Handling and Cleaning Up Damaged Pesticide Containers at Home

— Written By

Michael Waldvogel & Sarah Kirby | NC State University | 9/16/2018

Pesticides should always be stored off of the ground to reduce the chances of floodwaters damaging the containers and potentially contaminating the storage area (or other objects stored there). If a recent storm resulted in water damage to a pesticide container in your home, follow these steps.

  1. Keep children and pets away from the area.
  2. Make sure the area where you’re working is well-ventilated.
  3. When handling damaged pesticide containers or cleaning pesticide-contaminated surfaces, always wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in case of pesticide spills or splashes:
    • Rubber gloves (preferably chemical-resistant gloves).
    • Goggles or at least safety glasses with side shields to protect your eyes.
    • A respirator such as an air-filtering respirator or at least a particle-filtering mask such as an “N-95” dust mask.
    • A minimum of a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. A rubberized apron (if available) can protect your clothing from pesticides. As a last resort, cut holes in the top and sides of a large trash bag and wear that over your clothes. While it may be hot, it will help protect you from the chemicals that you’re handling.
    • If there is standing water in the area where you store your pesticides, wear rubber boots or waders. Pesticide-contaminated water can soak into sneakers, ordinary shoes, and even water-resistant work boots and can be absorbed through your clothing and skin.
    • More information about PPE is available at Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Continue reading about pesticide cleanup.