Here’s a quick rundown of the equipment you can use to protect yourself when applying pesticides.
Rubber gloves should be used for handling any concentrated pesticide form to make spray solutions. Cloth or leather materials can soak up the pesticide exposing your hands to the chemical. Buy at the local hardware store or garden center a pair of chemical resistant gloves or at a a minimum wear rubber dish washing/cleaning gloves.
The clothes worn during the application of any pesticide is first line of protection and defense Tyvek spray suits are the most common choice. The shoes follow along the same parameters as the gloves. Wear shoes and socks — not sandals! Shoes should not be canvas or a porous material, wear rubber shoes or boots for the best coverage and protection of the foot area.
To prevent spray material from being in contact with or being absorbed by the skin long-sleeved shirts and long pants should be worn to cover the arms and legs. Special lightweight spray suits are also a good idea.
Don’t forget your head! The scalp can readily absorb pesticides so wearing a head can help prevent the extra exposure. A wide brimmed hat can offer some protection for the face and eyes.
A wide range of safety glasses are on the market for both professional and home use. But, few provide adequate protection for the eyes from chemical pesticide sprays. For the best protection look for goggles with covered vents on the sides and top. These goggles can usually be found at the local hardware store, garden center or farm supply stores. Remember any chemical spray or dust carries the potential to cause eye irritation or injury.
To prevent the inhaling of powders, dust or spray a paint or pesticide respirator should also be worn. Do a “fit test” to make sure the respirator fits snugly on the face. Respirators can be found at hardware stores and home improvement centers.
Before you apply any type of pesticide — Read the label!