Pesticides Best Practices
Even when not required by regulations, the following best practices related to pesticides are recommended:
- Keep pesticides dry and out of the way of activities that might puncture or knock over a jug or rip open a bag or box.
- Put a curb around the floor to prevent chemicals from spreading to other areas, if pesticides spill.
- If a spill does occur, an impermeable (waterproof) floor, such as concrete, should virtually eliminate any seepage of chemicals into the ground. Cleanup should be immediate because many pesticides will penetrate and be absorbed into concrete.
- Post best management practices related to pesticides on the walls of the grounds/vehicle maintenance facility so that they are easily accessible and remind the staff to handle pesticides properly.
- Secondary containment provides an impermeable floor and walls around the storage area, which will minimize the amount of pesticide seeping into the ground if a bulk liquid pesticide storage container should leak.
- Mixing/loading pads provide secondary containment during the dilution or transfer of pesticides to spraying equipment or nurse tanks.
- Store pesticides in original containers that are closed, labeled, and in a secure area out of reach of children and pets. Pesticides should not be stored near food.
- Use rubber gloves when handling pesticides and use an appropriate breathing zone protection if you are using products extensively.
- Do not use or give away banned pesticides or pesticides that are no longer registered for use.
- Do not reuse pesticide containers.
- Consider implementing an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program at your college or university. IPM combines chemical, cultural, and biological control practices into one program to manage pest populations. In an IPM program, pesticide applications are carefully timed and combined with other pest management practices to reduce the need for frequent applications. Identify the pests, determine pest populations and damage, and make pesticide applications only when necessary, using the lowest rate necessary for adequate pest control. Minimizing the amount of pesticide used reduces costs and helps protect the environment.
- Disposal of pesticide wastes, unused pesticides, residues, and cleanup materials needs to be evaluated to determine if there are any applicable RCRA hazardous waste requirements. A complete discussion of potentially applicable RCRA requirements may be found in the Waste Storage section of the tour.