HOW SAFE IS YOUR PESTICIDE STORAGE FACILITY?

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Objective:  To provide information on safe pesticide storage and motivate applicators to adopt safe storage practices.
Target audience:  10 - 400 pesticide applicator trainees.
Time required:  30 - 45 minutes.
Procedure:  Provide trainees with slips of paper and pencils.  Show the first 6 slides of the pesticide storage facility from the XYZ Co.  Do not comment on the slides the first time through.  Ask the trainees to write one or two things that they see wrong in these slides.  Give them 2-3 minutes to write, then collect the slips of paper.  Read a few of the comments from the trainees.  Then go back through the first 6 slides again.  This time point out what is wrong in each slide.  Keep saying, "As one of you pointed out in your comments, ..."  End with the shots of the ABC Co.

Lead In:  "How many of you store pesticides at your business?  Safe storage is very important.  Let's look at the storage facility from one company, XYZ, that isn't very safe.  What can you find wrong in these pictures?"

XYZ Co. pesticide storage facility in a wood shed.  Could be a fire hazard.  This dirt floor is a direct line into the ground water for pesticide spills!

Someone ate lunch here!  Never eat, drink, or smoke around pesticides.

Never store your PPE with pesticides.  Rodent control products will absorb odors of other pesticides.  Rodents will not take bait now.  Open bags & jugs sitting on wood shelving!  Wood will absorb pesticide spills.

PPE and paper products will become contaminated.  Many of the items in XYZ's facility are taken from real life.  About 10 years ago, I toured a mushroom farm (not in DE -- in another state).  I saw an open door that said, "Pesticide Storage."  When I went inside, I found a carton of toilet paper!

Never store seed or feed with pesticides.  If seed is contaminated with herbicide, you'll have a mighty small crop.  In southern DE, a farmer stored feed with pesticides.  He swept up grain from his shed and fed it to his cattle.  He didn't know that he was also sweeping up pesticide granules.  He killed several cows.

On the top shelf is a "sport bottle."  A few years ago in Harrington, DE, a homeowner had an ant problem.  A neighbor gave him a jug of pesticide that he had bought (legally) from a flea market.  The homeowner put the product in a sport bottle like the one shown and put it under the bathroom sink.  Each time he saw ants in the bathroom, he squirted them with the sport bottle.  Well, one day his 12 year old son was getting ready for school.  For some reason he looked under the sink, saw the sport bottle, and took a swig.  Fortunately it tasted bad and he spit it out.  Unfortunately he went to the kitchen and drank some milk washing the pesticide down.  After he passed out on the school bus, he was sent to A.I.DuPont Hospital in Wilmington while medical staff tried to find the parents and determine what the child drank.  The sport bottle was found, but it didn't have a pesticide label on it.  It took a few hours, but the father was found and proper medical care was provided.  The child recovered.

Next to the sport bottle is a pepper tin.  In Louisianna there was an elderly shrimper.  He was having trouble with wild animals getting into his shrimp beds, so he laced some meat balls with pesticide granules to kill the animals.  Well, one day the shrimper passed away.  His nephew inherited the truck.  He found a tin of black pepper when he cleaned out the truck & gave it to his wife who put it in the kitchen.  A while later she was making potato salad for the company picnic & needed pepper.  So she used the tin from the truck.  Almost everyone at the picnic became sick.  Somehow, medical staff were able to figure out that they were sick from the pesticide granules that the uncle had stored in the pepper tin!

Note the cinder block "construction" for the shelving.  This material will also absorb pesticides.

This dirt floor is a direct line into the ground water for pesticide spills!

Now let's look at the storage facilty at ABC Co.

Sealed concrete floor.  Stainless steel shelves.  Metal building.

A salvage drum for holding broken containers.

Spill control products, bleach for decontamination of the sealed concrete floor and absorbent compound that can be put into the spray tank.  The spill control will not clog the nozzles.  Instead of throwing away the spilt pesticide, you can put it in your tank and use it.
 

Spill clean up supplies.

Secondary containment for pesticides.  The ABC Co. is obviously a much safer place to work.


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