June 27, 2011

How to Handle an Emergency Involving Pesticides

It is that time of year – lawn care and grounds keeping crews have their hands full trying to keep the grass green and keep the pests away. As the nature of pesticides is to kill unwanted bugs and critters one can guess that these substances are considered hazardous.

The EPA provides a wide selection of fact sheets related to specific chemicals, pesticides and related issues.

Unfortunately, emergency situations involving pesticides happen, and if response efforts are conducted incorrectly a myriad of environmental and health damages may occur. If you are on the response end of the emergency there are special considerations to keep in mind when it comes to assessing the situation, taking protective actions, managing victims, firefighting, dealing with leaks and spills and decontamination and clean-up work. “HazChem: Pesticides” provides training for emergency response crews to understand the hazards specific to pesticides, as well as how to conduct effective response efforts.
If you are in a situation where an emergency occurs involving pesticides, you should contact the appropriate emergency response professionals. Read about the resources offered by the National Pesticide Information Center for pesticide emergencies.

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