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Extension Toxicology Network

A Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University, and University of California at Davis. Major support and funding was provided by the USDA/Extension Service/National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program.


Contents County agents, homeowners, office workers, consumers, pesticide applicators, and others are often asked questions about the potential effects of the pesticides they use or that are used where they work. Questions like is it toxic? does it cause birth defects? cancer? other problems? how long does it last? will any effects or difficulties develop a long time from now? will it harm birds or other wildlife? and so on.

Although there is an extensive amount of information on these subjects for most pesticides, it is not readily available. The published material that is accessible, such as product labeling or technical data sheets, is often incomplete and may rely on numbers where thorough explanations are needed.

To assist in providing information on the toxicology and behavior of pesticides to county agents, pesticide applicators, and the general public, the Extension Services of Cornell University and Michigan State University are providing a series of informational sheets on more than one-hundred commonly used insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides.

The PIPs, Pesticide Information Profiles, provide an overview of each pesticide's toxic effects and their expected actions in the environment. These reviews are not meant to be exhaustive. The summary material is presented very briefly (two to five pages) to provide a broad picture of a pesticide without overwhelming the reader.

Some users of the PIPs may not be familiar with several of the terms used, the implications of specific toxicological findings, or the inferences drawn from some of the data. Familiarity with the sciences of toxicology and environmental chemistry is usually acquired through extensive study. However, every effort has been made to make this material accessible to the majority of readers without distorting the meaning of the scientific findings. Where appropriate, summary statements or conclusions are drawn from the scientific evidence. To assist in understanding and interpreting the information in the PIPs, a series of TIBs are provided.

The TIBs, Toxicology Information Briefs, are brief explanations of the meanings of concepts used in the PIPs. For example, one of the TIBs is a Glossary. To improve understanding the Glossary has been developed to provide definitions of terms found within the profiles and briefs. Other TIBs explain subjects such as chronic toxicity, reproductive effects, teratogenicity, mutagenicity, vapor pressure, exposure guidelines, or standards, variability of response or hypersensitivity, inert ingredients, and pesticides in food. A reader who is generally unfamiliar with the language and meaning of toxicology or environmental science will benefit from having TIBs at hand while reading PIPs.

This is the second edition of the Pesticide Information Profiles and the Toxicology Information Briefs. Formerly the collection of TIBs and PIPs was called EXTOXNET.

The current collection of of prfiles and briefs is now called the Pesticide Information Notebook. The Notebook is one project of the Extension Toxicology Network (EXTOXNET). The material in the Notebook includes extensive revisions of the original PIPs and TIBs as well as new profiles of additional pesticides and several more TIBs. The first edition was published in 1989 through the collaboration of co-authors Dr. Arthur Craigmill from the University of California, Dr. James W. Gillett from Cornell University, Dr. Michael A. Kamrin from Michigan State University, and Dr. James W. Witt from Oregon State University. The first edition was funded by the USDA, the EPA, and the four universities of the Extension Toxicology Network.

The second edition was originally revised as a collaborative effort between Cornell Univeristy and Michigan State University. The project now encompasses the efforts of Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University and the University of California at Davis. This project was made possible through a grant from the National Agricultural Pesticide Impact Assessment Program (NAPIAP), a program of the United States Department of Agriculture.

For additional information on the materials in the Pesticide Information Notebook or on EXTOXNET contact:

Cornell University
Pesticide Management Education Program
5123 Comstock Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 14853-0901
(607) 255-1866

Michigan State University
Institute for Environmental Toxicology
C-213 West Holden Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan 48823
(517) 353-6469

Oregon State University
Agricultural Chemistry Extension
333 Weniger Hall
Oregon State University
Corvalis, OR 97331-6502
(541) 737-1811

University of California at Davis
Environmental Toxicology Extension
University of California
Davis, CA 95616
(916) 752-2936