1.5 Activities connected to the use of chemical pesticides
Pesticides come in bags, tins, bottles or cans, in the form of
powder, granulate or liquid. Commercial products of pesticides can have
different pesticide concentrations in different formulae and compounds,
depending on the intended area of use.
Transport: Pesticides are often transported by vans, lorries
etc. which are also used for the transport of cereal products, farm animals or
nutrients. This requires thorough cleaning of the storage area after use to
remove all traces of the pesticide.
Storing the pesticide: Pesticides are usually bought in a highly
concentrated form, and they can therefore be very poisonous. For this reason,
they should always be stored in a secure and lockable storage space with
strictly controlled access.
Dilution and piling up: The commercial product can in some cases
be used directly for dusting or fumigation, but usually the product must be
diluted and sprayed. When diluting the pesticide or filling the diluted liquid
into the spraying receptacle, large quantities of the pesticide can spill out.
It is therefore of utmost importance that the user has good equipment, solid
routines and access to a well suited area for diluting the pesticide and filling
it into the receptacle.
Spraying the pesticide: The spraying equipment can be hand
sprayers, knapsack sprayers, tractor sprayers and sprayers on aeroplanes or
helicopters. The latter entail the greatest risk for spraying areas which do not
require treatment. Pesticides can also be added to the irrigation water or the
water sources. It is important that the spraying equipment and spraying routines
are satisfactory to ensure that the pesticide is used in correct quantities and
only in the desired areas. Incorrectly adjusted spraying equipment can easily
result in overdosage.
Systematic control and supervision of the treated area can be an
important step in reducing the need for pesticide spraying. It will then be
easier to discover diseases and instigate measures against diseases or insect
pests at an earlier stage and thus reduce losses and the need for spraying.
Pesticide wastes and cleaning the spraying equipment can cause
acute pollution. Secure routines for handling pesticide wastes are essential.
The agricultural methods can affect the use of pesticides. Balanced
fertilisation and rotation of crops can reduce the frequency and extent of
diseases. If, however, there is one-sided use of for example nitrogen
fertilisers, or if the same crop is cultivated year after year, the need for
pesticides may increase.
The conditions in each developing country must be taken into
account when using pesticides. One must consider whether only specially trained
personnel should be given the responsibility and control of the pesticides, or
whether they can be handled by the local population. Furthermore, one must check
whether there exists a pesticide control agency in the country. In cases where
the farmer carries out the pesticide spraying himself, it is necessary to
consider the availability of different kinds of spraying equipment and
protective equipment before selecting the