BT with warnings

qumumJuly 11, 2014

I bought some BT for cabbage worms and read on the label these warnings.
If it touches clothing or skin it says: "Take of contaminated clothing. Rinse skin immediately with plenty of water for 15 to 20 minutes. Call a poison control center or doctor for treatment advice."

So have they added something else to the BT or does all BT carry these warnings.

Sounds like more poison that I'd want to use.


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Maybe it's because it has proteins that carry a risk of allergenic reactions? It also can produce beta-exotoxin which is toxic to humans, but I'm not familiar with how it could do so.

Also, don't most pesticide containers say to take universal precautions? They could be just doing pro forma CYA in general.

The chemical companies are not our friends.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 11:59PM
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All Bt preps have those warnings. The stuff can cause dermatitis and eventually sensitization and allergic reactions. And inhaling the dust is - like any dust - not good for the lungs. Even worse when the dust is concentrated live bacteria.

After it's been diluted and applied to the plants, your exposure working in the garden is negligible.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 5:58AM
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Those warnings have been part of the labels for years, nothing new.

This post was edited by kimmsr on Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 6:26

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 6:08AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

And Bt for caterpillars is dead, NOT live.

If you feel unsafe using/handling Bt, there's always handpicking which works just fine.

Further, when it comes to non-flowering plants such as cabbage, etc, row covers work also.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 11:56AM
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Jean, Bacillus thuringiensis, as well as many other bacterium insect controls, are dormant, not dead. They must be ingested by the target insect and activated by the gut chemistry of that insect to work.
Like any other foreign substance, something not meant to enter our bodies, these spores could cause serious problems if inhaled although probably not so much if ingested. If one were to get some in the eyes it might produce a bad reaction just as water would, and if a very large amount were to get on the skin that might cause some problems in especially sensitive people.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 6:37AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Btk is a dead bacillus which carries a toxic crystal. The crystal is what does in the cat.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 3:22PM
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This is all BS. Look up the MSDS for sodium chloride, sucrose or soap and you'll probably freak about those things as well.

This irrational kneejerk misunderstanding of labels has led to benign products such as Actinovate, RootShield and Contans (both based on fungi or other microbes present in soil) requiring a pesticide applicator's license in Canada - the same kind of license one needs to spray something like malathion. On the other hand, carbaryl which is much more toxic and has the potential to serious screw up the local ecosystem does NOT require a license. Why? Don't even try to understand bureaucratic decisions.

Absolutely ridiculous.

Use your Bt and stop worrying about the one-size-fits-all label. They OBVIOUSLY aren't going to tell you to drink the bottle and not worry if it gets on your skin because they could open themselves up to all kinds of frivolous lawsuits.

This post was edited by Slimy_Okra on Sun, Jul 13, 14 at 15:33

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 3:29PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

I agree. The stuff will not hurt you at all.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:18PM
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