Storing pesticides properly is imperative to ensure safety, but did you know proper storage also helps maintain the effectiveness of the product? Extending the shelf life of pesticides through recommended storage methods can save your landscaping business money while helping protect the health and safety of children, animals and the environment.
Here are some tips on the proper storage of pesticides from Pennsylvania State University Extension:
Store pesticides in locked cabinets.
It’s best to store chemicals in metal cabinets; but, no matter what the cabinet is made of, keep it locked. Chemicals should be stored at least 5 feet off the ground so children will not get into them. Do not store chemicals where flooding or water damage is possible. Spills could get into the ground water, surface water or a well.
Store pesticides in original containers with lids tightly closed.
Make sure the pesticide label is attached to or accompanies the product. If the pesticide label is damaged, provide as much information about the product as possible on a piece of paper kept nearby for reference. Important information includes trade name, active ingredient, signal word, Environmental Protection Agency registration number and directions for use.
Do not store pesticides in food or drink containers.
They may be confused for the packaged item.
Do not store pesticides near food, potable water, animal feed, medical supplies, protective clothing, seed, fertilizers or gasoline.
This will prevent contamination from vapors, dusts or spills and reduce the likelihood of accidental human, animal or environmental exposure.
Keep pesticides in cool, dry, well-lit areas.
The storage area should prevent temperature extremes as very high or low temperatures can cause pesticide deterioration. Proper lighting helps ensure the correct pesticide for the task is chosen. In addition, any leaks or spills can be seen and cleaned up immediately.
Store dry pesticides over liquid ones.
If leaking occurs, it will prevent the liquid pesticides from contaminating the dry ones.
Never store pesticides in application equipment. Carefully calculate and measure the amount of pesticide required for the application. After applying, if excess mixture remains in application equipment, such as sprayers and spreaders, it should be applied according to label directions to your property.
Keep emergency numbers handy.
Keep emergency numbers near your storage area and/or the phone, including the National Poison Center Number: 1-800-222-1222.
Reduce storage needs by buying only enough pesticides for the upcoming year. Mark the purchase date on the container and use older pesticides first. Take annual inventories to make sure outdated pesticides are no longer used.
Above all … READ THE LABEL.
Follow the storage directions on the label for more specific or special requirements to prevent degradation, contamination and accidental exposure.