Pesticides are substances primarily used in agriculture to control pests, including insects, weeds, fungus, bacteria, and more. Pesticides can have negative impacts on health, safety, and environmental quality, especially when used improperly. Training is needed to improve safe handling practices. SB 491 and HB 1125 clarify that restricted use pesticides cannot be used without training and updates statute to be in accordance with EPA rules on pesticide applicator certification and licensure.
- Pesticides cover a broad range of chemicals that can help reduce crop loss.
- Some pesticides pose risks to health (especially agricultural workers), the environment, and agriculture (through pest resistance and harm to non-target crops and insects).
- Research shows pesticide applicators may lack some key knowledge on certain pesticides, and training can improve safe practices.
- Health, safety, and environmental impacts for some pesticides are not as well understood as others, especially for newer generations of pesticides (e.g., sulfoxaflor, cyantraniliprole, chlorantraniliprole, dicamba).