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November 3, 2003

Extension publication a 'show-and-tell' of pesticide safety

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A new Purdue University Extension publication takes a page out of grade school show and tell to educate farmers on safe pesticide practices.

Publication PPP-61, "Pesticide Safety Tips for the Workplace and Farm: A Pictorial Guide to Best Pesticide Management Practices," makes liberal use of photography to demonstrate the proper handling, use and disposal of pesticide products and containers. The 60-page guide contains about 200 photos from farmers and business people.

Purdue Pesticide Programs produced the publication with assistance from the Office of the Indiana State Chemist.

"This book is an effort to share with everybody good ideas that workplaces and farms have put into place to protect the environment and the safety of their workers, and still use pesticides," said Fred Whitford, coordinator of Purdue Pesticide Programs.

"The publication is a how-to book without the words. There are probably several hundred words in the whole publication. Over the years I've found that a lot of people could use pictures to see what we're talking about. They can take these ideas and adapt them to fit their own needs. These are commonsense Indiana ways to take care of problems."

PPP-61 is divided into four sections, or "goals." "Prevent Off-Site Movement" covers wells, drains and other water-related issues. "Safe and Proper Storage of Pesticides and Containers" deals with product jugs and storage facilities. "Be Prepared for Emergency Situations" shows proper response measures if accidents occur. "Make the Workplace Safer" provides preventative tips.

"We look at everything from the time a pesticide comes onto a farm or into a facility, through the time we get rid of the container," Whitford said.

"The book helps farmers protect wells or public water supplies. Farmers need to protect their wells because their investment in their farms is based on how clean the well water is. One area we illustrate is building air gaps between hoses and the water's supply so that chemicals are properly disconnected.

"We also look at labeling jugs, storage, protecting our buildings, keeping pesticides from getting into the ground and ways to protect firemen who come to our farms and workplaces in emergency situations."

Indiana farmers aren't the only group who could benefit from the publication, Whitford said. "This book has broad application across the country, across industry and across farming operations," he said.

To order a printed copy of "Pesticide Safety Tips for the Workplace and Farm," call Purdue Extension toll-free at (888) 398-4636 (EXT-INFO) and ask for the Media Distribution Center. Cost is $1.

To download the publication online, log onto http://www.btny.purdue.edu/Pubs/ and click on the PPP-61 link under "Pesticide Programs."

Writer: Steve Leer, (765) 494-8415, sleer@purdue.edu

Source: Fred Whitford, (765) 494-4566, fwhitford@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, bforbes@aes.purdue.edu
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