Illinois Pesticide Review
May / June 2017
In This Issue
Maintaining Personal Protective Equipment
Personal Protective Equipment
At this time of year, when pesticides are commonly being used, it is important to take the time to properly clean and maintain Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The following is taken, with little revision, from the national Pesticide Applicator Core Manual.
When you finish an activity in which you are handling pesticides or are exposed to them, remove your personal protective equipment right away. Start by washing the outside of your gloves with detergent and water before removing the rest of your PPE. Wash the outside of other chemical-resistant items before you remove your gloves. This practice helps you avoid contacting the contaminated part of the items while you are removing them, thus keeping the inside surface from becoming contaminated. If any other clothes have pesticides on them, change them also. Determine whether contaminated items should be disposed of or cleaned for reuse.
Disposable PPE items are not designed to be cleaned and reused. Discard them when they become contaminated with pesticides. Place disposable PPE in a separate plastic bag or container prior to disposal.
Chemical-resistant gloves, footwear, and aprons labeled as disposable are designed to be worn only once and then thrown away. These items often are made of thin vinyl, latex, or polyethylene. These inexpensive disposables may be a good choice for brief pesticide-handling activities that require dexterity, as long as the activity does not tear the thin plastic. For example, you might use disposable gloves, shoe covers, and an apron while pouring pesticide into a hopper or tank, cleaning or adjusting a nozzle, or making minor equipment adjustments.
Nonwoven (including coated nonwoven) coveralls and hoods, such as TyvekTM, usually are designed to be disposed of after use. Most are intended to be worn for only one workday. The instructions with some coated nonwoven suits and hoods permit the user to wear them more than once if each use period is short and not much pesticide gets on them. Pay close attention when reusing these items, and be ready to change them whenever there are signs pesticides could be getting through the material or the inside surface is contaminated.
Dust/mist masks, prefilters, canisters, filtering and vapor‑removing cartridges, and a few cartridge respirators are disposables. They cannot be cleaned. Be sure to replace these disposable items often.
Some PPE items, such as rubber and plastic suits, gloves, boots, aprons, capes, and headgear, are designed to be cleaned and reused several times. However, do not make the mistake of continuing to use these items when they no longer offer adequate protection. Wash the reusable items thoroughly between uses, and inspect them for signs of wear or abrasion.
Never wash contaminated gloves, boots, respirators, or other PPE in streams, ponds, or other bodies of water. Check for rips and leaks by using the rinse water to form a "balloon" (that is, filling the PPE item with water) and/or by holding the items up to the light. Even tiny holes or thin places can allow large quantities of pesticide to penetrate the material and reach your skin. Discard any PPE item that shows sign of wear.
Even if you do not see any signs of wear, replace reusable chemical-resistant items regularly—the ability of a chemical-resistant material to resist the pesticide decreases each time an item is worn. A good rule is to throw out gloves that have been worn for about 5 to 7 workdays. Extra-heavy-duty gloves, such as those made of butyl or nitrite rubber, may last as long as 10 to 14 days. Glove replacement is a high priority because adequate hand protection greatly reduces the pesticide handler's chance for exposure. The cost of frequently replacing your gloves is a wise investment.
Footwear, aprons, headgear, and protective suits may last longer than gloves because they generally receive less exposure to the pesticides and less abrasion from rough surfaces. Replace them regularly and at any sign of wear. Most protective eyewear and respirator bodies, face-pieces, and helmets are designed to be cleaned and reused. These items can last many years if they are of good quality and are maintained correctly.
Launder fabric coveralls and work clothing after each day's use. Do not attempt to launder clothing made of cotton, polyester, cotton blends, denim, and canvas if these items are drenched or saturated with concentrated pesticides labeled with the signal word DANGER–POISON, DANGER, or WARNING. Always discard any such contaminated clothing or footwear at a household hazardous waste collection site.
Be sure to clean all reusable PPE items between uses, even if they were worn for only a brief period of exposure. Pesticide residues that remain on PPE are likely to penetrate the material. If you wear that PPE again, pesticide may already be on the inside of the material next to your skin. Also, PPE worn several times between launderings may build up pesticide residues. The residues can reach a level that can harm you, even if you are handling pesticides that are not highly toxic. After cleaning reusable items, place them in a plastic bag or clothing hamper away from your personal clothes and away from the family laundry.
Wash clothing used while applying pesticides as soon as practical after they are worn, preferably the same day. The longer pesticide residue stays on clothing, the less of it washes out. Washing does not remove all of the pesticide residue; it removes enough so that the clothing is safe to wear.
Always wash pesticide-contaminated items separately from the family laundry. Otherwise, pesticide residues may be transferred to the other laundry and may harm you or your family. Be sure that the people who clean and maintain your PPE and other work clothes know they can be harmed by touching these pesticide-contaminated items. Instruct them to wear gloves and an apron and work in a well-ventilated area, if possible, and avoid inhaling steam from the washer or dryer.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning chemical-resistant items. If the manufacturer instructs you to clean the item but gives no detailed instructions, follow the "Procedure for Washing Contaminated PPE" detailed below. Some chemical-resistant items that are not flat, such as gloves, footwear, and coveralls, must be washed twice—once to clean the outside of the item and a second time after turning the item inside out. Some chemical-resistant items, such as heavy‑duty boots and rigid hats or helmets, can be washed by hand using hot water and a heavy-duty liquid detergent.
Use the following procedure for washing non-chemical-resistant items such as cotton, cotton/polyester, denim, canvas; other absorbent materials; and most chemical-resistant items.
Procedure for Washing Contaminated PPE
1. Wash only a few items at a time so there is plenty of agitation and water for dilution.
2. Wash in a washing machine, using hot water for the wash cycle. Set your washer to the longest wash cycle and two rinse cycles.
3. Use two entire machine cycles to wash items that are moderately to heavily contaminated. (If PPE is too contaminated, bundle it in a plastic bag, label the bag, and take it to a household hazardous waste collection site.)
4. Run the washer through at least one additional entire cycle without clothing, using detergent and hot water, to clean the machine before any other laundry is washed.
Hang the washed items to dry, if possible. It is best to let them hang for at least 24 hours in an area with plenty of fresh air. Even after thorough washing, some items still may contain residues. When the items are exposed to clean air and sunlight, most residues move to the surface of the fabric, evaporate, or break down.
You may wish to buy two or more sets of PPE so you can leave one set airing while wearing the other set. Do not hang items in enclosed living areas; pesticide residues that remain in the items may evaporate and expose people or animals in the area. If it is not possible to hang fabric items to dry, a clothes dryer may be used. Over time, however, the dryer may become contaminated with pesticide residues.
Maintaining Eyewear and Respirators
Wash goggles, face shields, shielded safety glasses, respirator bodies, and facepieces after each use. Use a detergent and hot water to wash them thoroughly. Remove any contaminants (such as residual pesticides) under running water with a soft brush. Sanitize them by soaking for at least 2 minutes in a mixture of 2 tablespoons of chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of hot water. Rinse thoroughly to remove the detergent and bleach. After rinsing to remove the detergent and bleach, dry the items thoroughly or hang them in a clean area to dry.
Pay particular attention to headbands. Replace headbands made of absorbent materials with chemical-resistant headbands. After each day of use, inspect all headbands for signs of wear or deterioration, and replace them as needed.
Store respirators and eyewear in an area where they are protected from dust, sunlight, extreme temperatures, excessive moisture, and pesticides or other chemicals. A sturdy plastic bag with a zip closure works well for storage. Store respirator cartridges in an airtight bag, or they lose their effectiveness.
Respirator maintenance is especially important. Inspect your respirator before each use. Repair or replace any part that shows signs of wear or deterioration. Maintain an inventory of replacement parts for the respirators you own, and do not use substitutes or incompatible brands. If you keep a respirator for emergency use or as a backup, inspect it at least monthly.
If you remove your respirator between handling activities, follow these guidelines:
• Wipe the respirator body and facepiece with a clean cloth.
• Replace caps, if available, over cartridges, canisters, and prefilters.
• Seal the respirator (except for any prefilters) in a sturdy, airtight container, such as a plastic bag with a zip closure. If you do not seal the respirator immediately after each use, the disposable parts will have to be replaced more often because cartridges and canisters continue to collect impurities as long as they are exposed to the air. Prefilters, however, do not lose their effectiveness when exposed to the air. Remove contaminated prefilters before placing the canisters and cartridges in a zip‑closable plastic bag to avoid contaminating the canisters and cartridges.
At the end of every workday that you wear a reusable respirator, be sure to do the following:
• Remove the prefilter. Most filters should be discarded.
• Take off the cartridges or canisters. Discard them, or (if they are still usable) replace their caps and seal them in an airtight container, such as a plastic bag with a zip closure.
• Clean and store the respirator as directed above.
• Discard disposable respirators according to manufacturer's instructions. Do not try to clean them.
Remember: Do not store your respirators or other PPE in pesticide-storage areas.
Handle respirators with the same care that you give your other protective equipment and clothing. Consult labels and SDS for instructions about protective equipment and clothing, and remember that protective equipment has limitations. A person is never completely protected and must still use caution and common sense to prevent pesticides from contacting the body.
Phil Nixon (mailto:email@example.com)
2017 Agricultural Container Recycling Schedule
The Illinois Department of Agriculture has announced dates for 2017 Agricultural Container Recycling Program. Dates and locations will soon be posted on the Illinois Department of Agriculture website http://www.agr.state.il.us/agrichemical-container-recycling-program/. Until then, information is available via their new release https://www.agr.state.il.us/agr-to-offer-free-recycling-program-for-agrichemical-containers-2017.
The Illinois Department of Agriculture is encouraging farmers and agrichemical facilities to save their empty agrichemical containers. Beginning at the end of July and continuing in August, sites throughout the state will collect containers. The containers will be recycled to make shipping pallets, fence posts, drainage tubing, plastic lumber, and other useful products.
"This program offers farmers and agrichemical facilities a convenient opportunity to dispose of empty pesticide containers and demonstrate their environmental stewardship," said Agriculture Director Raymond Poe. "I would encourage them to gather any containers that they may have been planning to throw in the garbage and take them to the nearest collection site."
Metal and household pesticide containers are not eligible for the recycling program. Collection sites will accept only high-density polyethylene, #2 plastic agrichemical containers that are clean and dry. Participants are responsible for rinsing them and removing all caps, labels, booklets and foil seals.
The program is a cooperative venture between the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Container Recycling Council, GROWMARK, Inc., Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, G. Phillips and Sons, L.L.C., Illinois Farm Bureau, and University of Illinois Extension.
To obtain a free brochure about the program, call the Illinois Department of Agriculture toll free at 1-800-641-3934.
Year-round disposal is available at three permanent collection sites in Green, Lawrence and McLean counties. Please call to ensure the facility will be open.
Single-day collection sites and dates for the 2017 Pesticide Container Recycling Program are listed within the IL Department of Agriculture's news release at https://www.agr.state.il.us/agr-to-offer-free-recycling-program-for-agrichemical-containers-2017. For more information, call the Illinois Department of Agriculture at 1-800-641-3934 (voice and TDD).
Preparing pesticide containers for recycling:
Rinsing right after use is the best way to ensure a clean container. Depending on what system fits your operation, you can either triple rinse or pressure rinse your containers. Your local agricultural chemical dealer can give you more information about pressurized rinse systems.
1. Fill the empty container about 20% full with water.
2. Replace cap securely and shake the contents to rinse all inside surfaces.
3. Pour rinse water into spray tank and drain for at least 30 seconds.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 twice more until container is clean.
5. Inspect the container (inside and out) for formulation residues. Repeat as needed.
1. Use a special nozzle attached to a water hose.
2. Hold the container upside down over the spray tank with the cap removed. Puncture side of container with the pointed nozzle.
3. Pressurized water cleans the inside surfaces while the rinsate flows into the spray tank.
4. Rinse for 30 seconds or longer while rotating the nozzle to rinse all surfaces.
5. Inspect the container (inside and out) for formulation residues. Repeat as needed.
Source: Illinois Department of
Agriculture news release, modified by Travis Cleveland
Travis Cleveland (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
IDOA Schedules Clean Sweep Collection in Central Illinois
The Illinois Department of Agriculture's (IDOA) "Clean Sweep" program has been scheduled for late summer for Champaign, DeWitt, Ford, Iroquois, Livingston, McLean, Piatt, and Vermilion counties. This free program will help residents of the eight Illinois counties safely dispose of unwanted agrichemicals.
The collection, which rotates among Illinois counties, is open to farmers, retired farmers, nursery owners, private pesticide applicators, structural pest control applicators, and landowners who inherited unwanted agricultural pesticides with their property.
"There are two main reasons to take advantage of this program," said Warren Goetsch, Acting Bureau Chief of Environmental Programs. "The Department is able to provide the service free of charge thanks to a grant obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If individuals were to properly dispose of agrichemicals on their own, the cost would be expensive. Secondly, the state of Illinois, not the program participant, will assume liability for the proper disposal of all materials collected."
Participants must register the products they plan to dispose of by July 14. Registration is required to give the waste disposal contractor time to prepare for the different kinds of materials that will need to be handled. Forms can be obtained either by calling the Illinois Department of Agriculture's Pesticide Hotline at 1-800-641-3934 or by visiting one of the program sponsors listed below.
Completed forms should be mailed or faxed to the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The mailing address is: Clean Sweep Program, Illinois Department of Agriculture, State Fairgrounds, P.O. Box 19281, Springfield, IL, 62794-9281. The fax number is (217) 524-4882. Participants then will be sent a reservation card indicating the date, time and location of their collection.
The "Clean Sweep" program began in 1990 in Illinois. Since the inception of the program, the Department has held 48 collection events through the state and collected 534,038 pounds of material from 1,940 participants.
Source: Illinois Department of
Agriculture news release, modified by Travis Cleveland
Travis Cleveland (mailto:email@example.com)
Common Pesticide License Questions
Do I need a license to apply pesticides to my own land?
Answer: Yes, if you choose to use a restricted-use pesticide (RUP), you are required to show proof of license before you may buy the RUP. These products have an obvious "Restricted-Use Pesticide" statement at the top of the pesticide label. If the product is not an RUP, it is a general-use pesticide and, as a farmer or homeowner, you do not need a license to apply it to your own land or land you rent.
Do I need a license to apply fertilizer as part of my lawn-care business?
Answer: No, as long as the fertilizer does not contain a pesticide. Fertilizers of the "Weed-n-feed" and "Grub-n-Feed" type contain pesticides and, as a commercial applicator, you must be licensed to apply these products. Whether you apply pesticides or only fertilizers, you must post the turf area after application.
What is the difference between "Private," "Commercial for Hire," and "Commercial Not for Hire" pesticide license designations?
Answer: A Private Applicator license is required for persons who—for the purpose of producing an agricultural commodity primarily intended for sale, consumption, propagation, or other use by humans or animals—use or supervise the use of a restricted-use pesticide (1) on property owned, rented, or leased by themselves or their employer, or (2) on no more than two neighbors' farms as exchange for labor.
A Commercial Applicator or Operator license is required of persons who apply a pesticide (restricted or general use) for any purpose on property other than that owned, rented, or leased by themselves or by their employer. If you apply pesticides for profit, this license designation is appropriate for you. Examples include employees of custom agricultural services, lawn care companies, pest control companies, and landscapers.
A Commercial Not for Hire Applicator or Operator examples include grain elevator managers and workers, rural electric company field personnel, railroad rights‑of‑way maintenance personnel, groundskeepers in public cemeteries and golf courses, park-district maintenance personnel, foresters (public land), mosquito-abatement-district personnel, county and township weed commissioners, groundskeepers of public establishments, State Department employees, state university and college employees, Extension educators, vocational agricultural teachers, and other public employees who apply pesticides as part of their job requirements.
I farm and operate a custom pesticide application business. Which license do I need?
Answer: If you use restricted-use pesticides on your farm, you must be licensed as a Private Applicator. In addition, for your custom application business, you must be licensed as a Commercial Pesticide Applicator. You would need to pass the General Standards exam and likely the Field Crops exam. However, if your side job is lawn care, then it would be appropriate to take and pass the Turfgrass exam instead rather.
I'm confused about the terms "Applicator" and "Operator."
Answer: After you decide which license designation is appropriate for you (see above question), you need to decide if you should be listed as an Applicator or Operator. Simply stated, an Operator works under the direct supervision of their Applicator. To become an Operator, you must pass the General Standards exam. An Applicator must also pass this exam, plus one or more category exams (for example, Turfgrass, Field Crops).
Both Applicators and Operators are permitted to operate application equipment; handle, mix, and apply pesticides; store pesticides; and dispose of excess pesticides and containers. However, the Applicator must be accessible to his or her Operators when they are working with pesticides. If you work alone or are the only one in your company that applies pesticides, you must be licensed as an Applicator.
I have two Applicators where I work; one is licensed in Turfgrass and the other in Ornamentals. As an Operator, may I apply pesticides to turf and trees?
Answer: Yes, but you must obtain separate licenses, each indicating a single Applicator's name/number. In this case, you'd have 2 separate licenses, each with a fee. If you want to add or change an Applicator, simply call the Illinois Department of Agriculture, (800) 641-3934, and ask to have your paperwork and license changed.
Occasionally, I am asked to spray and kill the grass and weeds along fences and weeds growing in parking lots. Which category do I need?
Answer: Although you may be spraying grass in these sites, the grass is not maintained as turf, so the turfgrass license is not appropriate for these applications. For these jobs, you need the Rights-of-Way category. In addition, this category allows you to spray roadsides, electric powerlines, pipelines, railroads, and other rights-of-way sites.
Original IPR article by Bruce Paulsrud adapted by Michelle Wiesbrook and Jean Miles
Michelle Wiesbrook (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)