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Early Pest and Pesticide Laws

In the United States pest and pesticides were regulated as early as the late 19th century. Similar laws were passed in Canada and Europe. This gallery documents some of these laws.

1910 Insecticide Act - United States

The 1910 Insecticide Act was passed by Congress to prevent the misbranding and adulteration of pesticide products for sale to the public.

In 1908, representatives of the chemical manufacturers met to draft a law that would protect their industry from sale and production of misbranded and adulterated pesticides. The law was passed by Congress in 1909 and went into affect in 1910.  The law targeted specific pesticides including Paris green, lead arsenate, and various fungicides. The law required manufacturers to guarantee that these products met a certain percentage of concentration and were pure in nature prior to sale. The law put a stop to home brew operations and brought foreign manufacturers under compliance with the law.


Pesticide containers were marked with a serial number specific to the manufacturer.  The product labels indicated that the product was guaranteed under the act. Products had a paper label and were also often embossed with a brand and identify mark on the containers.  Containers were made of ceramic, metal, paper, and cardboard.

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