The label on a garden chemical is very important. It is a legal document approved and registered by the APVMA. It contains information on the safe preparation and use of the chemical and is the result of broad scientific testing. The following give an indication of some of the information you’ll find on the label.
The signal heading
Poisonous substances will have a signal heading. This gives an indication of the toxicity of the product. Garden chemicals will fall into one of the following categories.
|No signal heading
|This chemical is relatively safe to people and is unscheduled. You should still however treat it with respect as it may still affect health
|This chemical is low to moderately toxic.
|This chemical is very hazardous to health
|This chemical is extremely hazardous to health. There are restrictions on purchasing product which has this signal heading and these are usually not available to home gardeners
The active constituent
This is the key ingredient or the actual chemical component that does the work of the pesticide or herbicide. It will also indicate the concentration of the chemical. An example could be 450g/L Glyphosate present as isopropylamine salt
This indicates what pests the product will kill or control and in what situation, such as on what plants or crops. Use outside of these situations can be illegal.
Indicates how the product should be prepared and applied.
Indicates what precautions need to be undertaken prior to application, this could include the weather conditions and the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to wear.
This is very important for fruits and vegetables. The withholding period indicates how long you must wait before harvesting after application. If harvested before the withholding period the pesticide may still be present in or on the fruit or vegetable as a pesticide residue.
First Aid instructions
Information if poisoning has occurred and contact details for the Poisons Information Centre.
Includes details such as date of manufacture, expiration date, and the contact details of the manufacturer