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Agricultural Review

Care should be used when transporting pesticides

As the 2007 planting season ramps up, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler reminds farmers to take precautions when transporting pesticides, including properly securing them and not transporting them in the passenger area of a vehicle.

“Traffic accidents can occur at anytime, even when you’re traveling a short distance, so it pays to use extra caution,” Troxler said. “If pesticide containers aren’t properly loaded, they can fall off a vehicle or become punctured or torn, which increases the potential for people, animals and the environment to be exposed to these chemicals.”

The following are important tips to keep in mind when transporting pesticides:

  • Always transport pest-icides separately from food, seed, grain, livestock feed, minerals and fertilizer.

  • Do not carry pesticides in the passenger compartment of cars, vans or trucks. Vapors released from pesticides can be hazardous to the driver and passengers, and the chemicals can cause injury if spilled. The driver is responsible and potentially liable if anyone is accidentally exposed to pesticides transported in an unlocked truck compartment or open-bed truck. Whenever possible, safely transport pesticides in locked compartments, and use two forms of containment if possible.

  • Never allow children, other passengers or pets to ride with pesticides.

  • Keep a hazardous-material spill kit in the vehicle, especially if you frequently transport pesticides. These kits commonly contain chemical-resistant gloves, coveralls, goggles, shovel, dust pan, broom, absorbent pads and absorbent materials such as non-chlorinated pet litter, heavy-duty plastic bags, and a temporary storage container preferably made of plastic.

  • When possible, inspect all containers at the time of purchase and before loading. Accept the product only if labels are legible and firmly attached. Check all caps and tighten them if necessary. Avoid tossing, sliding or dragging containers over rough surfaces that could rip, tear or puncture. Never transport damaged or leaking pesticide containers.

  • Secure all containers to the vehicle to prevent load shifts and to reduce container damage. Containers made of paper, cardboard or similar materials should always be protected from rain or moisture. In addition, protect pesticides from extreme heat and cold, which can reduce the effectiveness of the pesticide and cause damage to the container.

  • Practice the same care when transporting empty pesticide bags and containers. Residual exposure – whether by dust, granules, powder or liquid – also poses potential environmental hazards. For example, if an empty insecticide bag blows off a truck and ends up in a lake, it could cause a fish kill.

  • Take the time to read and follow the label carefully. It provides information about special hazards and safety instructions for handling and disposing of pesticides.

  • If there is an accident that involves a pesticide spill on a highway, contact the local sheriff’s office or the local police department, the local emergency management services and the Structural Pest Control and Pesticides Division of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at (919) 733-3556. Keep unauthorized people from entering the spill area until authorities arrive.

 

NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 707-3001; FAX: (919) 733-5047