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Reeves Petroff Pesticide Education Specialist Montana Cooperative Extension Service. Pesticide Safety. Toxicity Routes of exposure PPE 1 st Aid. What are pesticides?. -cides. Pesticides. Herbicides. Rodenticides. Insecticides. Toxicity of Pesticides.

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Reeves Petroff

Pesticide Education Specialist

Montana Cooperative Extension Service

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Pesticide Safety

  • Toxicity

  • Routes of exposure

  • PPE

  • 1st Aid

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What are pesticides?

  • -cides





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Toxicity of Pesticides

Toxicity – capability of a substance to cause injury or death.

How poisonous

it is!

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Hazard = Toxicity x Exposure

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Injuries – Mixing and Loading

  • 60% of injuries

  • Application - 38%

  • 57% of all injuries are systemic.

  • About 25% are eye injuries

  • 37% of all - law violations – drift, no PPE

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Herbicides – developed to kill plants.

- Skin, eye damage

- sensitization, allergic

Insecticides – true poisons

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Page 13

Modern Insecticides

  • Organochlorines – DDT, Enderin, Dieldrin, Endosulfan

    • Disrupts sodium channels

  • Organophosphates – Parathion, Malathion, Di-syston, Cygon, Diazinon, Dursban, Lorsban, Reldan, Guthion

    - Cholinesterase inhibitor - irreversible

  • Carbamates – Lannate, Furadan, Sevin

    - Cholinesterase inhibitor - reversible

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Cholinesterase Inhibition






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Cholinesterase Inhibition


Cholinesterase inhibitor



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Antidotes for OP Poisoning

  • OP – Atropine – stops nerve response

    - 2 PAM chloride – restores function

  • Carbamates - Reversible Atropine only

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Pesticide’s power to kill or cause serious damage to the body.

Acute toxicity - after a single exposure or dose.

Symptoms occur within minutes of the exposure or from 12 to 24 hours after the exposure has occurred.

Acute toxic effects are nearly always the result of an accident or careless handling.

Usually occurs with more toxic pesticides

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Some Common Oral LD50 Values

  • Aldicarb (Temik) (I) – ----------------------0.9

  • Ethyl parathion (I) - -------------------------3

  • Carbofuran (Furadan)(I) -------------------8

  • Methyl parathion (I) – ----------------------9

  • Caffeine-----------------------------------------200

  • 2,4-D (H)----------------------------------------375

  • Table Salt---------------------------------------3750

  • Permethrin (Ambush) (I) ------------------4000

  • Imathamethabenz-methyl (Assert) (H)-->5000

  • Glyphosate (Roundup)(H)-------------------5600

  • Picloram (Tordon)(H)------------------------8200

  • Captan (F)--------------------------------------9000


Dose makes the Poison!

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Toxicity Testing

  • Lab Test Conducted

  • Dermal – skin

  • Oral

  • Inhalation

  • Eyes

Testing determines “signal words”

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Signal Words

  • Danger-Poison 0-50 oral LD50

  • Danger Corrosive(0-200 dermal LD50

  • Warning 50-500 LD50

  • Caution>500 LD50

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…..Signal Words…...Indicate the relative acute toxicity of a pesticide

Few drops to 1 Teaspoon to kill

Highly toxic or highly corrosive

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Least Toxic - 1 Tablespoon to a pint or more.

Moderately toxic - 1 Teaspoon To 1 Tablespoon to kill

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  • The delayed effects of regular repeated exposures over a long period of time.

  • Long term health effects

    • Potential tumors

    • Birth defects

    • Reproductive effects

    • Systemic effects

    • Allergic effects

Occurs often with least toxic pesticides – people become careless due to low toxicity rating

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What part of a pesticide operation is usually the most hazardous? Why?

What toxic effect is usually the result of an accident?

True or FalseA high LD50 means that something is very poisonous.

A compound with an oral LD50 of 0-20 would probably get which signal word?

True or False. LD50 is a good measure of chronic toxicity.

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SYSTEMIC EFFECTS hazardous? Why?

Usually a result of long-term chronic exposure


Anemia, no clotting

Usually affects:

Circulatory System

Nervous System



Liver and Kidneys

Trembles, neuropathy

Rashes, sores that won’t heal

Emphysema, asthma

Jaundice, kidney failure

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ALLERGIC EFFECTS hazardous? Why?


Influenced by genetics

Become Sensitized


Allergic reaction - Asthma or even shock, ---Skin irritation, rashes, blisters, or open sores. Eye, nose and throat irritation, such as itchy, watery eyes; sneezing and tightness in the throat,

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Pesticides and the Body hazardous? Why?

Routes of Exposure

Where most pesticide exposures occur!

Vapors, mists

Usually accidental

--Mixing --when pouring

Improper storage

EC = + absorption

--Mixing-- when pouring

Cuts, scrapes, hot ‘n sweaty


Induce vomiting?

RemoveWashChangeDoctor if feeling ill

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Pesticide Poisoning hazardous? Why? Symptoms

Can be confused with:

  • Flu

  • Heat injuries

  • Food poisoning

  • Asthma

Symptoms may be delayed 12 – 24 hours after exposure

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Sweating hazardous? Why?



Dry Membranes

Dry Mouth

No tears or spit

Fast pulse

Dilated pupils


Loss of coordination




Moist Membranes

Salivation, spit, tears

Slow pulse

Pinpoint Pupils


Loss of coordination

Heat Injuries Look Like Pesticide Injuries

Heat Injuries

Pesticide Injuries

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Basic First Aid hazardous? Why?

  • Clear the Airway

  • Maintain Breathing

  • Maintain Circulation – stop bleeding, treat for shock

  • Prevent the Disability – stop contamination

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Is special PPE required?

Take the label to the hospital!

Do not induce vomiting unless the label directs it!

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Only atropine is used to counteract the effects of what type of insecticide.

The onset of _______ symptoms within 12-24 hours of pesticide spraying may indicate pesticide poisoning

What Signal word best indicates the corrosive effects of a pesticide?

Most pesticide exposures are to what part of the body?

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Protecting your Bod! of insecticide.

  • Skin

  • Eyes

  • Ingestion

  • Inhalation

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Rates of Absorption of insecticide.

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Gloves of insecticide.

  • Unlined gloves (BLM)

  • Do Not Wear Leather Gloves!

  • Do Not Wear exam gloves!

  • Check for holes often!

  • Want at least 14 mils

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Gloves of insecticide.

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Glove Material Classification of insecticide.

A-- Dry or water based pesticide formulation.

B---Pesticide with acetate as the carrier solvent.

C---Pesticide with alcohol as the carrier solvent.

D---Pesticide with halogenated hydrocarbons as the carrier.

E---Pesticide with ketones (acetone) as the carrier solvent.

Poast Plus®, Weedone 638®, 2,4-D LV 6 Ester®

F---Pesticide with ketone and aromatic petroleum distillate

mixtures as the carrier solvent. Example - Di-syston 8®

G---Pesticide with aliphatic petroleum distillates ( such as

kerosene, petroleum oil or mineral oil as the carrier solvent.

Example - Guthion 2L®

H---Pesticide carrier = aromatic petroleum distillates ( xylene)

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Glove Material of insecticide.

  • Nitrile – Good overall protection, $2.39/pr

  • Neoprene – Softer, better dexterity - $5.16

  • Natural Rubber – Use only on dry or water based formulations - $11-18.00/pr

  • Butyl – For High Toxicity Pesticides - $18.45

  • PVC – Anyhydrous ammonia - $4.00/pr

  • Viton – Superior Protection but $174.50/pr

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- Coveralls – of insecticide.BLM Standards- Handling & Application(H-9011-1 Chemical Pest Control)

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Coveralls of insecticide.

  • For Toxicity Class III or IV – Cotton (tight weave), Kleenguard® coveralls

  • For Toxicity Class (II) – Possibly cotton, Tyvek.

  • For Toxicty Class I – PVC, Nitrile, Tychem®, sealed or serged seams.

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Woven Materials of insecticide.

Laminated vs.


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PVC of insecticide.

Polyethylene coated Tyvek

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Protecting Your Head of insecticide.

BLM H-9011-1pg. II-6

Ball Cap?


Straw Hat?



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Eye Protection of insecticide.

Required for pouring or mixing

  • Goggles

  • Face Shields

  • Safety Glasses

  • But never wear contacts when spraying pesticides!!!

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Respirators of insecticide.

What does a respirator do?

A respirator filters out substances or blocks gases or vapors that can cause harm to the lungs (route of exposure)

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Types of respirators? of insecticide.



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Types of Respirators of insecticide.


  • Gases & Vapors

  • Color-coded

    • Black – organic vapors

    • Green – Anhydrous Ammonia

    • Purple - HEPA

  • Prefilters

    • N, P, or R

    • 95 or 100 % efficiency

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Washing Pesticide Contaminated Clothing of insecticide.


Any clothing or equipment used to apply pesticides should be considered to be contaminated and should be cleaned.


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DO YOU HAVE THE LABEL ON HAND? of insecticide.






Wear Gloves when handling contaminated clothing



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Separate from other items of the family laundry. of insecticide.

Store in separate containers and mark them.

Pesticide clothing

Does the person doing the laundry know?

Pre-treat – Wash in a bucket and hang on line to dry.

Use the rinse water for upcoming spraying activities

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Maximum load setting - lots of circulation around clothing

No less than a 12 minute cycle.

Choose a heavy-duty liquid detergent.

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Keep PPE as clean as possible. of insecticide.

Multiple laundering is recommended!Signal Word!

Clean the washer after use. Swab down the inside of the washer tub.

Run an empty cycle with detergent and hot water before the washer is used to launder family items.

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T or F You should never wash pesticides in hot water. of insecticide.

T or F It is okay to wear contacts when spraying pesticides as long as you have other eye protection.

True or FalseEye protection is required for BLM applicators when mixing and pouring.

BLM policy requires that gloves used to handle pesticide be ___________.

What type of headgear is required of BLM applicators?

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PROTECT YOURSELF of insecticide.

Pesticides are designed to kill something!

Don’t let it be you!