Personal protective equipment or working with pesticides
Pesticides can enter the body in four main ways: by mouth, by inhalation, or by contact with the skin or eyes. In most pesticide handling situations, the skin is the part of the body most likely to receive exposure. About 97 percent of human exposure to pesticides during spraying occurs through contact with the skin. To prevent exposure to pesticides, applicators should wear protective clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE). Every pesticide product label contains specific information about necessary clothing and equipment to be worn while mixing, loading and applying that product. This information may be found in the "Precautionary Statements" section of the label. Remember, the label is the law. Read it and wear the appropriate equipment. For more detailed information about chemical and physical hazards associated with a specific pesticide, read the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for that product. The MSDS is available from the pesticide dealer. Pesticide applicators need to choose the proper personal protective equipment for the job at hand. Because there are many pesticides with varied toxicity levels and formulations, each with specific PPE requirements, proper selection of protective equipment can be difficult. This publication offers general guidance on selection of personal protective equipment.
Archive version. For most recent information see extension.missouri.edu.