DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2004-101
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Pesticide manufacturing, packaging, distribution and application are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under subchapter E, 40 CFR Parts 150 to 189. States develop their own pesticide regulations and enforcement programs in accordance with EPA regulations.
The following checklist is based on New Jersey State regulations and may be used as a general guidance for assessing pesticide applications in schools. Consult your State pesticide enforcement agency to determine what regulations are applicable in your State.
Definitions of terms in bold type are provided at the end of the checklist. Some questions have no code reference. These questions are provided as recommended good practice.
- Are restricted-use pesticides applied only by a certified applicator or someone under the direct supervision of a certified applicator?Note: Some pesticides that pose special risks to the environment or the public health are classified as restricted- use by the Environmental Protection Agency or your State. A certified applicator has passed written exams demonstrating his or her knowledge about pesticide use and has met other licensing requirements.
- Is a separate storage area available for restricted-use pesticides? Is it locked when unattended, and the windows tight, barred, or boarded over?
- Is the storage area properly ventilated to prevent buildup of noxious fumes?
- Are herbicides stored separately from other pesticides?
- Is a separate space available to store pesticides?
- Is the pesticide storage area restricted to a first-story room or area that has direct access to the outside?
- Are all pesticides kept in this storage area rather than in a garage, basement, refrigerator, or other areas accessible to unauthorized persons?
- Are signs posted on the storage area indicating that pesticides are stored inside?
- Do all pesticide containers used for storage have a complete, readable registered label?
- Do all pesticide service containers have a copy of the registered label or a readable label with the following information: (a) brand or trade name, (b) EPA registration number, (c) name and percentage of active ingredient(s) in the service container, and (d) an appropriate sign, that is, Danger-poison, Warning, or Caution?
- Do you keep a list, separate from the storage area, of all pesticides stored?
- Is a material safety data sheet available for each pesticide at each storage location?
- Does the fire department have a copy of this list?
- Do you check periodically for leaking containers?
- Are damaged or leaking containers immediately separated and disposed of in accordance with state regulations?
- Are pesticides stored in the original container rather than in milk jugs, soda bottles, or other containers commonly used for food or drink?
- Do you carefully read the label before mixing and applying the pesticide?Note: No person shall use or apply a pesticide in a manner inconsistent with its Federal or State registered label or labeling.
- Do you make note of the safety precautions and antidotes before mixing and applying the pesticide?
- Do you read the label to see what protective clothing you should wear?Note: All persons using pesticides must be provided appropriate safety equipment in good working order.
- Do you know how to use the protective equipment recommended on the label?Note: All persons using pesticides must be provided training in the proper operation of safety equipment.
- Do you clean and maintain your protective equipment regularly and often?
- Do you check your protective equipment for wear and tear before each use?
- Do you know what to do if you spill a pesticide on yourself while mixing?
- Do you wear adequate footgear with your pant cuffs on the outside so pesticides won’t run into your footgear?
- Do you have sawdust, vermiculite, kitty litter, or other absorbent material on hand to soak up spills?
- Do you have a list of emergency numbers to call in case of spill?
- Is your application equipment well maintained and calibrated so it doesn’t leak or dispense the improper amount of pesticide?
- Do you avoid draining leftover spray mix on the ground?Note: No person shall clean or rinse containers or application equipment that holds or has held a pesticide in a manner that causes harm, injury, or damage to persons, property, or the environment, or a significant risk of harm, injury, or damage.
- Do you rinse each empty liquid container at least three times and return the rinsate into the tank?
- Do you keep used containers in the storage area until disposed of?
- Do you collect every container, for disposal or storage, before leaving an application site?
- Do you dispose of all pesticide containers and unused pesticides in accordance with State regulations? (see Hazardous Waste checklist)
- Do you puncture, break, or crush containers before disposal so they cannot be reused?
- Do you keep your spray equipment clean so that those touching it will not be contaminated?
- Do you always release pressure on your equipment so spray guns won’t be accidentally triggered?
- Do you check the wind direction and speed and the area downwind before applying pesticides?Note: No person shall apply a pesticide to a target site in such a manner or under such conditions that drift or other movement of the pesticide, which is avoidable through reasonable precautions, infringes on a nontarget site.
- Do you consider substituting a less toxic chemical if you are spraying near a sensitive area?
- Do you check for the possibility of showers and damaging runoff before applying pesticides?Note: No person shall apply pesticides in a manner that causes harm, injury, or damage to persons, property, or the environment, or a significant risk of harm, injury, or damage.
- Do you plan your pesticide application so it will have little or no effect on bees, birds, fish, or other wildlife?
Restricted-use pesticide: any pesticide or pesticide use so classified under the provisions of your State code, or so classified by the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.