Purchasing, transporting, storage and disposal of chemicals
Only purchase the amount of chemical you need. Estimate the quantity required for the job before visiting your chemical reseller. Check if the chemical has an expiry date and ensure that the chemical is used before that date. Excess chemical must be stored and/or disposed of safely.
Great care needs to be taken when transporting any chemical product to avoid spills and other accidents. It is preferable to have products delivered. Delivery agents are required to observe controls regarding the transport of chemicals. If you must pick up chemicals yourself, please note the following:
- Chemicals should always be carried in a separate lockable compartment to the driver and passengers. (Note: The boot is not a separate compartment. Containers carried in utilities, trucks or trailers must be securely chained to the vehicle. Transport vehicles must be locked when unattended.)
- Safety equipment, protective clothing, food and drink must be carried separately.
- Containers should be properly packaged. Glass containers should be surrounded by suitable packing material.
- Dangerous goods hazard symbols or class labels and Hazchem signs should be clearly displayed as required.
Storing agricultural chemicals correctly will help prolong shelf life and protect the health of people, animals and the environment. Chemical product labels and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) include storage directions that should be followed. Chemicals should be safely locked away from children, unauthorised people and animals. Chemicals should be stored according to 'The Storage and Handling of Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals' (Australian Standard 2507-1998), which can be purchased from SAI Global, www.saiglobal.com.
If storing chemicals in small quantities, you should:
- maintain a list of all chemicals kept in storage
- store chemicals in a cool, well-ventilated area that is away from direct sunlight (e.g. shed), lockable, has an impervious floor and shelving and is bunded to contain spills
- avoid stockpiling chemicals by purchasing them when the need arises
- store chemicals in their original labelled containers (if labels come off, re-label the container)
- keep all MSDS in a register nearby for easy access
- never store chemicals in food or drink containers
- separate incompatible/different chemical types to avoid cross-contamination
- never store chemicals with seeds, fertilizers, protective clothing or stockfeed
- ensure running water, first aid and other facilities as required by the MSDS are available.
Mix the chemicals according to the product label directions. Mixing should be carried out in a well ventilated, well-lit and hazard-free area. Only prepare enough for immediate use. Remember when mixing chemicals, you are handling the concentrate, which is more toxic than diluted mixtures.
The risk of splashes and absorbing a high dose of chemical is usually greater when the chemical is in its concentrated form. Even though there may only be a small amount, it’s still unsafe and should be handled with caution.
Thoroughly clean all mixing, spraying and personal protective equipment as described on the product label directions. After using a chemical and before eating, drinking or smoking, wash hands, arms and face thoroughly with soap and water. Shower as soon as possible. Work clothes should be washed separately or disposed of appropriately.
Disposal of chemical products
Dispose of chemicals as per the product label directions. It is illegal to possess certain unregistered AgVet chemicals If you have any of these chemicals or other old or unidentified chemicals in your possession, arrange for them to be safely disposed of via a licensed waste disposal company or chemical collection program (e.g. ChemClear). Label the product for disposal and store it securely away until it is able to be collected for disposal.
Contact your local Council and discuss options available for disposal.
To dispose of unwanted farm chemicals phone: 1800 008 182
To recycle clean chemical containers phone: (02) 6230 6712