ODA Partners with OSU Extension to Provide Online Pesticide Recertification Opportunities

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), is partnering with the Ohio State University Extension Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) to temporarily offer online recertification for pesticide applicators and fertilizer certificate holders whose licenses expired or are due to expire this year, and were unable recertify as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The online recertification for private pesticide applicators and fertilizer certificate holders will be available starting Monday, July 6.  Commercial pesticide applicators will be able to recertify online beginning August 10.  For more information or to register for the online recertification, visit pested.osu.edu/onlinerecert.

Training videos for recertification will include category specific, up-to-date information provided by ODA, Ohio State University Specialists, Field Specialists, and Extension Educators. The cost for online training is $35 for private applicators and $10 for fertilizer recertification. The price per credit hour for commercial applicators is $15.  Your license number or applicator ID will be required to complete the recertification process.  If you don’t know your license number, please contact ODA at 614-728-6987, choose option 1.

Applicators are still required to meet their recertification requirements to renew licenses and certifications.  As a result of HB 197, applicators have until 90 days after the emergency is over or December 1, whichever comes first, to complete their requirements.  Recertification status can be checked online here. Applicators must also submit a completed renewal application and pay an additional fee to the ODA for licensure.

For additional information regarding online recertification, please contact the Ohio Department of Agriculture at 614-728-6987, and press 1 for licensing recertification,  or the OSU Pesticide Safety Education Program at 614-292-4070.

Respirator Requirements

RespiratorDo you or your employees make applications in enclosed places such as greenhouses or grain bins?  Do you come into contact with harmful dusts, gases, vapors or mists?  Then you may be required to wear a respirator!

Why have respirator requirements changed under the Worker Protection Standard?

  • To ensure that respirators are providing the intended protection
  • Respirators may place a physiological burden on the wearer
  • All other industries require these protections

Medical Evaluation

  • Employees must provide a medical evaluation at no cost to the employee, prior to any respirator use
  • Employee fills out standard OSHA questionnaire and may submit to a physician or licensed health care professional. Convenient online services are also available
  • Medical clearance is only required once unless medical problems arise, or a fit test indicates a need for reevaluation

Fit Testing

  • An annual fit test is required for all tight-fitting respirators where required by the pesticide label
  • Must be completed after receiving a medical clearance
  • Must be conducted with the same size, make, model and style of the respirator to be worn
  • Includes particulate filtering face-piece respirators (dust/mist respirators)

Respirator Training

  • Required annually or when workplace conditions change, or a new type of respirator is used
  • How to inspect, use and perform seal checks
  • Respirator maintenance and storage
  • How to select cartridge/canisters and change out schedule
  • How to recognize medical signs that limit effective use of respirators
  • How to use respirators in emergency situations


  • Records must be maintained for two years
  • Name of employee
  • Type of fit test performed
  • Make, model and size of respirator
  • Date and results of fit test

For more information on respirator requirements and fit testing locations in Ohio, see pested.osu.edu/wps/Respirator

New Restrictions on Widely Used Herbicide: Paraquat Dichloride

As of November 14, 2019, The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Paraquat Dichloride Human Health Mitigation Decision set forth new requirements to mitigate risks associated with the herbicide, Gramoxone and other herbicides containing paraquat dichloride.

Herbicides containing paraquat include:  Gramoxone, Firestorm, Helmquat, Parazone and others.

Paraquat dichloride (paraquat), the active ingredient in Gramoxone, is an herbicide widely used for grasses and weeds in agricultural as well as commercial settings.  Due to its high acute toxicity, it has been registered by the EPA as a restricted use pesticide in which only licensed pesticide applicators are able to legally mix, load and apply.  Paraquat is highly poisonous and a single sip can be lethal if ingested.  Exposure can also occur dermally or via inhalation and may lead to seizures, lung scarring and heart failure.  Since 2000, there have been multiple deaths due to accidental ingestion of paraquat containing pesticides.  As a result, the EPA has passed the Paraquat Dichloride Human Health Mitigation Decision to minimize potential exposures.  To meet the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act standards for registration, the EPA has required the following risk mitigation measures:

  1. Label changes emphasizing paraquat toxicity and supplemental warning materials
  2. Targeted training materials for paraquat users
  3. Closed-system packaging for all non-bulk (less than 120 gallon) end use product containers of paraquat
  4. Restricting the use of all paraquat products to certified applicators only (i.e., prohibiting use by uncertified persons working under the supervision of a certified applicator).

Paraquat Dichloride Training:  Certified applicators must complete the mandatory training prior to any mixing, loading or handling of paraquat dichloride containing new product labeling.  This training was developed by paraquat manufacturers in response the EPA risk mitigation requirements.  Training is required every three years.

Online Paraquat Training:  Certified applicators can register and take the online training modules and required quiz HERE

  • Training modules and quiz will take approximately 60 min
  • Certificate will generate upon successful completion of quiz
  • Spanish-language modules will be available soon. Please check the NPSEC website for details

In-Person Paraquat Training:  In-person training may be available.  Please check pested.osu.edu for more information.

Find more information on paraquat dichloride toxicity HERE

Find more information pertaining to the required Paraquat Dichloride Training HERE