There's even a Texas connection to the Center. The pesticide information service began as a place to report spills, misapplications, or unintended pesticide exposures at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in San Benito. Later, as the center began to receive calls from across the U.S., the Center evolved into a place for the public to get general information on pesticides. It resided at Texas Tech University's Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas between 1986 and 1995, and, after a competitive process NPTN moved to Oregon State University in April 1995.
Renamed the NPIC in 2001, the primary mission of the National Pesticide Information Center has not changed. It's mission is to serve as a source of objective, science-based information on a wide variety of pesticide-related subjects, including:
- recognition and management of pesticide poisonings
- health and environmental effects of pesticides
- environmental chemistry
- pesticide products
- safety practices
- clean-up and disposal
- emergency treatment
- investigation of pesticide incidents
- laboratory analysis
For the most part, I believe the NPIC does a pretty good job of meeting its objectives. From my perspective there does seem to be a slight anti-pesticide emphasis, but this is what one should expect from a Center whose directors are toxicologists, and who's focus is on the potential health effects of pesticides rather than on the benefits pesticides provide in pest control. In a way, I think this can work in your favor as a PMP.
Consider recommending the NPIC as a resource for your wariest customers--you know, those good folks who believe all pesticides are "radioactive". The Center doesn't sugar-coat toxicology issues. The materials I have read seem pretty well balanced and at least attempt to balance risks and benefits of pesticides and specific active ingredients. Your customers can learn about the relationship between dose and response, and will get relatively objective assessments of the relative toxicities of different active ingredients.
Anyone who is skilled in the business of pest control today should not fear an educated customer. The only thing we "might should" get a little nervous about (to use a good southern expression), is a customer who knows more about a subject than we do. So check out the NPIC website and look up some stuff yourself. We can all will find information there that we need to know.