Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Pesticides enter the body through:

  1. Ingestion/swallowing through the mouth, accidental or deliberate;
  2. Dermal, through the skin when handling, measuring and pouring;
  3. Inhalation of small particles or dust when handling, spraying and flagging.

Of the above three routes, dermal exposure is the most common hazard. Avoiding exposure by the use of appropriate *protective clothing and equipment (PPE)*, and paying attention to personal hygiene by washing exposed parts of the body after work and before eating, smoking and toileting will minimize risk. Personal protective equipment must be selected in accordance with the label recommendation. It must be comfortable to wear/use and be made of material, which will prevent penetration of the pesticide.

Where undiluted formulations are applied as ULV sprays, specific PPE requirements are stated on the product label. ULV treatments require PPE, which is approved for the particular product in use.

PPE must bear an approval mark and should be comfortable to wear and not restrictive in use. The material used for PPE manufacture must prevent penetration of the particular formulation to be used (break-through time). PPE will only remain efficient if it is correctly maintained. Where damaged, repairs must restore it to its original specification and if this is not possible the item must be replaced.

Respirators must be checked on a regular basis and filter elements replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

The operation of an airstrip involves additional safety considerations. As well as PPE for the ground crew and field staff, appropriate fire extinguishers must be provided for both the aircraft and the airstrip.

The pilot must have a crash helmet and an approved safety harness for cockpit use and a respirator/fresh-air mask.


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) - Online Course

​Worksite Safety Compliance Centre

Respirator Care

Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)​

Chemical Protective Clothing - Glove Selection

​Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)

Personal Protective Clothing - Trade Names, Manufacturers (CCOHS)

​Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)


Guidelines on Good Practice for Aerial Application of Pesticides

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, 2001