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State of California Department of Pesticide Regulation - page 55 / 104

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7

Emergency or Incident Response

T

reat all pesticide leaks, spills, or uncontrolled releases as emergencies. Leaks or spills can occur during transporting, storing, while handling contain- ers, or during application.

When spills occur on public roadways, immediately call 9-1-1. Responding agen- cies will take charge of coordinating the cleanup and protecting the public. If a spill should occur in areas other than public roadways, immediately follow the emergency procedures listed below. As soon as it is practical, report all spills of pesticides, no matter where they occur, to the local county agricultural commissioner.

Put materials that you clean up and anything that was contaminated by the spill into a sealable drum. Label the drum to indicate it contains hazardous waste. Include the name of the pesticide and the signal word (DANGER/POISON, DANGER, WARNING, or CAUTION). Under most circumstances, the residue from a pesticide spill must be sent to a Class 1 hazardous materials disposal facility.

Spills on cleanable surfaces, such as concrete, require thorough decontamination. Commercial decontamination preparations are available for this purpose. Follow label and MSDS instructions for cleanup and decontamination.

CLEANING UP PESTICIDE LEAKS OR SPILLS

Cleaning up major pesticide spills requires the help of professionals. It is ex- tremely difficult and costly to remove contaminated soil or to prevent or clean up surface and groundwater contamination. The types of pesticide leaks and spills you will most likely encounter will be controllable quantities—such as from a damaged container. Proper and immediate response to even these types of small spills is neces- sary to minimize damage to human and environmental health.

There are certain basic steps you should follow in cleaning up a pesticide leak or spill:

Clear theArea. Rope off the area or set up barri- cades to keep everyone away from the contaminated site. Take immediate action to protect yourself and others. Get everyone out of the area at once. Provide first aid to anyone who has been injured or contami- nated, and send for medical help if necessary.

Some liquid pesticides are flammable, or con- tain flammable carriers in their formulation. Pesticide powders are potentially explosive, especially if a dust cloud forms in an enclosed area. Do not allow any smoking near a spill.

EMERGENCY OR INCIDENT RESPONSE

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