Herbicides and Pesticides


We use chemicals to rid our gardens and lawns of weeds and bugs. These chemicals are poisonous not only to the intended target, but also to humans, livestock, pets, and the environment. They are dangerous, so be cautious when you use them.


Consider the following safety tips:


       If possible, remove the weeds by mechanical means such as digging them out. If you have a lot of weeds, consider hiring a company that specializes in this type of work. They have the proper equipment and chemicals for the job.


       Follow the manufacturerís instructions when using herbicides or pesticides. Read the first aid treatment on the label, just in case.


       When spraying or using chemicals, wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as goggles, gloves and coveralls. Itís dangerous to wear shorts or bathing suits while using these chemicals.


       Be aware of the direction of the wind when using sprays. Donít spray into the wind. Use caution when spraying trees. Donít stand under the area youíre spraying. Keep children and pets away. Avoid walking in areas you have just sprayed.


       Donít handle food, smoke, go to the toilet, or play with your children until you have washed thoroughly with soap and water.


       Thoroughly wash the clothes that you wore while spraying. Wash them separately from other clothes.


       After you have used chemicals in your yard, keep children and pets off the area. The directions for using the chemicals should tell you how long you should stay off. Many manufacturers advise a 24-hour period.



Shortly after a parent had used a powder ant killer in the back yard, he noticed his 14-month-old child eating the dirt where he had sprinkled the pesticide. The child was taken to the hospital. Fortunately, the child didnít ingest enough to cause serious problems



Copyright 1997 Safety Health Publishing Inc.

Martin Lesperance is a fire fighter/paramedic and is the author of the best selling book ďI Wonít be in to Work Today Ė Preventing Injuries at Home, Work and PlayĒ. Martin delivers keynote presentations dealing with injury prevention. His talks are funny, but still have a strong underlying message. Visit his website at www.safete.com