Pesticide information for auditors

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PESTICIDE INFORMATION FOR AUDITORS

When doing an audit on a farm, you will need to check if the pesticides used on the agriculture crops are being used in a safe and effective manner that does not endanger human life (workers and those living in the surrounding area). To do this, you must check:
1. Type of pesticides used: Verify that pesticides present in the storage room and those listed onthe inventory are not on the list of US EPA or Internationally Banned Pesticides (LIST A and B). Most countries also have their own list of prohibited or restricted use pesticides but for certain regions like Central and South America, these lists will generally be the same as the US EPA list. For countries in Africa, pesticide lists will likely coincide with EU restrictions so ensure that youhave a copy of a current EU and country list before these audits.

Problem: If there is a chemical prohibited or restricted on the EPA or International list which is apparently not prohibited or restricted in that particular country, please take down all relevant chemical information: distributor, manufacturer, trade name, formulation, etc. and call the number listed on the pesticide label toverify that product is registered for use in that country.

2. Storage facility: One of the most important parts of the agrochemical portion of the audit is a tour of the storage facility.

Here you will verify that the storage area:
- Is of sound construction, with floors made of cement (or made of an alternative impermeable product);
- Is located away from public buildings and bodies ofwater;
- Has well labeled containers, which are organized on pallets or raised off the floor;
- Contains emergency features such as extinguishers, sand/sawdust to absorb spills, water station (including eyewash) etc.;
- Has signs posted outside in local language indicating presence of toxic materials, no smoking, authorized personnel etc.

While in the storage area, pay particular attention tochemicals with a red label and make a record of the name, formulation and manufacturer.

3. PPE: Personal protection equipment can protect workers from exposure to pesticides when handling or using chemicals. The appropriate PPE is determined according to job description, chemical toxicity and potential sources of risk/exposure. Items included on the list are: mask, goggles, respirator, overalls,apron, and rubber boots.

Note: It is unlikely that you will actually see people applying pesticides during the audit so verify through records and interviews that PPE was supplied and its wear enforced by management.

4. Training: A component of worker health and safety training includes information on pesticides (application, storage, disposal) and potential health problems associatedwith exposure. Workers are also familiar with re-entry periods after application and possible H&S requirements. Verify with documents and interviews regarding training and application procedures.

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Section 1: General information
1.1 What is a pesticide?
A pesticide is any substance or mixture of substances intended to prevent, destroy, repel or mitigateany pest. In general, the term “pesticide” applies to the following types of chemicals:

Algicides: Control algae in lakes, canals, swimming pools, water tanks, and other sites.
Antifouling agents: Kill or repel organisms that attach to underwater surfaces, such as boat bottoms.
Antimicrobials: Kill microorganisms (such as bacteria and viruses).
Biopesticides: Biopesticides are certain typesof pesticides derived from such natural materials as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals.
Biocides: Kill microorganisms.
Disinfectants and sanitizers: Kill or inactivate disease-producing microorganisms on inanimate objects.
Fungicides: Kill fungi (including blights, mildews, molds, and rusts).
Fumigants: Produce gas or vapor intended to destroy pests in buildings or soil....
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