How to safely handle chemicals
Always read the instructions
Review the chemical manufacturer’s safety data sheet (SDS). These are documents that contain information about hazardous chemicals, such as name, ingredients, and properties (and manufacturer’s details), and also outlines protective measures and safety precautions for the handling, storing, and transporting of the specific chemical. All chemicals should come with an SDS upon purchase. Store this in a safe place so that you can easily refer back to it as a reference when needed.
This may sound obvious but wearing the right kind of clothing while handling chemicals is so important. You may think it’s time-consuming to change your clothes during your daily routine, but you can greatly reduce risk of exposure to chemicals and other ill health effects caused by exposure by simply changing your clothes into protective clothing.
Australia’s agriculture news website, Farming Ahead, explains that by being aware of the dangers of the chemicals you are handling and by using the right equipment (including clothing), “handling, mixing and applying chemicals for cropping and livestock can be made safer”. The right kind of protective clothing will protect you from both chemical spray or vapour, protect the eyes, skin, lungs, and mouth, and prevent absorption into the body. Rather be over cautious than expose any part of your body to the ill effects of chemical absorption. While certain parts of your body are more high risk, absorption can also occur through the scalp, forehead, forearms, hands (palms), abdomen and feet. Full body protective clothing is ideal when handling agrichemicals: Chemical-specific overalls, waterproof apron, head gear, PVC gloves and boots.