Take precautions to prevent pesticide poisoning
By Jennifer Whittaker, Georgia Farm Bureau
Farmers often use chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, defoliants) approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to produce their crops. It’s important to safely store pesticides on your farm to protect the people and animals on your farm and the environment. In the interest of preventing an accidental poisoning, please observe these safety tips from the EPA and Extension specialists.
Where to store pesticides
• OUT OF REACH of children & pets
• In LOCKED metal or plastic cabinets that can be cleaned
• In WELL-VENTILATED room/shed
• AWAY FROM food, animal feed, medical supplies or personal protection equipment
• FAR AWAY from an ignition source (a vehicle, farm & yard equipment)
• NOT in flood-prone places nor where chemicals may spill or leak into wells, drains, ground or surface water
How to store pesticides
• In ORIGINAL containers with labels that list ingredients & first aid steps in case of poisoning
• NEVER TRANSFER pesticides to a beverage bottle with its original label or to other unlabeled containers. Someone may mistakenly drink it.
• Store dry pesticides above/ away from liquid to prevent spillage/leakage/contamination
• Safely dispose of any unknown or expired pesticides by following EPA recommendations at
In case of poisoning
Time is critical for any pesticide poisoning! Immediately get help from
• local hospital
• physician or
• call Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222
Symptoms of Organophosphate/Carbamate Pesticide Poisoning*
Sweating, nausea and diarrhea, headache, fatigue, salivation, spit present in mouth, tears, moist membranes, possibly small pupils, slow pulse, central nervous system depression, loss of coordination, confusion, coma (can't wake up).
*Source: National Pesticide Information Center
UGA Extension pesticide educational resources are available at: