The Pesticides Control Board has urged persons who use pesticides to be aware of the dangers of these chemicals.

The word of caution was issued, as this country observes Pesticides Awareness Week.

The Board is the body responsible for regulating the use of pesticides throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

A release from the Board said it is cognizant of the role pesticides play in the everyday life of Vincentians mainly in farming and the control of pests around the home. It said by far, most of these pesticides are used in agricultural production in the form of insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and to a lesser extent bactericides.

The Board appealed to the general public to recognize that all pesticides carry some level of danger therefore urges the following: Pesticides should only be used when absolutely necessary or as last resort; Pesticides should be used only for the intended purposes; Pesticides should only be used at the recommended rates; the pre-harvest interval must be adhered to. (This is the period between spraying and harvesting); Pesticides should not be used near waterways; all pesticides should be kept out of the reach of children; all pesticide containers should be properly labeled; all pesticide containers should be properly disposed of; and that appropriate protective gear should be used at all times.

The Board also recommended an integrated approach to pest control and that an effort be made to minimize the use of chemicals in food production.