OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

National Pesticide Hotline Provides Information In More Than 170 Languages

12/13/2007

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC) at Oregon State University receives more than 24,000 questions each year from all 50 states and several countries. Now a new agreement means that NPIC can handle pesticide questions in more than 170 different languages.

Since coming to OSU in 1995, NPIC has helped thousands of callers with questions that range from pesticide contamination of well water to the effects of chemicals on human and animal health.

A new agreement with Language Line Services connects NPIC with staff trained in medical and scientific terminology and can be accessed 24 hours a day for translations in real-time in more than 170 languages, including Mandarin, Russian, Farsi, and more.

"This new service makes it possible to reach many underserved populations," said Dave Stone, an assistant professor in OSU's Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology and the new director of NPIC. Prior to joining OSU, Stone was the public health toxicologist at the Oregon Department of Health.

The National Pesticide Information Center, a cooperative effort between OSU and the Environmental Protection Agency, provides science-based information about pesticide toxicology, safe and legal use of pesticides, environmental impacts and regulation to the general public, medical community, government officials and applicators.

"Whether you're in the city or on a farm, whether you're combating cockroaches or weeds, whether you're a homeowner, physician or pesticide applicator, you can get objective information about pesticides," Stone said.

"Our trained pesticide specialists are on the front line of risk communication,” he added. “If we assist someone in how to reduce exposure or properly use a product, we've done our job."

In addition, NPIC has unveiled a new website that features fact sheets for pesticide active ingredients, case profiles, resources for integrated pest management, a guide for West Nile Virus and links to helpful resources.

For more information on NPIC or assistance with pesticide related questions, call NPIC at 1-800-858-PEST or e-mail at npic@ace.orst.edu.