There are four various kinds of exposure:
- Getting it on your skin: Can lead to dermatitis (irritation from the skin)
- Swallowing: Can damage the digestive system and enter the bloodstream
- Inhaling: Can cause inflammation of the lungs
- Getting it in your eyes: Can lead to visual impairment
Remember, these chemicals are intended to kill living things. That means that they need to be used with caution. Follow these tips to become a pesticide safety pro.
1. Read the label.
Yes, you may have to squint a little to read the tiny print, but ensure that you read the label of any pesticide or chemical before utilizing it.
Take note of the following things from the label from the product:
- Application instructions: The label will explain how to apply the pesticide properly, and this will reduce your chances of exposure. Chemical residue is very sneaky and can be tracked indoors and fly on the wind, where it can contaminate indoor air.
- First-aid information: The label can provide you guidance for what to complete in case of accidental poisoning.
- Personal Protective Equipment recommendations/requirements: The label will tell you what gear you have to wear to protect yourself.
- Storage and disposal information: Pesticides and herbicides need to be stored safely and disposed of properly.
2. Don your PPE.
PPE, or personal protective equipment, is a must for dealing with pesticides or herbicides. The EPA even mandates that all pesticides are labeled, and the label will have details about how toxic the product is. It will even give a recommendation for PPE. Heed the label and wear the best clothing. PPE is made of a chemical-resistant material, which is designed to keep chemicals from seeping through for your skin for some time. It's not chemical-proof (no fabric can be) but it'll provide protection.
3. Store your PPE properly.
To keep the PPE from contaminating your street clothes and your work place-
- Don't store your PPE with other chemicals: The goal is to limit your exposure to chemicals. Keep your PPE in a place where it won't get contaminated.
- Keep your personal clothing away from your PPE: You don't want your street clothes to obtain covered with chemicals from being heaped with your PPE. Ensure that you keep your clothes away from pesticides, chemicals, or areas where it could get residue on it.
- Take care when stashing your PPE during your lunch break: If you have a break throughout the day, ensure that you're putting your PPE inside a spot where it's not going to contaminate the work area, clean PPE, or personal items.
4. Check your clothes and PPE for rips or tears.
To avoid accidental contact with pesticides and other harmful chemicals that you simply might use at the office, make sure that your clothing doesn't have any holes in it. It can't do its job if it's torn.
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