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Bulletin P

Abstract

As reflected in sales reports, millions of people are using chemical pesticides to solve a number of problems. Estimated total cost of chemical pesticides to all United States users in 1965 was more than a billion dollars. Farmers used pesticides costing an estimated $590 million-58 percent of the total. Residential (home, lawn, and garden) purchases amounted to about $220 million or about 22 percent of the total. The remaining purchases were made by industrial, institutional, and governmental sources. The use of chemical pesticides is expected to increase in the following year.

The use of chemical pesticides has not, however, been accepted by everyone. Concern has been voiced about possible consequences of improper use of these chemicals to the user as well as to wildlife, pets and agricultural commodities. This concern has been expressed in proposals to limit or abolish the use of chemical pesticides. The subject is controversial, but there have been few valid data on which to base rational discussion. Little research work has been done in determining attitudes, knowledge, and use and sales patterns of individuals in relation to chemical pesticides. Similarly, little is known about the people who sell chemicals to the ultimate consumer; i.e., what the dealers’ levels of knowledge and attitudes are; what their perceptions of possible harmful consequences are; what information they provide; and what they perceive their role to be.

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