An Important Message for Anyone Who Works with Pesticides
Pesticide labels contain specific instructions on how the pesticide is intended to be used, and what steps to take to protect yourself and others from exposure. You are responsible for being aware of and following these instructions. Labels include stickers, tags, seals, leaflets, brochures and/or wrappers applied to or attached to the product package.
Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is often required when handling commercial or restricted class products. PPE is any special clothing or equipment that is worn to minimize pesticide exposure and protect your health, for example, chemical resistant unlined gloves and footwear, long-sleeved shirt and long pants, socks, or a respirator. Studies have shown that wearing chemical resistant gloves and footwear can significantly reduce exposure.
As pesticides have specific uses, the label instructions will indicate the specific PPE to be worn or used. Health Canada determines the type of PPE to be worn based on extensive scientific review of a combination of the following risk factors:
Regular hand and face washing with soap and water is essential. It is a good practice to keep soap and water with you wherever you are working.
Wear the recommended PPE and use any specialized equipment listed on the label for:
A restricted entry interval (sometimes referred to as REI) is the amount of time after a pesticide has been applied during which access to the treated area must be restricted. This time allows for the breakdown of pesticide residues to levels that do not pose a risk to health. Pesticide applicators are responsible for informing workers and others who may be on site after a pesticide is applied and while the restricted entry interval is in effect. Restricted entry level information is listed on the product label.
Pre-harvest interval (sometimes referred to as PHI) is the time between the last application of a pesticide and the crop harvest. It is important to follow pre-harvest intervals to prevent unsafe levels of pesticide residue on food crops. Pre-harvest interval values, usually given in days, are listed on the product label.
A buffer zone is a protected area between the area being treated with pesticides and a sensitive environment or habitat (e.g. rivers, lakes, forests, residential areas) that must not be exposed to pesticides. It is important to follow buffer zone instructions to protect the surrounding environment from drifting pesticide through the air, soil or water. Buffer zone information is provided on the product label.
For more information, contact the Health Canada Pest Management Information Service at 1-800-267-6315.
Catalogue Number: H114-19/4-2009E