A spokesperson at the Statewide Poison Control Center says homeowners battling to get rid of weeds, bugs and other pests need to be careful to avoid unintended harm. Tammy Noble is the education coordinator for the center that’s based in Sioux City.She says summer months bring an increase in exposure to pesticides. She says the materials include a broad spectrum — including herbicides used to kill weeds, rodentacides used to kill mice, and insecticides used to get rid of mosquitoes and grubs. Noble says there were 14-hundred calls last year in Iowa for exposure to pesticides. She says nearly half of the calls involved children who were exposed. Those kids got the stuff sprayed in their eyes, ran through the lawn after it had been sprayed, or got into stored chemicals. Noble says you can avoid accidental exposure to pesticides by yourself and others by carefully reading the label before using any product.She says the label will always tell you what personal protection equipment to wear. She says there are some very toxic materials you can use, and some very safe ones. Noble says cleaning up after using a product is important too.She says you should immediately change your clothes and wash your hands and face after using a product, or immediately change your clothes and shower after using a product. She says you should wash the clothes too. Noble says most labels will tell you how long to stay out of an area that’s been treated. She says you should always store chemicals of any kind out of reach of children and pets to keep them from accidentally being exposed. To report a poisoning, you can call the toll-free hotline at 1-800-222-1222.
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