First read the label of the fungicide, or the label of any other pesticide you are considering using, before purchasing the product. The specific directions on fungicide labels must be adhered to. Electronic versions of labels are available on the web. Labels for some products formulated for homeowner use are available at the Bonide website.
Make sure the plant to be treated plus the disease or insect pest are listed on the label. Fungicides can be toxic to some plants and they are not effective for all diseases.
It is important to know the precautions for a product in advance so that you can obtain any necessary protective gear. There can be potential hazards to humans from exposure to a pesticide while applying it. Labels contain information on what “Personal Protective Equipment’ is needed for the person handling the pesticide and first aid if exposure occurs.
For example, anyone using chlorothalonil fungicide must wear:
- A NIOSH approved respirator with an organic vapor cartridge or canister plus prefilter. (Note that this is not a dust mask.)
- Waterproof gloves.
- Protective eye wear.
- Shoes plus socks.
- Long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
This information is on pages 2 and 3 of the Fung-onil label.
Some copper labels state that those applying the product must wear the same protective equipment listed above for chlorothalonil with the exception that a respirator is not required. Others have a precautionary statement that the product is harmful if swallowed, absorbed through skin, or inhaled. View a copper fungicide label. (See pages 11 and 12.)
See the Cornell Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic late blight factsheet for a list chlorothalonil products registered for home garden use in New York State.
Please Note: Any reference to commercial products, trade or brand names, is for information only; no endorsement is intended.