About Grow Smart, Grow Safe
Product ranking system
The Grow Smart, Grow Safe® hazard-ranking system is based on the pesticide active ingredient review process developed and used by Thurston County Environmental Health Division. Thurston County rates products based on reviews of the pesticide active ingredients. The reviews include but are not limited to: chemical mobility, persistence, bioaccumulation, non-target wildlife toxicity, human toxicity, carcinogenicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, mutagenicity, and applicator safety. Each of these potential hazards are rated from low to high. Products are then listed based on their known hazards.
Understanding the hazard
The Grow Smart, Grow Safe® table columns show hazard ratings of active ingredients. The review criteria is consistent for each chemical and all data used is referenced. The symbols reflect the level of hazard determined by a product’s active ingredient review.
|Human||Pet and Wildlife||Aquatic Life||Water Pollution|
Human: Ratings are based on a chemical’s potential to cause carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, reproductive toxicity, or developmental toxicity. Ratings also include an assessment of risk from short- or long-term exposures to humans.
Pet and Wildlife: Ratings are based on risk of toxicity to pets and wildlife from potential exposures following labeled uses of specific pesticides.
Aquatic Life: Ratings are based on the potential to cause toxicity from short- or long-term exposures to fish or other aquatic organisms resulting from labeled uses of specific pesticides.
Water Pollution: Ratings are based on the combined hazards of mobility and persistence of an active ingredient. When the hazards of mobility and persistence are both rated high, the potential for water pollution is rated high.
Persistence: how long a chemical (or its toxic metabolites) remains in the environment.
Mobility: the potential for a chemical to move off the site of application with rain or irrigation water.
Understanding the product listings
Grow Smart, Grow Safe® uses Thurston County's active ingredient ratings to place Washington State-registered products in the tables. Products listed in green sections have the lowest hazard to health and the environment. Products with the highest identified hazards are listed in the red section.
Within each section (low, moderate or high hazard) products are sorted based on the SIGNAL WORD required by the EPA to be listed on the product. Products that are not required to have a signal word are listed first, products with "CAUTION" second, "WARNING" third, "DANGER" fourth, and "DANGER-POISON" last. Go here for information about reading pesticide labels.
Products containing more than one active ingredient are listed based on the ingredient with the highest identified hazard. Pesticides with one active ingredient are listed above products with multiple active ingredients (when all other hazards and signal words are the same). Differences between close-ranking products may not be significant.
|EPA Minimum Risk Pesticides|
|Lowest Hazard - Products Exempt from EPA Registration|
EPA has created a pesticide classification called "Minimum Risk Pesticides". All products that meet the EPA requirements for minimum risk pass Thurston County's review criteria. The toxicity and environmental fate data that is normally required for pesticide ingredient registration is waived by the EPA for these pesticides due to their perceived low risk.
Active ingredient is low in toxicity and environmental hazard. Referenced studies used in the review indicate that products within this category contain active ingredients that pass the Thurston County review criteria.
May contain an ingredient persistent with a high potential to move off the site of application (water pollution hazard), or exposure to active ingredient after application approaches the EPA’s level of concern, or different products with the same active ingredient have potential exposures (based on application) that range from low to highest hazard. These ingredients meet Thurston County’s “conditional” ranking.
Contains an ingredient that is known to cause a significant animal toxicity hazard (known or possible carcinogen, chemical mutagen, reproductive or developmental toxicant); exposure to the active ingredient after application is close to or exceeds the EPA’s level of concern to humans, animals, or fish; is persistent with a high potential to bioaccumulate.