By Heather F. Collins, M.S.
On October 17, 2019, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Spanish Translation Guide for Pesticide Labeling [ https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-labels/spanish-translation-guide-pesticide-labeling ] resource for use by all, including pesticide registrants that choose to display parts of their pesticide product label in Spanish. The purpose of the guide is to be a resource for the translation of the health and safety sections on pesticide labeling from English to Spanish. EPA states that the “guide is written in a universal form of Spanish to reach as many Spanish speakers as possible.”
While translating pesticide labels is not a requirement, EPA generally allows pesticide registrants to translate their product labels into any language so long as there is an EPA-accepted English version of the label and the translation is true and accurate. The guide is not intended to substitute for or eliminate the pesticide labels in English. An English version of all required labeling text is needed for all pesticide products in accordance with 40 C.F.R. Section 156.10(a)(3).
The guide provides translations for standard language typically used in the health and safety sections of pesticide product labels such as the:
- First aid and precautionary statement label language;
- Signal words;
- Misuse statements;
- Storage and pesticide container disposal instructions;
- Personal protection equipment label statements; and
- Worker Protection Standard agricultural use requirements.
The English statement appears in the left-hand column and the corresponding Spanish translation is available in the right-hand column of the guide. EPA states that the “guide will help registrants maintain accurate, consistent translations on product labels and ease their burden when adding Spanish translations.”