Pesticides are a unique class of chemical and biological agents due to their intended purpose of killing or injuring some form of life that is detrimental to humans or the environment. Ideally pesticides should be specific to the undesirable organisms, however many of them are injurious to non-target species as well. Since the indiscriminate use of pesticides could affect the health of people and the environment, their application must be carefully controlled to minimize exposure of non-target populations.

The Rutgers University Pesticide Program establishes guidelines for the safe use of pesticides on University property. Among its provisions are:

  • Certification requirements for pesticide applicators.
  • Safe use, handling and storage guidelines.
  • Medical surveillance of pesticide applicators.
  • Personal protective equipment requirements.
  • Inventory and storage of pesticides.
  • Recordkeeping of pesticide applications.

REHS provides training in pesticide use and disposal, respiratory protection and fit testing, and inventory control. The Occupational Health office provides physical exams and blood cholinesterase testing for pesticide applicators.