National Pesticide Information Center

San Antonio Express News
October 31, 2004

By Lynn Rawe

Have you ever needed information about a pesticide quickly and have not been able to find a number to call or a person to speak with? Maybe it’s a weekend and you have no idea what to do! This information will be important for both homeowners and health care professionals.

The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) formerly known as National Pesticide Telecommunication Network is an information service that is sponsored by Oregon State University and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This service provides scientific-based information that is objective on a wide variety of pesticides and related subjects, such as pesticide products, poisonings, toxicology and chemistry. The service is staffed by qualified, trained specialists to help callers understand and interpret information about pesticides.

Most of the calls taken by the National Pesticide Information Center are from homeowners concerned about their family’s health. NPIC provides information and recommendations on which pesticide should be used for control of a particular pest and the product’s local availability.

In case of a possible pesticide poisoning, the service can connect you to the Poison Control Center, National Animal Poison Control Center or other appropriate agencies for assistance. They can also direct you in the clean-up and disposal of pesticides. They offer a laboratory analyses of ingredients.

NPIC also has a website where labels or MSDS (Material Data Safety Sheets) can be downloaded. It has a large database of chemical information. Information is available at:

The website has informative publications on topics such as “pesticides in indoor air of homes,” “pesticides in drinking water,” “pets and pesticides,” and others. There is an entire section on Chromated Copper Arsenate, the material used to weather-treat landscape timbers and other wood products. The section on pest control information is very helpful for homeowners as it covers the most common pests found in and around the house. There is a large selection of fact sheets that can be downloaded from the website.

NPIC can be reached seven days a week (except holidays) from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Telephone 1-800-858-7378 or Fax: 1-541-737-0761. You can email your questions to:

The information sources include EPA documents, USDA and Cooperative Extension publications and current scientific literature. The National Pesticide Information Center is a valuable resource of timely information–any household will benefit from keeping the phone numbers and website address of this agency close at hand.

If you have any questions that might make your gardening tasks easier, please contact our office at (210) 467-6575, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and ask for the Homeowner Hotline.

This article was written by Lynn Rawe, County Extension Agent-Horticulture, with Texas Cooperative Extension in Bexar County.


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