Pesticides are chemicals used to control pests. It’s a broad term that includes such chemicals as insecticides for controlling insects, herbicides for killing and preventing weeds, fungicides to control or treat plant diseases, and other pesticides for the control of rodents, etc., on and around your property.
Many chemicals have the potential to be dangerous to humans, pets, the environment and other animals. That’s why it’s imperative to read and carefully follow the label directions on any container. Pesticides are poisonous and can harm you if swallowed, inhaled, accidentally gets into your eyes or onto your skin. The latter is the most common way that pesticides get into the body. They get in through cuts or wounds making you very ill. Taking necessary precautions by wearing protective clothing is very important when handling, applying or transporting these chemicals.
As a safety precaution it’s always a good idea for anyone handling pesticides to receive proper training in the following:
• reading and understanding information on pesticide labels
• avoid exposure through common sense and personal hygiene
• wear, use, and maintain personal protective gear and clothing (for example, goggles, respirators, and gloves)
• understanding the health risks associated with pesticide exposure
• knowing what to do in emergencies involving pesticides (first aid, spills, cleanup)
• safely transport, mix, load, apply, store, and dispose of pesticides and pesticide containers
• safely operate the mixing, loading, and pesticide application equipment
Chemicals such as pesticides are a useful product for many agricultural applications but you should learn as much as you can about them and the safety equipment required to protect yourself prior to your initial use.