Pesticides and Container Management

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  • Read and follow all label instructions. This includes directions for use, precautionary statements (hazards to humans, domestic animals, and endangered species), environmental hazards, rates of application, number of applications, reentry intervals, harvest restrictions, storage and disposal, and any specific warnings and/or precautions for safe handling of the pesticide.
  • Wear appropriate protective clothing and equipment when working with pesticides.
  • Rinse containers immediately after emptying because some pesticide residues will dry quickly and become difficult to remove. If the container cannot be rinsed immediately, replace the cap until it can be rinsed.
  • Never reuse pesticide containers (rinsed or unrinsed).
  • Contact the manufacturer, dealer, or business where pesticides were purchased to see if they will take back rinsed pesticide containers or unused concentrates.
  • Never allow empty pesticide containers to accumulate where unauthorized people have access to them. Such containers may be dangerous to children, pets, livestock, and wildlife, as well as adults who might convert them to other uses.
  • In the event of a pesticide spill, remove all persons from possible chemical exposure; control the spill; contain it by diking and absorbing liquid pesticides with dry material such as sawdust, kitty litter, or shredded paper; and report the spill.
  • Post emergency telephone numbers in a prominent location.
  • The proper transportation and storage of pesticides and the proper rinsing and disposal of empty pesticide containers demonstrate that applicators are competent professionals who are concerned about the environment.
Fred Whitford
Andrew G. Martin
Joseph D. Becovitz
Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service