transport of pesticides
Severe cases of poisoning have been caused by
the transportation of pesticides with other commodities.
Containers of pesticides have leaked during
movements, contaminating foodstuffs such as flour and rice packed in
sacks and carried in the same truck. People have eaten the food after
it has arrived at its destination and have become ill; thousands of
deaths have resulted from poisoning in this way. There are several
basic points to be remembered:
- Food, animal feed or general consumer goods should not be
transported in the same truck as pesticides (Figure 18).
- Open or leaking containers of pesticides should never be
- If pesticide containers must be transported with other goods,
they must be separated in sealed partitions and securely fixed
with straps or rope.
- Pesticide containers should be loaded in such a way that they
will not be damaged during transport, that their labels will not
be rubbed off and that they will not shift and fall off the truck
on rough road surfaces (the load must be securely fixed).
- The truck driver or railway officials should be informed that
the load consists of toxic pesticides and should be given
instructions on what action to take in the event of an emergency
(crash, fire, spillage). Material safety data sheets should be
provided if possible.
- The pesticide load should be checked at intervals during
transportation and any leakage, spills or other contamination
should be cleaned up immediately. In the event of leakage while
the means of transport is moving, the vehicle should be brought to
a halt immediately to stop the leakage and the leaked product
should be cleaned up.
- With a major spill, people should be kept away and the spill
covered with earth, sand, etc. (Figure 19); no attempt should be
made to wash away the spill with water or other substances.
- The truck, including tarpaulins and other goods, should be
checked for evidence of spills or leaks after the pesticides have
been unloaded, and then decontaminated of pesticide before it next
- Pesticide containers should be loaded and unloaded carefully
(Figure 20); most leaks from containers in storage are caused by
damage during transportation and handling.
- Newly arrived consignments should be checked for leaks and
loose lids, and repacked immediately if necessary. Replace torn or
unreadable labels. A supply of empty new containers should be
available for repacking from damaged ones.
FIGURE 18 - Local transport of pesticide on a goods
vehicle - other materials are partitioned off
but food must not be carried
FIGURE 19 - Spill, caused by a pesticide drum falling off a vehicle,
being covered by soil -
people are kept away from the spill
FIGURE 20 - Careful unloading of pesticides from a
delivery vehicle to avoid leaks resulting from damage to
the storekeeper is examining the delivery note