Farmers have heard for years that they should keep pesticides in locked storage areas. They also know that pesticides should never be stored near food, feed, fertilizer, or seed because of contamination problems. And farmers know that pesticides exposed to excessive temperatures can be ineffective or unusable.
Many operators have eliminated these problems by not keeping any pesticides in long-term storage. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach supports this concept called Zero Pesticide Storage.
All farmers may not achieve Zero Pesticide Storage immediately, but by implementing a few key management strategies they can reach that goal in 2 or 3 years.
Farmstead safety: How much do you know?
See answers at the end of document.
Prioritize pesticides for disposal
Start by knowing what pesticides you have in storage. Then get rid of unwanted or obsolete products safely at Regional Collection Centers.
Products with the highest priority for disposal include pesticides in three categories:
Unlabeled pesticides are also unusable. The applicator may be unsure of an unlabeled product’s identity and proper application rate. Unlabeled pesticides are often in unsafe containers, so be sure the item can be properly taken to a cleanup site (see next page). Only identifiable pesticides are accepted at these sites. If you have an unlabeled pesticide, contact the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for the name of a laboratory that can analyze and identify the product.
By properly disposing of canceled, unusable, and unwanted pesticides, many farmers can cut their pesticide inventory in half. Remaining products, however, still pose some environmental and health risks on a property due to their presence during extreme conditions such as fire, tornadoes, and vandalism.
To further minimize storage, a good farm manager should adopt the following practices:
Store pesticides safely
Pesticide storage is a serious matter. Half of the pesticide-related deaths in the United States involve children under the age of 10. To control access, lock pesticides securely in a storage area. The area should have proper ventilation and warning signs on the door, walls, or windows. Ideally, stored pesticides should not be exposed to freezing or extremely hot temperatures.
Always keep pesticides in their original containers; never store them in food containers or bottles. To avoid contamination, keep pesticides away from animal feed, fertilizers, and other products.
Transport pesticides safely
When transporting pesticides to a Regional Collection Center, follow these guidelines:
For more information about pesticide disposal, contact the Iowa Department of Natural Resources at (515) 281-5859.
By following the practices in this factsheet and disposing of unusable products at Regional Collection Centers, you can eliminate or significantly reduce pesticide storage. Some operators can achieve Zero Pesticide Storage for 10 months of the year—a valuable accomplishment.
The following pesticides have been canceled for most uses:
Farmstead safety: What can you do?
Zero Pesticide Storage can significantly reduce the risk of environmental and health problems. Follow these guidelines:
For more information
For more information on reducing pesticide storage, contact the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship or your local county extension office:
Answers to quiz: 1-d; 2-True; 3-False; 4-c
Publication #: PM 1518A
No endorsement of products or firms is intended, nor is criticism implied of those not mentioned.
Safe Farm is an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach project helping to make Iowa farms a safer place to work and live.
For more safety information, check the web at www.abe.iastate.edu.
Disclaimer and Reproduction Information: Information in NASD does not represent NIOSH policy. Information included in NASD appears by permission of the author and/or copyright holder. More