In chemical control, the hazards are:
- possible acute poisoning of humans, pets, farm animals, bees, and wild animals;
- possible accumulation of pesticides that lead to toxic levels in humans, pets, farm animals, bees and wild animals;
- possible cancer inducing effects in humans;
- possible damage to cultivated and wild plants especially by herbicides;
- possible contamination of streams and dams;
- possible development of strains of rodents, insects, mites, and fungi, resistant to pesticides.
When using chemical control, risks can be minimized by:
- restricting chemical applications to only those situations that justify such a control measure. In many instances, other controls measures may be preferable and less hazardous;
- carefully choosing the least hazardous chemical to effectively control the problem organism;
- carefully reading the instructions on the product label;
- carefully choosing the correct clothing, where necessary;
- carefully measuring the correct amount of concentrate water (where relevant);
- calculating (where appropriate) the amount of pesticide and water necessary for application to the crop area in question;
- carefully mixing the two, avoiding spillage on to skin, clothing and the surrounding area;
- carefully applying the product so that the same area is not covered more than once, at any one time;
- carefully applying the product under suitable dry, wind-free weather conditions;
- carefully applying the product so that other humans, beneficial animals, waterways and adjacent plantings are avoided;
- carefully avoiding spray drift, especially with herbicides;
- carefully storing pesticides in a secure, safe, dry place away from children and pets.
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