EPA defines pesticide as any substance or mixture of substances intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest. Pests can be insects, rodents and other animals, weeds, fungi, bacteria and viruses. The term pesticide refers to not just insecticides but also to herbicides, fungicides, and any other substances used to control pests. Plant regulators, defoliants, or desiccants are also classified as pesticides.
Movement Of Pesticides In The Environment
Use Of Required Personal Protective Equipment
Effects Of Exposure
Safe Handling of Pesticides
Management of Pesticide Spills
Control the spill: Before attempting to control a spill make sure that you have the required personal protective equipment as listed on the product label on. Having the right PPE on prevents your body from coming into contact with the spilt chemicals. Then, stop the source of the spill. Take immediate steps to control the release of the pesticide products being spilled. For example, if a pesticide container is damaged and leaking, put the damaged container into a larger container to prevent further release of the pesticide into the environment.
- Contain the spill: Prevent the spill from spreading and getting worse. As the leaking pesticides are being controlled, move quickly to keep the spilled material in as small an area as possible. If the spill is flowing toward a source of water, block it or redirect it.
- Clean up the spill: Dry pesticides can be swept up and reused if possible. For liquid spills items such as activated charcoal, absorptive clay, vermiculite, sawdust, or cat litter can be used to soak up the liquid. Do not hose down the site with water unless the spill is on a containment pad. Once the spill is contained, sweep up the pesticides and the spill control materials and place them in a steel or fiber glass drum lined with a heavy-duty plastic bag. The top 2-3 inches of soil saturated with the pesticides should also be removed and placed in the drum. Check the label for information on what is recommended for washing or further decontamination of the spill zone. If the materials are hazardous wastes they must be shipped to an incinerator or sanitary landfill approved for the disposal of hazardous wastes. Then decontaminate the equipment that was contaminated either because of the spill itself, or because of cleaning up the spill, or because of disposing the spilled pesticides. After cleaning up the equipment, decontaminate yourself by washing thoroughly with soap and water. Wash any part of your skin that may have been exposed to the pesticides, especially your hands, forearms, face and neck.