Tips for Staying Safe When Transporting Pesticides

Tips for Staying Safe When Transporting Pesticides

May 23, 2008

Pesticides should always be handled carefully and according to the label. But when transporting pesticides, extra precautions are necessary to avoid potential problems in the event of an accident or spill. Because pesticides may be transported along public roads, the potential for damage from an accident is great.

Emergency Measures

If a pesticide spill occurs during transport, follow the three Cs — control, contain, and clean up.

  • Control the spill by stopping it from spreading further. If on the road, pull over when it is safe to do so and upright any overturned containers to prevent further spillage.
  • Contain the spill by using absorbent material, such as kitty litter, to soak up the liquid.
  • Clean up the spill by shoveling the contaminated material into a temporary plastic storage container.

Emergency Resources

  • Nebraska State Patrol Emergency Highway Help Line at (800) 525-5555
  • Pesticide emergency network, CHEMTREC, at (800) 424-9300
The best way to transport pesticides is in the back of a truck or pickup, with the pesticide containers securely tied down. If a flatbed truck has a wooden bed, place impervious material, such as plastic or a truck bed liner between the wood and the pesticide container. This will prevent potential leaks from permeating into the wood. Do not put pesticide containers in the passenger side of a vehicle.

Wear chemical resistant gloves when loading pesticides in case of leakage. Inspect all containers thoroughly before loading them onto the truck and do not accept containers that are missing labels. If there are signs of leakage, do not accept the container, request a new one. Check all covers and caps to make sure they are tight and secure. Be gentle with containers. Do not push them over rough surfaces that could puncture or damage them, or toss or drop them.

Do not transport food, livestock feed, minerals, seed, grain, and consumer goods with pesticides.

Keep a spill kit with you when transporting pesticides. Such kits include chemical resistant gloves, absorbent material such as kitty litter, gloves and coveralls, a shovel, and a temporary plastic storage container. Protective equipment such as gloves and a change of clothing should also be stored somewhere within the vehicle away from the pesticide, such as in the passenger compartment.

Unload pesticides carefully and do not leave them unattended. Check your vehicle after unloading to make sure there was no leakage or container damage during transport.

If transporting hazardous pesticides, you must comply with DOT Hazardous Materials (Hazmat) regulation 49 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) parts 100-185. To determine what pesticides are considered hazardous, refer to the Hazmat tables (HMT) I and II (CFR part 172.101). The DOT Office of Hazardous Materials Safety also offers training in procedures for loading, transporting, and unloading hazardous pesticides.

For more details about transporting pesticides see the UNL Extension publication, Safe Transport, Storage and Disposal of Pesticides (EC2507).

Erin Bauer
Extension Assistant
Clyde Ogg
Pesticide Safety Educator