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Competency Area 8: Protecting Humans from Pesticide Exposure

PO 56. Describe proper cleanup procedures for application equipment and protective gear.

The outside of the personal protective equipment (PPE), especially gloves, should be washed at rest breaks or every four hours.
Replace the PPE after that period of time with clean items or thoroughly wash the outside with soap and water. Replace the PPE after that period of time with clean items or thoroughly wash the outside with soap and water. After each use, wash the face piece with detergent and warm water. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry with a clean cloth. Store the respirator, filters, and cartridges in a clean, dry place away from pesticides. A tightly closed plastic bag works well for storage. Shower and clean yourself thoroughly from head to toe. Pay particular attention to fingernails and hair where pesticides could remain.

Care of Equipment
Whether equipment is very simple or very complex, it must be properly cared for so it will be both dependable and safe. Cleaning equipment including hoses, nozzles, pumps, tanks and hoppers is very important. Pumps and other equipment that will be stored in below freezing weather should be thoroughly drained, or better yet alcohol or antifreeze should be circulated through the equipment. Nozzles should be removed, cleaned, and stored.

Cleaning Sprayers
Clean the sprayer after each days use. Be sure to wear appropriate protective clothing when cleaning any piece of application equipment. Flush with clean water inside and out to prevent corrosion and accumulation of chemicals. When finished for the season or when changing chemicals, clean the sprayer thoroughly with a cleaning agent. Be careful to avoid contaminating water supplies and avoid injury to plants or animals when washing.
These steps are suggested:
1. Wash off the inside of the tank and partially fill it with water. Flush this water through the nozzles. When the tank is empty repeat these steps so that two complete rinses are done.
2. Take off the nozzle tips and screens. Clean them in a strong detergent solution or kerosene using a soft brush.
3. Fill the tank a third time, this time adding a cleaning agent. Refer to the table on the following page for information on the type and amount of cleaning agent.

Cleaning Granular and Dust Application Equipment
These devices must also be cleaned following use. Here are some recommended steps:
1. Remove all pesticide from the device. This may require taking it apart to be thorough.
2. Clean the inside of the hopper.
3. Use sand paper or a wire brush to clean rusted parts. Paint the cleaned parts.
4. Coat the inside with oil. Oil or grease the bearings.
5. Thoroughly clean and oil the flow control slides or valves.
6. Excess oil should be wiped off if it will contact the chemical upon the next use.

Pesticide used

2.5 Gallons Cleaning Solution


Insecticides (1) and/or fungicides.

1 Tbsp. powder detergent (2)

Agitate, flush, and rinse.

Hormone herbicides, salt or
amine formulations (2,4-D,
Dicamba, MCPA, etc) (3)

1/2 cup household ammonia

Thoroughly agitate, flush small
amount through system, and let
remainder stand in sprayer over night. Flush and rinse.

3 Tbsp. washing soda (sal soda)

Same as above except let stand for at least 2 hours.

1/4 lb. trisodium phosphate

Same as above except let stand for at least 2 hours.

2 Tbsp. fine activated charcoal
and 1-2 oz. powder detergent (2)

Agitate, operate sprayer for 2
minutes, let remainder stand for
10 minutes, then flush through sprayer. Rinse.

Hormone herbicides, ester
formulations (2,4-D, brush killers, MCPQA, etc.) (1)

4 oz. washing soda (sal soda) +
1-1/2 cup kerosene + 1 Tbsp.
powder detergent (2)

Rinse inside of tank and flush small amount through system. Let stand at least 2 hrs. Flush + rinse.

Other herbicides (atrazine,
simazine, alachlor, etc.)

1 Tbsp. powder detergent (2)

Rinse with clean water before and after using sudsy solution.