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Paraquat's Five Golden Rules for safe use

1. Exercise caution at all times

  • Be aware of the risks involved in applying crop protection products
  • Use a systematic approach to measuring and mixing concentrated product, spraying and post-spraying cleaning procedures
  • Keep children and animals away from spraying sites and operations
  • Store product and application equipment safely
  • Dispose of waste product and packaging materials properly
  • Assess weather conditions (wind speed and direction, temperature)
  • Avoid drift
  • No smoking, eating or drinking whilst handling

 2. Read and understand the product label

  • Users and advisors must read all the information on the product label (technical, usage and safety), and note explanations of international hazard symbols, before use.
  • Comprehensive pictograms are provided to assist users who have reading difficulties. lliterate users and advisors should study the meanings of the pictograms on the label.

 3. Wash after spraying

  • Wash thoroughly (shower or bath) after the task.
  • Wash work clothes and personal protective equipment (PPE) thoroughly and separately from other household laundry.
  • Wash immediately if a spill occurs, paying particular attention to eye contamination.

4. Maintain sprayer

  • Understand how a sprayer works and identify why and where leaks can occur if the machine is not well maintained.
  • Select correct nozzles.
  • Follow sprayer maintenance schedules (seals, filters, pumps and nozzles).
  • Know how to repair a sprayer and stock spare parts.
  • Calibrate sprayers to apply recommended rates.

5. Use personal protective clothing and equipment (PPE)

  • Minimum requirement for any pesticide related activity is a long sleeved shirt, a pair of trousers (cotton) and non-absorbent footwear.
  • Wear gloves, hats, masks, eye protection and waterproof aprons where prescribed.
  • If the first 4 rules are obeyed the dependency of PPE to prevent personal exposure is greatly reduced. PPE should be seen as the last line of defence.