Important precautions during application of pesticides :
  1. The pesticide application equipment should be properly lubricated and well maintained for proper working.
  2. The correct amount of insecticide be calibrated and mixed in the required quantity of water.
  3. Avoid spraying/dusting in high wind, high temperature and rains.
  4. Use protective devices like appropriate clothing, hand gloves, rubber boots and gas masks etc.
  5. Do not spray or dust the pesticide against the direction of the wind.
  6. The operator should never use his mouth to blow through the clogged nozzle or pipe.
  7. Clean water, soap, towel and first aid box should be available at the spray time.
  8. Ensure proper cleaning of the sprayer after spraying has been done.
  9. Empty pesticide containers should be punctured and buried deep in an uncultivated/barren land.

 

Handling & Mixing Pesticides Having purchased the right pesticide for the job the following guidelines for safety in pesticide handling should be followed :-
  1. Read label and leaflet carefully and follow instruction therein.
  2. Make necessary calculations for the required dilution.
  3. Obtain the required application equipment including the personal protective clothing and devices.
  4. Wear clean, appropriate, protective, clothing before handling the pesticide. Details regarding use of protective clothing are given elsewhere.
  5. Never work alone when handling a highly toxic pesticide.
  6. Never allow children to handle or mix pesticides.
  7. Never leave pesticides unattended. Inquisitive children or animals can be attracted.
  8. Mix chemicals outside in an open area or in a well ventilated area.
  9. Carefully open the factory sealed containers. Take care, nothing should spill on the body. Open bags or sacks with scissors, knife or blade to prevent dusting. Do not tear the bag which is bound to cause spillage and undesirable dusting.
  10. Never position any part of the body below the pesticide when pouring out.
  11. Always stand with the wind on your back when mixing or loading pesticide.
  12. Measure and mix quantities accurately.
  13. Drain containers completely as described in the section on decontamination.
  14. Do not keep food, drink, tobacco, cigarette or cooking utensils in the work area.
  15. Never eat, drink, smoke, rub your eyes or face while working with pesticides.
  16. Do not use mouth to siphon a pesticide from a container.
  17. When filling the spray tank, do not allow the delivery hose below the highest possible water surface, to avoid back siphoning.
  18. Clean up spills immediately. If the body is accidentally contaminated immediately wash, change cloths, if required.

 

Pesticide Application

 

The person applying pesticide can be exposed to the pesticide during his work. If he is careless, he can expose other people or farm animals to the pesticide also. It is therefore essential to use safe working practices in the application of the pesticide.
Safe practice to be adopted are as under :-
  1. Wear personal protective equipments as recommended. (Refer Section 4)
  2. Spray crops with the wind. In other words, spray with the wind coming from the back.
  3. Ensure that there are no animals, people, food or animal feed downwind to the area i.e. in the direction in which the wind is blowing.
  4. Check sprayer and sprayer equipment for leaks. Leaking spray equipments can seriously contaminate the person.
  5. Do not blow out blocked spray nozzles with the mouth.
  6. Apply pesticide where needed. Do not walk with running sprayer on roads, path-ways etc.
  7. Apply the correct dosage. Do not use higher dosages than those recommended. It is also very harmful to use lower than recommended dosage.
  8. To apply the correct amount of pesticide, the application equipment must be properly calibrated. Knowledge of equipment output is essential to calculate the amount of pesticide needed in the mixture to treat a given area.
  9. Apply pesticide at the correct time. This will prevent undesirable residue remaining in the farm produce. Many pesticide labels state the number of days interval between the last pesticide application and the time the crop is harvested.
  10. Use properly maintained and functioning equipment. Repairing defective equipments during the spray operation increases time of exposure to the pesticide.
  11. Take care to prevent the applied pesticide from contaminating near-by streams, ponds, lakes or wells.
  12. If during spraying the person feels ill or notices any irregular body symptoms, work should be stopped and medical attention should be sought immediately.

 

While the aforesaid precautions need to be observed during the application, elimination of hazards requires proper care even after the spraying operation is over.
The following steps need to be taken after applying the pesticide :-

  1. Empty the spray tank completely during the spraying. If not empty, dispose the contents as described on page No. 10
  2. Never empty the spray tank into irrigation canals, waterways, ponds or wells.
  3. Do not leave dirty spray equipment unattended. Immediately clean up and decontaminate as described on page No. 9
  4. Decontaminate or destroy all devices such as buckets, sticks, measuring cups, etc. used in preparation of the spray solution.
  5. Decontaminate all protective clothing and footwear.
  6. Take a bath with plenty of clean water and soap.
  7. Wash clothes separately.
  8. Mark the sprayed field and prevent unauthorized entry into the treated area.