The most serious pesticide poisonings occur during mixing and filling spray tanks. This is when the user is handling open containers of concentrate. Before you mix a pesticide, read the label carefully so you know all required protective equipment and special precautions. By law, you or those you supervise must wear all personal protective equipment called for on the label. Have on hand materials for cleaning spills.
It is best to mix pesticides outdoors. Don't mix indoors unless there's ample light and ventilation. Don't mix pesticides within 100 feet of a well head. Keep the water hose well above the level of the tank opening to prevent contaminating the hose and backsiphoning pesticides down your well. If you pump water directly from your well to the spray tank use and anti-siphoning device to prevent back-siphoning if the pump fails. Don't mix pesticides near ponds, streams, or any slope that drains into open water. If you mix pesticides often, consider building a pesticide mixing and loading facility with a spill containment pad. Plans for building such a facility can be obtained through our Extension Engineering Department.
Before you or those you supervise open a pesticide container, make sure everyone is wearing the appropriate protective equipment. Do not tear open paper or cardboard containers; instead, cut them cleanly with a knife and use the knife for no other purpose. Pour pesticide into the water; never pour water into pesticide. Mix and pour concentrated pesticides below waist level; never mix pesticides at face level.
When you pour pesticide into a spray tank, keep your head above tank level to reduce the chance of pesticide splashing on your face. Avoid overflowing a spray tank at all costs; cleanup is a long, aggravating, costly and dangerous task.
When you finish mixing, don't leave the containers and mixing tools unattended. Close pesticide containers and return them to the storage area. Rinse mixing pails and measuring cups in water and add the rinse water to the spray tank. Clean the utensils in detergent and hot water and hang them up to dry. If you empty a container and it is rinsable, triple-rinse it at once and add rinse water to the spray tank. If empty containers cannot be refilled or recycled, dispose of them according to label instructions.