National Pesticide Telecommunication Network (NPTN)

The National Pesticide Telecommunications Network (NPTN) is a toll-free information service sponsored cooperatively by Oregon State University and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. NPTN provides objective, science-based information on a wide variety of pesticide-related subjects, including pesticide products, pesticide poisonings, toxicology, and environmental chemistry. It is staffed by qualified and trained pesticide specialists who have the toxicology and environmental chemistry training needed to help callers interpret and understand scientific information about pesticides.

NPTN receives more than 20,000 calls per year. Most callers are homeowners concerned about their family's health when pesticides are being used in and around their home for the control of ants, cockroaches, termites, fleas, or garden and lawn pests. NPTN can provide information on specific recommendations about which pesticides to use for control of pests, or can direct callers to local resources for products available in their area.

If people call with pesticide emergencies, the NPTN staff can connect them directly to the Oregon Poison Control Center or the National Animal Poison Control Center. Additionally, the staff can refer calls requiring a medical background to a medically trained clinical toxicologist. They can also direct callers to appropriate agencies for assistance with pesticide incident investigations, safety guidelines, clean-up and disposal, and laboratory analyses.

NPTN utilizes a variety of information sources including EPA documents, USDA Cooperative Extension publications, current scientific literature, and pesticide product databases. Non-copyrighted materials can be mailed or faxed to callers for the cost of postage and handling.

Information is also available through the NPTN World Wide Web site at:

NPTN can be reached 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time seven days a week, excluding holidays. Telephone: 1-800-858-7378. Fax: 1-541-737-0761. E-mail:

This article appeared in the March 2001 on-line issue of Horticulture Update, edited by Dr. Douglas F. Welsh, and produced by Extension Horticulture, Texas Agricultural Extension Service, The Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas.

Web page construction by Jill Stavenhagen.