With the farming season beginning, special precautions need to be taken when handling pesticides. The typical clothing worn by a farmer such as jeans and cotton shirts absorb pesticides very easily.
A compound may be extremely toxic but present little hazard when exposure is limited, such as when proper protective equipment and clothing is used. Conversely, a relatively nontoxic chemical may present a hazard if it is used in a concentrated form that can be readily absorbed or inhaled or if protective equipment and clothing is not worn.
When using any pesticide, regardless of its toxicity, wear at least a hat, long sleeve shirt, long leg trousers or coverall garment, and socks and shoes. When handling pesticide concentrates during mixing and loading, or when using highly or moderately toxic material that have Danger-Poison or Warning on the label, you should also wear rubber boots, rubber or neoprene gloves, a rubber or vinyl apron, and goggles. Boots should be lightweight rubber as leather and canvas shoes absorb and hold pesticides. Gloves should be liquid-proof, not cotton or leather as they can be a cause of constant exposure. An apron will provide protection for the scrotal area where pesticides can be absorbed very quickly. Rates of absorption through the skin are different for different parts of the body with the scrotal area 11.8 compared to the forearm 1.0. In fact absorption of some pesticides through the skin in the scrotal area is rapid enough to approximate the effect of injecting the pesticide directly into the bloodstream.
For further information on environmental topics, contact the Environmental Health Division of the Jasper County Health Department at 783-5206.