The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Green Acres

 

September 6, 2017



Personal Protection Equipment and Paraquat

The use of highly toxic pesticides that require respiratory protection were on the decline for over two decades; however one highly toxic active ingredient has been on the rise due to glyphosate resistant kochia in Montana. This active ingredient known as paraquat is in such formulations as Blanco®, Drexel Quik-Quat®, Devour®, Firestorm®, Helmquat 3SL®, Gramaxone Inteon®, Gramoxone SL®, Cyclone SL 2.0®, Bonedry®, Willowood Paraquat 3SL®, Paraquat Concentrate® and Para-Shot 3.0®. Paraquat is a photosynthesis inhibitor and acts as a non-selective contact herbicide.

Applicators are reminded to use this pesticide product with care as it is classified as a category 1 substance with the signal word ‘Danger – Poison’. This signal word implies that this pesticide product is highly toxic through multiple routes of entry.

When using paraquat products applicators should remember to have buffers between the pesticide application and sensitive areas (livestock, people, and pets), follow all re-entry requirements on the pesticide product label and wear proper personal protective equipment.

Personal protective equipment for mixers and loaders requires a long-sleeved shirt and pants, category A resistant gloves, shoes, socks, a chemical resistant apron, face shield and a TC-84 A respirator.

Types of Filters and Cartridges. The ‘Paraquat Concentrate® product label also calls for the use of particulate filters rated as N (NOT resistant to oil), R (RESISTANT to oil) or P (oil PROOF). Filter efficiency is rated as 95, 99 or 100. For example you could have a label that specifies N, R or P filters with an efficiency rating of 100. This is referring to N100, R100 or P100 filters for your respirator. The product label for ‘Paraquat Concentrate®’ allows for the use of any N, R or P filter.

Applicators using a pesticide product: 1) with an Agricultural Use Requirements box on the pesticide label and 2) on an agricultural commodity, must comply with the new 2015 Worker Protection Standard (WPS) requirements. According to the 2015 WPS requirements pesticide applicators (handlers) required to use respirators must pass a fitness exam by a qualified medical doctor and pass a qualitative or quantitative fit test prior to wearing qualifying respirators. Applicators should fill out and bring the fitness questionnaire to a qualified medical doctor to review. This questionnaire is located at http://www.pesticides.montana.edu/wps/respirators.html. Once on the site, select “Medical Evaluation Questionnaire”. If the medical provider approves the use of the respiratory equipment then applicators must pass a qualitative or quantitative fit test to assess the proper fit and size of respirators. It should be noted that fit testing and seal testing are not the same procedure. Upon passing a fit test applicators can conduct the pesticide application wearing the proper respiratory equipment; however each time an applicator uses the respiratory equipment they should perform a negative pressure seal test by covering the surface or hose where air is inhaled and breathe in. If the mask is properly sealed, it should collapse on face with no signs of leakage. Re-adjust mask until you get a seal or purchase a mask of a more appropriate size.

Portions of this article were taken from the Montana State University Extension Ag alert System. The article was written by Cecil Tharp (MSU Extension Pesticide Education Specialist).

Montana State University U.S. Department of Agriculture and Montana Counties Cooperating. MSU Extension is an equal opportunity/affirmative action provider of educational outreach.

 
 

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