An important issue of safe storage is the potential for human harm through exposure — accidental or otherwise — especially where children are concerned. Proper storage can also help prolong chemical shelf life and prevent accidents that could cause property or environmental damage.
Remember, proper storage, security, and disposal of pesticides is as important as using them safely in the field.
1Read the label
Read the label and comply with all product storage requirements. Keep all pesticide labels intact and attached. When necessary, obtain replacement labels from your dealer or chemical sale representative.
A substitute label should contain product name, active ingredient formulation, EPA registration number, the manufacturer’s name and emergency phone numbers listed on the original label.
2Keep them separate
Store pesticides separately from food, feed, and seed. Follow the specific storage separation requirements on the label. Keep food, drinks, veterinary supplies or medications, first aid supplies, and clothing or protective equipment — especially respiratory protection — out of the storage area, as these items can be easily contaminated by dusts, vapors or spills.
Store pesticides separately from other chemicals — such as fertilizers — gasoline and other fuels, and from insecticides, fungicides and herbicides.
Store liquid formations below dry formations; store glass containers off the floor; store large drums and bulky bags on plastic pallets; store empty, clean containers separately from full and used containers.
Rotate materials so the oldest chemicals are used first, especially those with a short shelf life. Mark the purchase and opening date on the container, if not all used, before storing. Store pesticides in their original containers and keep labels legible.
Keep an inventory of your pesticides and include the product name, date of purchase, quantity and location within the storage area. This will help determine future needs and serve as a reference in the case of spills, fire, weather-related damage, or theft.
Keep a copy of this information, duplicate copies of product labels, at different locations in case of an emergency.
5Map it out
Have copies of a map indicating the location of your storage facility, the storage unit floor plan, and current or seasonal inventory in a secure place away from the storage area. Also, have a copy filed with the fire department, other first responders, and/or the Local Emergency Planning Commission, if required.
6Other things to consider
Inspect the storage area regularly, looking for leaks and missing inventory. Keep a log of these inspections.
Know what your insurance policy covers and keep your policy in a safe place.
Develop a contingency plan for your establishment with the local emergency response personnel.
Source: Pesticide storage and security, Penn State Extension.
(Farm and Dairy is featuring a series of “101” columns throughout the year to help young and beginning farmers master farm living. From finances to management to machinery repair and animal care, farmers do it all.)
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