Section 9: Precautions

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Precautionary Statements

All labels include precautionary statements. Always read the label for safety procedures before using chemicals. Most exposure to herbicides occurs during mixing operations, mainly to uncovered hands, forearms and face. Exposure can be reduced significantly by wearing gloves, goggles and long sleeve shirts. Wash hands thoroughly after handling chemicals.

Reminder: Eye wash kits can be obtained from the regional warehouses.

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Do’s and Don’ts While Applying Herbicides

  • Read label prior to opening the container. Follow instructions and pay attention to precautions and warnings.
  • Store products in original containers.
  • With powdered herbicides like Outrider, Landmark XP and Escort XP, hold the container inside the mouth of the tank and pour slowly. This will eliminate much of the dust blowing up from the tank.
  • Do not use soil active products near desirable susceptible vegetation. In these areas use foliar-applied products such as Roundup Pro.
  • Dispose of herbicide containers according to label recommendations or recycle. Disposal usually consists of triple rinsing the container and punching holes in it rendering it useless.
  • All of the herbicides can be left in the tank overnight, but should not be left for an extended period of time. The solution should be used up if an application is not scheduled for several weeks.
  • Outrider, Landmark XP and Escort XP are unstable in acidic water and should not be left in the spray tank for long periods of time. These products will also break down in high temperatures.
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  • When cleaning spray equipment, make certain that the chemical solution does not drain into areas of desirable vegetation or into waterways.
  • Do not save worn out tips for later use. Throw them away. Keep spares of each type of tip and several diaphragm check valves in the spray unit.
  • Prior to equipment storage over the winter season, flush tanks, boom and hoses with several changes of water. Clean all tips and screens. Antifreeze can be circulated through the system to prevent the pump from freezing or locking down if it is not used for a long period.
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Application Guidelines

  • Drive at the correct speed.
  • Discontinue spraying if wind velocity rises. Winds above five mph may cause drift. All spraying must cease when patterns cannot be kept on target. The applicator may need to begin application early in the morning to cover as much area as possible before the wind velocity rises.
  • Discontinue herbicide application if rainfall is threatening. Most of our herbicides are rain fast within 1-2 hours. Postpone treatment until favorable conditions are present. Wet soil and/or foliage may yield poor results.
  • Do not apply herbicides when ground is frozen.
  • Avoid contaminating water in lakes or streams with herbicides not labeled for use in water.
  • Use only clean water in the tank. Sand or clay particles will damage the pump, solenoids and nozzles, and will deactivate Roundup Pro.
  • Clean equipment when changing chemicals. Flush with water several times and spray rinsate on the right of way as a typical application.
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Procedures to Follow for an Herbicide Spill

All herbicide units should have an emergency spill kit on board. Small spills should be contained with the spill kits. Large spills need to be contained as much as possible. Contact the District Vegetation Manager or the Vegetation Management Section at (512) 416-3093 for cleanup instructions.

Reminder: Emergency spill kits can be obtained from Regional Warehouses.

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Preventing Lateral Movement of Soil Residual Herbicides

Lateral movement is the outward or side movement of an herbicide (several inches or feet) from the target area where it was applied. This occurs with soil residual herbicides when the applicator applies too high a rate of soil residual herbicide, when the soil is sandy, when the area sprayed is on a slope or when rainfall moves the herbicide. To prevent lateral movement of herbicides, use the following precautions:

  • apply at the proper rate
  • reduce rates applied to sandy soils
  • avoid application of soil residual herbicides to slopes
  • do not apply during rain or when a heavy rain is expected
  • do not apply to water-saturated soils.
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