Unit 8 Pesticide Handling Decisions


  • Personal Safety Considerations
  • Pre-Application Decisions
  • Avoid Heat Stress

Learning Objectives Unit 8 Pesticide Handling Decisions

After you complete your study of this unit, you should be able to:

  • List basic safety questions you should ask yourself whenever you or those you supervise will be handling pesticides.
  • Explain some consequences of incorrect use of pesticides.
  • List factors to consider when you have a choice among different types of formulations.
  • Name conditions at the application site that may influence some of the decisions you make about the application.
  • Describe adjustments you might need to make in the task itself or in the workplace conditions if heat stress is a concern.

Test Your Knowledge Unit 8 Pesticide Handling Decisions

Q. What legal responsibility do you have for wearing the personal protective equipment that the pesticide labeling lists for your handling situation?
A. By law, you must wear at least the personal protective equipment listed on the labeling for the handling task you will be performing. You are allowed to wear additional or more protective personal protective equipment.

Q. What eight basic safety questions should you ask yourself whenever you or those you supervise will be using pesticides?
A. Ask yourself the following:

  1. Have I read the labeling?
  2. How can I avoid exposure to pesticides?
  3. What personal protective equipment is needed?
  4. Is the equipment ready and safe?
  5. Am I avoiding the accidental spread of pesticides?
  6. Have I instructed the handlers I supervise?
  7. Am I prepared for emergencies?
  8. Are people and animals out of the area?

Q. List some consequences of the incorrect use of pesticides.
A. Incorrect pesticide use can result in:

  1. Wasted material, failure to control the pest, and damage to the target site.
  2. Immediate as well as long-term harmful effects to humans, to other living things, to property, and to other parts of the environment.
  3. Fines as well as legal actions charging you with liability for damages.
  4. Pesticides are expensive. Using them incorrectly can be costly.

Q. Name at least four factors that you should consider when you must choose among different formulations.
A. When choosing a formulation you should consider:

  1. Whether the formulation will cause unwanted harm to plants, animals, or surfaces in the application site.
  2. Application equipment available and best suited for the job.
  3. Hazard of drift or runoff (likelihood of air currents or excess water).
  4. Risk to applicator, workers, and other people and animals likely to be exposed.
  5. Habits or growth patterns of the pest.
  6. Surface to which the pesticide is to be applied.
  7. Cost considerations.

Q. Name four conditions at the application site that may influence some of the decisions you make about the application.
A. Type of space or surface to be treated; surface cleanliness; surface moisture; temperature; humidity; presence of direct sunlight; possibility of rain or watering; air movement.

Q. If heat stress is a concern when you schedule a pesticide application, what five factors might you need to adjust?
A. Heat factors, workload, personal protective equipment, amount of water consumed, and the work schedule.

Additional Resources
Clemson University websites:

  1. Clemson University Department of Pesticide Regulation
  2. Clemson University Pesticide Information Program