As a result of my experiences in safe pesticide use situations where the pesticide applicator is putting themselves, their family or pets at risk catch my attention. In the last three weeks I have observed three individuals applying pesticides with backpack sprayers pushing the envelope with regards to putting themselves in greater danger from pesticide exposure related to what they were wearing.
In all cases the three applicators were wearing leather shoes, shorts and short sleeve shirts. Leather absorbs chemicals like a sponge while the shorts and short sleeve shirt potentially exposes the applicator to more exposure to the chemical(s) landing on their skin. In all three cases the applicator was not wearing a hat to help protect their head and face from not only chemicals but skin damage from the sun.
All three applicators were probably in their 20’s and applying what appeared to be weed control products to a commercial business lot.
Research tends to show the results of pesticide exposure does not always show up in the year of application but may appear a few years down the road. The health problems also are cumulative in terms of the number of times the applicator was exposed to the chemical(s).
To know what to wear when applying pesticides check the pesticide label of the product being applied. It will not only tell you what to wear but how to clean up after application. It is your health, your children’s or pets that is in the balance.
Raising hops and barley tour
Jamie Arthur of Little Miami Farms of Spring Valley will open his farm gate part the Ohio Hop Growers Guild annual statewide hop yard open house 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 28 at 3391 Cemetery Road in Xenia. A map of all the OHGG hop yards open to the public will be posted on the OHGG Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ohgguild. He raises both malted barley and hops.
Jerry Mahan is a retired agriculture educator and guest columnist. Contact him by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.