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Pesticide Consumer Alert


The Environmental Protection Agency is issuing this Alert to all pesticide industry organizations, facilities, and handlers as a precaution during this heightened state of security awareness. This Alert highlights some general security areas that companies may want to review to ensure that appropriate measures are being implemented. EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs has developed this tailored summary of the Agency's Chemical Safety Alert entitled, "Chemical Accident Prevention: Site Security," which outlines measures to ensure secure and accident-free operations. Published in February 2000, the more detailed Chemical Safety Alert (PDF) (8 pp, 140K, About PDF)

It is important that all pesticide establishments review this information and take appropriate steps to minimize risk. This document does not substitute for EPA's regulations, nor is it a regulation itself. It cannot and does not impose legally binding requirements on EPA or the regulated community, and measures it describes may not apply to a particular situation based upon circumstances. The Agency may continue to provide further guidance in the future, as appropriate.

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Knowing and Understanding Potential Security Threats

Businesses that manufacture, reformulate, sell, distribute, transport, store, or apply pesticides have long known the importance of risk mitigation steps for the safety of their workers, their customers, and their communities. For manufacturers and reformulators, efforts focus on ensuring that the facility is operated safely on a day-to-day basis. Manufacturers must use well-designed equipment, conduct preventive maintenance, implement up-to-date operating procedures, and employ well-trained staff. Those who distribute pesticides have focused on safe storage and accurate labeling of their products. For the pesticide user community, safety efforts have focused on strictly reading and following all label directions. Today, these efforts aren't necessarily enough.

While many of the steps to ensure an effective security program seem routine, they are critical to the health and safety of your business, facility, and community. Without effective security procedures, your business may be vulnerable to both internal and external threats, posing risks to yourself and employees, your building and machinery, stored pesticides, and even sensitive business information. If you have mobile pest application equipment, particularly aerial application equipment, special precautions should be taken to protect both your equipment and the surrounding community.

Recommended Considerations in Evaluating Pesticide Security

The security needs and critical control points will differ for every business and facility. However, some of the fundamental security control points inclide:

Timely Coordination With Authorities

If a breach of security or suspicious activity does occur, timely cooperation authorities is crucial. In addition to cooperation with your local police department, the FBI requests that you expeditiously report any threats or suspicious behavior to your local FBI field office. These agencies also must be informed if, as a registrant, you are made aware of any reports of adverse exposure under circumstances that are incongruous with your pesticide product's normal use pattern. Information on the location of the appropriate FBI office is available at www.fbi.gov.

For More Information

EPA and other Federal agencies have developed a variety of reference materials that may be helpful in reviewing the security of your business or operation.

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