Protective Gloves, Clothing for Pesticide Applicators

Protective Gloves, Clothing for Pesticide Applicators May 4, 2016

Gloves recommended when applying pesticides
Figure 1. Chemical-resistant gloves appropriate for handling pesticides include (top row, left to right): natural rubber, disposable nitrile, reusable nitrile. (Bottom row, left to right): neoprene, butyl rubber, Viton and barrier laminate.
Gloves that can be used when applying pesticides
Figure 2. Disposable nitrile gloves in 4, 8 and 12 mil weights are appropriate for handling pesticides.
Using the proper personal protective equipment can help reduce your exposure when applying pesticides. At a minimum wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, shoes, socks, and chemical-resistant gloves.

Most pesticide exposure occurs dermally through the skin, said Clyde Ogg, pesticide safety extension educator at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Clothing made of tightly woven fabrics help reduce pesticide penetration.

Applicators who mix and load liquid concentrates should also wear chemical-resistant aprons, Ogg said.

Chemical-resistant gloves (Figure 1) should be used when mixing, loading, and applying pesticides. The best gloves are unlined and made of liquid-proof neoprene, butyl, Viton®, barrier laminate or nitrile and extend well up on the forearm, Ogg said. Most of these gloves are available in reusable pairs that can be cleaned after each use. Others, including some made from nitrile, are available in single-use disposable versions in a variety of mil weights (Figure 2).

Avoid lined gloves because the lining can absorb the pesticide and is hard to clean. Latex gloves, commonly worn by medical personnel, and gloves worn for food-handling don’t provide adequate skin protection because they aren’t chemical resistant.

In most cases, wear gloves under sleeves (Figure 3) to keep the pesticide from running down the sleeves and into gloves. When working with hands above your head, roll glove tops into cuffs to prevent the pesticide from running down the gloves to your forearms. You can also duct tape around where the glove and sleeve meet.

Correct clothing for many types of pesticide application
Figure 3. When applying pesticides wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, shoes and socks, and chemical resistant gloves.

Resources

For more information see these Nebraska Extension resources: