Paraquat's Five Golden Rules for safe use
Paraquat, like all pesticides, must be used carefully. Follow the 5 Golden Rules for safe use:
- Exercise caution at all times
- Read and understand the product label
- Wash after spraying
- Maintain sprayer
- Use personal protective clothing and equipment
These are described in more detail below. To watch the video, click on the image on the right.
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
- Never put paraquat in a container that is not designed for pesticide use (beverage containers, etc.)
- Some countries require closed system use of paraquat products (read the specific product label)
- 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.