Chemical Safety: Be Careful with Those “Killers”

Chemical Safety: Be Careful with Those “Killers”

The following paragraph is typical of the warning that is placed on the containers of many of the garden and inspects sprays as well as rodenticides.

“Harmful if swallowed.  Avoid prolonged breathing of spray. Avoid prolonged contact with the skin. Neither the manufacturer nor the seller shall be held responsible in any manner for personal injury or other damage or other type of loss resulting from the handling, storage, or use of this material.  The buyer assumes all risk and liability there from and accepts and uses this material on these conditions.”

Insecticides, fungicides, weed killers, pesticides and rodenticides are helpful in our homes and yards, but they can also be very dangerous if improperly handled or used.  They are all poisonous to some degree, and we need to exercise extreme caution.  For instance, cases have occurred where a pesticide has been used and the family dog walked through the area where the material was sprayed or sprinkled.  Later the dog licked his feet, and the poison caused his death.

Some general precautions to follow when storing or handling these materials are as follows:

  1. Carefully read the directions, warnings and antidote given on the box or label.
  2. Avoid breathing the dust, vapor or spray mist. Use with adequate ventilation and respirator type recommended on the chemical’s MSDS.
  3. Do not get the material in your eyes. Wear chemical goggles when recommended on the MSDS.
  4. Avoid prolonged contact on skin. Wear clothing that fully covers the skin. Use face shields to prevent chemical contact with the face.
  5. Avoid contamination of foodstuffs.
  6. Protect area sprayed or dusted from humans and animals.
  7. Wash hands after use so that the material will not accidentally be transferred to the mouth, for example, on a cigarette.
  8. Do not store liquids near heat or open flame.
  9. Spray equipment should not be used for other purposes.
  10. Be careful that vapor or dust does not drift and that spray does not reach neighboring property.
  11. Keep children and others away from the area being sprayed.