Chemical Safety Next

Crop protection chemicals are necessary to ensure the production of food from our nation's farms and ranches. They prevent unwanted weeds, insects, rodents, fungus and diseases. These chemicals must also be handled with care to reduce potential worker exposure.

  • Always read packaging labels. All crop protection chemicals include information on the proper use of the chemical; its proper handling, safe storage and first aid information.

  • Obtain Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the crop protection chemicals that you use. MSDS contain additional health hazard data, spill or leak procedures and handling information. Be sure to keep a set separate from the storage area.

  • Have on hand and wear the personal protective equipment (PPE) required by the label. These can include: chemical-resistant gloves, coveralls, boots, hat and apron, approved respirator with cartridges for pesticides, and chemical protection goggles and face shield.

  • Keep crop protection chemicals in storage areas that can be locked to keep bystanders and children out. Be sure to label the storage area as containing pesticides.

  • Launder chemical-soiled clothing separately from other laundry and triple rinse.

  • Are all chemicals properly labeled?

  • Are all chemicals in locked storage area?

  • Is correct PPE available and used?

  • Are MSDS maintained on all chemicals?

  • Is application equipment operating properly?

  • Is the mixing/loading area on concrete?

Information supplied by the National Safety Council's Agricultural Division.