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Pesticides and Water Quality

Finding Active Ingredients on a Pesticide Label

Active Ingredient
Bifenthrin......................................................................0.1%
Other Ingredients.....................................................99.9%

KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN

CAUTION

See back panel for
additional precautionary statements.

NET CONTENTS 10 lb (4.53 kg)

Read the label

For more information about pesticide labels see the U.S. EPA Web site.

Active ingredient

The active ingredient (a.i.) is the material in the pesticide formulation that actually destroys the target pest or performs the desired function. Pesticide labels are required by law to show the active ingredient and its percentage.

Other or inert ingredients

Inert ingredients are all materials in the pesticide formulation other than the active ingredient. These ingredients do not work to control the pest, but help dissolve the active ingredient, improve or enhance pesticidal activity. Some inert ingredients may be toxic or hazardous to humans.

Signal words

The signal words "CAUTION," "WARNING," and "DANGER" (in order of increasing toxicity) indicate the relative acute toxicity, or short-term effects, of the active ingredients to humans. They do not refer to long-term effects to humans nor do they indicate the effect on aquatic invertebrates.

Trade names

The trade name is any brand name that is used exclusively by one manufacturer for a product containing the pesticide chemical. There may be several trade names for a single product, thus making it confusing. Do not rely on brand names to identify pesticides.

  • An example trade name for bifenthrin (a pyrethroid) is Ortho® Bug-B-Gon® Max®.
  • Glyphosate is sold under many trade names such as Roundup®, Eliminator®, and Ortho®.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Accessibility   /WATER/U/label.html revised: July 10, 2014. Contact webmaster.