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.
operators have eliminated these problems by not keeping any
pesticides in long-term storage. The Extensive Service also
promotes this new concept of Zero Pesticide Storage, or ZPS.
farmers may not achieve ZPS immediately, however, they can
reach that point in two to three years with a few key management
by knowing what pesticides you have in storage. Then get rid
of unwanted or unneeded products safely at the next Toxic Waste
Cleanup Day in your area.
with the highest priority for disposal include pesticides
in the following categories:
pesticides, such as DDT or chlordane. These pesticides are
illegal and endanger your health and the environment. (See
Table 1 for a list of
pesticides, made ineffective or dangerous by lengthy or
poor storage conditions. Extreme temperatures and the passage
of time can alter a pesticide's chemical formula and make
it risky to apply.
pesticides, because the applicator may be unsure of the
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 "Transport
Pesticides Safely"). 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.
with second-priority disposal include the following products:
pesticides, which are still usable but no longer needed
in your home or farm operation. For a farmer, this category
might include herbicides no longer used but safe for application.
For a homeowner, this might include items such as flea or
tick spray in a household that no longer has a dog or cat.
find that the first three categories account for more than half
of what they have in storage. By properly disposing of them,
they eliminate a multitude of potential environmental and health
risks that could arise as a result of a fire, tornado, or animals
and vandals entering the storage area.
transporting pesticides to a Toxic Waste Cleanup site, follow
pesticides with care and always wear rubber gloves. Avoid
breathing, touching, or ingesting pesticides. Always wash
hands after handling pesticides or containers.
pesticides in the pickup bed or car trunk, never in the
passenger area. Be sure pesticide containers are in good
condition, and fasten them securely in the vehicle so they
cannot tip, spill, or break.
a pesticide is not in its original container but you have
its label, bring the label with you to help identify it.
information about disposing of pesticides, contact the Iowa
Department of Natural Resources at 800-367-1025.
further minimize storage, consider these practices:
a pesticide inventory of remaining usable products. With
an inventory, a farmer can determine exactly how much more
product needs to be ordered for one year's application.
This eliminates over-ordering and storage.
delivery right before application. Storage time can be shortened
to weeks or days.
mini-bulk systems when possible.
unopened containers to your dealer, if possible.
last year's chemicals first and avoid carryover in the future.
applying small amounts of unwanted labeled pesticides to
a labeled site.
storage is deadly serious. Half the pesticide-related deaths
in the United States are of children under the age of 10. To
control access, lock pesticides securely in a storage area.
The area should have proper ventilation and a warning sign on
the door or window. Ideally, stored pesticides should not be
exposed to freezing or extremely hot temperatures.
these practices and ridding an operation of unusable products
at Toxic Waste Cleanup Days, pesticide storage can be reduced
to zero. For some operators, ZPS is a goal they can achieve
10 months of the year which, of course, is a valuable accomplishment.
Much Do You Know?
at the end of this document.
of the following can damage stored pesticides and make them
unusable or ineffective?
of the above
Toxic Waste Cleanup Day is a good place to dispose of canceled,
unwanted, or unusable pesticides. True or false?
when safely locked away, pesticides can pose environmental
risks. True or false?
can return opened containers of pesticides to their dealer
even if they have used a small amount. True or false?
activity does not help an operator achieve Zero Pesticide
unopened pesticide containers
small amounts of pesticides around the house
canceled pesticides to a Toxic Waste Cleanup Day
What Can You Do?
Pesticide Storage can significantly reduce the risk of environmental
and health problems. Follow these guidelines:
canceled, unwanted, or unusable pesticides to a Toxic Waste
an inventory of usable products and use last year's leftovers
only enough for one year's application.
unopened containers to the dealer if possible.
delivery of pesticides right before application.
more information on reducing pesticide storage, contact the
Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Department of
Agriculture and Land Stewardship, or the Iowa Fertilizer and
Chemical Association. You may also obtain the following resources
from a local Extension office:
Private Pesticide Applicator Study Guide, PAT-1.
Pesticide Disposal and Pesticide Storage videotape.
and Recycling Pesticide Containers, PAT-1442.
1. These pesticides have been cancelled for most uses.
tetrachloride (liquid fumigant)
dibromide (liquid fumigant)
to quiz: 1-d; 2-True; 3-True; 4-False; 5-c
Publication #: Pm-1518a
This document is Fact Sheet
a series of the Safe Farm Program, Iowa State University Extension,
Ames, Iowa. Safe Farm promotes health and safety in agriculture.
It is funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety
and Health, Iowa State University, and a network of groups
that serve Iowa farm workers and their families. Publication
date: January 1993.
by Wendy Wintersteen, Extension entomologist; and Laura Miller
and Marcia Brink, Extension communications, Iowa State University
Extension, Ames, Iowa.
Extension Service, Iowa State University of Science and Technology
and the United States Department of Agriculture cooperating.
Robert M. Anderson, Jr., director, Ames, Iowa. Distributed in
furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914.
The Iowa Cooperative Extension Service's programs and policies
are consistent with pertinent federal and state laws and regulations
on nondiscrimination regarding race, color, national origin,
religion, sex, age and handicap.
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.