide label. It shows that the product has been approved by the E.P.A. for the uses listed on the label.
Establishment number:
The establishment number tells which factory made the chemical.
Precautionary statements:
A section with a title similar to "Hazards to Humans and Domestic Animals" will tell the ways in which the product may be poisonous to man and animals. It will also describe any special steps necessary to avoid poisoning, such as the kind of protective equipment needed. If the product is highly toxic, this section will inform physicians of the proper treatment for poisoning.
Environmental hazards:
The label tells how to avoid damage to the environment. Some examples are: "This product is highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment or residues on crops." "Do not contaminate water when cleaning equipment or when disposing of wastes," and "Do not apply where runoff is likely to occur."
Physical and Chemical Hazards:
Lists specific fire, explosion, or chemical hazards that the product may have.
Signal words and symbols:
Some pesticides may be hazardous to people. You can tell how toxic a product is by reading the Signal Word and Symbol on the label.
Signal Words

Word Toxicity Human Lethal Dosage Symbol
Danger High taste to a teaspoon skull and crossbones; Poison
Warning Moderate teaspoon to a tablespoon none
Caution Low ounce to a monethane pint none

Highly toxic pesticides are generally not sold in the lawn and garden trade. All products must bear the statement "Keep Out of Reach of Children." In some pesticide literature, the term LD50 is used to give an indication of toxicity. LD50 stands for lethal dosage necessary to kill 50% of a test population of animals. The LD50 values are measured from 0 up. The numbers after the 50 represent the milligrams. of the substance per kilograms of body weight necessary to kill 50% of the test population. The lower the LD50 value the more poisonous a pesticide is, for example an LD50 of 5 is more poisonous than an LD50 of 20 because only 5 milligrams per kilograms of body weight are necessary to kill 50% of the test population.
Pesticide Toxicities
Pesticide Information and Training Office
University of Arizona
January 1996

Trade Name Class a.i. LD50
(rat, oral, mg/kg)
Toxicity Level I – Danger (Oral LD50 up to 50 mg/ml)
Rodine ROD red squill 0.7
Temik I aldicarb 1
Phosdrin I mevinphos 3 - 12
Vydate I oxamyl 5.4
Penncap-M I methyl parathion 6
Cymag ROD sodium cyanide 6.4
Endrin I endrin 7 - 15
Furadan 4F I carbofuran 8
Dyfonate I fonofos 8 - 17.5
Hybrex ROD fenrazidon-potassium 25
Aldrin I aldrin 38 - 67
Nicotine I nicotine 50 - 60
Toxicity Level II – Warning (Oral LD50 from 50 to 500 mg/kg)
Methyl bromide FUM Methyl bromide 65
Derris I rotenone 132-1500
Gramoxone Extra H paraquat 150
Lorsban I chlorpyrifos 163
Caffeine   caffeine 192
Pyrocide I pyrethrum 200
Dimethoate I dimethoate 235
Sevin I carbaryl 246 - 283
Ammo I cypermethrin 250
Capture I bifenthrin 375
Copper-Z 4/4 F copper sulfate 472

Statement of practical treatment:
If swallowing or inhaling the product or getting it in the eyes or on the skin would be harmful, the label contains emergency first aid measures and states types of exposure requiring medical attention. The pesticide label is the most important information you can take to the physician when someone has been poisoned. Without the label, it is difficult for the physician to help.
Directions for use:
These instructions will explain several important items.
  • The pests the product will control
  • The crops, animals, or other item the product can be used on safely
  • How the product should be applied
  • How much to use
  • Where and when the material should be applied
  • Application to harvest periods

When used on fruits or vegetables, there may be a period of time that must pass from the time of application until it is safe to pick and use the crop. Known as the application to harvest period and expressed as "days to harvest," this is the time required for the residue to drop to safe levels. It is often listed as a number in parentheses following the crop name. It is a mistake to assume that a residue can be washed off.
Misuse statement:
This section will remind you that it is a violation of Federal law to use a product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.
Storage and disposal directions:
Every pesticide should be stored and disposed of correctly. This section will tell you how to store and dispose of the product.

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