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PestiBytes Episode 25: Tips for Transporting Pesticides

headphones Introduction/Conclusion: Dr. Dave Stone, Director of the National Pesticide Information Center
Host: Brooke, NPIC Pesticide Specialist
Guest: Veterinarian Dr. Fred Berman DVM, PhD, Director of the OIOHS Toxicology Information Center

DR. STONE: Welcome to PestiBytes, a podcast series from the National Pesticide Information Center. These are based on common pesticide questions from people just like you.


BROOKE: This is Brooke and I'm here with Dr. Fred Berman to talk about transporting pesticides. What do we need to know, Dr. Berman?

DR. BERMAN: First, there are many situations in which pesticides need to be transported, ranging from small to large quantities. It is important to keep in mind that you are responsible for moving pesticides safely, and accidents can happen even when you are transporting pesticides only short distances.

If a spill happens, people and animals may be exposed to the pesticide. Vehicles can scatter the chemicals, spreading the problem around. Also, spills can cause environmental pollution, financial loss, or legal action.

BROOKE: Legal action? Can you give an example?

DR. BERMAN: Yes. A farmer put a plastic jug on the back of his flat bed truck to move to another application site just a few miles away. He wasn't planning to use any major roads, so he didn't take the time to secure the jug. It fell off the truck, spilled along the roadway, and he was charged for the hazardous material cleanup.

BROOKE: Hundreds of dollars?

DR. BERMAN: Thousands. But this issue is not only important for farmers. When we transport pesticides in our personal vehicles, we should also think about good safety practices.

BROOKE: What precautions should we take when transporting pesticides?

DR. BERMAN: First, never carry pesticides in the passenger compartment. Hazardous vapors may be released if the product is not properly secured or becomes compromised. Also, it can be almost impossible to completely remove spills from the fabric of seats and floor mats, which can pose a risk for further exposure. Second, only transport containers that have intact, readable labels. Third, never leave pesticides unattended in an unlocked or open-bed vehicle.

BROOKE: That sounds easy. What should we do before we get started on our way?

DR. BERMAN: Before traveling, always inspect pesticide containers to be sure that caps, plugs, and other openings are tightly closed. Anchor all containers to prevent rolling or sliding. If you transport pesticides often, consider using a plastic tub or liner that will catch accidental spills.

BROOKE: What about paper bags, like weed and feed or insecticide granules?

DR. BERMAN: Don't allow pets access because they might be tempted to chew on the bags. Don't allow moisture to come in contact because bags may fail when wet. Lastly, don't allow bags to come in contact with rocks, nails, or sharp corners that could rip the bags open.

BROOKE: That makes sense. Anything else?

DR. BERMAN: Yes. Remember, truck beds are convenient, but be cautious! Never stack pesticide containers higher than the side of the vehicle. If transporting on a flat bed, be especially sure to secure all containers and tanks so they can't slide off. Secure all loads with tarps, ropes, or tie downs.

BROOKE: Thank you Dr. Berman!

DR. BERMAN: You're welcome!


DR. STONE: If you have questions about pesticides, please call us at 1-800-858-7378 or visit us on the web at http://npic.orst.edu. PestiBytes is brought to you by the National Pesticide Information Center, a cooperative agreement between Oregon State University and the Environmental Protection Agency. These are produced in collaboration with OSU's Environmental Health Sciences Center, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

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If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 1-800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email at npic@ace.orst.edu.

Last updated August 13, 2014

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