The Delaware Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) provides research-based outreach to pesticide applicators to maintain/improve personal safety, public safety, and environmental integrity/health. The objectives are to (1)increase applicators' knowledge of safe and effective pesticide choice, use, and disposal; (2) build applicators' pesticide handling skills, and (3) improve pesticide applicators' attitudes and adoption of recommended pesticide handling practices.
Non-Technical Summary: <BR>Under an agreement with the US EPA, individual state Pesticide Safety Education Programs (PSEPs) provide training for applicators of restricted use pesticides (i.e., those designated as potential hazards to human or environmental health even when used according to label directions). The PSEP coordinators of each Land Grant University are responsible for the program in their state or territory. In Delaware, initial training for certification is conducted primarily through self-study manuals, but private applicators (growers) have the option of attending supplemental training offered by county Extension agents. Recertification training is offered for both private and commercial applicators. The Delaware PSEP Coordinator provides state leadership on pesticide safety education and serves as a liaison to state and federal pesticide agencies on matters affecting pesticide users throughout the state. Specifically, the Coordinator provides leadership and develops materials for PSEP; offers annual in-service professional development training for Extension educators throughout the state; plans, implements and evaluates major conferences for pesticide applicators in forest, right-of-way, mosquito, and aquatic categories; and maintains and updates the Pesticide Education and Assessment Program website and the internal website for professional development of UDE pesticide safety educators in the counties, regions, and on campus. Outputs include: initial development and revisions of training materials (manuals, fact sheets, PowerPoint presentations) for pesticide applicators; initial development and revisions of background materials (fact sheets, web-based materials) for UDE pesticide safety educators; postings to the public website for access by pesticide applicators, other stakeholders and the general public; postings to the internal website for UDE pesticide safety educators. Outcomes from UDE PSEP are due to improvements in pesticide applicators' safe and effective use of pesticides, and include short-, medium-, and long-term horizons. Short-term outcomes include: improvement in knowledge, skills, and attitudes of pesticide applicators. Medium-term outcomes include adoption of recommended practices by pesticide applicators. Long-term outcomes include: maintenance/improvement of personal health & safety for applicators and their families; maintenance/improvement of public health; and maintenance/improvement of environmental integrity. <P> Approach: <BR> The Delaware Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) uses a variety of methods to teach occupational pesticide users, occasional users, and the general public how to best protect and/or improve personal and public health as well as maintain and/or improve environmental integrity when using pesticides. Activities include presenting educational programs in a classroom setting or hands-on environment; developing, updating and distributing manuals, fact sheets, and other educational materials; offering certification and recertification training programs; and informing pesticide applicators of programs, materials, and new policies/regulations impacting proper pesticide use. Timely, updated information is presented through (1) a public website (http://pesticide.umd.edu/) for pesticide applicators (2) an internal website for professional development of Extension pesticide educators within the state, and (3) the Just-In-Time listserv for pesticide applicators and other stakeholders interested in remaining informed of time-sensitive pesticide issues. The Delaware PSEP Coordinator works closely with the Delaware Department of Agriculture to identify the needs and activities for the year.