Pesticides coming into contact with the skin can rapidly enter the body. Successful decontamination of body surfaces requires:

   Anyone contaminated with pesticide should strip off their clothing and quickly and thoroughly scrub the affected part of their body with soap and water. This should be followed by careful rinsing and towelling dry (Figure 26).

FIGURE 26 - Storekeeper decontaminating himself by washing thoroughly with soap and water -
his protective clothing, washed separately, is hanging out to dry in full sunshine

Protective clothing

   Contaminated protective clothing should be thoroughly washed using industrial grade detergent followed by several rinsings. Protective clothing should not be washed with the family wash. Gloves should be worn when washing protective clothing. Hot water should be used when available. Washed clothes should be hung to dry in full sunshine.
   Where there is a large patch of fabric that has been contaminated by toxic concentrates and replacement clothing is available, it is best to destroy the affected clothing by burning.

Stores and vehicles

   When dealing with leaks and spills, water, soap or detergent are usually the most readily available materials for decontamination. However, other chemicals sold for domestic or common commercial purposes may be useful too.
   Organophosphorus compounds can be treated by sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and sodium carbonate (washing soda), which are useful for decontamination and can be applied following initial scrubbing with soap and water.
   Organochlorine compounds are persistent chemicals and household ammonia and washing soda can be used, but the main method is to scrub with water and detergent.
Carbamates should be scrubbed with washing soda or strong soap.
   Transport vehicles should be decontaminated thoroughly as soon as spills or leaks are seen, otherwise there is a danger that when used subsequently for other goods, including foodstuffs, the goods could become contaminated (Figure 27). Spills are cleaned up in the same way that they are in stores. The contaminated washings from the vehicle should be absorbed by sawdust, sand or dry soil and placed in a container for collection and central disposal by the national authority.

FIGURE 27 - Scrubbing the back of a delivery truck using detergent and water to decontaminate it of pesticides