Issue 6, July 1, 2020

Safely Storing Pesticides During the Summer Months

Proper storage of pesticides is essential for protecting not just the chemical but also people and animals. Some items to consider are the pesticide’s container, environmental conditions, and location of the pesticide storage area.  These conditions can have an impact on the pesticide’s shelf life.

We often worry more about freezing and thawing when it comes to pesticides than extreme heat.  Extreme temperatures can change the chemistry of some pesticides inside their containers, as well as potentially damage the container itself.  Your application equipment is also not a place for long-term storage during the application season. Be sure to take out what will be needed for the day and park in the shade so that the product does not reach over 100 degrees.  The recommended temperature range for storing liquid pesticides is typically between 40 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the pesticide labels for specific temperature ranges prior to storage. Temperature extremes in the pesticide storage area can potentially pose several problems.

The temperature extremes can reduce the effectiveness of pesticides. In the summer, excessive heat can cause some pesticides to volatilize and drift away from the storage site. Additionally, some pesticides are flammable. It can also damage the integrity of the pesticide container. High temperatures can cause plastic containers to melt and some glass containers to explode.

Regardless of the season, pesticides should always be stored in the original container.  The container is designed to store and protect the product; an alternate container might not be able to do the same, whether it is the thickness of the material or the lid, the original is always best.  Be sure to keep the original label with the container. This will provide users with information on proper storage, disposal, application, ingredient names, as well as any emergency information needed. Don’t leave it up to memory, when the label falls off, but sure to contact a dealer for a new container/or label or print a new and attach a new label for the container. If storage information cannot be found on the label, contact the pesticide’s manufacturer.

Additional information about storage:

National Pesticide Information Center
Temperature Effects on Storage of Pesticides

Maria Turner

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