Clemson Agricultural Safety

Chemical Safety – January 2023

Chemical Safety

The term chemical is a broad term, specific types of chemicals are herbicides, pesticides, and rodenticides. Each chemical requires different handling procedures and different PPE. It is important to always read the label and contact the manufacturer if you have any questions pertaining to the chemical.

Mixing and Applying Chemicals
A chemical is most dangerous when it is being mixed. When a chemical is in a bottle, it is often highly concentrated and requires being diluted before using it. It is always important to wear the proper PPE when mixing chemicals to prevent accidental exposure to highly concentrated chemicals. When applying chemicals, ensure that you know the wind and precipitation. Wind can cause the drift of the chemical to areas that you do not wish it to be. Precipitation can cause the chemical to runoff and contaminate surface and groundwater.

Human Harm
Humans may be poisoned by chemicals. Poisoning occurs when chemicals enter the body and cause harm to the body. Every chemical has a different level of toxicity. Toxicity is the measure of how harmful a chemical is to humans. Toxicity depends on the amount of exposure to the chemical.

Responding to Poisoning Emergency
1. Stop the chemical exposure
2. Call for emergency help
3. Check the label to determine if any actions can be taken before help arrives.

Chemical Labels
Chemical labels are the law and must be followed. Chemical labels contain information about PPE, how to respond to exposure or poisoning, application rates, mixing specifications, and hazards associated with the chemical.

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