Handling Pesticides: Are You Protected?

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Although pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides) are important to crop management, they are potentially dangerous chemicals; follow proper safety measures to minimize your exposure.

How can pesticides enter the body?

1. Skin and Eyes

  • the main source of exposure
  • from splashes, spills, or sprays
2. Mouth
  • eating, drinking, or smoking without washing properly
3. Nose
  • breathing fumes, mist, or dust
What is the minimum level of protection required for working with dilute, less toxic or granular pesticides?

Hard hat
  • wide brimmed, no leather liner
  • cloth or disposable
  • wear closed at neck, over long-sleeved shirt and full-length pants
  • unlined, nitrile, or neoprene
  • cuff gloves and wear sleeves over gloves
  • neoprene overboots or high rubber boots
  • wear pants outside of boots
What extra protection should I use for mixing, loading and handling pesticide concentrates, especially highly toxic pesticides?

In addition to the above, you should also have on:
  • goggles or face shield
  • ear plugs
  • respirator coveralls that are chemically resistant
  • waterproof apron
Do not wear:
  • baseball caps
  • leather or cloth gloves
  • leather or cloth shoes or boots
  • natural rubber or plastic gloves
  • wrist watch
  • leather belt
  • contact lenses
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Kenda Lubeck.
This information published to the web on June 3, 2003.
Last Reviewed/Revised on October 24, 2017.