Pesticide Safety For the Landscape (Landscape Safety Series)

  • Fluegel, Lance;
  • Rein, Bradley K.


  • Identify the pest and then choose the safest product that will control it.
  • Be sure you are properly licensed for the pesticide you will be using. Do not buy or accept any pesticide in a damaged or leaking container or without a label.

  • You must comply with the Hazard Communications law. The law requires a written communication plan, material safety data sheets for all hazardous substances, and an employee training program.
  • Keep pesticides away from human and animal foodstuffs at all times.
  • Always store pesticides in a locked building or cabinet in their original containers.
  • Store pesticides out of reach of children.

  • Wear long-sleeved, one-piece coveralls over your regular clothing.
  • Use chemically resistant gloves with your sleeves over the gloves for normal mixing and application operations.
  • If working vertically with your hands place sleeves inside the gloves and tape in place.
  • Wear a chemically resistant hat and apron to protect your head and body.
  • Protect your feet with chemically resistant boots or footwear. Make sure boots are under pant legs.
  • Protect the eyes with goggles or a face shield.
  • Wear a suitable respirator for breathing protection.

  • Read the label carefully and mix exactly according to the directions.
  • Mix only enough to do the job.
  • If mixing inside a building be sure that you have adequate ventilation.
  • When mixing outside stand upwind.
  • If mixing with water keep the hose at least six inches above the container to prevent back siphoning pesticide into the water system.
  • Do not mix pesticides without another adult in the area in case of an accident. Have soap, towels, and water hose available for clean-up.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke while mixing or applying pesticides.

  • Always wear personal protective equipment as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Check the sprayer, duster, or spreader to see that it is in good operating condition. If not, clean and/or repair before using.
  • Avoid using backpack-type equipment that might leak and contaminate the operator.
  • Carefully calibrate the equipment to ensure that it delivers the correct amount.
  • Use large, low-pressure nozzles and apply the pesticide when the air is calm, to prevent drift.
  • Keep children and pets away from the spray area.

  • Spray any leftover pesticide onto another crop or dilute with water and spray onto the ground around the crop.
  • Wash application and mixing equipment with water and detergent. Rinse at least three times.
  • Dispose of empty pesticide containers by triple-rinsing first and then taking to a sanitary landfill. All rinsate should be sprayed on a safe crop or disposed of in an otherwise suitable manner -- never into a drain or septic system.
  • Wash all clothing and equipment with water and detergent.
  • Personal clothing should be washed separately from other laundry. The washer should be run through an empty cycle completely to remove any pesticide from the machine.
  • The operator should shower and shampoo completely after applying pesticides.
  • Warning signs should be posted around the treated area. Children and pets should be kept away until the area is safe for reentry.
  • Save the container label and record the date and time of application for future reference.

Publication #: 8831-I

This document is apart of a series from the the College of Agriculture, the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85719. Publication date: May 1989.

Lance Fluegel, Safety Coordinator and Bradley Rein, Engineering Specialist, the College of Agriculture, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ 85719.

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