Remember - pesticides are potentially dangerous materials, so be careful! You can never be too cautious when it comes to protecting yourself, your family, and the environment. |
Over the course of the gardening, home fruit production, and landscape maintenance year, purchases of fungicides, insecticides, and other pesticide products can represent a fairly sizable expense. Most homeowners have left-over supplies of pesticides which generally can be carried over for use next season, provided these products are stored properly.
Not only will correct storage prolong pesticide shelf life, but doing it in the right way helps protect people and pets from injury (and possible death). Also, proper storage decreases chances for pesticidal contamination of the home environment.
Pesticide labels have a section that covers proper storage practices for the specific product. Look for information about storage temperatures and other factors which may need to be taken into consideration in selection of the storage site.
Additionally, the following common-sense pesticide safe storage tips should be followed as these products are put away for use another season:
Pesticides are best stored in a locked, well-ventilated space. As an additional precaution, store away from pilot lights or other open flames, since the fumes could catch fire. Always keep pesticides in their original containers. Never remove the labels. Never store garden chemicals in soft drink bottles, or any other container that could lead to anyone, especially a child, to mistake the contents for food or drink. Make sure that pesticide containers are tightly sealed. Dry formulations such as wettable powders, dry flowables, granules, and dusts tend to cake when wet or kept in humid areas. Opened original containers can be placed in sealable plastic bags. This will reduce the absorption of moisture and will help prevent a spill if the original container tears. Shelves used for pesticide storage should be strong, stable, and not too high to reach easily, but out of the reach of children. Keep all chemical containers back from the front edge of the storage shelf. Some liquid pesticides come in glass containers. Be especially careful and take extra care when handling and storing breakable containers. Pesticides should not be stored with or near feed, seed, clothing, or similar articles. When possible, formulations of wettable powder, granular fungicides, and insecticides should be stored separately from herbicides to avoid possible contamination which could lead to later crop injury. Ideally, the storage room temperature should not fall below freezing. Products subject to "inversion" and similar breakdown as a result of freezing temperatures probably will not perform in a satisfactory manner the following gardening season if this occurs. In fact, crop injury may result from application of temperature altered pesticides.
Pesticide storage facilities must be located away from human and livestock habitat. Ideally, a facility should be built as a separate structure dedicated for pesticide storage. If a separate facility is not possible, a precise area within an existing building should be specified for pesticide storage. The storage site must not be in an area known to flood and should be situated so that runoff from spills and leaks cannot contaminate water sources. The storage site should be situated at least 100 feet away from sensitive areas such as wellheads.
Managers of large commercial facilities should consider the prevailing wind, proximity of surrounding commercial and residential areas, potential fire hazard and the availability of emergency response services.
Keeping out unauthorized people is an important function of the storage site. No matter how small or large the facility, keep it securely locked. Post legible signs on doors and windows to alert people that pesticides are stored there. The signs should clearly state, "DANGER PESTICIDES - KEEP OUT." "No smoking" signs should also be posted.
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