Transporting pesticides safely

These safety basics can minimize pesticide risks during transport.

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Many farmers today own their own spraying equipment, so they buy and pick up their pesticides directly from the distributor. The problem is that farmers are unfamiliar with the best management practices regarding the safe transportation of pesticides.

Careless handling of containers, failure to properly secure loads and unforeseen accidents can lead to pesticide leaks and spills during transport. Such events have the potential to cause harm to humans and animals, pollute the environment, and lead to financial losses—and legal actions against you.

Consider the following safety basics whenever customers pick up from you:

  • Never allow customers to transport pesticides in the passenger compartment of cars, vans or trucks
  • Properly secure containers and transport separately from people, pets, food, seed, grain, livestock feed, or minerals
  • Transport pesticides in locked compartments, whenever possible
  • Urge customers to keep a hazardous material spill kit in their vehicles. This kit commonly contains chemical-resistant gloves, coveralls, goggles, absorbent pads and absorbent materials such as non-chlorinated pet litter, and a temporary storage container, preferably made of plastic
  • Inspect all containers before loading into customer vehicle
  • Verify product labels are legible and firmly attached, and that all caps are closed tight
  • Avoid tossing, sliding or dragging containers over rough surfaces
  • Never transport damaged or leaking containers
  • Secure all containers to the vehicle to prevent load shifts and container damage
  • Protect containers made of paper, cardboard or similar materials from rain or moisture
  • Protect pesticides from temperature extremes
  • Urge customers to read and follow labels carefully

Before an accident occurs

Inform customers of the need to contact their local law enforcement agency, local emergency management services and nearest department of agriculture, and to take the necessary measures to prevent unauthorized persons from entering a spill area.

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