Posts Tagged: pesticide
Gloves, N95 respirators, coveralls and other gear that workers wear to protect themselves from COVID-19, pesticides, dust and other health hazards are in short supply as priority is given to health care workers during the pandemic.
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, workers may wear homemade face coverings, but for applying pesticides, they must wear respirators specified on the pesticide product label, said Whitney Brim-DeForest, UC Cooperative Extension rice advisor.
“Although this could change in the days ahead, half-mask and full-mask respirators are more available than disposable N95 respirators for now,” said Lisa Blecker, coordinator for the UC Pesticide Safety Education Program.
Before the pandemic, 10% of N95 respirators from 3M went to health care, but that number is now 90%, the company said in a letter to distributors. This has led to significant backorders of PPE supplies for distributors.
Carl Atwell, president of Gempler's, an online distributor of worker supplies, said that before the crisis, normal lead times for PPE was up to 10 days. He estimated disposable respirators will become available in the fall and other PPE supplies in August.
In the meantime, there is alternative PPE that agricultural professionals can use during the shortage.
Atwell suggests looking for lesser known brands of PPE as opposed to the first tier of choice: “It's sort of like searching for Purell hand sanitizer. Purell brand might be out of stock, but can you find a different disinfectant?”
On Gempler's website, the more recognizable Tyvek coverall from Dupont is sold out, however disposable protective clothing is available from other brands. Reusable chemical-resistant clothing is also available as opposed to their disposable counterparts. Supplies in high demand are reusable and disposable nitrile gloves, protective clothing, disposable respirators and certain protective eyewear, such as goggles and face shields.
For workers who will be applying pesticides, Blecker and Brim-DeForest offered some guidelines on how to meet PPE requirements as the shortage continues.
General PPE requirements: “Remember, the label is the law,” said Brim-DeForest. “PPE requirements for agriculture are not being loosened.” The UCCE advisor recommends purchasing only what you need for the season and choosing reusable PPE whenever possible. Growers who have excess supplies of PPE can coordinate with their county agricultural commissioner or UCCE advisor to help other producers in their area.
Respirators: If you can't find the respirator required on the label, Blecker said, “Use an alternative, more-protective respirator. For example, if an N95 is required, you can use a half-mask with N95 particulate filters; these can be stand-alone filters or ones that attach to an organic vapor cartridge. You could also use a different pesticide that doesn't require a respirator. Consult with your PCA (pest control adviser) for options.”
Gloves: Chemical-resistant gloves, usually 14 mil or more in thickness are required for most California pesticide applications and should be worn by mixers, handlers and applicators. If nitrile gloves are not available, viton and laminate gloves are universal chemical-resistant materials for most pesticide labels. If the glove material is specified on the label, that instruction must be followed.
“Disposable gloves less than 14 mil can be worn, but not for more than 15 minutes at a time,” Blecker said. “Farmers should also note that thinner gloves cannot be layered on top of one another.”
Coveralls: Coveralls should be worn when required by the pesticide label or when the signal word is “WARNING” or “DANGER,” or when applying by backpack or airblast. “Coveralls can be made out of high-density polyethylene fibers (Tyvek and other brands), which are disposable, or cotton, which are reusable,” Brim-DeForest said. “If reusable coveralls are worn, the employer must ensure employees are provided clean coveralls.”
Goggles/face shields: Face shields are required for mixing and loading pesticides only if it's stated on the label. “If a face shield is unavailable, a full-face respirator can be used,” Blecker said. “Goggles or protective eyewear should always be worn in California when handling pesticides, regardless of what the label says. The face shield, goggles or safety glasses must provide front, side and brow protection and meet the American National Standards Institute Z87.1 standard for impact resistance.
The UC Integrated Pest Management Program also covers these topics in their pesticide safety webinar series at http://ipm.ucanr.edu/IPMPROJECT/workshops.html.
For more information about PPE, contact your county agricultural commissioner or see the California Department of Pesticide Regulation's posters at https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/whs/pdf/gloves_for_pesticide_handling.pdf and https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/whs/pdf/n95_alternatives_for_pesticide_handling.pdf.
DPR, Fresno State and UCCE create pesticide safety videos with Hmong farmers
A series of videos describing California pesticide rules and safety in Hmong is now available to view for free online. The videos were produced by California State University, Fresno and UC Cooperative Extension in Fresno County with funding from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.
The nine-part video series – Complying with Pesticide Laws and Regulations in California – is part of DPR's mission to reach California's farming communities. The videos cover a number of topics including using personal protective equipment, understanding pesticide product labels and application permit requirements.
The innovative educational tool blends peer-to-peer communication with traditional extension methods to include the knowledge and experience of both farmers and extension experts. Hmong farmers featured in the video helped develop scenes in which they educate other farmers, purchase and use personal protective equipment, and interact with extension staff.
“We worked with Hmong farmers who are following pesticide regulations themselves, and are now giving back to educate their peers,” said Ruth Dahlquist-Willard, UC Cooperative Extension small farm advisor, who collaborated on the video production. “Their voices and expertise helped make the scenarios more realistic and accessible to other farmers in the Southeast Asian community.”
Michael Yang, longtime UC Cooperative Extension small farms and specialty crops agricultural assistant, stars in the videos, interacting with farmers based on his extensive experience and trusted relationships in the Hmong farming community, and narrating the educational content in Hmong.
“We hope the videos broaden the reach of our local extension programming to help more farmers understand pesticide regulations and avoid fines, as well as improve their safe handling, selection and use,” said Yang.
Dahlquist-Willard and Yang plan to show the videos at UC Cooperative Extension meetings with Hmong farmers and distribute copies on flashdrives to county Agricultural Commissioner's offices in Fresno County and beyond. The videos are captioned in English.
“DPR works with all types of farmers on pesticide issues and it's critical that they use these tools safely – regardless of the language they speak,” explained DPR Director Val Dolcini. “This video project, the first of its kind to use Hmong speakers, will help foster safer use of pesticides.”
The videos can be viewed at http://bit.ly/fs-dpr-hmong-pesticide-video. The modules in the series cover:
- Introduction to California Pesticide Laws
- Checking for Crops Registered on the Label
- Pests and Application Rates on the Label
- Understanding Signal Words
- Following the Restricted Entry Interval (REI)
- Following the Pre-harvest Interval (PHI)
- Knowing Common Restrictions on the Label
- Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Pesticide Permits and Reporting requirements
The project took 700 hours over 18 months to complete, including filming and post-production. Twelve Fresno State students were also involved in producing the videos with the Hmong farmers in Fresno County. Dahlquist-Willard and Yang provided the creative direction in partnership with the farmers involved, and Fresno State's MCJ Multimedia Production Service under Professor Candace Egan brought professional video production and editing skills to make a high-quality finished product. Fresno State student video editor Mali Lee, a fluent Hmong speaker, completed the final edits of the Hmong language material.
“This was one of the most rewarding projects I have ever worked on,” said project director Bill Erysian of Fresno State. “We brought together a unique group of agricultural specialists, students, farmers and video professionals to create a high impact, professional set of educational videos on pesticide compliance for our Hmong farmers here in California.”
DPR has comprehensive pesticide safety and outreach material available in Punjabi, Spanish and English at https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/whs/worker_protection.htm.
Memorial Day Weekend has just passed, bringing with it the unofficial start of summer. The warm weather we've recently experienced following a rich rainy season is the perfect combination for the luscious growth we see in lawns and landscapes.
Business picks up this time of year for the many maintenance gardeners who are hired to mow lawns, clean up landscapes, or get rid of unwanted insects, diseases, or weeds. What many people may not realize is that maintenance gardeners who apply pesticides as part of their services must be certified by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). Even if pesticides are not used often, such as a single herbicide application, a Qualified Applicator Certificate in the Maintenance Gardener Category Q (QAC-Q) is required. This certification allows maintenance gardeners to legally apply general use pesticides as part of their services.
According to DPR, approximately two-thirds of pesticide exposure-related illnesses reported between 2005 and 2014 in California came from urban settings such as parks, gardens, schools and homes. Maintenance gardeners with a QAC-Q are qualified to follow California laws and regulations that help them to use, transport, store and dispose of pesticides safely in order to avoid human injury and contamination of the environment. They are also trained in pest identification and alternative methods to managing pests without the use of pesticides.
If you are a homeowner and use maintenance gardener services or are looking to hire, be sure to use one that is certified by DPR to ensure that they have the qualifications to follow the law and apply pesticides safely around your home. View the DPR Maintenance Gardener leaflet for homeowners and consumers (PDF) for more information on what you can do.
If you are a maintenance gardener and not yet certified, visit the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) website for resources to help you. The exam preparation page lists several materials such as a study guide available for purchase as well as free online modules and practice exam questions, available in both English and Spanish.
Those who already hold a QAC-Q must renew it by taking eight hours of DPR-approved continuing education (CE) courses every two years, with at least two hours in the laws and regulations category. Find approved online courses on the UCIPM training page.
A critical part of the workshops is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposal to cancel the pesticide chlorpyrifos in agricultural production. EPA is accepting public comment on the proposal until Jan. 5.
Chlorpyrifos is a widely used pesticide and part of integrated pest management in many crops. Under the trade names Lorsban, Lock-on and in generic formulations, chlorpyrifos is used to control ants, stink bugs, aphids, whiteflies and other pests. A 2014 report coordinated by the UC ANR Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program concluded the pesticide is an important tool for California producers of alfalfa, almonds, citrus and cotton.
At the workshops, growers, pest control advisors, UC scientists, state and local regulators and members of the local agricultural community will discuss chlorpyrifos permit conditions and the proposed regulations as well as IPM approaches to managing critical pests.
New decision-making tools for insecticide recommendations and stewardship activities will be shared. Industry members will also have the opportunity to provide input to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and other regulatory officials about the use of chlorpyrifos in their IPM systems.
Meeting dates, times and locations are as follows:
Jan. 7 – Almonds Central San Joaquin Valley
8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 9240 S. Riverbend Ave., Parlier
Jan. 8 - Alfalfa and field crops in San Joaquin Valley
8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Cabral Center, 2101 E. Earhart Ave., Stockton
Jan. 12 – Citrus in San Joaquin Valley
8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
UC ANR Cooperative Extension office, 4437 S. Laspina St., Tulare
Jan. 21 – Alfalfa in Imperial Valley
8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Farm Credit Services Southwest, 485 Business Parkway, Imperial
Jan. 26 – Almonds in Southern San Joaquin Valley
8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Kern County Agricultural Pavilion
3300 E. Belle Terrace, Bakersfield
Feb. 5 – Almonds in Northern California
8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m
Chico Masonic Lodge, 1110 W. East Ave., Chico
Pest control advisers will receive continuing education credit. For more information contact Lori Berger, UC IPM chlorpyrifos project coordinator, at email@example.com or (559) 646-6523.
An initiative to manage endemic and invasive pests and diseases is part of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Strategic Vision 2025.
The intensive, hands-on workshop will be led by Ken Giles, professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at UC Davis; Franz Niederholzer, UC ANR Cooperative Extension advisor for Colusa, Sutter and Yuba counties; and Lynn Wunderlich, UC ANR Cooperative Extension advisor for the Central Sierra region.
The UC ANR instructors will train participants to identify the appropriate spray equipment components, practices and conditions necessary to deliver safe and effective agricultural pest control to a particular location, timing and crop.
The workshop will cover nozzles and atomization, the dynamics of drift and how spray droplets move, factors affecting spray deposition, hydraulic nozzle alternatives (electrostatic, air shear, etc.), measuring spray coverage, pumps, sprayer selection, air-assisted spraying and more.
Before the class, to fully prepare, registrants should view a short, online PowerPoint presentation about basic sprayer calibration. A link to the PowerPoint will be sent in the registration confirmation email. A brief quiz on the material will be given at the beginning of class on Sept. 22.
The training is set to begin at 12 noon on Sept. 22, resuming at 8 a.m. on Sept. 23 and end at 2 p.m.
Registration for the training costs $150 until Sept. 12 and $175 after Sept. 12 and can be paid online at the registration website. Onsite registration will cost $200. The organizers have applied for CDPR Continuing Education units.
To register or to get more information, visit http://ucanr.edu/sites/Spray_Application_Training.