Using a Pesticide Spray: 10 Safety Tips to Follow
However, spraying pesticides can be dangerous. About 200,000 people die every year from pesticide poisoning.
This article will help you reduce your risks when using pesticide spray by teaching you 10 safety tips.
1. Select the Appropriate Product
The first step to pesticides safety is making sure you've purchased the correct and safest product. You don't want to use a dangerous solution when a mild one will do the job just as well.
Pay attention to the signal words on your pesticides spray too. These are the three most common signal words you will see:
- Danger- High toxicity; it can burn or blind a person
- Warning- Moderate toxicity if eaten, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin
- Caution- Slight toxicity if eaten, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin
Again, use insecticides spray with the 'CAUTION' signal word whenever possible. This will minimize your risk of serious accidents when spraying.
Pay attention to the locations listed on the pesticide spray. Don't use a spray in a place it's not meant to be used! This will help you avoid a lot of problems.
2. Follow the Labeled Directions
We all hate reading instructions to do something we already know how to do. However, when it comes to pesticide spray, it's worth your time to read the directions.
Pesticides spray labels explain a lot of information like:
- How to minimize risks
- How to use the product legally
- How toxic the chemicals are
- What to do if the chemicals spill
- What to do if someone ingests or breathes in the chemicals
The label can also tell you the specific uses of the pesticide spray. It may be that your spray works well on gardens, but not on lawns. Checking the label can make sure your pesticide spray actually helps you.
One last warning. Never remove the label from pesticide products. This could lead to mixing up insecticide sprays or even poisoning someone.
3. Store Pesticides Well
It can be tempting to just shove your pesticide bottles on a shelf and forget about them until they're needed. Avoid this temptation and be careful when storing your chemicals!
Make sure you store your insecticides sprays in their original containers with the labels still attached. This will keep you from making a mistake in the future.
Pesticide spray containers are also made to contain the chemicals. This will prevent accidents and spills if chemicals are stored for a long time.
Beware of the temperature of your storage site. Pesticides sprays are best kept between 40-90 degrees. Anything else could cause chemical spills or accidents.
Finally, it's best to store your insecticides sprays in a locked area or at least in a place that kids can't get to. This will keep them away from children, which is one of your greatest risks with chemicals.
4. Wear Protective Clothing
Even though it can be a hassle and sometimes uncomfortable, protective clothing is important.
Sometimes directions or instructions will tell you exactly what to wear. If they don't, the general rule of thumb is long sleeves, long pants, and close-toed shoes. You might want to consider protective eyewear like glasses as well.
This will help protect all parts of your body from any hazardous chemicals.
Take a look at our selection of Safety & Work Boots!
5. Mix Pesticide Spray Appropriately
Some insecticides sprays require that you mix them with other chemicals or water before use. Make sure to do this outside in a well-ventilated area.
It's best to mix pesticide spray right before you use it. This means you won't have to store it and will prevent it from spilling accidentally or going bad.
Also, when you're mixing insecticides spray, make sure you measure carefully. Having too much or too little can be dangerous.
Don't mix or spray insecticides near children or pets. They should not even be in the general area where you are mixing or spraying.
6. Be Prepared For Spills
The Boy Scout motto is good in many situations, and it also applies to pesticide spraying. Be prepared!
You should always have supplies ready in case of a pesticide spill. Paper towels, sawdust, cat litter, garbage bags, and plastic gloves can all help to safely clean up a spill.
7. Have the Poison Control Number Close By
Always have the phone number for the Poison Control Center (1-800-222-1222)on hand. If you have any accidents or issues, don't hesitate to call. They can help you determine what to do in an emergency situation.
8. Be Careful When Spraying
When you're actually spraying, there are a few things to keep in mind.
As we mentioned earlier, keep children and pets away from the area. You also want to be sure that no clothing, toys, food, or other items are close to your insecticide spraying area. You don't want them to get contaminated and pass pesticide spray on to you or your family.
Make sure there is plenty of ventilation where you are spraying pesticides. You don't want to have any breathing problems or lose consciousness from the chemicals.
When you're spraying pesticides outside, be careful on windy days. Close all the windows in your house or car. This will help keep the insecticides spray from building up in areas where there are people.
9. Wash Your Hands
After spraying pesticides, always wash your hands! This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's easy to forget.
If you take a break from spraying to eat or smoke, make sure you wash your hands then too. You don't want to ingest any pesticide spray!
10. Teach Your Children About Pesticide Spray
While it may seem like a hassle, the more you teach your children about chemical safety the better.
It's easy to assume that your kids know not to drink liquids in the garage or barn, they may not use their best judgment. Remind them often that they should not drink anything they find in plastic containers. Teach them to always ask you or an adult before drinking something new.
For more tips on helping your kids be safe with chemicals check out the EPA website.
Be Safe Spraying!
Now that you've minimized your risks when using pesticide spray, it's time to get busy! Check out this great article on minimizing spray drift.