Health and Safety Recommendations for Indoor Pesticide Applications in Horticultural Settings


  • Follow Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices. If chemical agents are needed, select those least likely to harm your health.
  • Read the pesticide label. Always follow mixing, application and safety directions.
  • Avoid over-spray. Applying more pesticide than needed can increase your exposure.
  • Use adequate lighting while spraying. Adequate lighting reduces trip hazards and over-spray, and makes it easier to visually communicate with fellow workers.
  • Leave gas-fired compressors outdoors when spraying. Gas-fired compressors produce carbon monoxide. Operating a compressor inside a building can quickly cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Follow the label for use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Use duct tape or other methods to seal areas where two pieces of PPE meet (e.g. tape gloves to the sleeve of protective coveralls).
  • Change clothing worn beneath PPE before going home. No PPE is fully protective. Launder your clothing at work or place in a plastic bag and launder separately at home. Shower before leaving work if possible.
  • Wear your respirator properly. Check to ensure a proper face-seal each time you put it on. Each respirator manufacture provides instructions on how to do a "user-seal check."
  • Know the location of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). Keep MSDSs handy in case of an emergency – especially when spraying after normal work hours.

If you would like more information about these recommendations, contact the NYSDOH, Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury Prevention at 518-402-7900 or 1-800-458-1158.