Farm Inputs - 6.3 Storage of Potentially Hazardous Products
Hazardous substances such as fuel, pesticides or animal health products that are not stored properly can:
- be accidentally used for an unintended purpose,
- cause contamination if they are spilled or leaked, and
- become ineffective (lose potency).
This good agricultural practice applies to all farms.
Examples of potentially hazardous products:
- lubricants and fuel
- pesticides and seed treated with pesticides
- cleaning and sanitizing products
- animal health products such as medicated feed antibiotics and vaccines
What Needs to Be Done
Store all potentially hazardous products in clearly labelled containers in a designated and secure location. Follow all laws, label, package or Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) instructions, and separate them from non-chemical products.
How to Do It
- Keep potentially hazardous products physically separated from places where food, seed or fertilizers are handled, packed or stored to prevent cross-contamination.
- Store potentially hazardous products in a dry location to prevent moisture from causing:
- containers to rust,
- labels to deteriorate,
- bags to split, and
- contents to deteriorate.
- Locate storage of products away from water sources and areas prone to flooding so that run-off or drainage water from the storage area cannot contaminate ground or surface water.
- Consider developing a farm map to record each storage location.
- Allow only authorized workers to have access to storage areas. Keep storage areas locked where necessary.
- Store pesticides and animal health products according to manufacturers’ label, package or MSDS instructions.
- Refrigerated storage is very important for some animal health products. Storage in improper temperature conditions can result in loss of effectiveness.
- Certain chemicals may need to be protected from freezing if they are stored over the winter. Check the label to determine if they need to be in a heated or insulated place.
- Keep products in their original containers.
- Keep containers sealed tightly where possible.
- Routinely check containers for signs of deterioration (e.g. rust, leaks, loose caps, etc.) and replace the container or dispose of the product when damage is noticed.
- When a container is leaking, transfer the product to a replacement container made of similar material. For example, do not transfer a product that was originally stored in a brown glass jar into a clear plastic container. Label the new container (see below).
- Make sure all containers have accurate, easily read labels. Replace deteriorated labels. When you re-label products, include: the trade name of the product, the name and concentration of each active ingredient, and the Pest Control Products Act Registration Number or the Drug Identification Number.
- Dispose of any stored products that have reached their expiry date. Learn about Storage and Disposal of Farm Wastes.
Spills, Fires & Emergencies
Consider preparing a site plan that shows where you store potentially hazardous products, as well as the location of all water sources, including wells. Share this information with emergency personnel when necessary. Post a list of emergency contact numbers near the chemical storage and include:
- Poison Control Centre (24 hours) 1-800-567-8911
- Provincial Emergency Program (PEP) 1-800-663-3456
- Local BC Ministry of Environment office
- Local numbers for doctor, fire department, police
- Keep absorbent materials such as kitty litter nearby to stop the spill from spreading and clean up small spills.
Storage of Pesticides
- Store herbicides away from other pesticides such as insecticides and fungicides as the vapours they give off can contaminate other products.
- Do not store treated seed in the pesticide storage area as it could become contaminated with other pesticides.
- The BC Integrated Pest Management Act and Regulation have additional requirements for pesticide storage. Warning signs must be posted on all doors to the pesticide storage area. These signs must have the words:
- CHEMICAL STORAGE
- AUTHORIZED PERSONS ONLY
You can obtain signs from the Farm and Ranch Safety and Health Association (FARSHA) at 1-877-533-1789. Signs from FARSHA that have the word “DANGER” instead of “WARNING” are acceptable for use.
The Integrated Pest Management Act and Regulation have the following storage requirements for commercial, restricted, and permit-restricted pesticides:
- separate from food for human and animal consumption.
- ventilation to outside.
- Locked when unattended.
- accessible only to persons authorized by the person storing the pesticide.
- warning signs posted on storage facility.
Commercial pesticides - pesticides required under the federal Act to bear a label indicating their general uses such as “commercial”, “industrial”, “agricultural” or other commercial activity.
Restricted pesticides - pesticides required under the federal Act to be labeled with “Restricted.”
Permit-restricted pesticides - pesticides set out in Schedule 1 of the Regulation
Storage of Animal Health Products & Medicated Feed
To prevent inadvertent use of animal health products and medicated feeds and to guard against improper storage conditions or storage in undesignated areas, all medications should be:
- Stored in a designated “medication” storage area such as the farm office, refrigerator or utility room;
- Clearly labeled;
- Stored in a clean, dry location according to their label requirements;
- Kept in a secured location with a lock, if possible.
Records to Keep
Where possible, keep product labels, package inserts or MSDS for all the potentially hazardous products that are stored.
If You Need an Audit
Be prepared for the auditor to:
- request a site map of the farm to demonstrate where designated storage for potentially hazardous products are located, and
- observe how potentially hazardous products are stored (for example, securely, and according to label direction).
Laws & Regulations that Apply
Integrated Pest Management Act, S. B. C. 2003, c. 58 and the Integrated Pest Management Regulation, Reg. 604/04 set out requirements for storage of pesticides in s. 33, s. 66 and s. 67 that must be followed to avoid pesticide contamination of environment and impairment of human health and safety. These requirements include provisions for warnings, ventilation, limited access and no storage of food intended for human or animal consumption.
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