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Effectiveness of labelling pesticides - PA1720

The area of warning labels research is one which is there is a great deal of interest, testament to which is the large amount of new research evidence being published on a regular basis. From a small pool of studies around the mid-1980`s there now exists a huge body of empirical data mapping out of the relationship between warning labels, their design, more general issues related to compliance with respect to dangerous products, and behaviour with respect to those products. Much of this research is summarised in two recent books (Edworthy & Adams, 1996; Wogalter et al, 1998).

Research shows that there is much that can be done to increase the effectiveness of warning labels in terms of design (the use of colour, layout, the language used to convey the hazards and risks and so on). Recently there has been increasing focus on models of warnings-related behaviour which takes into account not only aspects of both the design of the warning label and the hazards involved, but also of user characteristics such as skill and familiarity (e.g. Edworthy 1998; Lehto et al` 1998) These models allow a formal underpinning which serves to clarify which otherwise appear to be unpredictable.

The aims of phase one are:

a) To investigate how well non-professional and professional users understand information on hazards, risks and other associated safety instructions on pesticide/biocide labels and make proposals for improvements

b) To investigate if non-professional and professional users might need different types of warning for the same product.

The aims for phase two are:

To determine if the layout of information on a pesticide/biocide label affects how people notice, read, understand and follow these instructions and to make recommendations for improvements.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Effectiveness of labelling pesticides (weblink only)   (23k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1999

To: 2001

Cost: £74,733
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Health and Safety Executive, University - Plymouth
Pest and Weed Control              
Pesticide use              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Pesticide Safety