By O.N. Nesheim
Pesticides command a safe environment for storage. Make sure you are protecting yourself and the environment by having a safe and secure facility for them. Check state and federal regulations concerning the poper storage of pesticides.
The how-to’s of pesticide storage
Sometimes existing buildings or areas within them are used for pesticide storage. However, if large amounts of pesticides will be stored, it is best to build or dedicate a building exclusively to pesticide storage.
Choose a storage site where water damage is unlikely to occur. Make sure water sources won’t be contaminated by runoff from the storage site. The building or room should be dry, well-ventilated and well-lit. The storage facility should be securely locked to keep out unauthorized people.
• Post signs on doors and windows to alert people that pesticides are stored there. Post “No Smoking” signs.
• Storage areas should have an immediate supply of clean water for decontaminating people. If running water is not practical, provide a sealable container with clean water.
• Store pesticides in the original container with the label in sight and legible. If the label is destroyed or damaged, request replacement labels from the pesticide dealer immediately.
• Keep containers tightly closed. Inspect containers regularly for tears, splits, breaks, leaks, rust or corrosion. If a container is damaged, put on protective clothing and take immediate action.
• Use completely all contents on labeled site, transfer for another container that held the same pesticide, or put into another container that can be tightly closed and put the label on the new container.
• Don’t store pesticides with food, animal feed, seeds and farm animals. Don’t store personal protective equipment with pesticides. Store volatile pesticides separately from other types of pesticides. Keep containers away from windows, sunlight or any source of heat.
• Control the temperature to prevent freezing or overheating. Some pesticides are affected by temperature extremes. Check the label for storage temperatures.
• Maintain an up-to-date inventory of pesticides kept in the storage area. Mark each container with the date of purchase and use older materials first.
• Don’t store unnecessarily large quantities of pesticides for long periods of time. Purchase only as much as you will need for a season or year at most.
• If you store large quantities of pesticides, inform your local fire department, hospital, public health officials and police of the location of your pesticide storage building before a fire emergency occurs. Inform the fire department of the types of pesticides regularly stored there and give them a floor plan of the facility and work with them to develop an emergency response plan.
Safely store pesticides temporarily
When storing pesticides at a temporary location, apply the same practices as for long-term storage. Remove from storage only the amount needed for a single day’s application, and only for the period immediately preceding use. Return any unused product to the storage facility at the end of each work day.
This information was excerpted from the University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Vegetable Production Handbook for Florida. It can be accessed at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.
Pesticide Storage Do’s
• Choose a storage site where water damage is unlikely to occur.
• Post signs on doors and windows to alert people that pesticides are stored there.
• Post “No Smoking” signs.
• Store pesticides in the original container with the label in sight and legible.
• Keep containers tightly closed.
• Store volatile pesticides separately from other types of pesticides.
• Keep containers away from windows, sunlight or any source of heat.
• Control the temperature to prevent freezing or overheating.
• Maintain an up-to-date inventory of pesticides in the storage area.
Pesticide Storage Don’ts
• Don’t store pesticides with food, animal feed, seeds and farm animals.
• Don’t store personal protective equipment with pesticides.
• Don’t store unnecessarily large quantities for long periods of time.