Blog posts tagged with 'forestry products'

Your Guide to Pesticide Signal Words

If you have used professional pesticides, or you are currently looking for a product to meet your needs, then you have likely come across pesticide signal words without realizing it. In today’s blog, Forestry Distributing goes into detail about what signal words to look for and why they matter. Continue reading to learn more, and order the pest control products you need from Forestry Distributing today.

Where to Find Signal Words

Check pesticide labels to find the signal words required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They will be printed on the front label in all capital letters. All but the least toxic pesticides will be labeled with a signal word.

What Are Pesticide Signal Words?

Signal words indicate the short-term toxicity of a given pesticide if eaten, inhaled, or touched. The three signal words you will find in use include: CAUTION, WARNING, and DANGER.


This indicates a lower-risk pesticide, which is slightly toxic if eaten, absorbed through the skin, or inhaled. It may also indicate that the pesticide causes slight eye or skin irritation.


This label indicates a moderately toxic substance or warns of the possibility of moderate eye or skin irritation.


This indicates that the pesticide is highly toxic by at least one route of exposure: oral contact, dermal contact, or inhalation. It may also be corrosive and cause irreversible damage to the skin or eyes.


The “POISON” label is used in addition to “DANGER” if the pesticide is highly toxic if eaten, absorbed through the skin, or inhaled. It will be written in red letters on the pesticide label.

For more information on the exact classifications of each signal word, visit our EPA Pesticide Signal Words page.

How Pesticides Are Classified

How do companies know which signal word to use on their product? They use research performed on laboratory animals. Each pesticide is tested for the common routes of exposure: oral contact (eating the product), inhalation (breathing in the product), and dermal contact (spreading the product on the skin), as well as exposure to the eyes.

Each professional pesticide company is required to use the label corresponding to the highest toxicity level of their product, even if it is practically harmless through other routes of exposure. That means that if the pesticide is highly toxic if ingested, for example, it must be labeled with the signal word DANGER even if it poses a very low risk through dermal exposure.

Why Pesticide Signal Words Matter

Signal words are used to signal to the user how much risk each pesticide product poses. With a better understanding of these signal words, you can choose your pesticides based on their toxicity to humans as well as their efficacy against pests. Keep in mind, however, that all pesticides have the potential to be poisonous or otherwise seriously harmful if used incorrectly. Always follow the instructions on the pesticide label.

Find the professional pesticides you need to get the job done here at Forestry Distributing. We offer a broad variety of vegetation management and pest control products, which has made us a leading supplier for the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Bureau of Land Management, and more. Place your order today, and look for signal words on the pesticide label to stay informed!